Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Gibson Dress

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

Knot Front Stretch Knit Body-Con DressGibson makes some of my very favorite weekend tops — crazy comfy on the inside, washable, and generally slouchy perfection. So I was kind of impressed when I saw that they were expanding into dresses — and color me crazy but doesn’t this one kind of remind you of the Armani sheath dress we posted earlier this week? Except instead of $645, this one is $45 (and after the sale it’ll go back to being $68). It comes in four colors in regular and petite sizes, with another two colors in plus sizes. Nice. Knot Front Stretch Knit Body-Con Dress

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  1. Anonymous :

    I think this is unlikely to be office appropriate on most bodies.

    • Anonymous :

      ? Why – because it uses the word body-con in the name? Because it’s going to be ridiculously short on some people?

      Because otherwise…it’s not that different in design than the higher end sheath dresses we see around here.

      • I agree. This is a great Pick, Kat! Morover, for $45, it is worth a shot as a great contender for Fruegel Friday’s! It is modest up top (thank Gawd), and not to tight in the tuchus, which helps a great deal for people like me. I am buying this irregardless of the manageing partner’s approval, b/c he is NOT here and I do NOT want them to stock out while waiting for him to approve. Dad says I make enough money so as not to have to worry about the 60% reimbursement he gives me for office clotheing, so I will spend the $45! YAY!!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah it looks quite short and tight. I can’t think of Gibson without thinking of all the bl0gger collaborations they’ve done. I don’t know anything else about the brand so I admit I don’t have the best impression of them.

      • I didn’t realize that about Gibson. One of my favorite sweaters is from them. I’m kind of sad that everyone’s going to have it!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m curious too. I’m guessing the rayon/spandex fabric is going to be clingy and unflattering–but with shapewear, I am guessing it will be as appropriate as a similarly cut higher-end ponte knit.

    • Anonymous :

      Why? It doesn’t look tight. It’s not too short. It doesn’t show any skin.

      • Anonymous :

        I think it’s too short on the model. It looks like the hem is 4-5 inches above her kneecap when standing, could easily be twice that when sitting down. The model is very possibly 5’9″+ though, so it’s possible this would work on shorter women.

      • Cute but sooooo short.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          The description says it’s 37″ – the Lands End sheath is 38″, so this dress wouldn’t be scandalously short on many folks. It does look pretty short on the model, though. It also claims to be lined. Shoot, this might be a great dress for $45.

          • I’m real leggy and if it looks short on the model it’ll look scandalous on me. I would definitely not wear a dress that looks as short on me as this one does on the model. I love the Lands End tall sizes!

          • I’m 5’6″ and I find the Lands End sheath to be absolutely the shortest dress I would wear to work. Another inch shorter would be too short for me. Actually, now I’m thinking I should start buying the Lands End sheath in tall sizes, not sure why that never occurred to me before!

      • For one it’s 2 inches shorter than the Monday version. Also IME the cheaper fabrics are clingier and more revealing because they are thinner and contain more spandex. So I think this is the case of someone who is tiny and petite being able to look work appropriate in this and someone who is curvier or taller, not so much. And yes because it’s in the name! I could be wrong. But I’ve ordered enough of these by now to feel pretty confident about my assessment. If anyone orders, I’d love to hear back. It looks nice on the model, especially in the black.

      • Anonymous :

        I think that one swoosh would be dramatic. The two look odd to me. And the fabric probably looks cheap IRL. If you are 20 and very fit, it might look great (but what wouldn’t). On a mere mortal, it is probably asking a lot of the dress.

        • Anonymous :

          No comment except I love how you phrased this – “very fit”, and most of us being mere mortals, asking too much of the dress.

        • I’m short enough that the length would work, but the two swooshes are just asking for someone to inquire as to whether i’m pregnant.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree with this. It appears to be about 6” too short, but that’s based on my own hemline comfort zone and my office culture.

      I also tend to think the same thing about most dresses posted here.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        “Work” dresses in general are weirdly short, imo. I wish we as a society could go back to below-the-knee styles, because I hate worrying about how things ride when I sit down.

        • Word. Though I think it’s that they’re short _and_ narrow of skirt. A fuller skirt doesn’t ride up like that, it just spreads out to cover when you sit, so you can get away with slightly shorter without feeling exposed when you sit down. I don’t understand why the combination of short and narrow skirt is considered most professional because it exposes so much thigh when you sit.

          Basically I’m saying I don’t understand sheath dresses and don’t wear them.

          • Except full skirts cut against you if you are bending or if it is windy. They can cover you a lot less in those situations.

          • YMMV but I find that’s also true for sheath dresses/pencil skirts because they’re so tight they have to have a slit up the back so you can walk. When you bend over the slit goes _high_.

        • Yes! Especially now that we don’t really wear hose. Above the knee (or rather, at the top of the knee) is ok for me with opaque tights in winter, but not ok in the summer. Particularly when sitting and the back of the dress angles up to show another 2-3 inches of, in my case, cellulite.

      • There is nothing wrong with haveing a short dress in the summer. We need to be able to have our bodie’s breathe, and showing a bit more of our l’eggs is a good thing, Dad says. He is right, but he is thinkeing of this in a pureley s-xueal way, b/c he want’s me to get MARRIED already. I do to, but I want men to respect and want me for my MIND, not just my body. FOOEY on men that do NOT want more then a night in bed with me. I have had enough of that. I refuse to bring a man home who will not be interested in makeing me coffee in the morning. Sheketovits was lazy, but at least he sometimes made coffee. Not much more, tho. FOOEY on Sheketovits!

      • It’s 6 inches short on the tall model. It would be fine on me.

      • It would be fine on me too – nearly knee-length, in fact. Six inches longer would be calf-length for me!

  2. Podcast Rec :

    Listen to the latest episode of Reply All! It talks about why Amazon is suddenly much more difficult to shop on and less trustworthy than it used to be. I thought it was great.

    • Anonymous :

      Suddenly? I have always found it a disorganized mess full of third-party sellers and questionable merchandise, with a lousy search function that returns too many results, none of which are on point.

      • Anonymous :


      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I still remember a time when there were no third-party sellers. Heck, I remember a time (briefly) when it just sold books (Let’s just say I felt very old when I looked at my history of amazon orders and have some from more than 20 years ago). But yea, the last several years it’s been way too difficult.

      • Same! I’ve never understood why people love it so much.

      • Anonymous :

        Yep, I can’t stand Amazon and haven’t shopped there since Target introduced free two-day shipping.

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          Target has free 2-day shipping?! I love Amazon for random things. It has literally everything you might ever imagine for sale so when I need pink Polk dot tablecloths or a black silk scarf for cheap, I go there.

          • Yep! It’s relatively new, maybe just since the beginning of 2018. I think there’s a minimum ($35?) if you don’t have the Target RedCard, but there’s no minimum with the card (which is free, unlike Amazon Prime). You also get 5% off all Target purchases with the card, so I’ve found it to be very worth it, and I’m not someone that wants to have 10 credit cards open at once. I’ve also found the shipping service itself to be better than Amazon, at least in my area. Target often gets it to me in one day while Amazon often took three or four even when they advertised two-day shipping.

            There’s definitely not as much selection as Amazon, but I have an infant and have found Target has all the things I need quickly for baby (diapers, wipes, toys, books, clothes, etc.). Sometimes the choice on Amazon is kind of overwhelming, so I almost prefer that Target has fewer options, since the options they have are usually good quality and affordable.

        • Out of the frying pan and into the fire? I find targrt’s website even worse.

          • AnotherAnon :

            +1 I’m not obsessed with amazon but Target’s web s!te suuuuucks. At least Amazon’s doesn’t mainly consist of products that are no longer available for sale.

          • Pretty Primadonna :

            Yeah, their website is a huge pain and has been for years.

      • I feel like Amazon used to be better, but it’s been a mess for years. Prices have gone up in the last year too. I went to Target on my lunch break yesterday, and it was so much easier just to walk the aisles and buy the stuff, and I probably spent about the same amount as I would have on Amazon for the same items.

    • Anonymous :

      I have many critiques of Amazon, but I’m already annoyed at the initial example (I think it’s great that I can buy European market products on Amazon, even if they cost more, ship over long distances, and take a longer time to arrive). She also obviously paid no attention at all when purchasing, although it’s true that Amazon’s search results are a disaster, and Amazon obscures the difference between Amazon and third-party sellers. But I have had much worse experiences (and I hope they are going to talk about the counterfeiting issue in particular).

    • There are too many options and too much price discrepancy. There’s non-Prime, Prime, Prime Pantry, Prime Subscribe & Save… all different prices. And then the price for some options will be totally out of whack with the rest.

      Like I just want a tube of toothpaste. I want it in 2 days and I want to pay whatever a normal toothpaste cost is. I don’t want to have to sort through options that I can only get a month from now, or that will cost me like $20 for a single tube, and I shouldn’t have to play with my filters forever — which filters only moderately work. For the amount of time and frustration it costs me to play with the s i t e I might as well just go to the store and pick it off the shelf.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, that resonates. I only buy from Amazon when I need something super-fast, or, when I really can’t find it at any kind of reasonable price locally or from another website. My husband, who was an Amazon super-fan for a long time, has also mostly given up after a few times where he got things that were obvious counterfeits or that fell apart really fast. The third-party seller thing, in particular, drives me crazy. I don’t want to buy vitamins or medicine from a third-party seller I’ve never heard of.

  3. Mint leaf appetizers? :

    Favorite snacks/apps based on fresh mint leaves? It’s the only living thing left in my herb garden, unfortunately.

    Just a few adults, willing to try things. No idea the rest of the menu- I’m just bringing snacks.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Do mojitos count as an appetizer? ;)

      I would make a fruit salad with a dressing of 50/50 honey and lemon juice with sliced-up mint leaves in it. Like a ton of mint. This is what my mother does and I’m always getting asked “Did you mom bring her fruit salad?” at family cookouts.

      • “Do mojitos count as an appetizer?”
        In my circle, YES.

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          Yes. Also, mint juleps. I’m in NOLA and craving one badly.

          • Other than on my front steps, back when I lived on St. Charles Ave, I don’t think I’ve seen them on c*cktail menus here. Then again, when do I ever get out?

    • cat socks :

      Try the Mojito Fruit Salad from Iowa Girl Eats.

    • Pineapple salad: cut pineapple and cucumbers into chunks, add some chopped mint, salt and black pepper and a splash of good olive oil.
      You can also do a variation with watermelon and feta.

    • Marshmallow :

      Watermelon, mint, and feta salad?

    • Mint, watermelon, feta–some combo like that?

    • Lamb meatballs with mint!

    • Make a good strong tea, freeze in ice cube trays, add to everything!

    • Another watermelon salad suggestion – watermelon, mint leaves, lime juice, salt, and cayenne.

      • I made a similar salad for a dinner party last week but with spring mix also (and no cayenne, plus lime-infused olive oil); it was a hit.

    • Baconpancakes :

      The Greenest Tahini Sauce on crudites.

    • anon a mouse :

      I’m in the same boat and am going to try to make mint jelly this year, to serve with mini lamb meatballs.

    • Anonymous :

      Spring rolls stuffed with shrimp, chopped peanuts, and julienned carrots, cucumber, and mint would be good.

  4. Thank you -- gratitude Friday :

    Thanks to whoever shared stores of teen girls who realize that it is OK (even good) to have a mother who works FT. If I weren’t a crabby stoic, I’d have cried. Maybe my eyes misted up though.

    I am in BigLaw. I am still in BigLaw, even after 2 kids, even though they are now in the middle of the elementary school years. In all honesty, the day care years were easy: every day was the same and everyone’s mother worked. I had people who could commiserate with me and I knew all of the teachers, all of the friends, and all of the friends parents. Now, we go to a school where maybe 2/3 of the moms stay home (which is great — the school benefits tremendously and I am never truly needed to volunteer; I volunteer for any activity that involves fund raising or check-writing; I still feel so d*mn lonely all the time b/c work is all-consuming and I’m the same odd bird there that I am as a mom at school). BUT my kids have major FOMO b/c they have to go to in-school care every teacher work day and over holiday breaks and after school every day (which they hate; our efforts to hire at least PT help have so far been a trying task, which all of my friends have confirmed is a process to find the right people, have them stay, and have it really work well) and I feel like I really struggle to find the right mix of good camps / activities every summer and school break. We all struggle. I am not very religious, but I feel like I am praying all the time for patience and energy.

    For my children (both girls) and all of their friends — when you are old enough to talk about your future, your colleges, your dreams, I promise to share my knowledge with you and help you and cheer for you.

    • How sad for you! You are a success by any other measure but just on this one issue you feel like you can’t get over the top. I find this very sad. Have you considered moving? I was the poor person at the rich school and the middle class person at the mixed income school and the latter was much more pleasant. Maybe your girls would benefit from being in a different environment where they can see there are much bigger differences between people. Currently you’re 99% perfect with 1% giving you huge angst. Maybe move to a place where you can have a more realistic sense of all that you have accomplished.

      • +1! Picking the right neighborhood is so vital. I can’t image where all these people live that are high-end areas with all SAHMs. Where I live, almost all families need the two incomes. And my neighborhood is mainly working mothers. And there are a ton of them in my office, but none when I was in BigLaw

        • Anonymous :

          I have felt really grateful, after reading some of these threads, that at my son’s school nearly every family has two working parents or just one very hardworking parent. It really does make life a lot easier. There is a contingent of SAHMs that run the Parent Council and plan all the activities but they’re the minority in terms of the entire parent population. All of my son’s friends have working moms and that’s just how it is – there’s no questioning about “why do I have to do this.” It really does make life a whooole lot easier.

    • Anonshmanon :

      I don’t know how old your kids are, but I’d go home after school (maybe 2pm?) and hang out at home alone until my mom came (2 or 3 hours) from the time I was 12. I enjoyed that little bit of independence, although obviously I mostly watched TV.

      • I have an infant, so I haven’t reached this stage of parenting yet, but it’s odd to me that it’s no longer acceptable for older elementary/middle school children to be home alone. I had very cautious, overprotective parents, but I was home alone after school from the age of about 11. It was only for an hour or so and my parents were friendly with SAHM neighbors that I knew to contact in an emergency, but it doesn’t seem dangerous to me at all. Heck, most of my friends were baby-sitting by age 12 or 13. I don’t understand why people now think 12 year olds can’t be home alone.

        • Do they, though? Or is it with the “overprotective parent” set. I don’t know anyone in my circles that thinks 11 or 12 is too young to be home alone, that’s absurd. When a child reaches an age where they can put together a sandwich and watch TV or read a book without burning the house down or severerly damaging your property or themselves, they can be home alone. IMHO 11 is the right age for that for most children, some 12 or 13 depending on their maturity level.

          I, a young child in the early 90s, would be left alone with siblings only 5 yrs older all the time, and by myself from 10 or 11. However, our district had a policy that the bus driver could not leave the street until she saw all the children go safely into their homes, so it may be different by region.

          • I think a lot of people here have said that it’s no longer socially acceptable to leave kids that age home alone.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s not just that it’s not socially acceptable, it’s that your nosy neighbors might get CPS involved and then you’ve got real problems.

          • Anonymous :

            Well, laws have changed. I was home alone occasionally from age 8 and for a couple hours every day with my younger brother from age 11. Current law in my state does not allow kids to be home alone till age 10, which I think is insane.

        • Seventh Sister :

          I think the parents who are OK with this don’t talk about it much, but the overprotective parents talk about how you can’t leave 10-14 yos alone because predators! the Internet! activities for college applications! 10,000 hours! danger! danger!

          I’ve left my 10yo alone for a few hours by herself in the daytime – it was fine. I’ve never left her alone with her brother for more than 15 minutes, except for a trip where we were downstairs at a hotel bar while they watched tv in our room.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Yeah, I was spending afternoons alone at the house around 11, maybe? I feel like it’s even safer for kids to be home now, with better security systems, cell phones, etc.

    • This life sounds absolutely miserable. Why on earth are you doing this? You’re lonely, your kids are unhappy, and everyone is struggling.

      • … what? This is just life for most people with kids.

        • I’m pretty sure most people with kids aren’t as miserable as OP seems to be. And if they are, they really need to reconsider their lives and their priorities.

          • Sounds like you don’t have kids, and would like to see your statistical analysis of “most people with kids aren’t as miserable as OP seems to be…” Trust me, all people with kids have rough periods, even those who don’t have challenging careers. Good luck to you.

          • Eh, I have kids and there are definitely hard parts but OP does seem really burned out and unhappy. I think she has posted before. Big Law is a really hard, intense job. There are lots of jobs with much shorter hours that would probably give her a much better quality of life. It’s a little odd that she seems resigned to the unhappiness instead of considering a job change.
            (I’m not in any way suggesting a mom who loves being in Big Law should feel guilty and want to quit, but it really sounds to me like OP does not enjoy her job and feels like it demands too much of her time and if that’s the case why not get a new job?)

        • I have kids and my life is nothing like this!

      • This is a bit harsh but I tend to agree. Your statement about praying all the time for patience and energy made me so sad. Why do this to yourself and your family? If you love the job that’s one thing, but it’s not clear to me that you do. Life is too short — you have a great nest egg I’m sure being in Big Law for this long. Please consider a move.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          This is also going to sound a bit harsh and it is not really at you, specifically, Wow, but I am so sick of this attitude that when a woman’s job complicated and impacts her family life that she should just leave it. Nobody every gives men that advice. Like ever.

          I have to ask, as I always do, where is the OP’s partner in all this? Because she seems to be falling all over herself to “solve” the problem whereas he seems to not figure into the discussion at all (and it seems like she has a partner from her post – if not, this is a different discussion).

          • +1 Pretty surprised to hear – just quit your job to be a better mommy! – advice from this community. Gross.

          • Actually people DO give men that advice when they are miserable and feel like their jobs are keeping them from being happy unless their income is absolutely necessary for their families to live in reasonable safety and comfort (although everyone’s idea of what that is is different). In fact, people on this very website have given that advice to posters whose spouses have been unhappy and depressed – take the income hit, downsize your lifestyle and be happier.

            Sometimes the issue is not that spouses are insufficiently supportive. Further the OP did not mention that her husband (assuming she has one) is not happy with the status quo. Since her children are safe and cared for, neither of them needs to change their professional lives. If she was happy in her job and life and just dealing with unhappy children, I would tell her that her children will be fine and she needs to help them develop an attitude of gratitude – while understanding that can be difficult for children. The problem is that SHE is not happy.

            And this is coming from someone who is a parent, has always worked and who had a mother who also always worked or went to school full time. I also skipped the spouse/co-parent part of the equation so not working was not really ever an option.

          • Seventh Sister :

            Yeah, I’ve never actually heard someone tell a guy who hated his job to quit it so he can spend more time with this family.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah I agree with SMC-SD. No one is saying “quit your job to be a better mommy.” The universal advice has been that her kids will be fine, but if she’s unhappy then maybe she needs to consider other options. That’s “quit your job to be a happier person” which is totally different and is given to people of both genders pretty equally.

    • This sounds awful. I am sorry you feel so crappy. I know our chosen model doesn’t work for everyone but we have only ever had Au Pairs and I couldn’t do it any other way. They offer enormous stability and are inexpensive. Maybe I am especially laid back (NOT something I have ever been accused of!) but it works brilliantly for us. I couldn’t do my job and survive without them. We have had seven different Au Pairs to date and I have never had a problem finding them. They are all different and all bring different things to the table and have their quirks but having someone live-in and be there like a big sister/brother for my kids has been a key factor in us loving life. Maybe a consideration for you.

      • Have you ever found it awkward being around a stranger in your home? I would always feel “on” and couldn’t be myself or look like “home” me (no makeup, hair all over the place, long tshirt that shows the undies when you bend over because who cares).

        • This has always been my reservation too. Would love to hear how Seafinch or others may have gotten past this! I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that there will be no other way for us once my kids start having after school activities, etc.

        • I don’t know why exactly but it has just never bothered me. My husband grew up with a live-in nanny so he was used to it. I find the benefits far out weight in infringements on privacy. It is, of course, very person.

      • Yep, exploiting cheap labor certainly makes life easier for those in a position to do so!

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not seeing the exploitation here. Au pairs have some pretty strict work rules.

        • Anonymous :

          Omg they’re not exploited. They get free room and board in a foreign country and they’re almoat all single, childless people who happily volunteer for this as a way to see the world.

        • Anonymous :

          I was an au pair in France, and I’ve talked to plenty of people who are au pairs in the US and in other countries. It works because of the cultural exchange aspect. I thought of it as getting to live in France for free (the family paid my room and board and metro pass, plus 300 euros a month) in exchange for working 2-6 hours every afternoon and on the occasional weekend. The French government required me to take 20 hours of classes per week, and forbade the family from making me work more than 30 hours per week. It’s a student visa with work authorization. I didn’t feel exploited in the slightest, and I had an amazing time. Exploitation only comes when au pairs are required to work more than the agreed-upon hours or perform tasks that were not agreed on before, it’s not exploitation just because someone is working for a lower salary in exchange for living in a different county.

        • Give me a break! And maybe educate yourself before you snark. My Au Pair makes more than I did my first year practicing law. We are Canadian and in Ontario. He earns $14 an hour by law. He also has eight weeks of vacation a year, two of which are paid and enjoys paid for holidays with us and fancy dinners out. Furthermore, in Europe, they are often given approximately $400, or less a month, and are delighted to do it. It is a fun gap year where they get an amazing experience. None of them do it for the money. They do it for the experience.

        • Even if they do get paid little, to them it is work that would help support their family. The same way, that a woman in biglaw is sacrificing the ability to spend time with her kids to provide for them. Not saying it is empowering for the maids, but it is work that gives these women the ability to support themselves and by extension their family. Or would you rather have them be stay-at-home moms and starve with their children? All in the name of your liberal naivety?

    • I appreciated having a working mom (mine was a teacher) more and more over time, even though our fields are so different that I never got any job advice from her (other than that waitressing is very hard). It would have been even more helpful now that I am a working parent to have had a mother who worked 12 months out of the year b/c she’d have more insight into this struggle (and in teaching, it is so OK to take a year or more off when your kids are young and no stigma when you want to go back).

    • Are you a single mom? It seems like you’re taking on a lot and don’t have a partner helping you out. If that’s the case, hire a nanny to chauffeur the kids to activities etc. so they’re not sitting at school.

      If dad and/or a partner is in the picture, they need to step up. Your girls need to see that men are equally responsible for raising their kids. And also give yourself permission to not be the default parent. You’re not in this alone. Your kids have fomo because they don’t have a SAHM – that’s BS. SAHMs are quickly becoming a thing of the past, chances are that won’t be an option for your girls (or any of their friends). They get to see what a functional home life is like when the adults have to work. That’s much more valuable to them than if their only role model for a mom is a standard they’ll never be able to meet.

    • My mom worked for my entire childhood except when she was a graduate student. There were times when I resented having to be in afterschool care or holiday camp, but you know, I also resented having to eat my vegetables. I look back on my childhood as almost entirely positive, FWIW.

      I think it was really good developmentally that my mom worked; I understood early on that my mom was a person – not just a mom – with a part of my life that wasn’t about me. My dad had the more flexible (albeit also more prestigious) job and was the one who picked us up if we were sick, packed our lunches, etc. – this also shaped my view on partnership in marriage in a really positive way. Also, I can’t say for certain that it was because of this, but I was much more independent than my peers much earlier on. I started working earlier, managing my own school and activity schedule earlier, etc.

      I have an enormously positive relationship with both of my parents. I’m sure you’ve described in this post the things that are hard, not the things that are good – if you’re really breaking under the strain, then you and your spouse should discuss what changes you can both make to ease the burden. But I also know that it’s probably easy in the moment to feel like everything is terrible, and…maybe it isn’t.

      • I saw RBG and happy-cried at parts. Marty Ginsburg is such an example of why spouse choice is so, so important, doubly-so if you plan to continue working. Working is hard. Having kids is a lot of hard work, too. All that with the wrong spouse, aiii!

      • “I think it was really good developmentally that my mom worked; I understood early on that my mom was a person – not just a mom – with a part of my life that wasn’t about me.”

        YES. Motherhood should add to, not erase, one’s identity.

      • By the same token, I think my relationship with my mother as an adult has been harmed by the fact she didn’t work and doesn’t have much of an identity outside of mom.

      • My mom worked part-time and went to school at night for an accounting degree when I was a teenager. I don’t think I could have turned out any better if she had been a stay-at-home mom. We were working class immigrants, and my mom trusted me 100%. I always headed directly to the community library, which was literally a block from our one-bedroom apartment and did my homework there, and just browsed the books and read. That said, there was a time when a creepy old man who would leer at me and follow me everywhere inside the library. Although it felt really disgusting to me at the time, it ended after I pointed him out to the librarians and told them he made me feel uncomfortable. But it taught me very early on to be vigilant and how to protect myself against a certain kind of men. It also helped that there were nice and responsible librarians around.

        Those were some really fantastic days looking back. I ended up at an Ivy League school with top grades. However, I would have liked more social after school activities like volleyball camp or tennis classes, but we couldn’t have afforded those, especially if my mom had been a stay at home mom.

    • If you’re having trouble finding a good part-time nanny, you’re probably not offering enough money.

      • Not necessarily. In some areas there just aren’t a lot of people who are looking for that type of job with part-time hours. We and other families we know have struck out even when working with an agency and offering high wages.

        • +1

          We heard to use college kids if you need <40 hours of care a week (our situation) b/c most professional nannies only want FT work, but college kids aren't really available after mid-April and then they go away (and you replace with kids-home-for-the-summer in May/June) and then repeat in late August (and December is a nightmare, as is January). It's just more flux in the system even if you find good people quickly. But it can be a labor force that flakes out and if you use, no matter how specific your ad is, you have to spend a lot of time weeding out and meeting people.

      • This is why most of the BigLaw women that I know continue to hire a full-time nanny until their children are in high school. (It is too hard to find reliable and long-term part-time help.) We employed our first nanny for four years (who did exclusively childcare), but when we searched for a second nanny, I made sure that we hired someone that could do “household management” task as my children start to transition to school. When my older two kids are in school, she does grocery shopping, dry cleaning, taking car to be washed, etc.

    • Anonymoose :

      “I still feel so d*mn lonely all the time b/c work is all-consuming and I’m the same odd bird there that I am as a mom at school.”

      Right there with you, from one of only two female partners left at my Midlaw firm. The guys at my firm mostly have SAH wives or wives who work two days a week; my male law partner with a powerhouse MD wife on the fast track to become head of department at a teaching hospital had to take a leave of absence from work and then go 3/4 time to balance everything, which does not enhance my other partners’ image of FT working professional women. Some of the guys socialize outside the office, but I simply. cannot. after dealing with them all week.

      Daycare was the happy place and I now miss the weekends of park playdates where all the parents showed up equally exhausted to drink large coffees while watching the kids on the swings and agree with other adults that just getting to the park was a win. I also miss the PTO designed around working parents (7 pm weeknight meetings with childcare from one of the teachers in an empty classroom and many events on Friday night (with provided pizza) or Saturday morning instead of a PTO that does mid-morning weekday executive committee meetings.

      I tell myself every day that it matters and makes a difference that I am out in the world and maybe things will change for my associates. There are lots of us out there; keep at it; what you do and how you live has meaning.

    • My mom always worked when I was a kid and I now just became a mom (have a 2 month old) and I always admired her for working but now I admire her even more. Coming from a two parent working household allowed me to do activities, go to camp, take vacations, have no college loans. Of course I did not realize this at the time, but now I am so grateful! Your kids will be appreciative. Also talk to your kids about why moms and dads work and how life is expensive, etc.

    • I just can’t feel sorry for everybody’s kids who have to go to camp instead of what, luxury vacations all summer? You people realize that you and your kids are way better off than the majority of the population, right? Teach your kids to be grateful for what they have, not sad they don’t have more.

      • I don’t think it’s luxury vacations, but more just reading/playing/running around the neighborhood with friends. It may be kid dependent – I’m sure there are some kids that would just whine about how bored they are, or plop themselves in front of the TV all summer and that’s obviously not optimal. But I was (and still am) an introvert and really treasured my summers of just unwinding & entertaining myself, mostly through reading. And I’m sad I won’t be able to give that to my kids. You can recognize that your children are better off than many kids and still be bummed you can’t give them something.

      • Can we just put a giant asterisk on this s i t e stating that the community here (with few exceptions) hereby acknowledges and agrees that they and their progeny are better off than the majority of the population?

  5. Can we talk about wedding photography for a minute? Is it really worth splurging on? My SO and I were looking for a wedding photographer for a lower number $X, but have found a photographer that we LOVE for $X + 1,500. Every blog in the world says photography is worth splurging on, but of course they’d say that since their entire business model is built on beautiful photographs.

    We were hoping to save some money on photography, since we’re getting married in a pricey area and venue/catering are taking up a big chunk of our budget. But we really adore this photographer’s work and philosophy, vs. have a feeling of “yeah sure this is fine” for the ones in the $X range.


    • Anonymous :

      Worth it. But we did the opposite and basically ONLY splurged on the photographer. I still think it’s worth it because the picture will last longer than everything else.

      • Ha, I wouldn’t even say that we’re “splurging” on venue/catering. They just cost a lot in the area where we’re getting married.

        My only splurge so far has been to get the best month-of coordinator that we could possibly afford. I’ve done some event planning in previous jobs, and so I know how my type A self acts in that context. And I will have zero chill on my wedding day if I don’t know for sure that things will be Handled.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s worth the splurge in general, but photos are really important to me. Unless you’re having a very budget wedding, $1500 isn’t that significant an amount of money. (That said, definitely don’t go into credit card debt for it or anything like that!)

      • Definitely will not be going into CC debt! Anything about our overall wedding budget will come out of our preexisting savings for a down payment, which would be painful emotionally but not as painful as paying interest.

    • Anonymous :

      Other than the spouse, it is the only thing you’ll have forever. I can see splurging (and I kick myself for not having even good basic professional shots of kid #1 — some moments are fleeting and you don’t get them back).

      That said, what makes them different? If you can identify that, maybe you can figure out how to make photog X’s work look more like the style of X + 1500 (more outdoor shots? different cropping? differing lighting?).

      • It’s a combination of actual skill (we like their portfolio better across the board than the $X photographers) and their philosophy (their personal beliefs around the way they approach shooting weddings, which informs what shots they’re choosing, what moments they’re prioritizing, etc.).

        • Sounds worth it to me.

        • I’m not married, so take this with a grain of salt, but based on your description of why you like this particular photographer, I think you should go for it. These are intangibles that aren’t going to be present across the board.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Other than the rings and the husband, photos are what you’ll have from your wedding the longest, so I say yes. I think we spent about $1200 more than we had initially budgeted for a photographer we really loved. But to me there was a noticeable difference in quality of the photos for our X and X+1200 photographer, so I think some of it depends on the photographers you’re considering.

    • Anonymous :

      What do you plan to do with your wedding photographs? Hang prints on the wall, just have them in the album? Will they be the sentimental mementos of the day that you dig out on your anniversary to look at?

      I mean, the photos are going to be one of the things that last beyond the day itself (you know, besides the person you are marrying), so if you found someone you like and will get the photos you think you want (that’s the philosophy bit, yeah?) maybe that’s worth the extra money.

    • Marshmallow :

      I would 100% go with the photographer you love if you can stretch the budget or take it from somewhere else. The difference between a good and great photographer is HUGE. You will wind up with better-quality photos that you really want to display. And the best photographers can make you feel comfortable so that you actually look more natural. Remember, that person is going to be stuck to you basically like glue all day, so feeling comfortable with them is super important.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s true that the difference between a good and great photographer is huge, but I’m not sure it’s true that the market has always sorted out which is which (you don’t necessarily get what you pay for). People also want different things (and different experiences–how much time do you want to spend posing? Are you happy with all candids if that means you don’t have to interact with the photographer at any time? etc.).

      • As mentioned, photographs, along with the spouse and ring, are the mementos you keep long after the day, so I say yes. As for when it’s worth to splurge, do so: (1) if you love the photos and (2) get along well with the photographer(s). You will spend pretty much most of the day with them. Spend a little time doing homework ahead of time and tell them and you will be much happier: do you want posed shots or candids? Absolute posed shots of x, y, and z families but the rest candid? Bridal party at one landmark? Do you have an ethnic, cultural, or religious component to your wedding you want to be sure he/she catches? We met with two photographers that both had great portfolios but went with the ones we did because they were so much more relaxed, which was how we wanted to feel that day.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes! As a recent bride I can say our photographer made a huge difference. He was able to take pictures of things and people to really capture our day. He was so happy and patient and just plain great all day. All these months later, the many details I worried about are over and done with but our photographs still tell our story. It is so nice to have those photographs and memories in our home. I also enjoyed sending photographs to our family and friends. YMMV but we thought centerpieces and parting gifts were not as important as an awesome photographer.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would keep looking. I think… I wouldn’t settle for someone whose work you *don’t* like, but I think the difference might ultimately be negligible. They’ll be beautiful photos of your beautiful day, your smiling face, your happiness! Don’t get pressured into a spend you don’t want.

      • Yes, this is kind of the space where I’m existing right now? And it’s not like there aren’t competent, professional photographers in my area for $X, including some that will almost certainly do a great job. We will look great! We will be happy! We will be married!

        And yet we really, really love the more expensive photographer. She seems to get us in a way that they other photographers we’ve talked to don’t.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          The photographer “getting” you is important, both in terms of what you’re looking for in pictures and just personality. I ruled out one photographer because, while I thought her pictures were actually probably the best in terms of quality, I absolutely could not have tolerated her all day and she would have stressed me out. Our photographer was both super chill and also super organized and basically functioned as a day of coordinator to keep everyone on track. Anyone who sends me multiple spreadsheets without being uptight gets my approval in life.

        • Not married but one of my friends was kind of in your boat and went with a photographer she wasn’t crazy about. The pictures aren’t very good and she really regrets it.

          • Same. We were trying to save money and went with the inexpensive photographer whose portfolio looked okay. Our photos came out terribly. 16 years later, I still regret it.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Honestly, my photos were only ok and I so wish we had spent the extra money for the really amazing photographer. I would have foregone the flowers for the photos. Truly.

          • Me too. We went with a photography company that does a lot of weddings and had a style we liked and a reasonable price, but we didn’t spend that much time looking or meet the photographer beforehand I’m not sure he totally got our quirky style. His photos were fine but I didn’t love them. I wish we had spent more time looking. I’m not saying you should definitely go with this splurgy photographer, but take the time to look. I love photos and my house is covered in them, and I have only a small handful I love from my wedding of the hundreds taken.

    • Anonymous :

      Is this a “we” adore or “I” adore?

      Pro: your photographs will be with you longer than anything else you do at your wedding. So I’d cut out random unnecessary details that don’t really add to the event (all the nice but not necessary decorations or add-ons and put that money toward the photos. I work in a church where a lot of weddings are held, and I’m amazed at ALL the extras that brides pile onto the day, that don’t really matter. Our building is beautiful. Just make sure the food is good, the music is good, and the people you want are there. Ditch all the rest.

      Con: It’s (frankly) just a wedding. I see a lot of them. All this stuff is really important to you now, but it’s not life and death. a “yeah this is fine” photographer is really just fine. I have no idea who took the pictures of my parents’ wedding. The photos aren’t atmospheric or done with a “philosophy.” I really don’t care. All that doesn’t matter now. I just like seeing the people young and in love. I like seeing my grandparents in the photos, alive and happy.

      • Great question. It’s a “we” love, which I’m surprised by since I didn’t expect my SO to have strong feelings about the photographer. When I told him how much this photographer cost, I thought it would be an automatic no, but he kind of shrugged and was like “Well, if we feel strongly about it we can make it work.” We’re trying to figure out how strongly we feel about it at this point.

        I totally resonate with both your pros and cons. We are doing the least decorating and DIY/pinterest/trinkets possible: our venue is beautiful and doesn’t need much, outside of a couple of things that we personally feel are important to who we are. And yes: a “yeah this is fine” photographer really will be fine, in the grand scheme of our lives together. It’s one day.

        • TBH though, the “con” anonymous set forth is from an outsider’s perspective. “It’s just a wedding” is fine for a person who sees three every month. This is hopefully your only or last wedding. It’s special to you so I wouldn’t go with a “yeah this is fine” photographer, because you memory won’t accurately keep all the mental images as well as a good photographer will.

          Also keep in mind that a great photographer will get along with you, mesh well with the schedule, and mostly be unseen. A “yeah this is fine” photographer can honestly ruin your day being in the way then returning pics that your cousin could have taken on a mid range camera. $1200 is still a lot of money. Pony up a few hundred more for someone you really like. The photographer is one place you should splurge, above all else.

    • MediumLawGal :

      So maybe I’m biased because we budgeted a good chunk for photography and spent close to the high end of it. My brother and I got married within 9 months of each other and I spent significantly more than he did (especially in light of the fact that he got albums and we opted to make our own – got the right to print/digital negatives instead). However, I think the picture quality between our weddings is significant – they were both pretty disappointed by their photographer’s quality and I’ve gotten nothing but compliments. Plus looking through them (which I’ve done pretty often since we got the pics back in August) fills me with joy.

      • We had a similar situation, and I’m perfectly happy that we went with the “good,” albeit lower priced option. When selecting photographers, we would never make canvases of our photos (not our style) or give family members anything larger than a 5×7. I prefer to use wedding photos to help remember the event, not because I want the artistic value of the photo itself. We admittedly don’t have “great” photos, but they are very good, they show us happy and in love, and I still enjoy looking at our albums and smaller prints a year later.

    • Anecdata from the other side: we splurged on a photographer we absolutely loved. Our entire wedding cost less than $15k (excluding the rings and honeymoon) and the photographer was $3,500 (for a full set of digital images with print release, but no prints or albums), so it was a HUGE chunk of our budget. I stalked her work obsessively for a year before our wedding and loved every single wedding she photographed. We did engagement photos with her about 6 months before the wedding and absolutely loved them. But on our actual wedding day, it was like she just woke up that morning and forgot how to be creative. Our wedding photos are fine and probably excellent from a technical perspective (good focus, good lighting, things like that), but they don’t show any of the spark or creativity that we saw in her photos of other wedding or our engagement and they really don’t capture our love and happiness. 15 years later and the only one of her photos we have displayed in our house is from our engagement shoot. In hindsight, I wish we’d gone with someone cheaper just because I don’t feel like we got the experience we had hoped for and thought we would be getting for that $3,500. I realize I’m in a small minority though, and most brides looooove their wedding photos.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      This is so personal! How much do *you* care about photos? I spent $0.00 on photography because it doesn’t matter that much to me — I have a family member who’s an amateur photographer and he took some group shots after the ceremony, but … I still haven’t gone through them!

      Think about how you’ve handled photos from other events in your life: do you still look at them? Are you an album person? Do you have framed graduation photos in your house, and do they make you happy?

      It’s true that good photography costs $$, which is what people mean when they say it’s “worth” splurging on, but the real question is whether having the better photographs is worth it *to you*. What would you have to cut to afford this photographer, and do you want that thing more or less than the photog upgrade?

      • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

        This. We didn’t hire a photographer either, and the photos we do have of our wedding day really aren’t that important to me. No regrets. I care more about our vacation photos and photos of us together out and enjoying the city we live in (both taken on iPhones).

        But I recognize I am in a seemingly small minority.

      • Anonymous :

        This is me too. You are not the only one. We got a good photographer that takes technically proficient photographs and people have commented on how nice they are. We didn’t go with the truly awesome photographer whose photos I much preferred because of price. I can no longer recall the exact difference in price but it was around $1500 or $2000 more for awesome photographer for similar services. I know that I would have liked the awesome photographer’s photos better, but we didn’t do it because I knew we wouldn’t look at the photos. We are not fans of ourselves in pictures. We have a few that rotate through on a digital frame but most of those are pictures my friends took of silly things and are meaningful because of who took the picture. It is 4 years on and neither DH nor I regret going with the budget option.

      • Anonymous :

        We also did not have a photographer, largely because we had a friend and a family member who were amateur photographers who volunteered to take pictures for us and give us the negatives (we gave them nice gifts in return). Our wedding was pretty small and DIY and cost less than $3k total, 19 years ago. We had about 40 guests. So informal photography made sense. We have some beautiful pictures of that day but I’ve gotta be honest – almost 20 years later, we hardly ever look at our wedding pictures. I look at my son’s baby pictures a lot, but the wedding pictures just aren’t that important to us. If you have the money without stretching, spend it on photography. But I don’t think it’s mission-critical.

    • Yes. We hired a photographer who was “not really a wedding photographer” (only did a couple weddings for her family/baby photo business) because she was a family friend of my husband’s and it was the only real opinion he had on the wedding and I regret so much not pushing back on it. I have very few decent photos from my wedding and she also disappeared for 90 minutes after the wedding.

    • Honestly, it depends on what your budget is and where you’re located. If your X is something like $1500, then absolutely spend the money because you’re not going to get a decent photographer for that price. If it’s something like $7500, then there are probably tons of other good people available. I think the real questions are: What does a good, experienced photographer cost? Is the person we want in that range? Was our initial budget realistic?

      • $X is the lower-end rate for a competent professional photographer in our area, who we are confident will have the equipment/skills to capture our day. We’re only looking at established photographers with good portfolios and excellent reviews: our $X is a fair benchmark with a good number of folks who meet our criteria. These are not people who should be jokesters, vanish for 90 minutes in the reception, or take 0 beautiful photos of our wedding. Which is what makes it hard to contemplate spending $1,500 more!

        $X + 1,500 is kind of in the upper end of the mid-range folks. Much above and we start getting into the LOL WHAT NO range. The majority of photographers our area seem to be in the $X + 500 or $X + 1,700 range. ($X – 500 is where we start getting our DANGER DANGER UNSURE feelings.)

    • I’m a total cheapskate, but I am not sure it’s worth it. I went to art school and used to do photography as my primary art form. I don’t LOVE our wedding photographs, but I like them. I liked the photographer personally. Her style isn’t completely my cup of tea (lots of pictures tilted to the side a bit), but I felt comfortable with her, she was very professional and delivered on time, and was totally worth what we paid her. I knew going into it she wasnt’t going to produce dream pictures, and that was okay with me. My memories of the day are sweet regardless. I think it really depends on what is important to you personally and what your expectations are.

    • Wedding pictures were not that important to us, and we got what we paid for. I absolutely loved my wedding, and would not have changed a thing, so for me the low cost photographer was worth it to be able to buy a beautiful ketubah and have good hair and make up professionally done, but I generally do not like our wedding photos and do not feel much attachment or connection to them. There are no portraits I would frame, for example. I think you have to decide if you’re okay having pictures you do not want to use.

    • Another anon :

      So I think I have a bit of a different perspective. We went with an inexpensive local photographer. His pics were fine, but not amazing, and we were 100% cool with that. We largely just wanted the photographer for the family portraits and pics of us during the wedding ceremony. Lots of people took pics of the reception so we had plenty of fun candids. I gave my cell phone to my sister and had her snap away and those are actually my favorite pics. This may sound odd, but I didn’t necessarily want every moment documented (I definitely didn’t want video); I like that my memories are all filtered through unbridled, fuzzy joy!

      As others said, you’ll also want to think about how you’ll realistically use the photos. I wasn’t going to put wedding photos on my wall or in my office, so that wasn’t a consideration. My family made me a photo album of wedding pics (a combo of the photographer and pics that people in my family took) and I do really enjoy leafing through the album from time to time, but that is going to be the only time the pictures are used, as touchstones for memories. I actually like that the pictures don’t look particularly professional and the album is homemade.

      Bottom line is don’t prioritize spending on a photographer just because other people say you should. Actually think through what you care about and how you’ll use the pics, and then make the decision accordingly.

    • More than the money, I’d focus on having a photographer that takes the style of photos you like. For me, it was important to have great candid photos of our family instead of overly stylized photoshoots in a field with the sun (being sarcastic but you get the drift). My unsolicited advice would be to ask photographers for samples with ALL photos from the wedding not just 20-30 of their favorites and evaluate the work based on that. With that said, I’d vote for spending the extra money.

    • Assistant Professor :

      You could consider talking with the photographer about the possibility of cutting things out of her normal package in order to bring her fee more in line with your budget. For example, our photographer’s package included engagement shots, but we negotiated with her to forgo those in return for her spending more hours with us both before the wedding and at the reception. I know that’s more of a one-for-one trade situation rather than a discount for cutting some services, but my point is that you could see if there is something in the current package you don’t need and say “if we dropped x from the package, could we bring your services more in line with our budget”? For example, If your photographer usually brings a second shooter for part of her wedding shoots, that may be one thing you could ask to drop to lower the cost. Just ask politely- the worst she can say is “no.”

    • Have you asked around for friends who do portrait photography on the side? It might also be helpful to try bringing up the topic to friends who do photography. I do portrait photography on the side as a hobby (my day job is a lawyer). But when two of my friends were getting married and talking about how expensive wedding photography was, I offered to do their engagement photography for free as a way of boosting my portfolio. They were pretty skeptical overall, and I floated the idea pretty last minute. But the photos turned out to be amazing, and they loved it so much that they didn’t pay for additional engagement photography. They did hire a professional photographer for their wedding photography, because I didn’t offer that and it’s a lot more complicated than engagement photography. But everyone complimented them more on the engagement photos I took than the wedding photos by the pros. So it doesn’t hurt asking your friends who might be amateur photographers to see if they might be willing to do it for free. They did take me out to dinner afterward as a thank you.

  6. Anonymous :

    Lana, any particular fruit?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Usually apple, banana, cantaloupe, orange, strawberries and/or blueberries, and sometimes peaches. My mother adds grapes too but I leave them out because I don’t particularly like them (and they’re so tricky to eat lol).

      Another commenter (maybe Baconpancakes?) also suggested all stone fruits, which sounds delicious to me.

  7. Question to lawyers: if you had to do it all again, would you choose the same career path? I’m starting the law school application process and I would love some honest thoughts… Do you find your job interesting? Have the hours/stress absolutely ruined your life? Do you enjoy your job? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I am not a lawyer, but if you go back over many many many threads here you will find all kinds of lawyers answering your questions with STOP YOUR APPLICATION PROCESS RIGHT NOW unless you know absolutely for sure what you’re doing.

      • Ha, thanks! I have definitely seen a lot of those threads and I’ve been working in a biglaw firm in a non-legal capacity for quite some time–so I’m close to 100% sure but I wanted to seek out some other opinions!

        • I’d caution you against assuming that you know what lawyer life is like just because you work in biglaw in a non-lawyer capacity. Ime even the paralegals – many of whom work long hours right alongside attorneys, and are more valuable than first or second years – really don’t understand what it’s like.

          Most of what biglaw attorneys do is solitary. That means you’re working long hours by yourself and spending a lot of time in your own head. It’s just not visible so it’s hard to observe from the outside even though you’re in the same office.

    • No x 1 million. Don’t find my job interesting. The stress ruined my life. I didn’t enjoy my legal job. Far too much debt. I am in a legal-adjacent field and it’s….fine. It’s a job. I could have gone to work at 24 and not wasted loads of time and money on a law degree that I don’t even need for the job I have now. My best advice to you is to go work as a paralegal for several years before making the decision about whether to go to law school in order to learn what the practice of law is really about. If you think that you’re making this decision at all because you don’t know what to do with your life “when you grow up”, take a breather from the application process, get some work/life experience, and reevaluate a few years down the road.

    • I don’t practice because I ended up falling into another (legal related) role after law school, but I think what people say about med school applies to law school, too. Don’t do it unless you really, really want to and you want to practice law or at least want to work in the legal sphere.

      At the end of my first year, there were people who realized that they really didn’t want to do this. But by then they had already spent a lot of money, so they kept on. They found jobs and ended up okay, but it was three years of studying something they ultimately didn’t want to.

      I don’t regret going to law school. I don’t have the world’s most exciting job, but I’m in state government so I don’t have crazy hours; I can have a life.

    • Honestly, probably not. It’s not even that I don’t like being a lawyer. I don’t mind my job, and my hours, while high, aren’t biglaw high and I worked with a great group of people. But I think I would have been more passionate about other careers that wouldn’t have required nearly the amount of debt for education (though wouldn’t pay as much). Being a lawyer isn’t at all what I thought I would do when I was growing up and sometimes I stop and think “why didn’t I do that thing I wanted to?” and don’t have a good answer to that question. My eventual plan once debt is paid is to move into policy or politics work, which is what I did during law school summers and internships and like much more.

      • +1 million. I don’t hate my job but I don’t particularly like it. It’s fine. I don’t know any lawyers who absolutely love their jobs. I took a lean-out job (basically staff attorney) at a firm and now I’m not sure what my options will be like in 5-10-15-20 years.

        I wish I could go back in time and become a marine biologist or a veterinarian, which is what I wanted to do when I was a kid. I’m sure that sounds dumb, but at least I wouldn’t be stuck in this boring slog of a profession for the next 3o years.

        • Hah, marine biologist is actually one of the things I considered as a kid, too. I have an acquaintance who is a marine biologist and every time she posts pictures of her field research trips, I regret my lawyer choice a little more.

          • Anonymous :

            I wanted to be a marine biologist too until I did an internship in it in high school and discovered that the term applies to biologists who do research on (ie, kill) marine animals. I think the save-the-whales kind of marine biologist is actually pretty rare. That said, I still don’t know why I gave up on biology completely. There are tons of biologists that don’t work with/kill animals. I think I would have loved computational biology.

    • I’m a lawyer. I would absolutely choose the same career path, but I would do it differently.

      When I applied, everyone said, “Go to the best school you can get into,” and I did (T14). I’m smart, but I’m not really an intense, competitive person. I should have gone to a local T50 school with a full scholarship–I would have made more connections where I intended to practice, and I wouldn’t have had a massive student loan burden.

      I got a job out of law school, but it wasn’t a good fit. I found a practice area I enjoyed, but the partners I was working with left the firm, and then there wasn’t an opportunity to keep practicing in that area at that firm. The hours and stress absolutely wrecked me, especially because I was bored and stuck doing work I hated. I got stuck in a procrastination-anxiety-guilt cycle that was not good. My mental and physical health suffered.

      About 2 years ago, I started working at a smaller law firm, with a 5-10 minute commute, where I can do exactly the type of work I enjoy. I work 9-6, take lunch breaks, and leave a couple hours early on Fridays. I plan to stay here 3-5 years at least, but to move “up,” my next logical move would be in-house. I’m really happy now. I enjoy my work and also have time for other things in my life.

      • Is that true that everyone who goes to a T14 law school could get a full ride in T50? Or is it more like if you could go to T14 you might get some $ in T50 but maybe only a full ride at T50?

        I know someone who is at a T75ish law school who isn’t super-brilliant but got some $ to make the out-of-state tuition more tolerable (and it is a school that maybe sends 10-15 kids a year to BigLaw, so that $ is super-valuable to the kids who will not have that sort of $ to pay back loans with).

        • Anonymous :

          If I had to guess, I would say yes. I went to a T5, but had full ride offers are a T14 and at two T20s. I assume that is not uncommon

      • Appellate attorney :

        I didn’t get into a T14 so that wasn’t an option, but I got into a T40 on a full ride, graduated top of my class (within top 10%) and have a dream job (appellate attorney) where most of my colleagues are from HYS. I generally think the idea of going to the best school you can is still true, but if there is a reasonably good school offering a significant scholarship you should consider this seriously. It was very freeing to graduate with no undergrad or grad debt.

        As to the larger question, I’m so glad that I am a lawyer and doing what I love.

    • I’m not sure. For context, my parents paid for law school so I graduated debt free, and I genuinely enjoy practicing law, but man it is tough. I don’t work in biglaw, but I’m not sure my job is necessarily easier. I’m expected to bill 2,000+ hours per year for $60,000. A 50 hour week is an “easy week”. I feel no sense of job security, every firm I’ve worked at has fired attorneys out of nowhere. And I can’t get over how private practice at many firms is very difficult for mothers. Sometimes it all feels very unfair.

    • Absolutely not. Like you I also worked at a big firm in a non-legal role and practicing is just different than you can imagine.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I would 100% do it all again. I love being a lawyer and, in particular, being a litigator. Pulling on the (unflattering) robes and standing before the Court advocating for my client’s position is a thrill like no other and it makes me feel like part of this huge historical thing. I am in private practice and even though sometimes the hours are hard with a husband who also has a career and a kid with special needs, I would never go in house. But I recognize that it is not for everyone.

      • Legally Brunette :

        Standing up in court and arguing continues to be my favorite part of my job. Gives me goose bumps too.

      • Interesting. I am increasingly hating litigation, but I am in the US and don’t get to wear any robes.

    • I’m a unicorn, in that I left law after 7 years of practice, but I would still do it again. However, I got very very lucky – I had a huge scholarship and some family support, so I left law school with only $25k of debt. I am also that weirdo that really enjoyed law school. I was able to get a job in Big Law, so I paid off my debt in under a year and was able to start saving large amounts of money very young. When I left law I had a net worth over $500k (I didn’t own property yet so it was all liquid). Big Law wouldn’t have been sustainable for me in my mid-30s and beyond because I wanted a family and good work-life balance, but it was a really fun and interesting career in my 20s and early 30s when I was childless and able to really lean in to long hours, and it set up well financially for the rest of my life. I realize that it very easily could have gone the other way though if I’d had more debt and/or hadn’t been able to get such a lucrative job.

      • If you’re still reading, what did you leave to do? I’m curious as I’m at this point too.

        • Anonymous :

          Something that on the surface sounds totally different, but is actually fairly similar in some ways (especially because I was in patent law)… technical writing. The pay is a lot worse but that wasn’t a concern to me because of my debt/savings situation and pretty much everything else about this job is better. I have 6 weeks of vacation per year and I can actually use all of it!

      • JD then BSN :

        I’m right there with you…law was an excellent first career! I practiced for 10+ years before leaving with a nice net worth to do something…more worthwhile. I was one of the few people in my BSN program who was not disappointed about not getting into med school. Kind of like paralegals, other nurses see the doctors on the floor and think being a doctor would be fun. I see the doctors and thank my lucky stars that I didn’t go to med school (even though it was an option for me). I agree with the above posters that even paralegals don’t see all of what being a lawyer entails and that paralegal experience does not translate to law school and lawyering.

    • Absolutely not. It’s a dysfunctional profession, costs far too much to be in, is overcrowded, and is dysfunctional.

      Getting out of law is hard; people assume you’re a bad attorney if you want out. If you want a flexible degree, get an MBA.

      If you’re smart enough to succeed as an attorney, you’re smart enough to succeed in another profession.

    • I find my job interesting, but I am no longer practicing. I am in a legal-adjacent role (contract management/administration) and we are (newly) nested under the law department where I work. I practiced for four years and was miserable for a couple of reasons . . . At the law firm it was the lack of control over my own schedule and long work hours, which led to the deterioration of many friendships, poor health (mental and physical), and incredible stress and anxiety. I moved to a state agency where the hours were fine but the department was incredibly toxic. They went through 22 attorneys in 5 years. My mental health was atrocious and my confidence completely eroded. I took some time off after that and did a lot of non-attorney things – recruiting, teaching elementary school, real estate – which led me to realize that I really enjoyed working with contracts and being involved on the business side.

      TLDR; I did not enjoy either of my attorney jobs, but I do enjoy my current legal-adjacent job because I work ~ 45 hours a week, no nights or weekends, make a good salary, and do interesting work. The stress and hours of the two attorney jobs absolutely were ruinous to my quality of life. I would not do it again because of the debt and because I believe I could have continued what I was doing before law school (sport marketing) and been happy and fulfilled.

    • Would I do it again? Yes. In a heartbeat. I graduated with a finance degree in the middle of the recession and my post-undergrad job prospects were very slim. I received a full ride to a T50 school in the market I wanted to eventually practice in (and where my husband had the best job opportunities.)

      However, I would hesitate in taking out more than $60,000 in student loans for a legal education. Over half my graduating class had six digit student loan debt and accepted any job they could find. The legal profession has a bimodal starting salary curve and going into debt to accept a $40-50k position is a terrible investment.

    • No. I wouldn’t, but I have been thinking about this recently and I don’t know what I’d do instead, because I love my area of the law (commercial real estate). And hindsight is always 20/20

      Here’s the deal- you only need to go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. If you can, figure out what you want to do and what bring a lawyer means, and then make a decision.

      I had a similar conversation with someone over July 4th. Ultimately, I see three very different things that are wrapped up in someone who is an attorney. Those are: Law school, practicing law, and being a lawyer. Law school teaches you very little about practicing law and even less about being a lawyer. Practicing law (what I see as advocating for your client and creating the work product) is the part I find most enjoyable. In my world, I’m learning about a property and its quirks and figuring out how we’re going to address those. However, this is only a small part of “being a lawyer”. Being a lawyer means creating, developing and maintaining client relationships, getting paid for what you do, and managing all of the different personalities and administrate tasks in a law firm. To be, there is just very little to be excited about on the “being a lawyer” side of things. Also, as I get further along in my career, I’m doing less and less of the practicing of law. I’m managing people, whether it be an outside third party like a surveyor, a junior attorney, my assistant or the client, and making sure that money comes in so we can “keep the lights on”.

    • 5 years ago I would have said no. I was an ’08 grad making $45K a year in a saturated market with debt up to my eyeballs. I also worked 80-90 hours a week and travelled constantly.

      By chance and circumstance, I ended up with a much better job, at more than double the salary and half the hours. So things are great now – paid off my student loans last month! – but the first five or six years out of school (top 20 school) were very difficult. I put off having a kid until I was more stable, and I’m likely now too old to have another (at least biologically).

      It’s fine now, and I’m happy, but at the end of the day I don’t know that law school was worth it.

    • I would probably do it again. I like my job, and I can’t think of anything else I’d really want to do long term – maybe a failure of imagination more than anything. That said, I am definitely highly unusual in my law school cohort. I went to a T14 back when the economy was great, and then by the time I graduated it was not. I’m still paying debt, and so are all of my friends — but most of them hate their jobs to boot, and just feel stuck practicing so they can continue to make payments and live a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. The ones who lived a little more frugally in the first few years and hurried to pay down the debt are no longer practicing, but regardless, I think I’m the only one who enjoys being a lawyer. And if you’re not going to enjoy being a lawyer, a law degree is a HUGE waste of time and money. I’d think long and hard about what specific dream job you’re aiming at – and think critically about WHY that job appeals to you, and whether a law degree is strictly necessary to get you there. If it really is a good fit, go for it. For most people, though, it’s not.

      • Housecounsel :

        I’d do it again in a second. The job has evolved as my family’s needs have changed. I was a partner in a law firm(insurance defense). I then went in-house with a health care client. Now I work from home . I still love what I do. I have a daughter in college who wants to go to law school, and I am not discouraging her.

    • Absolutely. It’s been life-changing for me, in the best way possible. I have liked all of my lawyer jobs and love my current job.

      I do think though that my particular circumstances have made a big difference in my job satisfaction. I worked in my field (financial industry) before and during law school. Going to law school at night was tough but made me focus really intensely on law school as a means to a particular kind of job/career that I wanted when I graduated. It gave me a lot of perspective and made it easy for me to opt out of a lot of the law school “experience” that isn’t necessarily helpful in setting you up for what you want to do after law school. I’ve also focused a lot on relationships and talking to people about their career paths in my industry, which has given me a lot of insight into what different areas of my field look like and how to position myself for them. Each of my lawyer jobs has been an unexpected opportunity that’s come from my network.

      Last, in each job I’ve paid attention to what I like and don’t like about the work, my colleagues, the clients, the working environment, the business model, etc. For example, I spent 2 years at a large law firm and realized I am an extrovert who is miserable sitting in my office alone every day. I’m now in a role I love that is much more client-facing and involves a lot of collaboration with my colleagues.

      As an aside, go to law school in an area you want to live and take on as few student loans as you can. I went to a school that was not that great (but where I didn’t have to take on much debt) and worked really strategically to be top of my class and focus my studies on the area of law that I already worked in. I also hustled really hard to target law firms where I wanted to work and where I knew I’d have an edge because of my prior work experience in the industry. It wasn’t a particularly easy path but it was 100% worth it. Good luck!

    • Yes, I love my career and my field but I’ve always worked in government and didn’t even summer at a firm.

    • With the background that I’m at the point of thinking I may want to leave law altogether…

      I wouldn’t. And I actually had a *very* good sense of what lawyers did before I went to law school and wanted to be a lawyer from a young age. I worked at a midsize law firm for two summers in college and then at a small firm for another year before going to law school. I am 6 years out and sad to say that I just don’t think the pros of the job outweigh the cons of it for me. When I did litigation, I really liked writing a good brief and arguing it in court, but that was such a small part of your typical day. Big Law was good money and the name opened up a lot of doors for me on my resume, but the stress landed me in the hospital. Mentors are scarce, competition is absurd, hours are truly brutal. Now I am in-house but the tedium of it is exhausting when you read 20-page IT contracts all day long and the business side is frustrated with you because you can’t wave a magic wand and ‘fix things.’ When you are in-house you are a cost-center and our department has way more volume than it can handle. When all of that is happening, it starts to magnify the problems inherent to any woman in the workplace. Being on a conference call with 6 men and being astonished at how [email protected] mediocre they are and yet keep getting promoted. (Sure, sometimes I feel smug that I’m younger but smarter than all of these people and how do they not understand this contract provision? but most of the time it is just exhausting.) Being talked to like I am an assistant when no, it’s not the legal department’s job to format your letter – if you don’t know how to use Word, you shouldn’t have been hired.

      I think what I regret the most about law is that there also isn’t really a medium speed unless you’re the rare case that can create it yourself. If I had the job of the senior partners at my old firm who were paid insane bucks for their name being attached to the firm, I’d be happy as a clam. They do client development and only do work on a smaller number of cases. They have ownership of their cases and know their clients personally. They get to strategize a plan and consider the caselaw someone else researches and get to present this stimulating and exciting case to the court (ah, being an associate and being yelled by a partner because the secret weapon case he is hoping exists to say X actually doesn’t and in fact the caselaw says “not X”). The problem is you don’t get the exciting stuff until much later and HAVE TO BILL on top of that such that it ends up taking a back seat unless you want 90 hour weeks. You only get glimpses of the exciting things you love about the law.

      My husband is in finance, makes more money than I do, and didn’t have to take on any additional school (or loans) to achieve that. If I could go back, I would do finance as the hard work/long hours while you are young are the same as in law and with the same door-opening value as biglaw, but you aren’t as tethered to LAW later on and without the same loans.

    • Marshmallow :

      Yes. For sure. But I know I’m an exception. I went to a school in the top handful, no scholarship, and now I work in Biglaw litigation. I work A LOT and I’m still paying off my loans but I love, love, love my job. I intend to be a practicing lawyer until I retire and I expect to remain challenged by it.

      But that was also easier for me to figure out because law is a second career for me. I had already tried something else and had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted for my second go-round. I don’t know if taking on mortgage-sized student loans is a great idea straight out of undergrad. I also have to wonder how much of this “lawyers often say they wouldn’t do it again” is a symptom of ANYBODY who takes on massive loans and commits to a lifelong career at the age of 20. I would say the same thing about my first career, but fortunately I didn’t need grad school for that.

      • That’s a good point of would it be the same for anyone with massive loans and a lifelong career at a young age. Probably true.

    • I would. And I went to law school for the worst possible reason (graduated with a poli sci degree and didn’t know what else I was going to do). I was a late admit to a top-5 law school (I’m sure I was in the last round of admissions offers), where I was solidly mediocre (B+ average, editor in chief of a journal that wasn’t law review, didn’t get a clerkship), although I loved it. Ended up in biglaw. Surprisingly, was very good at it. My law school friends mostly no longer practice or no longer practice in biglaw; everyone is pretty soundly shocked that I (the mediocre one!) am the person who ended up as a partner.

      I paid off my law school loans by throwing all available money at the debit for a long time. Took about 7 years. I always thought I’d do something else once they were gone, but actually, I like it and I’m still here. I probably won’t be forever, but I’ve been really happy with my career path so far.

    • Maybe. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said no. But I was a 7th year in BigLaw, hated it, and had been searching for a new job for a few years. Now, after spending a few months in government, I would say maybe. I like my new job, and, given that I spent 7 years in BigLaw paying off my student loans, buying a house, and building savings, it pays enough. But, there was that seven years. And I’m not sure I would say it was worth it if I had gotten this job straight out of law school and was making less (cause the government bases you salary in part on your last job), still had student loans, had little money in the bank, and was renting with no prospect of buying.

      If I had to do it over, I would have gone to the T14 with a full scholarship over the T5 I went to. I loved my law school, but it was so much debt. But, I’m not sure I would have had my BigLaw job or my current job if I hadn’t gone to the T5.

      • Also, I did still get paid well. There is no other job I considered or could have got with my undergrad that would pay 6 figures. So, that make it hard for me to regret it – I would be a lot worse off financially without the law degree and would not have had many of the travel and other experiences I have.

    • Yeah hitting a million dollar NW before age 40 despite law and college debt for 2 Ivys is really painful. I’m mean who’d ever want that. I’m sure all those marine biology and flexible/lifestyle MBA jobs pay so much better. People here are delusional.

      • Anonymous :

        You know not all lawyers work in BigLaw, right?

        • Anonymous :

          And that not everyone cares that much about money. I want to earn enough that I can enjoy my life and save enough for retirement, but I don’t care about money beyond that point. I’m 40, my net worth is well under a million and I’m very happy.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s your choice to go into a profession where there’s $$$ to be made and not take advantage because you didn’t get yourself into the right law schools or don’t want to sacrifice your work life balance even for a while to set yourself up at a young age.

          • Anonymous :

            I was in BigLaw for seven years, the longest I could stand. I am very financially conservative with regards to my spending, and there is still no way I will have a net worth of 1 million when I turn 40.

          • Anonymous :

            Thats not how it works at alll

          • Anonymous :

            2:55 — different poster here — was it high law school debt, cost of living or do the numbers just not work as the poster above implies?

          • Anon at 2:55 :

            I had high/normal law school debt, but the numbers just don’t work the way that the poster applies.

            My debt was just around $200k when I graduated. I lived in DC, which is HCOL but generally on par with other big law cities. And I lived very frugally in a not hip, safe neighborhood and basically only spent money on travel – all of my friends and co-workers were amazed at how little I spent and the steps I would take to save money (such as bringing lunch to my biglaw job). But it takes a lot of money to pay off that debt.

            Maybe a two biglaw couple could do it, but not as a single person. And probably not as a couple, since I stayed in biglaw basically twice as long as the normal person and the latter years are the better paying ones.

          • Anon at 2:55 :

            Also, I meant to add that I went in to the fed govt. So, still a decent salary and still saving some each month (which also tells you how frugal I am), and unless the market goes crazy high, there is zero change I reach a million net worth by 40 (or 45 or likely 50)

      • Are you the one who thinks that everyone can just graduate in the top 10% of their class and work in biglaw?

        I mean, personally I’d rather have a personal life and my ability to empathize than a whopping million dollar net worth, but you do you, boo.

    • BigLaw Lit to Gov Lit :

      I would absolutely go to law school and become a lawyer again, but I would probably do it differently. I was in BigLaw litigation for nearly a decade, and then switched to a government job. I didn’t switch to government for the hours (my hours aren’t aren’t any shorter) – I switched for increased responsibility, being able to run my own cases/trials, and being in court frequently. Going back I like to think may have just started out in government and skipped biglaw, but I would have a heck of a lot less savings right now if I would have done that. I took over a 60% paycut.

    • Anonymous :

      I would do it again. I went to law school because I wanted to be a tax attorney. I went to law school and then got an expensive LL.M., and I graduated with about $150,000 in debt. The loans were paid off within 9 years of graduating from the LL.M., but we purchased a home and an income property before the loans were paid off.

      However, I love practicing law. I have worked at several BigLaw firms, and I am now a income partner at more of a lifestyle law firm (which means a make good money but not crazy BigLaw money) in a super niche growth area for my firm. I am super passionate about my practice area. The main thing that I have really not enjoyed is navigating politics in BigLaw- particularly the misogyny.

      I am married to a spouse with another big career, and we have three children. Life is busy, and I certainly would like more sleep and downtime. However, given our dual careers, I can throw money at a lot of “problems”. There are many people who work as hard (or harder than me) who are not able to do this.

    • Immigration Attorney :

      I would do it again. I work in an area that is intellectually interesting to me and I have people as clients (as opposed to corporations) and my work feels meaningful to me. I enjoy the work and the personal interactions. I am at a small firm and have a flexible schedule and a great work/life balance. Salary is sufficient to live comfortably, but nothing outstanding.

      If I had to do it over again, I would probably have done a few years in big law for the experience and the financial benefits. I went to a school where 98% of my graduating class went to a big law firm so it’s realistic to think that I could have if I wanted to. I knew back then that I didn’t want the type of lifestyle required by the job, but at 25, I didn’t have the perspective to realize that it didn’t have to be forever; that I could work in big law for just a few years and be in a great financial position while moving to a less taxing job.

      I loved law school itself. It was 3 years well spent even if I weren’t still practicing.

      I’m in the minority here, but I worked as a legal assistant/paralegal for 3 firms before going to law school. Between that, and having a parent who is an attorney, and consuming a lot of Law & Order and other tv shows and books featuring lawyers, I had a fairly accurate idea of what practice would be like. I wasn’t expecting the stress and worry and constant second-guessing of my first 2 years in practice (exacerbated by working for a paranoid micromanager), but once I found a firm and a practice area that I liked and gained enough experience to generally be confident in what I’m doing, I found practice to be very much what I had imagined it would be like before I applied to law school.

    • Hindsight is 20-20. I can’t answer the question as I’m only 5 years out. But I have not enjoyed biglaw not because of the hours, which I was used to, but because of the office politics. I love work that is solitary, and I enjoy getting up in court and making intellectual arguments. But in a certain type of biglaw, it takes a whole other set of skills like knowing how to get a mentor, how to work in a large team and not get screwed over, and how to survive senior associates or junior partners who takes credit for your work and ideas and throws you under the bus for their mistakes, and protecting yourself from people your year or below you trying to compete with you. It involves anticipating other people’s potential moves against you and protecting yourself against them. It’s just not the kind of person I am, or the kind of person I want to be.

      On the other hand, I LOVED clerking. I got to debate with my judge about the outcome of a case, got to do a lot of research and writing on my own, and think through tough intellectual issues that had a lot of policy implications. There was also office politics in that particular clerkship, but it was harder to be sabotaged because the judge had more direct access to everyone’s work and we all worked with him directly one-on-one, and our work spoke for itself. That said, it’s almost impossible to be a clerk forever.

      Geographically, I regretted being a lawyer in DC. As a minority who grew up in diverse environments, it was too white/black for me. I would have gone to somewhere more diverse like LA and NY.

      Overall, I think in any career, there could be specific types of jobs that I would hate/love. It’s just a matter of finding those types. I also get the sense that in law, the number of jobs I dislike may be more than the jobs I love, partly because of one’s personality. Although I love work that is intellectual, I also like work that is creative and where I feel like I’m building something. That’s why I get closest to feeling this way in appellate litigation, but not in a biglaw setting.

      As a matter of usefulness though, I would have gone to med school if not law school. Not because it’s a conventional path, but because my father was diagnosed with cancer literally the day I passed the bar, and I realized how much more useful it was to be a doctor than a lawyer when it comes to helping the people I love the most.

  8. Lunch ideas :

    I’ve been taking a hardboiled egg as part of my lunch for the past few months because its such a healthy option in terms of protein… I’m officially sick of them and need an alternative. Any high protein ideas? My lunch is basically chopped veggies (carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell pepper) that I snack on throughout the day, almonds, air popped popcorn, and a hardboiled egg.

    • cheese? Lean meat filets that you can cut into bite-size pieces and eat cold?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      PB, cream cheese, and hummus are all great with chopped veggies! You can mix up different flavors and herbs in the cream cheese and hummus. Cheese and crackers are also good!

      Are you vegetarian? I really like chicken (it’s also the cheapest meat, at least around here), especially in salads.

      What about other nuts? You must be eating a ton of almonds to get enough protein, so I’m surprised you’re not sick of them too. :P

      • Not a vegetarian. Ha, I go through phases so I will probably get sick of almonds very suddenly too. Previously went through a salad jar phase for months, and a PB&J phase before that. This is the “veggies and almonds” phase.

    • Tofu? Trader Joe’s has some pre-cooked tofu near the cheese section that might work for you.

    • A couple of days this week my lunch has been a roasted sweet potato over steamed spinach and topped with a spicy black bean and pepper mix with either avocado or a little shredded cheese. Having a hot lunch is a nice alternative to salad and I can still load up on veggies.
      Beans, especially rinsed canned beans, are a super easy protein/fiber addition for lunch.

    • Plain Greek yogurt with peanut butter :

      Plain Greek yogurt with peanut butter is shockingly satisfying. I basically eat the yogurt with a spoon that is filled with peanut butter.

    • Constant Reader :

      I’ve just realized I’ve developed the lunch equivalent of a capsule wardrobe, so this might help as a strategy to combat boredom:

      The three components are protein (I’m not a vegetarian as you will see), some sort of neutralish tasting base, and a sauce/dressing.

      For protein, I make and freeze individual portions of instant pot pulled chicken and pork (seasoned with salt, pepper, and maybe garlic), thin sliced flank steak, seasoned ground turkey — whatever I can make in bulk and freezes well.

      Bases are salads (mason jar), frozen portions of rice, instant pot quinoa, combo rice and quinoa, couscous, lentils and rice, pilaf, leftover roasted vegetables (zucchini, yellow squash, tiny red potatoes work well).

      Sauces/dressings that make the two ingredients into a recognizable dish — pulled chicken plus greek salad base (feta, olives, plus lettuce cukes tomato) plus Trader Joe’s Greek Style Feta dressing; the same pulled chicken on top of rice with salsa and monterey jack, ground turkey on top of a southeastern salad (lettuce, tomatoes, frozen fire roasted corn, black beans) with salsa or your choice of dressing; tuna on top of salad with taboule as the dressing; you get the idea. It’s very much mix and match with your preferred proteins/bases/variety of flavorings.

      Added cheese, nuts, seeds, Thai peanut sauce, are ways to get extra protein on top of the base protein.

      • This is great! Do you have any fav TJ sauces/dressing recommendations? I love their house hot sauce but I discovered I don’t like their salsas and have been hesitant to experiment with other jarred items.

  9. Ha, thanks! I have definitely seen a lot of those threads and I’ve been working in a biglaw firm in a non-legal capacity for quite some time–so I’m close to 100% sure but I wanted to seek out some other opinions!

  10. Does anyone have a LOFT coupon code? Of course, when I am ready to make my purchase, they are not having one of their big sales.

  11. NC question :

    We explored Edenton NC when checking out Camp Seaferer (near New Bern). It is adorable (so is New Bern)! When I win the lottery, I’m going there forever.

    But can someone explain the economics of Edenton / New Bern? What do people do there to have these gorgeous houses? Do they all commute to Raleigh? Work remotely at someplace that pays $$$? Are these just weekend houses for rich people from Raleigh / RTP / Richmond / Va Beach? I am making up enough stories in my head to write a novel with.

    Today’s escape fantasy is that we just move there and I work remotely. [That said, likely not b/c I have no idea what the schools are like but the ones we have access now are very good (not great, but good enough) and free.]

    • I don’t know for sure, but I think some of it is retired people or vacation homes. Depending on where you are coming from, those cute Victorian houses aren’t actually that as expensive as you’d think. While the beautifully restored, landmarked ones can go for $$$, a lot of them are under $300k (because I too fantasize about moving to one of the cute historic towns in that area and occasionally peruse Zillow)

    • I don’t know for sure, but I think some of it is retired people or vacation homes. Depending on where you are coming from, those cute Victorian houses aren’t actually as expensive as you’d think. While the beautifully restored, landmarked ones can go for $$$, a lot of them are under $300k (because I too fantasize about moving to one of the cute historic towns in that area and occasionally peruse Zillow)

    • Old money, for one. Plus DoD, a few manufacturing centers for Moen and BSH Home Appliances, and a hospital. It is also relatively commutable to major medical centers in Greenville and Wilmington. It’s not a Raleigh commute. Otherwise, eastern NC is one of the poorest regions in the country and New Bern incomes specifically declined faster in the last few years than anywhere else in the country. It’s a beautiful place and I hope it holds up, but it’s a lot poorer as a whole than it appears.

      • My people are from Halifax County, which I think vies for one of the poorest counties in the country. Their theory is that everyone in the fancy houses inherited it and that all of the siblings w/o the fancy house have had to move to Raleigh / Greenville / somewhere else to work. You just see what’s left, not who had no economics left to support them.

        But when I hit the lottery / go all Pan Conroy on my life, it will be where I work on my novel from.

      • Co-sign EasternNC – Edenton is a beautiful little pocket in an overall incredibly depressed and rural area. There’s a big cultural split between the wealthy retirees or old money folks who typically own those big beautiful historical houses and everyone else.

    • Anonymous :

      Most of it is old family money. However, I also work with (in Raleigh) with 2 women who live in Edenton and work in Raleigh. They have apartments in Raleigh for the work week, then go home on the weekend.

      Unfortunately, I know many people who live in eastern NC but technically work in Raleigh. I used to work tangentially in economic development in NC, and we spent so much time trying to lure businesses to the eastern part of the state. And it just doesn’t work. There isn’t enough infrastructure/ educated workforce in the area to support major economic growth. And you can’t pay for infrastructure or attract an educated workforce without jobs. On a small scale the economic problems of eastern NC bleed into the rest of the state and can present problems for the state as a whole, but as the disparity continues to grow it may present even more problems. Sorry for this tangential rant, I feel really strongly about this, but don’t know of a solution.

    • hellohello :

      Check out Tales from an Educated Debutante on Facebook, she is super responsive to posts and is a hilarious writer. She lives in Edenton.

    • hellohello :

      Was stuck in mod………Check out Tales of an Educated Debutante on that popular social media site. She is a hilarious writer and lives in Edenton. She is super responsive to posts, so if you have any questions, I am sure she would answer you.

  12. Don't ruin it for the rest of us... :

    Ugh, as a manager I hate having to talk to people about dress code. We have jeans Fridays, but you are otherwise expected to dress appropriately for a law firm. I had to talk to someone about wearing flip-flops and an exposed shoulder/halter shirt. It’s stunts like this that ruin it for everyone else.

    • I’d rethink whether this outfit actually matters. One thing if the employee is going to client facing things dressed inappropriately and quite different if they’re just in the office plugging away. If it’s the latter, why care about it? I’m not a fan of policing things that do not matter.

    • AnotherAnon :

      Sorry you have to deal with this. I’m a Millennial and I cannot believe what some people think is appropriate office attire. In my last (biz casual) office, a manager would wear flip flops, ripped jeans and a cold shoulder top on weekdays, not “even more casual” Friday. This morning, at my (business formal) office, I saw a woman in a dress that exposed her buttocks. She then proceeded to climb the glass stairs to her floor. I wanted to die.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m rolling my eyes at you. Age has nothing to do with it. People from all generations can dress inappropriately for the office.

        I think OP is way overreacting here, but whatever, if she wants to spend her mental energy being mad about this, that’s her call.

        • Horse Crazy :

          How exactly is OP overreacting? She is a manager. One of her employees is violating an office rule. She’s DOING HER JOB by telling the employee off. Welcome to the real world.

  13. Just finished booking a long weekend with my best friend to Montreal in August. Neither of us have been before and we will be staying near Olympic Park and both love food, fancy drinks, and all the plants (the botanical gardens are already set). What are some don’t miss places to go while we are there? I did some searching on here, but seemed to just be finding things from a few years ago. Wondering if there are new things we should do/see.

    • Bike tour with Fitz and Follwell – I did a foodie one with a group of girlfriends last year and we loved it. Very wonderful isntructors, especially to someone like me who hadn’t been on a bike in 20 years and kept running into parked cars.

    • I thought Au Pied de Cochon was good but not as good as the hype. L’Express was as good as the hype (of which there is much less). One new-ish thing is the ice cream shop next to Fairmount bagels (name escapes me right now, but it’s pretty much next door). Really great flavors, and perfect for August!

    • I went to a dumpling place in Chinatown that literally only served dumplings, but they served like 20 different kinds. I think it was Qing Hua dumpling? Reasonably priced and delicious! I ended up eating there two nights in a row. I also enjoyed renting a bike and riding along the river and around that island, there’s a cool sculpture park at the end.

    • Eat bagels. Montreal bagels are the best kind of bagels in the world (says the Canadian).

      • BabyAssociate :

        Agreed! I used to bring bags of everything and garlic bagels back to Toronto when I visited friends in Montreal (I like Fairmont and St. Viateur).

      • Never too many shoes... :

        As a fellow Canadian, I politely disagree. Montreal bagels are fine, but being from Toronto I prefer a more doughy, less chewy, less sweet bagel. Kiva’s double poppy all the way.

    • Anonymous :

      Joe Beef! Also went to Nora Gray and loved it. There’s also a great app called Dinr that allows you to grab cancelled reservations at places that might already be booked. Champagne at the Ritz was also charming (which we did after a massage at the spa there, which was decidedly meh).

  14. How on earth do people afford weddings these days? :

    Spinning off from the photography question above. It seems like even a modest wedding is like $10k. If you want a sit-down dinner, dress, all the traditional stuff, it’s an easy $20k without even being over the top or especially fancy. Where are people getting this money? My parents can’t afford that, and I wouldn’t ask them to. Do people go into debt? Do parents go into debt to fund their kids’ weddings?

    • A lot of people have parental help, a lot of people save up for years and, yes, quite a few people go into debt.

      Fwiw, our wedding was about $12k and we did have a sit down dinner, dancing (with a DJ, not a live band) and I wore a traditional ballgown dress. We did have only 80 guests, which is on the small side, but I have no regrets because we were super close to everyone there and it gave the party a much more intimate feel.

    • Longer engagements are more common. Yes, people go into debt. There is also a whole community of people cycling credit card rewards and points (like hardcore – there’s a subreddit dedicated to it if you’re curious).

      • Anonymous :

        Adding to the point about longer engagements – most of your big expenses require significant deposits and sometimes additional payments x weeks/days in advance. You end up spreading it out over like 2 years so you’re not shelling out $30k all at once.

    • I planned our wedding a couple of years ago in a HCOL area. We saved for about a year prior and set a strict budget. Keeping on budget meant DIY for some items and scaled back versions of others. I did my own flowers, centerpieces and floral arrangements for $200 from Trader Joes. I takes some pre-work but it’s not hard to create bouquets after watching youtube videos as long as they’re simple. We also bought 8 single tier cakes from our local bakery in a variety of flavors and decorated them with individual cake toppers for under $200. In my experience it was all about compromises. The goal was to have a wedding that everyone enjoyed and could be a part of of but didn’t focus on elaborate decor or the perfect expensive dress. We ended up $2K under our budget and I don’t regret it. The wedding may have been simpler than some but we didn’t go into debt or need to ask parents for money.

    • I just posted below. My dad’s paying for mine and can afford to, but we were willing to finance it ourselves.

      If we did the latter, it would have been nice brunch at a restaurant, no dj, no dance floor, no/minimal decorations. My friends who did less expensive weddings basically did buffet lunch at a place that charged $30 or $40 a head, backyard weddings with catering, tea and cake receptions with homemade food, etc.

      So far, we’re coming in at $13k for about 80 people. It’s a super-fancy lunch with about 15 options for mains and sides, my dress is gorgeous and doesn’t need alterations, he’s wearing a tux, venue is fun and memorable (although we rejected the spectacular venue for another $3k), and we aren’t into “extras” – neither the stress nor the expense.

    • My dad paid for it. Ours was $15k. I’m not sure our wedding was really that modest. Our venue was beautiful, we did the wedding on Saturday (i.e. the most expensive day), we served alcohol (including liquor), and a sit-down dinner to ~70 people. We didn’t have some things lots of people have that really add to costs though: no flowers at all because the venue did not need more decorations, no wedding favors, no centerpieces, no dj (we had an awesome playlist and just let it play). We probably could’ve done it for $10k but we were really happy with it and cutting the budget by that much would’ve involved being significantly more stingy with the guest-list and cutting our food budget quite a bit, which we didn’t want to do.

      My dad did not go into debt to pay for it, and if I had at all thought that he would I would not have taken the money. DH’s parents absolutely could not afford to pay for the rehearsal dinner, which is I think supposed to be tradition, and we did not ask them to and paid for it ourselves.

      Had my dad not footed the bill, we would have been able to afford the same wedding without going into debt but probably would have chosen not to. I’m not sure exactly what we would have changed. There was never a question that my dad would pay. He offered to immediately when we told him we were engaged, so having to pay our own way was never something we were thinking about, and we never had to make hard choices about costs.

    • Clementine :

      For background, I grew up in a poor rural part of a wealthier state. I went to a state school and most of my friends’ parents were something like a teacher and a plumber or worked at a small nonprofit and a nurse type jobs.

      A lot of people have weddings for less than $5K, particularly in the country. Big weddings outside where there is a pig roast is pretty common and just lovely. The classy elopement is also always a great option.

      My college friends have pretty commonly had weddings that fell more into the $10-25K range. I’d say about 25% of them had their parents pay for all of it (generally higher earning parents), 50% paid for it with a combination of funds, and the remaining 25% paid for it fully themselves.

      To speak for myself, my family was not wealthy but our wedding cost $15K and our parents kindly gifted us about $2500 of cash + wedding related purchases. The remaining wedding we paid for by basically maintaining our student lifestyle for another two years even after our income quadrupled. This is also how we saved up our down payment.

    • Save your pennies, don’t invite lots of people, and just say no to personalized coasters, bachelorette parties, expensive flowers, etc.

      and spend all your time on A Practical Wedding. saved my sanity.

    • Lanna Del Raygun :

      Venue is a biggie, I think. Our reception was in the church basement, which was a huge cost-saver. We had a morning wedding and a buffet lunch (ie no waitstaff); we made the bouquets from Costco flowers; things like that. Formality can be a big cost driver, and time of day is too — you can have a nice luncheon on a budget that would really squeeze a dinner.

    • They save money.

    • I think wedding costs are also driven by the method you use to plan it. There’s the “adding” method and the “cutting” method, and the latter’s a lot more expensive.

      The “adding” method works like this: price out an elopement, courthouse wedding with family, tea and cake in the church basement, etc. Wear a dress you already own or one you find for under $100. Pretend you’re broke college kids paying for this yourselves.

      To that, add what is important. We want to serve our guests a meal, so we looked at venues that do lunch. I want a wedding dress; he wants a tux. My wedding dress cost $900, and I flatly refused to even look at dresses, let alone put them on my body, that cost more than a grand. We’re going to do Trader Joe’s or Costco flowers. Music will be an iPod. We’re doing wedding cupcakes, which are far less expensive. Alcohol will be beer and wine. I refused to look at venues that were too expensive.

      We’re beyond excited.

      The “cutting” method looks like this: get a pinterest board for ideas; try on your dream wedding dress at a fancy boutique; find a dream menu, all the fun extras; look at the special and unique venues; budget for an open bar, band, etc… and then cut, and cut, and cut until you’re within budget.

      I don’t recommend the latter method, but it’s how average weddings cost thirty grand.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        re: “average weddings cost thirty grand” — That’s the mean, which is pulled up by crazy-rich people; the median is under twenty.

        • Median is about twenty, but that’s also dragged down by people who elope or get married at the courthouse.

          That number also doesn’t include the cost of pre-wedding celebrations (bridal teas, bachelor-tte, engagement parties).

    • This is why half of my friends (including me) have just gone to the courthouse.

      I know it’s not what everyone envisions, but my memories of getting married are just as warm and fuzzy and awesome as all the folks who spent $20k+.

      • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

        We went to the courthouse mostly for financial reasons, but also because we’re extreme introverts and the idea of being the center of attention is unappealing. No regrets and I actually really enjoyed the day – the ceremony was short but really memorable and felt so personal since it was just me and my husband with a justice of the peace. My husband and I went to a fancy hotel/spa after the ceremony, ordered room service, and Netflixed and chilled.

        • This. My husband and I are also extreme introverts and both detest being the center of attention, crowds of people, stress, and (probably) mediocre food. We did not want to put ourselves through that on our wedding day!

    • Anonymous :

      Debt or parental help or they put off buying a house. Most of my friends under 30 don’t have $30k sitting around. Those that do have scrimped and saved to buy a house. So the house savings just goes to the wedding.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      My parents paid a significant chunk, and I was absolutely ruthless with the guest list. We ended up with about 75 people, which was great in that it was small enough I really got to talk to everyone, but there were a lot of friends I would have invited to a larger wedding that didn’t get invited. I would have preferred inviting some more friends over some of my relatives, but that got vetoed by my mother (“you can’t not invite your cousins if SO is inviting his cousins!”). If I had paid for it on my own, I would have done it at a cheaper venue. Though a lot of the cost was things my mother wanted that I never would have bothered with if we were paying for it entirely by ourselves.

    • My wedding was $24k in a LCOL area for 200 people. My parents paid for it, but a lot (most) of the cost was from details my mom wanted. The venue was a barn, my dress was $700, the meal was a buffet ($20 a person), and we had a small rough-iced wedding cake and served sheet cake. My mom, however, wanted the fancy napkins, nice dishes (instead of the free paper plates and plastic silverware the venue provided), the upgraded paper for the invitations, flowers on every table, etc., even though I didn’t care about any of this stuff, which drove up the cost significantly. They were paying for it, though, so I let her do what she wanted.

  15. Wedding registry questions:

    My FH and I will be putting ours together in a few months. We are figuring out what we need, what the other person has, and what we want. We plan on registering for items in a variety of price ranges. We’re not doing a honeyfund or anything like that.

    What do you wish you had registered for but did not? What went on your registry that you never used? Are there certain retailers that do a better job than others?

    • Favorites have been fancy bed sheets and towels, a really warm down comforter, nice luggage, nice-looking (but still durable) dishes and flatware, and home decor items (nice vases, picture frames).

      Least used has been cooking stuff – I cook a lot less now than I did when we got married (less time and more money for food delivery and takeout) and when I do cook, it’s usually very simple meals that don’t require fancy tools. My BFF got me a fancy food processor and I’ve actually never used it – I just don’t cook that much and when I do, it’s easier and quicker to just chop things by hand. You really only need a food processor for things like homemade pie crust, and although I liked the idea of being a person who makes homemade pie crust, I’m definitely not. I wish I’d realized that when I got married and not registered for so much aspirational cookware.

      • I mean. There are a lot of other uses for a food processor than pie crust.

        • Anonymous :

          Such as? I’m genuinely curious. The only thing I do that I know it could do is chopping veggies and I find that much easier to do by hand. Setting up the food processor and doing all the dishes from it (even with a dishwasher) takes longer.

          • Anonymous :

            Making hommus, pesto and salsa. Shredding veggies and cheese for large cooking (chopping onions for thanksgiving is my example! Or shredding 3lbs of cheese
            for a taco bar).

            I also make smitten kitchens homemade goldfish crackers in a triple batch in mine!

            We use our giant mixer, food processor and slow cooker a to now that I have a bigger family (4 eaters and one baby).

        • anonshmanon :

          hummus! shredding cheese that actually tastes like cheese! lemon bar filling!

          • pugsnbourbon :

            Why did I never think of shredding cheese in my food processor? I hate how expensive shredded cheese is!

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I think the general point about not registering for aspirational cookware is a good one, though!

    • I would pay for the subscriptions to the websites and then register for everything that America’s test kitchen or consumer reposts has said is their top rated “X”. Yes, one version of x might be prettier, but consumer reports and ATK have put these items through all sorts of testing and you’re sure to end up with a quality item. And often their top rated item doesn’t mean the most expensive item.

      Also, really, really nice sheets and towels.

    • High quality everyday stainless flatware. We did Williams Sonoma and I really love it. Register for an extra set, because one day a spoon will go down the disposal and you’ll want more!

    • Things I no longer care about: fancy stemware (I have pretty pieces that I’ve collected and it doesn’t have to be Waterford), a Kitchenaid blender that never worked and I gave away, fancy china, margarita glasses and pitcher

      Things I still use and am glad to have: towels (you can always use new ones), fun dessert plates that go with your dishes (use them for holidays), small bowls (great for a buffet), platters, stainless flatware (use it for holidays and wish I’d gotten more of it), metal ice buckets for wine and champagne

      While I was married, I didn’t use a slowcooker and I gave it away, but I recently acquired a bigger one and have used it on occasion.

    • Yes to the fancy bed sheets and towels! I also took advice to register mainly for upgrades of things I already had, and I’m really glad I followed it. I married at 27, so already had a lot of cheap household and kitchen supplies I’d accumulated since college. Rather than register for aspirational gadgets that looked fancy but I probably would never use, I registered for high quality replacements of the things I knew I would use regularly. You know your lifestyle! Don’t let the all the cool must-have registry items distract you from that.

  16. Stylish Linen :

    All, looking for some options for stylish linen clothes. I know of Summer House and Eileen Fisher but would like to know of any others!

  17. Thred Up Goody Box Review/Rant.

    After seeing them mentioned here and a few other places, I decided to try a Thred Up Goody Box. Mine came yesterday and I’m disappointed. I got 15 items and there are only 2 that I’d even consider keeping. The rest were just absolutely not my style or size, despite trying to give them pretty detailed descriptions of my sizing and preferences.

    One of the pieces I actually liked is an Old Navy shirt. The tag is still attached, so I can see it apparently retailed for $29. Guess how much Thred Up is charging for it – $23! I’m sorry, what? You do realize that Old Navy has 40% off sales every other day and that I wouldn’t have paid that much if I had picked it out myself and bought it off the Old Navy website brand new, right? I’m so annoyed that I’m sending everything back and eating the $10 fee. Never again.

    • I’ve never read a review of a box/mail/subscription that anyone actually likes.

      except the fake instagram influencers shilling it to us

    • I am huge ThredUp fan and have commented about it a lot. Before I ordered, my friend told me to never order the box, only the clothes. It seems to be common problem.

      I have had fantastic luck buying great Ann Taylor pieces, but there are also a lot of duds and can easily see how they would end up in those boxes.

  18. Anonymous :

    Am I adulting wrong? My friend and I recently got into an “argument” about my credit card use. I mentioned that maybe I would start using my Prime card to buy groceries at Whole Foods. She was flabbergasted that I don’t already buy groceries on credit — I’m missing out on so many points! How could I not buy EVERYTHING on credit??? She thinks I’m crazy for passing up SO MUCH MONEY in points etc.

    I didn’t think I was particularly debt averse but I am deeply uncomfortable with the idea of paying for necessities on credit. I know you pay it off every month etc. but it seems like a slippery slope. It’s easier to keep track of where my money’s going if it’s all in one place — seems easy to lose track if you have multiple accounts to follow every month. I only grudgingly got a Prime card because I wanted the cash back, but I basically treat it like a store card, I don’t use it anywhere else. My friend’s reaction makes me wonder if I’m doing it wrong though?

    • Anonymous :

      I use a charge card (charge, not credit) for everything because it has stronger consumer protections than a debit card.

    • Anonymous :

      There’s no right or wrong answer here. I think you have to spend a lot of time figuring out things like the best cards and whatnot if you want to get the most out of it. I’m not willing to do that. I also know that I have a tendency to slide into credit card debt, so it’s not a system that works well for me. Like every other thing in life, different strokes for different folks.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I don’t think you’re doing anything *wrong* — you’re just deciding that you’d rather have simplicity and a low balance than points/cash back. That’s fine!

      FWIW I have multiple accounts and don’t find my money hard to keep track of (I use YNAB, so “no, you’re out of money in this budget category” typically hits well before “no, you literally don’t have money in your account,” which is why I’m not worried about the slippery slope).

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – some people are really focused on optimizing every aspect of their life, but sometimes simpler is better. If it working for you, don’t change anything.

        FWIW, I do buy almost everything on a CC (and import those expenses and budget through YNAB) and pay off each month. I have a general sense of how much is usual for me to spend, so I’m usually only consulting my budget for out of the ordinary things.

      • I started using YNAB at the beginning of the month and wow, it’s been eye opening. We were doing a lot of spinning our wheels on some credit card balances and I feel like this is our chance to really make progress on them.

      • YNAB and I have been enemies from the start. I’ve tried and it is simply too difficult to use. Have yall tried any other program that is helpful?

    • BabyAssociate :

      Yeah, I’m definitely your friend in this situation. I buy everything on credit, but I never carry a balance on my cards. I do see a huge amount of value in points, especially on travel cards and the Prime card. I too only use the Prime card at Whole Food and Amazon. If that’s not for you though, that’s fine too.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think you’re doing anything objectively wrong, but I do think many people put most things on credit cards because a) rewards and b) better protections in case of fraud. I have used credit cards to pay every bill I can since I was in college and have never gone into debt over it. It is just absolutely non-negotiable to me to pay my cc bill every month (I have it automatically taken out of my checking account) and I don’t see credit cards as “free money” at all. But that mindset comes very naturally to me, and if it didn’t I might make a different choice.

    • It’s about choices and knowing your own personality in terms of money management.

      I make all purchases on credit. I only pay cash if plastic isn’t accepted. I never use a debit card. I’ve also never (not once in my entire life) carried a balance on a credit card, and I got my first card when I was 18.

      I use credit in this way because it enables very easy tracking of my spending, I appreciate the consumer protections associated with credit, and the rewards can be very valuable. But if you’re not sure you’d always pay the cards off, then it’s not something you should do.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Same here. I also don’t spend a ton of time figuring out which card to use for the best rewards in every situation, though. I just have a 2% cash back and stick with that. DH, on the other hand, is forever switching between one card that’s 5% on restaurants, one for amazon, one for lowes, etc to maximize rewards. That’s just too much for me to keep up with, even if it means missing out on some rewards.

      • Housecounsel :

        I am all about the airline miles, so I put everything on credit.

    • Anonymous :

      I buy basically everything with a credit card. I like that it makes it easy to track were my money went, when cash seems to fly out of my hand and I don’t know what it is spent on. And I love the cash back. I normally get around $400-500 back a year, and that is my holiday shopping fund.

    • If you’re concerned about tracking your spending, credit is easy to track if you only use one card and you use it for everything, and only use cash very minimally. If you don’t want to use credit, don’t. But it would only be hard to keep track of it you used a bunch of cards. One card is easy.

      FWIW, I have two cards, neither has a fee and both have points programs. Last year I earned about $700 in points, which I cashed out and deposited into my bank account. It’s not a huge amount of money but it a nice chunk of change. It might make sense to you to forego that money; it’s a personal choice depending on what you’re comfortable with. But you should have an idea of what you’re giving up by making it.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s all about where you’re at with things like this, mentally. I got into some credit-card trouble in college and after I got it paid off, it took a long time for me to use it for anything but emergencies. Now I do tend to put all my non-automatic-bill-pay spending on my credit card and pay it off without carrying a balance so I can get cash back rewards. But it takes discipline and careful tracking and I wasn’t mature-enough/detail-oriented-enough to do that when I was younger. If the approach doesn’t work for you, don’t worry about it.

    • It makes no diference. If you have to buy food, buying for credit is the same as buying for cash. I don’t know what your freind is referring to unless you are VERY extravagant when you buy food on credit. Personaly, I prefer a little tuna or salmon to keep me svelte. YAY!!!!

  19. My new house has a very large (16×20) entryway, with a stairway running upnthe middle and two hallways on either side. There are two double-wide doorways (dining room, living room) that open up to it as well.

    It’s super echo-y, even with a rug down. I think it’s because other than the rug and a small hall table, we have nothing really in the space. What can I put there to absorb some of the noise? It’s inoortant because the noise carries up the stairs. The previous owners showed the home empty, so we can’t rely on that.

    Other than plants- and it would be a LOt if plants- what are other things? A circular hall table won’t fit because it will block traffic. I have wall space for like, 5-6 hall tables but no idea what to put on it/them. We have a closet there so a coat rack seems redundant.

    • Anonymous :

      I assume the stairs are wooden? Might be pricey and/or not your style, but a runner on the stairs would probably take care of this.

    • anonshmanon :

      do you have a solution for storing shoes? Do people get ready in that space? Maybe a nicer chair that is a bit of an accent piece would also help for people who like to sit down when they put on shoes.
      A home command center that catches everyone’s purse, keys, mail, maybe has a calendar or whiteboard above.
      But definitely at least one large plant. The ficus lyrata (I think it’s also called fiddle leaf fig) gets super huge if you let it, and is pretty robust. So do zamioculcas, and they don’t even need a lot of light. Both are cheap at Ikea.

    • Anonymous :

      Hang stuff on the walls. A tapestry? Art quilt? Canvas paintings?

    • Do you have a stair runner?

    • Runner on the stairs, and drapes on nearby curtains will help. Along one of the walls, do a long console table with a large statement mirror centered over it. In the center of the table, a large vase with branches in – silver dollar eucalyptus is on trend and pretty. Pottery Barn has a variety of different options for the branches/stems. Tucked under the table, two upholstered cube ottomans with tops that lift off. You can stick shoes, scarves, mittens, or nothing in them. One end of the table a framed picture (or a grouping) other end of the table a pretty bowl or dish for keys.

  20. Rainbow Hair :

    Strategies or pep talks for keeping your head in the game when you’re in a room where women aren’t valued?

    I want to stomp out and give everyone the finger on my way, but obviously that’s not on the table. There are repeated ‘jokes’ (they aren’t even funny!) objectifying and disliking women, and a guy actually interrupted me to express his surprise that “it’s a FEMALE judge?!” … it doesn’t rise to the level of actionable, or anything, but it’s just so darn frustrating to be reminded that I don’t belong.

    So how do I check back in, push the commentary out of my mind and get back in the game?

    • I don’t have any advice other than having a little MJ before the next meeting with these wonderful people. However, I just want to say that working in commercial real estate, I literally never have a feeling that females aren’t valued and have never felt like an odd one out even in rooms full of suits which, unfortunately, is still the norm past a certain seniority level although this is also slowly changing. Telling you all this to say: there is hope out there! Not all groups of men are pigs! Hang in there.

    • “Sorry, but we’re in a tight timeline, let’s move along.”
      … But honestly I’m in my mid thirties now and established in my office, so I tend to let my feminist flag fly with “that’s kinda sexist. Let’s keep it professional.” Easier if you’re leadership.
      Before, I tended to laugh it off and change the subject. It’s hard if you have a lot at stake and not enough power.

    • “Those comments are unprofessional and need to stop immediately.”

      Re: female judge. “And her gavel is bigger than yours. Let’s continue with the relevant issues.”

    • Late to the party but if you’re not comfortable outright saying, that’s rude stop it, you can non-confrontationally call people out – re the judge “Why does that surprise you?” or generally “Why would you say that/what do you mean by that?”

      I promise you that it is not lost on these men that you’re the only woman in the room. This isn’t a boys will be boys sort of thing – plenty of men hold their tongues around women for civility’s sake. They’re doing it to push your buttons.

  21. If you had two weeks off from work, what at-home beauty treatments would you do for sun spots and some wrinkles?

  22. Alternate response: think about succeeding in the project and how to parlay it into increasing your salary while silently repeating “the best revenge is your paper” in your head. Works best if you enjoy Beyonce and capitalism.

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