Coffee Break: Venere Wedge Pump

Geox Women's Venere Wedge PumpI like the look of these wedge pumps from Geox, which are marked down at a variety of places. They look like your classic, simple wedge, and I think that the suede (once waterproofed) would make this a great shoe for spring and early fall. The taupe ones (pictured) are $74-$150 at Amazon or Zappos, whereas you can get the black or red versions at Amazon or 6pm for $89-$150. Geox Women’s Venere Wedge Pump



  1. Oh, hey! I was thisclose to ordering these on Zappos just now. I got a little wary from the reviews.

    But, obviously, thumbs up from me on this pick.

  2. Flying Solo :

    I am hoping to have a month between jobs and would love to spend a week at some sort of yoga/cleanse/renewal type place. I am hoping something that focuses on healthy eating & energy management. Does anyone have any recommendations? Search terms?

    • I haven’t been to one personally but have thought about it and did some research and the one I would have gone to (based on price, amenities, and location) was Oaks at Ojai –
      Search terms: yoga retreat, fitness retreat, spa vacation

    • If you have a particular studio or teacher you like, they may do retreats or have suggestions for teachers who do. I’ve never been on one, but one of the yoga instructors at my local place does a few a year and I’ve heard good things.


        If you scroll all the way to the bottom, this is the kind of retreat I’m talking about.

    • Not sure where you are in the country but if you are in the NE there are several ashrams in the catskills that do really great retreats like this. Lots of yoga, healthy meals, and meditation.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Canyon Ranch

    • SeaTownie :

      I’ve heard great things about the Kripalu Center. They offer all different types of retreats and immersions:

    • Peppermint Patty :

      A number of my yoga friends swear by Yogaville near Charlottesville, VA. I hear the food is healthy and amazing.

  3. I was looking at these but will probably get the Cole Haan Air Laney or the Calvin Klein Saxon, both of which are on sale at Nordy’s or zappos, respectively.

  4. Famouscait :

    A recent yard-work weekend with my in-laws brought into focus a dynamic that is really troubling and frustrating me:

    Both my mother and father in-law offer advice for everything. Even when they’re clearly not being asked for it. As in, I’ll turn to my husband and say, “Honey, what kind of flowers do you want in the garden?” To which my mother in-law will immediately jump in with, “I can tell you what I would plant!” and then carry on for several minutes, expounding on the virtues of her opinion. My father in law is also loves to express his (unsolicited) opinion, but with the added headache of being completely incapable of hearing disagreement about it. For example, if he says, “You know what you could do – you could build a small retaining wall over here and then plant it with flowers.” To which I respond, “You know, I just don’t think I want to put that much effort into it. Unless it’s structurally needed, I think I’ll just leave that area alone.” At which point my father in law will (literally) throw his hands up in the air and walk away saying, “Fine! Don’t listen to me. I was just telling you what I think you should do!”

    Obviously this tries my patience. I don’t want to pick a fight at every turn, but what annoys me the most is when they will jump in with an answer to a question that is clearly not directed at them. When I ask my hubby a direct question – why should anyone else feel empowered to answer that? And my father in law’s blow-up response to a differing opinion about his advice? I never asked you in the first place, buddy!! So zip it!

    I ‘d love to hear from others with any coping ideas or constructive come-backs. For reference, I’ve been married almost 8 years, so I’m not trying to ingratiate myself with the in-laws (but I’m not looking to start WW3, either…)

    • Snarkster :

      You just need to pretend like you care about their opinion. Just reply blandly with things like “thanks, we’ll give it some thought” or “sounds like an interesting thought” etc and then do what you were going to do.

      • I do NOT have in law’s YET, but I ALWAY’S welcome another OPINION, even if I do NOT ultimatley agree with it or ADAPT it. I have found that it is better to hear all side’s of an issue so that I can alway’s make an inteligent decision or come to an inteligent conculsion.

        You must learn to be more patient with your in law’s. I will DO that if I get MARRIED, but FIRST get a boyfreind and then get him to MARRY me. My dad is very pleased with my tuchus, and say’s I should BEGIN to find men once I put away my DOWN overcoat for the SEASON. YAY!!!!!!

      • Young Consultant :

        +1 My mother is a frequent giver of unsolicited advice, and this method is very effective. “Cool idea, I’ll think about it” is often the best track to take. They will eventually leave your house, or get off the phone with you, leaving you to do as you please.

    • That sounds just like my Mother-in-Law, who is a very nice person, but wow, can she get irritating. I often will almost completely avoid saying anything to my husband when she’s around, or I will literally whisper to him because I do not want her answering/commenting on/responding to EVERYTHING I say when it’s clearly not directed at her.

      Honestly, there’s no way to shut it down, IMO. Limiting contact, and ignoring it, are the only things that I think really work. Just saying “OK” or something similarly non-commital, has been my best bet. I’ve learned that my MIL doesn’t really listen to my response, anyway, so there’s no point in saying anything more substantive.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        My sister-in-law always whispers to my brother when they are with the rest of the family. Then he feels compelled to respond, even though he’s in the middle of a conversation with others. These side conversations drive me batty. It’s like they have completely interrupted a conversation we were having to have a side conversation.

        If you have something for which you only want your husband’s input, then you should ask him in private. Whispering in front of others is not in private, and it’s kind of rude. (Even if your in-laws are rude, that does not give you license to be rude back.)

        • Oh, I’m not talking about a time where we’re all interacting, like at a table together. That would be rude. But if I’m in the kitchen, and MIL is in the living room, I should be able to say something to him in semi-privacy. I do not think that that is rude.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Are they like this is other situations? I know you are directly asking your husband the question, but doing so when they are within earshot seems to make them think that input from everyone is ok. Do they offer unsolicited advice when nobody has even asked a question?

      Maybe the easiest way to handle it would be to respond to your father-in-law with something like “ok, that’s a good idea, I’ll think about it” but then do whatever it is you want to do later. As long as whatever you’re getting advice on isnt something that has to be handled immediately, then at least he would hear that you are listening to and considering his idea rather than immediately dismissing it. Hopefully when you finally implement whatever it is he wouldn’t get upset that you didn’t take his advice, but obviously that depends on what kind of a person he is.

    • Carolyn Hax always advises against trying to combat the advice–no matter how unwelcome or inappropriate it may be. If they were coming over while you weren’t home and starting to build the retaining wall themselves, that would be one thing, but as it is you’re in total control of whatever the actual topic of advice is, so it’s just a matter of how to respond in the moment. She suggests totally bland, inarguable replies like “good to know,” or “that’s something to think about,” or just a “thank you,” even when you’re not thankful by any stretch. Then you move on and totally ignore the advice. Your in-laws probably just want to feel helpful and knowledgeable, and it’s not worth disputing that every time when you know the bottom line is it’s your house, your life etc.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Don’t ask your husband what flowers he wants to plant in the garden in front of his parents.

      You can’t change them, but you can change your behavior. Reducing opportunities to invite their perspective (from their perspective) will reduce the amount of advice you receive. Giving the appearance of a united front with your husband will also reduce their sense that you need their advice or brokering.

      When they offer unsolicited advice, be polite but brief in your response. End the conversation (or, better yet, start a new one) while still being considerate to their feelings. Maybe they are terrible people, but they are most likely just trying to be helpful. Besides, they are your in-laws, your husband’s parents, and you’re stuck with them.

    • locomotive :

      Asking any questions in front of other people invites opinions from people who like to have their opinions heard. This is worse when it’s your husband’s parents, who no doubt to some extent feel like they get to have an input in many things. I would reduce the number of questions like that. Alternatively, just use them as conversation pieces (even if you have no interest in hearing what they have to say) and let your in-laws prattle on for a bit about whatever they think and you can respond with ‘that’s an interesting idea’. You have no obligation to do any of what they say, and it might may your life easier if you just let them say their piece. I use this strategy frequently with my mother.

    • I don’t know here…sounds like your in-laws were over helping you with yardwork. As someone with no relatives (in-law or otherwise) offering to help us with yardwork, I’d say be as polite as humanly possible as your relatives do manual labor for you.

      “FIL- what a great idea! We’ll look into it!” “MIL- you’ve always got such great opinions!”

      • My first thought was, “Wow, your inlaws help with yard work?” Lucky girl!!

        • SoCalAtty :

          Me too! I’m lucky enough to have a MIL that loves to weed. When she visits I come home and my garden is pristine. She is the same way about plants and gives me advice on all things yard. The advantage is that we have almost identical taste! She even buys me garden books!

          But I agree with the advice – nod and smile and say “that’s something I never thought of, we’ll think it over, thanks!” Best not to push in-law buttons where you don’t have to.

      • I agree that it’s a somewhat different situation if they volunteered to show up and help with yard work, or if you guys asked them to help. Not that volunteering gives them completely free rein to let fly with the opinions, but on the other hand, it’s not necessarily that weird for them to provide input if they were going to be involved in the work, even if it wasn’t particularly well-handled on their part. Maybe the solution is to not accept their offers to help if their help is more trouble than it’s worth.

      • Anonymous :

        ooo I totally missed that the in laws were helping with the yardwork. In that case it kind of makes a lot of sense that they would answer questions because everyone would kind of think they were involved.

    • I feel you :

      I have similarly over-bearingly helpful parents who actually take it even one step farther. Using your scenario above my parents would actually insist on coming over the following weekend to construct the retaining wall and planter. They then sometimes call me ungrateful when I am so rude as to say I do not want with the project they are proposing because I don’t actually want to do that. Recently my dad saw that I had a minor wiring issue in my house (that I bought for myself and I live in alone – ie NOT THEIR HOUSE). I said that due to x, y, and z life reasons I was going to put off fixing it until I had less on my plate. Not 30 minutes later, I came back into the room and my dad had ripped apart the wall to get at the wiring and then he called me ungrateful for his help when I expressed my displeasure at the situation.

      It gets insane sometimes. I try to prioritize into things I don’t care about/can easily undo and things that I do care about/are harder to reverse so that I can choose my battles.

      In general though, these are your husband’s parents and he should be playing point on this issue.

      • Just playing devil’s advocate here, but I KNOW if my FIL, father, or even my DH saw a wiring issue that they presumed to be dangerous (even if I didn’t think so), they’d be all up in my walls faster than I could say WATCH THE SCONCES!
        No idea what your specific issue was, but my dad wouldn’t leave my house if there were an un-attended electrical issue.

        • I feel you :

          I am actually a real estate developer. My Dad is a doctor.

          I will defer to him on medical issues but he should defer to me on the electrical code.

    • That’s my mom! And my husband literally laughs at her about it! But, he has a way of lovingly teasing while telling the truth so it doesn’t hurt feelings.

  5. Jackie, the Anon Threadjacker :

    One of our partners had to go out of work for surgery, so I’ve absorbed about half of his work. You would think that I’d be busy, but even with that, I still have virtually nothing to do. Maybe 2-3 hours a day, tops.

    I am so, so glad that I have accepted that new job and won’t be doing this much longer.

  6. TJ: I’m attending a CLE in Baltimore this week (Downtown/Inner Harbor area), there seems to be an overwhelming number of places to eat nearby. I’m hoping somebody might have recommendations for lunches and dinners or things to see & do in my free time? Thanks!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Dinner – Pazo

    • I like La Tavola in Little Italy, although I haven’t been there in a while. Pazo, a little more toward Fells Point, also is good.

      The aquarium is supposed to be very good, although a mob scene. I visited the historic boat they have anchored there (can’t think of the name) and that was pretty interesting. Do not take the Duck ride – it was terrible, 4 years later we still give my mother a hard time about that tour (her decision to take it). We thought it would be a nice way to ride around the Harbor and see historic sites, but instead the tour guide pointed out things like the brand new Panera (woo!) and played horribly loud music the whole ride.

      • Awful Lawful :

        The Duck tour is no longer here, so no need to worry about that, although I enjoyed it when I did it with friends once.

        Harbor is a VERY short walk from the Inner Harbor where you can find excellent restaurants and places to shop. Charleston in Harbor East is an incredibly good restaurant. There is also a J Crew and Anthropologie store in Harbor East. I recently ate at Brio, which is an Italian restaurant in the Inner Harbor and really enjoyed it as well.

        If you are a person who likes sweets, you have to go to Vaccaro’s in Little Italy. They have the best gelato and Italian desserts. If you are going to be around this weekend or have free time for brunch, definitely check out Ms. Shirley’s Cafe.

        Also, for things to do in the area, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum is something I find to be interesting and the Flag House is interesting, as well and a quick walk from the Inner Harbor.

      • Ha! The new Panera, an instant landmark. Thanks, ladies, I appreciate it!

  7. Seeing this makes me wonder … I’ve never really thought about how to take care of suede shoes. I own some pairs, which makes it probably a bad thing that I never really thought about it. Is waterproofing alone enough, or do you know some other advice?

    • locomotive :

      I have a pair of suede born boots that I used a suede waterproofing treatment on and they seem to be holding up fine to mild snow and rain with just that.

      • There is a suede waterproofing treatment? This is interesting … I will look for it tomorrow, thank you!

        • locomotive :

          the one I got was the nikwax nubuck & suede waterproofing and cleaning treatment from amazon

    • Following up this, is there a way to rehab suede shoes that were not waterproofed and are a bit discolored now? They are a light grey color and my favorite boots.

  8. Anon Associate :

    Vent: why do lawyers insist on sending snarky emails back and forth to one another? We all know you disagree on this – can we pick up the phone and discuss our issues like grownups instead of sending back and forth emails saying the other side is being unreasonable?

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      This annoys me too, but I can see how as ultimately risk-averse individuals, lawyers like to exercise CYA by getting it in writing. That said, often there is nothing wrong with having a phone call followed by an e-mail saying ‘as agreed on our call, XYZ’ but, yeah, much of this is CYA-related.

      • Anon Associate :

        I agree with you normally but I don’t think that’s the case here though – the issues have already been canvassed in writing. This is just lawyers being unnecessarily snarky. It just seems so counterproductive.

        • It’s easier to craft the perfect comeback response with email b/c you have time to compose, which you often don’t have on the phone.

    • I think humans in general do this, whether it’s by email or text. Sry lawyers, you do not get a monopoly on this one.

  9. Trip planning threadjack: My boyfriend and I are vacationing in San Franscisco and Big Sur. Any recommendations for the Big Sur leg of the trip? Favorite hikes, hotels, restaurants, etc?


      I would keep looking on Sunset for more tips…they always give great recs.

    • Anonymous :

      No recommendations on hotels since I’ve only stayed with friends, but restaurants — the restaurant at Ventana (recommend lunch, so you can enjoy the sunshine on the outside patio and the lunch crowd seems less snooty) and Sierra Mar, the restaurant at Post Ranch Inn. As you get closer to your trip, make sure to check to make sure there are no private events at the restaurant the day you want to go; last time I went, we got stuck eating inside since there was a wedding reception going on outside (no complaints, but just missed the sunshine!). Lots of people also like Nepenthe, but it wasn’t my favorite, although the Nepenthe store is kitschy (and expensive). At the end of the day, Big Sur is amazzzing and most of the restaurants in and adjacent to Big Sur have great views and decent food.

      • Anonymous :

        Glen Oaks in Big Sur is a great little modern motel. Beautiful, clean, cozy rooms at a decent price. And eat at the Big Sur Bakery for all your meals. It is that good. And lots of good hiking all around!! Enjoy.

    • anonypotamus :

      Big Sur: for the best view of the coast stop for lunch at Nepenthe and ask to be seated out back (if the weather is nice). You are basically atop a cliff looking out over the Pacifc (and the food is pretty good). La Bicyclette in Carmel – tasty food in a great setting. As far as lodging, we have stayed at the Tickle Pink Inn – it has the exact same views as the Hyatt next door, but for a fraction of the price. More quaint and charming, but very comfortable, good service, and amazing views. Of course, the Hyatt is always nice too :) Have an amazing trip!

  10. I’m 43 and was just diagnosed with osteoporosis. Does anyone have experience with this? I know this diagnosis is usually associated with someone quite a bit older. I’m feeling a little embarassed about it – thought I would see if I can get a feel from people here before I tell anyone in real life. I don’t eat meat or dairy, but I do get a fair amount of leafy greens and soy. Thank you for whatever feedback/thoughts you might have about this.

    • No need to feel embarrassed, IMO. There are plenty of factors that increase a person’s risk for osteoporosis, many of which you cannot do anything about (eg, sex, race, family history, frame size). Risk increases with age, but I don’t think it’s unheard of to be diagnosed at a younger age such as yours. And having been diagnosed at this age, you now have ample opportunity to reduce your risk of fractures when you are older!

      What does your doctor have to say about treatment? Should you be taking a calcium supplement? What about a prescription treatment, like Fosamax or Boniva?

      My mom was diagnosed with osteoporosis a number of years ago. She is very anti-pills and is convinced she can manage with diet modifications alone; however, since her diagnosis, she’s lost at least 2 inches in height. I keep trying to encourage her to go on medication as her doctor has recommended, but so far no luck. I live in fear of her breaking a hip or worse :(

      • Curious George :

        As someone who just happened to catch “Food Matters” on netfllix my recommendation was actually going to be to research how nutrition can be used to manage handle your diagnosis and to contact a naturopath in your area. Just a thought.

    • Anonymous :

      No tips on the osteoporosis, but I just wanted to say you don’t have to feel embarrassed. I’m 25 with arthritis and thick old lady glasses, and no one gives me a hard time. :)

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I’m not a doctor, but I think your diet may be lacking in calcium.

      • Ladies, calcium test is not sufficient to warn you. Your blood tests may show recommended calcium dose but you might still get osteoporosis. If you think, you have higher prob of getting osteoporosis (hereditary reasons), have your doc do separate blood test for osteoporosis

    • Thank you so much for the feedback. My doctor sent me a long e-mail advising me to get a blood test then see her for treatment recommendations. I’ll have the blood test tomorrow morning then see what she says, and I’ll also do an assessment of how much calcium I’m getting from foods. It’s probably a good wake-up call for me, since I have fallen off of some of my good habits lately.

      • frugal doc.. :

        Most of us are also deficient in Vitamin D, both from our limited sunlight (we work inside all day… and it is still winter…) and our diets. I am sure your doc will check this level too, and you will probably need supplements.

        My circle of friends includes many vegetarians and vegans, and some have a hard time eating well with their hectic jobs/lives. Might be time for a real careful look at what you are doing. You not only may need some diet adjustments, but exercise adjustments. Weight bearing exercise is important to stave off osteoporosis.

        I would also definitely ask your doctor WHY ME and why when I’m so young. Be very honest about your diet/exercise habits, but even if they aren’t ideal (few of us are ideal!) I would be worried about hormonal issues that could be contributing. Maybe estrogen levels are dipping too soon, thyroid is off etc…

        Also, many medicines can contribute to osteoporosis – including several seizure/pain/mood medicines and even proton pump inhibitors. So go over your meds carefully with your doc and see if there are any you should try to adjust.

        It is definitely fixable. Be glad your doc caught it early! Almost no one figures out in their 40’s they have osteoporosis, so you are lucky.

        • Thank you, frugal doc, for the great ideas. I may print out your comment and take it to my next doctor appointment!

          • Coach Laura :

            Late to the thread but an idea.

            Another plug for diet and cause – celiac disease. It’s one cause of early osteo. Celiac causes malabsorption which can lead to vitamin/mineral deficiencies. I had low vit D and calcium at diagnosis and was also diagnosed with osteopenia, the fore-runner of osteoporosis in my 40s.

            I’ve been able to improve my T-score over 5 years with calcium and Vit D supplements, good eating and weight-bearing exercise – lifting weights, walking and hiking.

  11. Just need to vent for a moment: Late last summer my best friend (who lives several hours away) discovered she was pregnant. I was (and am) so excited for her. Without a second thought, I handed over my entire maternity wardrobe. We discussed in passing that if I became pregnant before her kiddo was born, she would return some of the clothes as needed. I really didn’t think it would be an issue as it took my husband and I a long time plus fertility treatments to have no. 1. Well, lo and behold, I became pregnant with no. 2 very quickly this winter. Of course, my best friend knows this (I think I told her two seconds after my husband). The maternity wardrobe was not an issue for the first several months, but now that I am into my fourth month, my regular clothes are a bit strained and uncomfortable. She is due in one month and has promised to return my clothes to me after she is due, but I know her and know that she takes forever to mail anything (we received our Christmas presents in February). So now I am stuck in an awkward position of knowing that I have a full maternity wardrobe coming in a month (or so), but I have dwindling options in the meantime. Plus, she has had a tough end to her pregnancy, so I don’t want to upset her further. Ugh. I hope no one notices that I am wearing the same pants multiple days per week.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Oh geez, that is awkward. Would you be able to visit her after baby arrives to meet the little one and pack up your clothes? Life is hectic after having a baby, so even someone who is normally prompt may not return them for a month or two. I’d also plan on your bump being a month or two ahead with the second pregnancy as compared to the first.

    • Have you tried, “hey, can you send me [x,y, and z pieces] this week? I literally have NO PANTS to wear! ” Or, if she won’t get hurt feelings about it, ask her DH directly to do it for her to take the stress off her. “I loaned this stuff out to FRIEND and I know you both have a million things going on, but I’m sitting here in a towel because I no longer have any pants and need a few pieces to tide me over until y’all send back the rest.”

    • Honestly, I’d just buy some new maternity clothes. Get some pants on sale at the Gap (I think they have 30% off today), a few shirts, and any other basics you want right now. I know it feels wasteful since you might be getting a big delivery of your clothes back soon, but think of it as a gift to yourself and your friend, who sounds like she’s going through a hard time. And then that way you don’t have to stress about when (or if!) you’re getting your old clothes back.

    • Geez, that’s annoying. I agree with Brant- I would just email or call and say “hey, you won’t believe it, but this time around, i’m already busting out of my pants! Can you send me back x, y, and z so I don’t need to run out and buy some pants? I’ll wait to get the rest back after you deliver, those three pieces should tide me over for the next month.” Thanks!

    • I agree with Brant and ML – tell your friend that you’re running out of clothes and you need your maternity clothes earlier than you anticipated. I’m sure that at 8+ months pregnant she’s bigger than you at 4 months pregnant. There should be items that she can sort through and mail back to you now, because she can no longer fit into them.

  12. hoola hoopa :

    Someone on this site suggested a while back separating weekend clothes from work clothes. I finally rearranged last weekend and OMG IT IS AMAZING. It seems so obvious now, but I never would have thought to do it. It’s so helpful when picking out an outfit, but also in illustrating that I have disproportionately too many play clothes for my life. Can’t remember who it was, but thank you!

    I also hung up my jeans, which my husband has been trying to convince me to do for years. It is better, particularly when you have limited drawer space.

    I also tried on every item of clothing and sorted into work, play, wrong-size-but-keep (selective), and give-away/trash. I was critical and brutal, but it felt so good to finally get rid of some clothing that was never quite right. I have a few who were only temporarily saved until I can find a replacement, which was very informative on what items I really need/wear. Trying on everything was hugely helpful as there were some surprises, good and bad. I pretended that I was in a store dressing room (another tip from this site’s posters), which was hugely effective.

    • It’s amazing how good it feels to have an organized, functional closet :) Nice work!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      That’s awesome! I’ve been going through my closet in spurts and bagging up everything that doesn’t fit or that I just don’t wear. My cutoff has been “I moved this twice and still haven’t worn it.” It felt great until I had all these bags and realized I’d need to rent a car or call a cab to drag everything to a place where I could donate them. That is, until the greatest thing ever happened and a donation bin appeared on a corner 2 blocks from my apartment! I’ve since dragged everything down there and it truly feels amazing to be able to see what is in my closet and know what I actually wear. Plus it gives me a little leeway to buy some new things that I know I need.

      • That’s great! I have a running donation bag and if I try it on and reject it more than once, it goes in!

        I need to split work and play clothes, it does make more sense. I’m in academia so there isn’t a strong distinction but there are certain things I should set aside for days when impromptu muddy walks or messy baking (such a mucky pup) are likely.

        • hoola hoopa :

          FWIW, I work in an enviroment with a ‘dress code’ similar to academia, which is why I would have never thought to separate (beyond my ‘conference clothes’, which were already separated) and was skeptical that it would even make sense for me, but it definitely does. I thought it would be hard to distinguish, but sorting was actually really easy.

    • I think it may have been me in terms of how many of each type of clothes to have, although i don’t recall advocating separation for organization’s sake. In terms of proportion, I suggested that your total wardrobe should be roughly 5/2 work to play clothes (obviously some clothes are both). This was a very insightful idea for me when I transitioned from work to student back to work again–realized that my closet needed to reflect who I was at that time in my life–and I was “unbalanced” too. Glad you feel organized…I always feel much better in the AM when I can grab and go!

      • hoola hoopa :

        Yep, that was one of the posts in my head as I was going! My clothing is currently about 50/50, which seems so silly when seen through the now-obvious 5/2 rule.


  13. Hi all – although I rarely comment, I have loved reading this site for several months now.

    I’m going to be a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding. The bride initially said that she was hoping to find bridesmaid dresses around $200 or less, which was music to my ears. She found an amazing dress priced around $250 that she loved (the wedding party loved it too!), but she decided to keep looking. Now she’s looking at dresses close to $500 and has fallen in love with one at that price. Her wedding will require air travel and expensive accomodations. And while her bachelorette party has not yet been planned, she’s mentioned that she’s hoping for something in Europe. So this entire experience is really starting to add up.

    I told her very clearly that I was hoping we could stay around the $200-$250 price point and that the new dress that she’s found is just more than I can afford. But she just keeps saying that she loves this new dress so much and hasn’t really said anything to address my statement about cost. It’s always been hard for me to speak up, and mentioning that the dress was too expensive was very uncomfortable for me. It worries me that she hasn’t heard or addressed my concern. It’s an awkward position, because it’s her wedding and ultimately her choice. She makes a lot of money and has very expensive taste, so I think from her perspective, it’s not a big deal.

    I am so honored to be in her wedding, and I don’t want to rain on her parade. But I also don’t want to spend all of my disposable income on expenses for her wedding. I need to figure out how to speak with her productively about this, as I have a feeling it’s going to come up again (if she really does want a party in Europe, I most likely will not be able to attend). Any suggestions on how I can make my point heard without becoming the whiny bridesmaid?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • I would come up with a reasonable budget and stick to it! If everyone wants to go to Europe for her bachelorette party, ask them to send you a postcard. You don’t have to rain on her parade, but don’t overextend yourself for HER wedding. Explain your situation once and then just decide what you can and can’t afford.

    • Your friend sounds really inconsiderate. I think just keep doing what you’re doing and standing your ground when an expense is too much for you. I think its perfectly reasonable to say something like “My budget for the dress is $X [assuming X is in the neighborhood of the first dress she found] and if its more than that I won’t be able to buy the dress.” Then its up to her whether she wants to find a cheaper dress, pay for at least part of your dress (would you be ok with this if she offered?) or not have you in the wedding party (would this be a big loss if it happened?)

      As for the bachelorette party, I think the simple solution is to decline, with or without giving money as a reason. I’ve never even heard of having a bachelorette party in Europe (I’m assuming you live in North America), and I know some stupidly rich people. Unless all her friends are independently wealthy, I can’t imagine anyone is going to want to go. Most people are pretty limited by either time or money and I doubt many people would want to spend limited vacation time/disposable income to travel all the way to Europe for someone’s bachelorette. Would you be splitting the cost of her hotel and international plane ticket too? That’s absurd, unless there are like 10+ bridesmaids. Well, either way its pretty absurd but I guess its slightly better if there are a ton of you.

      Air travel costs for the wedding are pretty unavoidable, but would you be able to share a room at the wedding with another bridesmaid or female attendee? My wedding hotel was a bit pricey (we didn’t get much of a discount off the rack rate) and some of my girlfriends shared rooms.

      Gah, I just can’t even believe there are people who expect their friends to spend this much on their wedding. My friends whined about the price of the $150 dress I chose. You are definitely not the unreasonable one in this situation at all.

    • Miss Behaved :

      No advice here, but I sure wish I’d had the guts to put my foot down the last time I was a bridesmaid. It was my brother’s wedding, but he had no idea of the expenses involved. And actually, it wasn’t the bride’s fault either. The maids of honor (yup, there were three) just kept telling us we had to pay for more and more things. I ended up paying about $1,500 and this wedding didn’t even involve travel.

      True story. I stressed out so much over the money that I developed the shingles (unbelievably painful). So it might not just be your bank account that’s at stake… it could be your health!

    • I have dealt with bridezillas in my day, but I think you need to be more forceful. If you’re close enough to be in her wedding, you should be close enough to speak honestly with her, and tell her that you have a budget, and things are becoming too expensive, and you are worried about your ability to remain in the wedding party. Then the ball’s in her court–she can either kick you out of the wedding party and you can attend as a guest (never a bad thing) or she can pay the increased cost of the dress. This is not like you’re nickel and diming her about being $10 over budget…she’s doubled a substantial cost and now is forcing you to participate in an overseas trip plus travel to her wedding. Come on! Not everyone lives the same lifestyle. Perhaps to be solution-oriented, you could offer some additional suggestions in the same color scheme or offer to investigate cheaper alternatives which look somewhat similar. And as for the bachelorette in Europe…you may have to tell her that you apologize but you need to evaluate your finances before committing.

      If your friend is truly going to blow up over this, she doesn’t sound like a very understanding friend, and I would question whether she’d bridezilla-y or just not a good friend. Truth.

    • You have to decide at what point you are no longer willing to swallow the exorbitant costs of being a bridesmaid in order to avoid offending your friend. The idea that she wants/expects people to travel to Europe from another continent for a bachelorette means that she is seeing this more as her big event rather than a time to spend with friends before her wedding. If you are OK with that, and with her demands, fine. But there is nothing wrong with saying: I love you, I am so honored to have been invited to be a part of your day, but the dress/bachelorette is more than I can afford. And then bow out. Don’t do a bunch of back and forth with her — just tell her you cannot be a part of what she has planned. You don’t have t0 be the whiny bridesmaid, and she is forced with making the decision of determining how important people versus things are for her wedding.

      • This. You should say you can’t afford to be a bridesmaid with a dress like that.

        I know having this conversation will be uncomfortable, but the sooner you say it the better. I’ve been in wedding planning for a while now, and we had to make some adjustments at the beginning. Making adjustments as the date inches closer is so much harder.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      You don’t have to go to a bachelorette party as a bridesmaid. I wouldn’t mind if some of my friends couldn’t come, and I’m likely not attending one this summer (as a bridesmaid).

    • Anonymous :

      “because its her wedding and ultimately her choice.” I can’t believe having people buy their own bridesmaid dresses is a thing. I know it is, but I can’t believe its come to this in wedding planning. Its so rude! If you are a bride and don’t budget for the bridesmaid dresses, I think you should at least keep it around the cost of a typical wedding present (ie not more than 150) and that can be the bridesmaids present for you.

      She is really putting you in a tough place. Hopefully she is pining over those dresses like I sometimes pine over houses I can’t afford, and she will come back to reality when it comes to pick it up. If her bachelorette party is in Europe you just have to say you can’t make it. If she picks the 500 dress you just have to say I’m sorry, like I said my budget is only 250.

  14. Mom Update:

    Move completed. It was a crazy 4 days of getting everything she was taking packed, dealing with the move, and then getting her unpacked. The first night was not so good – she went down for dinner and one of her table mates fell asleep, and she was convinced she couldn’t belong there.

    But then! The next day, she ran into someone she knew looking at places in the same residence, which made a huge difference in her attitude towards what “kind” of people live there, and that being old doesn’t mean being out of it. And she started to see some of the conveniences of being there (e.g., she has an ingrown toenail. She went down to the 24h health centre, and they are making her an appointment, of which she will be notified, and then she takes the free shuttle bus to the doctor 5m away).

    She has already had a movie date with one of the men there! When you are 20 years younger than all the other women there, you are a HOT COMMODITY, lol.

    She actually really likes her unit, and is even somewhat actively enthusiastic about the place. I am SO SO HAPPY. SO RELIEVED. I CANNOT BELIEVE I GOT ALL THIS DONE.

    I need to buy myself something as a reward. I would like to keep it in the $100 range but I have no idea what it should be. Suggestions???

    • No suggestions, but all I can say is you deserve it! Congratulations on making it through a tough time …

    • hoola hoopa :

      So happy for you and your mom!!!

      I would have panicked if my dinning partner fell asleep at the table, too, so I’m so glad for the serendipitous run-in with her friend. Whew!

      I’m LOLing over the date. My grandfather entered an assisted-living center at the same time I moved into my college dorm freshman year. I was flabbergasted at the similarities!

      No idea how you should treat yourself, but you should DEFINITELY treat yourself to something.

    • No Problem :

      A massage!

    • Silvercurls :

      How nice to read about a happy outcome for you and your mom!
      Buy something that you can wear whenever you need to remind yourself that you are a strong and capable woman who can meet any problem with effective action. Garment, scarf, purse, belt, jewelry? Your choice.

    • locomotive :

      I think you should take 5-6 hours on a weekend or something and pamper yourself. Get a nice lunch at a cafe and read. Go get a massage. Sit somewhere and sip coffee and just congratulate yourself for handling a tough situation like a strong, capable person and bathe in your awesomeness.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Congratulations on a positive outcome! You handled this situation admirably! I agree with the other commenters who suggest pampering yourself. Might I also add that you may also want to treat your partner? I remember you saying that you felt really lucky to have him by your side so maybe a nice dinner out with some fancy wine would be a perfect way for you to both celebrate!

    • just Karen :

      A massage and pedicure! Or a really soft comfy modal blend pj/lounge set if you want something more tangible – something you can wear outside to get the paper and hang out on a lazy Sunday in. COngratulations on getting through this huge transition!

    • Diana Barry :

      Congrats! That is awesome!

    • Thanks, everyone! I was thinking about a pampering, but I was leaning towards an actual thing for the reasons that Silvercurls articulated (though I wasn’t that clear in my own head, lol). I will have to give this some thought.

      Dinner with Professor Bhaer is a really good idea. He has been amazing while I have been, um, less than present. Though we do that stuff pretty regularly (the benefits of living in a cheap city!) – as he just pointed out. Lol, his awesomesness doesn’t even ever stop!

      It really all has ended up working out so much faster than I thought possible. I guess lots of people spends years and years trying to convince their parents to take this step. And in lots of ways this should have happened a while ago. But the whole things with the fire brought an urgency that became hard for her to deny.

      I won’t lie. I am pretty damned proud of myself. It was a rough, rough, go.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Be proud! You are amazing for getting through this in the first place and a successful outcome like this is just icing on the cake. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!

        As for a gift to yourself idea, I’d recommend something like a bracelet or necklace. Something that you’ll see randomly throughout the day that will remind you how awesome you are. I bet you can find something on Etsy for around $100 that you love.

  15. Praxidike :

    (this is a re-post from the gym thread, where I wasn’t sure people would see it).


    So I am going to Cuba next week with an alumni group. Anyone been there? Tips? Thoughts? Things you hated or things you loved? I really can’t get a sense of what it’ll be like, and though I am excited I’m also a little nervous.

    We have a packed itinerary, planned by the university, so there’s going to be stuff to do. I am also wondering if there’s a dress code that’s different than what I’d wear in the US in the heat.

    • Cuba lover :

      I went there on a university-sponsored trip a few years ago.

      Buy a guide book. They sell them in Barnes & Noble, etc. I think I had the Moon one, but Lonely Planet or whatever will work too.

      They take U.S. Dollars, so no need to change currency. (It’s not “the official currency,” but no Cuban you meet will want anything else from you besides U.S. Dollars. It’s why they love Americans. The black market down there is in U.S. Dollars, so they really want them.)

      The dress is a little more suggestive than what you’d normally wear at home, like many Latin American countries. Colorful. Spaghetti straps are not uncommon even among women 40+, 50+.

      There is truly music all over the place. Walking down the streets is awesome.

      And the vehicles are all from the 1950s. That part is kind of magical.

      Understand that all the Cubans you will come in contact with are likely pre-screened by government officials. It’s a totalitarian regime, so it’s unlikely anyone will tell you anything bad about the country or its government. There is anti-US propaganda everywhere, like signs that say, “Go home, Yankees!”, pointed north toward the water. So everyone will say they love their lives there – that isn’t necessarily what they actually think.

      It’s amazing. I’d go back in a heartbeat. It’s the only country I visited where I wanted to learn the language and move back.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks for posting this. I am not the OP but going to Havana on a people to people trip in May. Can’t wait!

      • We just came back from renting an apartment in Havana for 8 days, operating totally outside the whole planned tour/resort experience. All the guidebooks – as well as any Cuban you talk to – will tell you NOT to use US dollars, because there is a huge exchange penalty on them. The black market operates in CUCs, (Cuban Convertible Pesos) which are technically only available to tourists. Anything you will want to buy (food, souvenirs, etc) will be priced in CUC. Everything happens in CUC. You can only buy CUCs inside Cuba; airport exchange rate is not really much worse than banks or hotels, since it’s all nationalized.

        If you can get off your tour at all and meet some non-prescreened Cubans (I think that’s not an unlikely prediction for the kind of trip you’re going on), you should really do so. People are amazing and friendly and will give you the food out of their fridge if you need it – though there are also hustler types that will try to get you to take them out. Thing is, sometimes it works out – i.e. you take them out and pay for their drinks and cover, but they take you to some awesome Cuban club with kick-ass live music. So it’s a bit of an adventure!

        And Cuba Lover is totally right that sexy dressing is pretty common. The customs agents were totally wearing short miniskirts, fishnets, and platforms! Muchos caliente!

        Also, it was intense and amazing and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

    • lefty lawyer :

      I’ve been to Cuba several times, usually with lawyer groups. I recommend colorful inexpensive sleeveless dresses with sandals or espadrilles. Bring a very light cardigan or jacket for air-conditioning. You will be much cooler and fit in. Jeans, backpacks, fanny packs etc will make you hot. Cubans, both men and women, like to dress nicely and neatly. Stay away from sloppy tshirts and baggy shorts etc, especially for meetings. It is considered disrespectful.
      As for whether to believe what people tell you, in my experience when they find out you are from the US they are just as likely to complain about life in Cuba as they are to tell you that things are wonderful. People are not afraid to speak to strangers. Some people will just tell you what they think you want to hear. Don’t assume that the ones who are complaining are telling “the truth” and the others are government stooges or intimidated. Reality is much more complex.

  16. Mountaingirl :

    Hello ladies! I am heading to a conference in Washington, DC in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to visiting the city. I’ve never been before and would welcome any suggestions on things to do and see. Thank you!

    • The cherry blossoms will be out by then so make sure to take a walk by the monuments.

    • Welcome in advance!

      There’s a ton to do in DC, so it might help to narrow things down a bit – where will you be staying? Will you have metro access? (I hate driving in the District, but YMMV.) Are you interested in art/history/good food/under-performing professional basketball teams?

      In general, the standard tourist fare – National Mall/monuments/Smithsonian museums/etc – is definitely worth a visit if you’ve never been before. I particularly love seeing monuments at night (and the throngs of people tend to be a little smaller after dusk, too). It sounds like you’ll be visiting during cherry blossom season – you can find out more about the festival and attendant events at

      • Mountaingirl :

        Thank you for the suggestions!

        The conference is at the Crystal Gateway Marriott which is apparently actually in Arlington VA but they claim its just 3 miles from downtown Washington DC. I’m staying at the conference hotel for convenience sake, but I really want to check out Washington!

        I don’t plan to rent a car, but apparently its really easy to access the metro from the hotel. I do like art and history, but I don’t have a ton of patience for long museum days. I love walks around historic districts so I’m sure I’ll love the monuments with cherry blossoms! Basketball is a good idea too- I’ll have to see if there’s a game I can get to!

        • That metro is crazy easy from your hotel and you don’t have to go outside. 1 stop to airport and another stop (other direction) to the mall. Blue and Yellow lines.

    • If you have a whole day (or most of it) and access to a rental car or zip car, you could go to Mt. Vernon. (Can be done via public transit too, but it’s just easier with a car). Beautiful drive down the river, several hours worth of historic house/visitor center, etc. On your way back, stop in Old Town Alexandria and enjoy many choices for shopping and restaurants.

    • locomotive :

      I hope this is not too late for you to read, but there is a ton to do if you have some time here. I would visit the monuments (the obvious ones are lincoln, ww1,2, vietnam memorial, but also the relatively new MLK memorial is beautiful) and see the cherry blossoms (they’re actually on schedule for April this year). I’d go to the National Archives (history!) and the Hirshorn (contemporary art, installation pieces, gorgeous) if you had to pick only a few museums. The museums are all free too, which is great. You can probably eat at a food truck near the gallery place/chinatown area, but DC has fantastic food and I’d be happy to give you some recs (Firefly, Blue Duck Tavern, Founding Farmers, Bistro Bis). If you’re adventurous with food, you should also try some Ethiopian food which is fantastic here. If you want to shop, you can go to Georgetown and walk along M street and there is a location of PAUL (the british bakery/cafe) which is adorable. Have a good time!!

  17. Runner ‘r e t t e s:

    Any tried-and-true remedies for shin splints? I’ve read all of the WebMD, etc, info, but I’m interested in hearing which methods y’all get the most relief from. I’m finally starting to see some real gains in time and distance (which is probably the root cause of said shin splints), so I’m annoyed at having to rest, but the pain is just getting to be too much :0(

    • Time off. Whomp whomp. Sorry, I wish there was a magic bullet, but to my knowledge, there isn’t one.

      I’d say to drug up, tape them, do your runs, and ice them aggressively afterwards, if you had a specific race that you’d put a lot of time into training for, coming up in the near-ish future. But if not…take the time off. You’ll get better faster, which means being able to run pain-free sooner, which means you’ll be able to see meaningful gains in time and distance faster.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Not a “cure” in the sense of providing relief, but a longer term solution that will eventually keep you from having the problem altogether is to come back from your run and do toe raises as part of your cool down/stretching. I stand on a curb on my toes with my heels hanging off and hold the hood of my car (if trail running) or a mailbox (if at home) and just simply lift up and down together, and then each leg individually, between 20-30 times each. This strengthens the muscles to prevent more problems. As far as relief, icing is the best (freeze dixie cups and then peel down about an inch and massage over the affected area). You can also tape with kinseo tape or other sport wrap, which can help if it’s an isolated area of pain.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Have you tried kinesiotape? I have never tried it for shin splints (and I agree with a. that time off is the most important thing) but I have heard of others who have had luck with it for shin splints, and for me it has been great for other problems (knees, IT band, neck). If you go ogle it there are videos with instructions. Also get a gait analysis and make sure you have the right shoes and posture.

    • Shin dance! Lay on your back, put your legs up with your knees at a 90 degree angle (like you were going to do crunches), and do the following:

      20 ankle circles (outward)
      20 ankle circles (inward)
      20 feet back and forth (like you’re tapping your foot on an invisible surface)

      It should really start to hurt around number 10 of the back and forth motion, which means its strengthening the not-so-used muscles that run along your shin.

      This will strengthen your shin muscles. Also, ice and ibuprofen will help with the inflammation and speed up healing.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Also try massaging (foam rolling) your calves. I often get tightness in my shins, and I was concerned about shin splints, but massaging my calves has helped a ton (and I no longer think I have shin splints).

      • springtime :

        Yes, foam roll your calves, but you can also foam roll your shins easily too. I don’t get shin splints but it feels SO GOOD to roll out my shins.

    • Thanks for the great ideas, guys! I’m working on accepting the fact that “run through the pain” is not, in fact, a legitimate treatment method. I’ll definitely be stepping up the icing regimen and trying the shin dance!

    • FedTaxAtty :

      I had a wicked case of shin splints a couple of years back. Physical therapy was the only thing that helped. My take away from my three (!) months of physical therapy was that one of the best things you can do (in addtion to what the ladies above have suggested) is one leg balance exercises, especially on an unstable surface like a Bosu.

      • I also had really bad shin splints when I started running a while ago.

        The only thing that helped me was to see an orthopedist, who realized my ankles pronated (turned inward) and I really needed orthotics in my shoes to keep my arches up and my feet straight. Now I wear them all the time and no shin splints, even when running.

        Understand that this might be a symptom of a bigger issue that continued running could make a lot worse.

  18. onehsancare :

    Back to fitting in exercise in a busy day–does anyone have one of those mini ellipticals? I’m thinking of the ones made by Stamina, available at Amazon and Sears (and Joyus just sent me “a deal,” which is what got me thinking about them). I’m wondering how sturdy they are (they say they support up to 250 lbs., which is about twice my weight, so that should be okay.

    I’m also wondering (like this is a question the hive can answer better than I!) if I’ll be likely to use it! I guess I’m asking if you use it, or does it just sit in the closet.

    • My mom has one (not stamina brand), and when I was living in the same town I would use it for 5-10 minutes whenever I was over. She really liked it and used it fairly regularly (she kept it out, not in a closet). I didn’t think it really did much for me. I didn’t feel like I was exercising when I used it. I’d check out the one you’re considering in person to see whether you feel like you’re getting exercise when you’re on it.

      It was really easy to just get on for a few minutes here or there and (hypothetically) get a little cardio. If my mom was cooking and I was talking to her I would get on for a few minutes, or if I was waiting for water to boil on the stove or something (if you couldn’t tell, she kept it near the kitchen).

  19. Miss Behaved :

    Is anyone else watching Deception? It’s my Gossip Girl replacement. The finale is tonight. I can’t wait.

    I’m also really into The Following. It keeps getting better and better.

  20. Great find! Wedges are so versatile – and these are definitely office-appropriate. I like how the patent cap toe adds a little “something special” to an otherwise basic wedge. Nice taupe color, too.

  21. Miss Behaved :

    Arrrgh. Just got my period for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. The first time lasted for 2 weeks so I’ve only been off for one week anyway. I’m on birth control and this isn’t my placebo week.

    And I have to lead a training/testing session today. And there’s a snowstorm going on outside!

  22. I haven’t heard of this brand before, but speaking of wedges I just bought these:
    for work and am looking forward to including them in my spring wardrobe!

work fashion blog press mentions