Coffee Break: Grid-It! Organizer

I think a reader recommended this — it’s a Grid-It! organizer with lots of little straps that hold things in place. I can see this as being helpful in a number of ways — if you’re the kind of person who carries a Mary Poppins–type of tote bag with a ton of space inside but not a lot of organization, or if you’re traveling and want to make sure things don’t get lost, or if you want to find things easily in a diaper bag, for example. It’s available at Amazon from the brand Cocoon, which makes a couple of different sizes. Grid-It! Organizer

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  1. Eclipse party! :

    I’m in Canada and we got about 60% I think. It was very cool, and fun to take a break from work with colleagues to look at it.

    I hope Trump fried his tiny brain looking at it without glasses.

    • Anonymous :

      Sigh. Can’t we even enjoy the wonder of a solar eclipse without turning it toward derision of Trump?

      But yes, very cool to go outside and share it with coworkers.

      • Anonymous :

        Every comment on this s!te should be derision of Trump.

        • Anonymous :


        • Anonymous :

          Donald Trump lives rent-free in your head. Must be a sad way to go through life.

          • Know what’s a sad way to go through life? Waking up each morning wondering if/when/which one of my friends will be deported, and trying to figure out how we’ll hold their families together if that happens.

          • Anonymous :

            That has what to do what the eclipse?

          • What privilege you must have to be able to ignore him.

          • Anonymous :

            If you can’t ignore what he does during the eclipse, that’s not lack of privilege: it’s you having issues.

            If you have actual, serious policy problems with him, focus on those. Complaining about where his eyes were for three seconds during an eclipse makes your legitimate complaints about immigration seem petty and foolish.

          • nasty woman :

            Are you just so simple-minded that you don’t think about things that affect you, or…? Maybe you’re just confused at what that phrase means, or what the president does?

      • Anonymous :

        I mean it is pretty hilarious that he looked at the sun w/o glasses. I’ve probably been told not to do that 3000 times in the last week. It kind of sums him up perfectly, because ignoring something you’ve heard that much is something only an obstinate toddler would do.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I thought the same thing but now I see articles that he was jokingly looking up, not at the sun, for the photo ops. He will just claim this is more fake news defaming him.

          • That’s his story now that everyone’s commenting on how dumb it was to do that.

      • I did not see the eclipse because I was busy in a conference room all day working on a project for the manageing partner. Rosa called from Gran Teeton Mountain out west to tell me how cool it was. FOOEY! I wish I could travel like her but she is MARRIED and Ed spoils her, all b/c dad says she is pretty with a great tuchus. I agree with all of that but do NOT Think that i should be beat down by dads just because I am shorter than Rosa and have a bigger tuchus. Men still whistle at me, BUT NOT THE RIGHT ONES! Double FOOEY! If I only could find a decent man who would respect me, I would marry him! Why doesn’t said man appear and marry me already! Tripel FOOEY! I look good in my new bikini, but no decent man has noticed.

    • Anonymous :

      I imagine he had glasses supplied by NASA. The prez can’t even take Tylenol unless dispensed by the WH Doctor who is a military dr – highly doubt they allowed him to stare at the sun without the right glasses or with $5 fakes from Amazon.

      • Anonymous :

        Nope, there are pictures of him looking at without glasses. He wore the glasses first, and then took them off.

        • Anonymous :

          Wtf?! Why?? Wonder if the WH doctor saw it – he’s prob been made aware now that there are pics and now I’m guessing they’re calling Walter Reed for a retina exam . . . .

          • Anonymous :

            Because someone yelled at him not to look. I kid you not.

          • Anonymous :

            Because being president excludes you from consequences, of course. Eclipse is fake media

          • Marshmallow :

            Eclipse glasses are clearly a conspiracy to funnel your money to those nefarious globalists at the UN.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            The photo is just amazing. It’s in the CNN story on the eclipse.

    • The fact that Trump looked at the eclipse without glasses is almost making up for the fact that it was completely fogged in in my part of California…

    • We had persistent fog in most of the bay area, but my tiny office group kept the faith and went out and stood in the parking lot. Fortunately the wind was moving the fog around and through thinner patches of fog we could see the faint crescent, no special glasses needed, not bright at all.

      Thanks? I guess? to Karl the Fog.

  2. Canada, eh? :

    Suggestions for a romantic long weekend in Vancouver at the beginning of October? Would love restaurant ideas in particular and any other must-sees. Also, what will the weather be like?

    • I love Vancouver! The restaurant Cin Cin is so awesome that we went there twice on our recent vacation there! Of all the spots I have been in Vancouver (I go for work pretty often), Cin Cin is my ABSOLUTE favourite.

      Granville Island is a really great place to browse, with really neat artisan shops.
      Stanley Park is also great, but it might be chilly in October. You can rent bikes (including electric bikes) to do the seawall loop around the park, but there are plenty of things to do in the park too.
      The Capilano suspension bridge is also cool. There are shuttle buses from downtown Van pretty regularly, so it’s easy to get there even without a car. I haven’t been, but I hear that Grouse Mountain ski resort near the city also has off-season activities and hiking (including the famous Grouse Grind).

      • I like walking along the sea wall from Granville Island to Olympic Village. There are several restaurants and Breweries there that are nice. On your way back after eating, return to the sea wall until you get to the steps under the bridge. If you climb up these steps and walk across the Cambie bridge you will end up in Yaletown (watch the bridge exit, and walk towards Yaletown, rather than to the arena). Lots of good restaurants in Yaletown. Go to Cypress or Grouse Mountain for the views if you have time. The weather in the first half of October is usually a combination of fall weather with crisp mornings with sun, or could be rain. Enjoy!

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with Capilano bridge and Grouse Mountain (go up the chairlifts offseason for the view of the city and water).

      Any chance you’ll have time for Victoria? Butchart Gardens were amazing. I think we were there in Sept.

    • Anonymous :

      Visiting the gulf islands by ferry are another pleasant alternative to Victoria.

      ‘Fraid I can’t recommend specific restaurants, but Vancouver has amazing Indian food.

  3. I love this organizer!! I use one for toiletries when I travel; it’s perfect. I have another one that I keep tossed in my bag, it has a few things that I keep on it full-time (pens, portable mouse) but I am most glad I have it when there’s some small thing (USB drive, important but small piece of paper, etc) that I need for one specific day or trip – it doesn’t have a “usual spot” but I definitely don’t want to lose it.

    The only potential downside of this organizer: don’t pull it out of your bag unless you want people to ask about it. It looks very cool – lots of pieces of overlapping elastic – and always sparks interest from someone.

    • This looks pretty cool! Is there some version that actually rolls up or closes? I’d love a rolling up one for all my cables.

  4. Anonymous :

    I’m sure the organizer is great but the picture makes me laugh – a digital camera and a Blackberry! So quaint.

  5. Anonymous :

    I have one of these and while I enjoy the concept, the Grid It itself is very heavy, which I don’t enjoy adding to my bag when I travel.

    • anonlawyer :

      100% agree. I used it more when my kids were little and i needed to keep track of crayons, wipes, tissue, sanitizer, etc., but with cords and stuff, its really heavy.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I like the concept more than I liked the actual board. I ended up giving it away.

    • I agree too. I have one (in blue, even!) and rarely use it.

  6. Does anyone use computer glasses/blue light blocking glasses? Super dorky, I know, but the reality is that I’m staring at a computer 10 hours a day and it’s probably something that should be on my radar. My contacts/glasses prescription has gone up a fair amount in the past year and I’m concerned that the constant computer-staring may be part of the problem (optometrist said it’s a possibility). Zenni has a blue blocking lens that you can put on any of their glasses and it doesn’t appear noticeably yellow. Has anyone tried it?

    • CherryScary :

      I have a pair of Gunnar brand glasses that do this. I noticeably have a lot less “tiredness” in my eyes on days when i wear them. They are expensive to get a prescription version of (which is why I’m testing out contacts again), but they have a line for designers that don’t have the yellow tint. Some of their frame designs are a bit sci-fi though, so be picky (unless you want to go for that kind of look.)

    • Anonymous :

      I tried them and returned them. Something about the shape of the lenses or maybe the film itself ended up giving me more of a headache than the screen.

    • Yes. I get migraines from normal blue computer light so have done two things: (1) install f.lux onto your computer to de-blue the light (2) purchased computer glasses from Felix Gray that also temper the blue. Before I ponied up for the special glasses, I did f.lux + reading glasses and it was a pretty good fix, but I decided I should have a second pair of reading glasses, so got the FG ones as well.

      I should have thought about this but magnifiers (drug store reading glasses) would have been good to write on that thread last week about lifesavers. I got +1.00 a few years ago for $15 and they are a complete game-changer for me. Seriously, they permanently altered my health, happiness, and productivity. I got them on the recommendation of my eye doctor before going to law school. I always thought I would get headaches because of stress from work and while that still happened after the glasses, I probably had a reduction in headaches by 85%. Your eyes are muscles and when they are strained reading small objects all day, it takes a toll, just like it would if you were constantly flexing your biceps all day. Since then, I have adopted other helpful tricks: being mindful of office lighting and glare, magnifying/zoom the view on my computer, installing f.lux always, and wearing reading glasses (now computer glasses) when possible.

      If you aren’t ready to spring for the expensive computer glasses, I would recommend f.lux (free) and a cheap pair of reading glasses at no more than 1.00 or 1.25 – go to your local drug store and try 1.00 or 1.25. If you see some styles that look decent, great! If you want more, check out reading glasses dot c0m; I have some $15 ones from there that look so cute on.

      • +1 to f.lux! It is so wonderful. I have the Twilight app for my phone. These both make my eyes feel so much better.

    • I experimented with wearing contacts + reading glasses to stretch my eyes for part of the day. (I’m nearsighted, so I wanted to spend some time looking at a “far away” object.) My eyes were less tired.

    • I love my Pixel glasses and get way less eye strain.

      • Almost Blind Associate :

        I was just about to ask if anyone had tried Pixel! I saw the article about it in Time and was intrigued. Very timely given I was just discussing eye problems with my MIL. I have worn glasses/contacts since 4th grade and have noticed recently that when I work on my computer all day (associate attorney), it is almost as if there is a shadow behind the letters sometimes.

    • Yes…I had PRK a few (4) years ago, and have a mild astigmatism. I have a super-light Rx now (-.5 in one eye only), but over the course of the day, I get eye strain. I got my lenses at Costco and they put a light blocking coating on them because they knew I was using them for mid-distance (computer) reading. I cannot emphasize how amazing it is! Really. Get them. I think the whole thing (exam, lenses, frames) was less than $200. I feel much, much better by midafternoon when I was getting really bad eye strain. Seriously, life-changing.

    • Anonymous :

      I use Jins Screen glasses and can never go back. $60 or $80 (or like $200+ for custom) and my eyes are WAY less tired. I was pretty skeptical, but it really makes a difference. I got a pair for one of my friends as a thank you gift and she said it really helped with headaches.

  7. Personality Conflict :

    I need some advice. My office hired a new woman about a year ago. She has the same job as I do. I am about four years senior to her; she is about five years older than I am. She is a nice person, in that she has never said or done anything that was not nice, and she is generally pleasant.

    But you guys. I cannot stand her. She is SUPER LOUD… I’m not particularly quiet, but I can hear her shouting on the phone, all day, from anywhere on this floor. She is always giving “advice” that comes off as really condescending (any time we talk about parenting, etc., it’s very “Well you KNOW what you SHOULD do is blah blah blah” or “No, no, it would be better if you blah blah”). I would stick to work topics, but that’s even worse, even though (or especially because?) she’s junior to me. We don’t have to work together substantively, most of the time, although there was one matter than she started that was later handed off to me, and it was a complete mess that I had to clean up. There are a couple of instances of her work overlapping with mine where hers is so bad that I feel like I have to explain “I didn’t do that part” to whomever else is involved. So I’ve learned that in addition to not really liking her as a person I also have to avoid working with her as much as possible.

    Mostly I think it is a lack of self-awareness, because she seems to mean well. Which makes me feel even worse for avoiding her. But I’m not very good at pretending to like people (and I kind of refuse to, to a certain extent, because I feel like that’s really fake), and the only way for me to be nice is to just not be around her. It’s a fairly smallish office and I pretty much see her every day. Is there anything I can do about this?

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah get over it. You have a garden variety annoying coworker just like 100% of people who work in offices.

      • Anonymous :

        “Yeah get over it” is not helpful.

        To the OP, unfortunately I think your choice to avoid as much as possible is probably the best you can do. The real problem is when her work makes you look bad. Even then, I think all you can really do is document, document, document. Try to be the final line of defense on anything that goes out– it’s a pain to have to redo her work, but you’d rather do that than the final product contain her errors with your name. Beyond that, I’d just smile and nod and ignore as much as possible.

        • living room :

          The work is the ONLY issue. I have a similar co-worker (nice person, loud & grating voice) and that’s really not a personal fault. In terms of the OP’s coworker’s work, she has 4 fewer years of experience than the OP; of course her work won’t be on the same level yet. And her age has NOTHING to do with it (we’re supposed to think she’s older and still less competent? Oh my goodness)

          • I took the mention of her age to be relevant to her being condescending about parenting… maybe she feels qualified to tell OP how to parent since she has been doing it longer. Still annoying but at least OP gave some context. Didn’t seem relevant to the work product issue.

          • She may be 4 years junior in terms of the workplace but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t hired on for her previous experience, skills, ability to contribute.

            As someone who is a few years older than most of my coworkers while still being “junior” to them in terms of work seniority it’s a hard spot to be in.

            It is also annoying listening to new parents go on about how they have unlocked some new parenting skill like it wasn’t around 5 years ago. I can understand talking that way to someone who is generations older, but when someone insists that their “baby led weaning” is superior to your method of cutting up bits of food and letting baby feed himself it’s hard not to remind them that they are not in any way original.

    • Green Hat :

      Oh my goodness, you are describing my former co-worker to a T – if she hadn’t left here only two months ago I would think it was her. I really don’t have any advice except to say that I thought for two years that I was the only one who thought she was super annoying and incompetent despite her generally pleasant demeanor. When she left, it came out that literally everyone else was super annoyed by her. I really wish I had advice, but the only thing I can think of is that my former co-worker is a job-hopper, and in retrospect I suspect it’s because people don’t like working with her, so she becomes isolated after about 1-2 yrs in each job, then leaves. So maybe hope for that. My sympathies.

      • This has a VERY familar ring to it. We all work with someone who is a probelem, and we must, if we intend to remain sucesful in the work-a-day-world, learn to deal with such person(s). I have always found that it does NOT pay to be to judgemental of other peeople or they will be judgemental of me. I figure that if I just learn to live and let live, then that other person will do the same. This has worked sometimes, but NOT other times.

        At work, I let Frank say/do things I should NOT sometimes, but I hope that he will realize how silly he is being–like when he feel’s compelled to touch me inapropriately, I onley tell him that he should NOT be doeing that b/c he has a wife at home who he should be focussed on, NOT me. He KNOWS I am not there for that purpose, and that I am lookeing for my OWN husband who can do that. I think I am getting somewhere b/c he has not done anything that the HIVE would be interested in hearing. YAY!!

        Dad is another probelem. I know he loves me and wants the best for me, but he realy should stop with all of the talk of my body needing alot of fixing b/f a man will want me. I have had PLENTY of men wanting me, but just NOT for marrage. I could have married some guys from college, but they were loosers, and I probabley would have been divorced by now b/c they were NOT ambitius like me. So I will just play my cards close to the vest and hope that my methodology will work so I can get what I want out of life, both at work and in my personal life. The HIVE should do so also! I am behind on my billeings, so I have to go now. TTYL!!!! YAY!!!!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      For annoyance, the best way I know how to deal with it is to make it a (mental) game. You basically play bingo or something. “Jane ‘splained parenting to me today, check!” “Ahahah, her second parenting ‘splain this week!” “Well, that’s the third time this month she’s had an inappropriately loud conversation about personal issues, check!” If you can have a (very very internal) sense of humor about a person’s annoying traits, it makes them much less annoying.

    • on the volume issue…any chance she’s got a hearing impairment?

    • Can/will you use this as an opportunity to train her? Your life would be a lot easier if she produced quality work product.

    • Senior Attorney :

      How about if you re-frame “pretending to be nice, which is fake” to something like “behaving graciously and professionally towards a difficult colleague?” Or even “killing her with kindness?”

      It’s not a bad thing to be “fake” if by “being fake” you mean “being kind and generous with difficult people.”

      • Is there ANYTHING you like or respect about her? Can you try to find that and think about that when you have to work with her? I used to have a difficult colleague but she was a foster parent so whenever I dealt with her I reminded myself that she was raising kids who were not her own and how amazing is that and it made me have warmer feelings towards her and made me less likely to get annoyed back at her (and she did PLENTY of things deserving of my annoyance). Because then you won’t be being “fake nice,” you will be being actual nice, which has the bonus of being professional and kind and helping your own development as both a person and a worker.

  8. Anonymous :

    Having my first review at work tomorrow. I’m 6 months into the role, and haven’t made as much progress as I had planned. For context I’m a scientist working in a new research area, some of the setbacks have been one experiment that was carried out with equipment that was malfunctioning–found out about this after the fact and planning on repeating them. My supervisor already knows this. One thing I am nervous about is that I am somehow still on the learning curve with a programming language used in this research lab. So there are scripts I should to have made progress on and I haven’t. How can I address this proactively if it comes up? I am taking steps to get better using online resources etc. Also there are some aspects of my responsibilities that are still unclear to me, reason being the group is quite large with roles divided up between many people–this is another thing I want to clear up just not sure again how to do it. Would appreciate some constructive tips, thank you.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s great you’ve already identified problems and how to work on them! That’s exactly the kind of thing you need to bring to your review. Being proactive is the best approach. Good luck!!

    • Anonymous :

      You’ll be fine. If these issues come up, tell your reviewer what you want to do to work on them, and also ask for input on what he or she thinks would be helpful for you to do.

    • Anonshmanon :

      You can do this!

      “After the repair of equipment I plan to…”
      “In order to get up to speed in [programming language] I plan to…”
      “I would like to clear up whether I’m responsible for X/who handles X”

      But, very importantly, also prepare bullet points on your positive milestones. You deserve a pat on the back!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      One thing I’m learning is accepting criticism enthusiastically to make it sting less.

      “You haven’t met the deadline you said you would.” “It’s true. I’m behind because [thing] was unavoidable, but you’ll be pleased to know [all my brilliant solutions].”

      “I thought you’d be more fluent in [programming language] by now.” “Indeed, and I wish I were. I noted that [thing] took time I had planned to spend on this, but I am currently [ways you’re going to learn it] and I’m confident that [goals]!”

      For the roles questions, who does what, I think it might be helpful to lead with an example: “On the ABC project I was surprised to find that XYZ wasn’t tasked with Task. Can you help me understand how these tasks are assigned, so I am sure not to miss anything?”

      Definitely definitely come prepared to brag on yourself. (Sometimes I literally search my email for words like “exactly” or “great work” for things to add to my “RainbowHair Doesn’t S*ck” file.)

    • It’s good that you are anticipating the potential concerns and getting prepared to address them. But, what can you point to as your successes? That’s also very important, as bosses aren’t always as aware of them as you might think. Don’t pass up the opportunity to share the progress and contributions you’ve made, of course in a humble and factual way.

  9. Eclipse paranoia :

    I found a tiny scratch on my (verified, vetted) eclipse glasses after the event. I didn’t look for more than 20 seconds at a time, but I definitely looked through my glasses! Please, someone reassure this hypochondriac that I didn’t just permanently blind myself. The eye where I found the scratch aches slightly, but I’m pretty sure that is psychosomatic…

    • a millenial :

      idk about the scratch but you cant feel any issues with your retina. you’d see visual issues if something actually got hurt. the ache is not anything to do with your retina.

      – has had multiple retinal tears but none of them hurt

    • Interior Layout :

      lol – my coworkers and I are also having this paranoia. We’re all headachey and spotty-eyed. Don’t think there is much to worry about, but my afternoon of research says that if your retina is damaged it won’t really be evident until you wake up tomorrow, and that a lot of cases of “eclipse blindness” ultimately heal in 6 months.

    • Anonymous :

      The retina doesn’t have pain receptors – so if something hurts that’s probably a good sign that it isn’t your retina and you’re fine.

    • All of this makes me feel better – I was also headachey and spotty-eyed, and one of my eyes is having little twinges of pain and I’m sure I’m going blind. :/

      Glad I’m not alone and (probably) okay!

    • You’re probably going to be blinded for life.

  10. Interior Layout :

    Does the largest bedroom always have to be the master bedroom?

    We have 4 bedrooms upstairs. One is very large, and we currently use it as our living room. It’s in the front of our house and noisy. It also has no closets.

    The room we currently use as our bedroom is pretty small, but fits our king bed and some furniture. It has two closets, one of which is a huge walk-in. It also has a deep hallway entrance that we use as a “dressing area” and has our dressers.

    There is another bedroom off of that dressing room. It could be used for a future kid, but is right now just storage. We’re thinking of turning it into the master bath. Right now, there is only one bathroom for the four bedrooms, and it’s truly as tiny as a bathroom can be. I can’t imagine having to share it with kids, which are in our near future.

    If we make the room a bathroom, our current bedroom would then unequivocally be the master. Is it crazy to make a smaller bedroom the master? The larger room could not be amended with a bathroom, closets, etc. Does having a master bath instead of a 4th tiny bedroom sound like a good investment or does reducing the # of bedrooms always lessen a home’s value?

    • Anonymous :

      Not crazy at all – I’m always baffled by HGTV shows where they make these absolutely massive master suites with seating areas, etc. You probably only sleep there, it doesn’t need to be big! Another bathroom makes much more sense to me. And future buyers would probably rather have a nice master bath.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think the number of bedrooms will be a your-area specific issue (is your neighborhood full of 4+ bedroom homes? Do people have large families near you? etc.).

      I think a large room without closets could easily be marketed as a playroom or a living room/tv room. But I think a lot of people today want a master bathroom. And I agree that 1 bathroom for 4 bedrooms is not an ideal ratio.

    • Anonymous :

      A “bedroom” upstairs without a closet is by definition not a bedroom. It is a “bonus” room or at best in a listing “possible bedroom,” but at least where I am, you can’t list it as that. Beyond that definition, I think that the master is generally the largest, but it could alternatively be the bedroom that has an en suite bath or best closets. As it stands, I don’t think you have all the bedrooms you think you do though…

      • Blonde Lawyer :


      • Interior Layout :

        That’s a good point. We live in an 1880s brownstone and it’s my understanding that we’re grandfathered in – none of the rooms except the one we use as our bedroom have closets, but all have windows. And you don’t have to pass through any of them to get into others, which is really the key I think here (Brooklyn).

        • Anonymous :

          Ah, gotcha. That is a different scenario and gives me a different view of what you’re describing. Presumably in that case, I think you can do whatever you like to differentiate what is the “master,” since there almost definitely was not a specific one planned out in the beginning.

    • living room :

      Adding a master bath is a great idea, but think about what you want to do with the large bedroom, because I have never heard of an upstairs living room and it seems like a very odd concept. I’m sure it works for you, but buyers might be confounded.

      • Interior Layout :

        Eventually it will be a kids’ room. Right now we basically have too much space for two people. Downstairs we have a “parlor” where we entertain, upstairs we have a “study”/family room with all of our books and TV. I’ve seen a lot of old brownstones where there aren’t even walls between the rooms upstairs – just ornamental archways, and that’s confusing! We’re definitely going to be in this house long-term, so resale value is less vital to me than livability, but I also don’t want to make a major mistake. Sounds like a bathroom it is!

      • Anonymous :

        It might work as a master suite though. Old houses have lots of nooks and I’d like one if it is how I’m envisioning it (BR + bath + dressing area, not current mass of open space where I can hear the echos of f*rts that sound like a trumpet).

        I wouldn’t want a master, no matter how fancy, that was noisy and on the street side. Esp. in Brooklyn. I don’t want to risk making any noises that you can hear from the street (incl. husband’s pseudo trumpet).

      • I have an upstairs living room, sort of.

        We have a large older house that is laid out like an older house – doors everywhere on the main floor, no great room, etc. I have a grand piano in the living room so I don’t want a TV in there, and there’s no logical space for one anywhere else downstairs, so our tv watching room is the fourth bedroom upstairs. We have a couch that can work as a bed (IKEA, sort of futon-like) and side tables. Guests occasionally stay there but to be honest I have no fervent desire to encourage house guests. The way our house is laid out, this is across the hall from the master bedroom and has a jack and jill entrance into the master bath. My interior designer aunt said it wasn’t uncommon to use an upstairs bedroom as a “sitting room” back in the day – you wouldn’t have guests up there (and indeed, we would never have a super bowl party) but having a sitting room off the master is not unusual at all.

        I think you’d get a lot of bang for your buck with a second bathroom upstairs. It’s a shame to reduce the room count but the -1 you get on the br turns into a +1 on the ba, and I would think a 3br/2ba is easier to sell than a 4br/1ba.

    • Anonymous :

      Your living room is … upstairs? And one of the bedrooms is only accessed by going into your bedroom first? Is this an old house with a random or difficult floor plan in general? I’d make sure that whatever you do makes MORE sense out of the current plan, not makes less sense than the current plan. Turning the small room into a big bathroom sounds like going in the direction of making less sense. Maybe you need to move some walls or doors as part of the bathroom install?

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah it’s crazy if you care about resale value.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I tend to agree. When I was remodeling my house I wanted to make a smaller bedroom the master because I could punch a door into the bathroom and make it an en suite arrangement. My contractor and realtor both told me that was crazy because buyers have certain expectations about how rooms are going to be used and if you do something different you are going to turn off a lot of potential buyers. I’m glad I listened to them.

  11. Have any of you ever sold gold jewelry for cash? I have several odds and ends (single earrings, etc) that I would love to “recycle” but wondered about best way to do so. Local jeweler? Or online option, perhaps the one offered by Ross Simons: Thank you!

    • living room :

      I’ve sold at a local jeweler, you obviously don’t get the market price but it’s convenient. They’ll test to find the karats, so try to know what you have upfront.

    • I used the neighborhood jeweler to turn some 14K and 18K jewelry into a single gold bangle bracelet, which I wear almost every day. He did not hallmark it because the karat purity is in between 14K and 18K but I don’t care, I know what it is and I’m not planning to sell it.

  12. Anonymous :

    How often do you visit long distance family, if you’re not particularly close?

    • BabyAssociate :

      Honestly? Never. I’ll see them if I happen to be in the area for another reason, but I don’t make a separate trip just to see family I’m not particularly close with. The family I am close with (parents, sister, grandma) are also long distance and I might only see them 1-2 times a year.

    • 1 – 2 times in 37 years.

      For reference, I have met my mom’s brother who lives in NM once (I went in HS), and my father’s brothers once and twice, respectively (England). There is not any animosity and they are perfectly pleasant people, but my parents are not really travelers and when someone isn’t a part of your life growing up, it’s not a big deal to not visit them. I only met my paternal grandmother once or twice, but since it was all I knew, it was NBD.

    • Not often. Every 5 or so years until now.

      We probably would have visited again soon but the political differences right now… I really don’t want to go visit racists/KKK apologists.

    • Anonymous :

      We have a holiday that we celebrate with extended family (40+ people) once a year. People come from aLl over the country but if someone misses a year (or five) it’s no big deal. Otherwise I only see most of those people if I happen to be in their city or they in mine, and even then it’s pretty hit or miss whether we actually get together.
      When I lived in DC and my closest relatives (parents/siblings) were in New England and the Midwest I saw them 1-3 times per year outside of the extended family holiday.

    • Puddlejumper :

      Define not particularly close? Are you talking about distance or closeness of feeling or closeness of relationship on a family tree?

      Growing up: we would see my grandparents who lived a 14 hour drive away – 3 times a year – each visit would be 2 weeks.

      My other grandparent we would see 3 times a year (8 hour drive away) for about a week each time.

      We would call my grandparents once a week to have a chat (had a set phone time).

      All my parents siblings would also come into town when we were in town so we would see them. I am close with my 1st cousins to the point where we plan a yearly gathering because we like to spend time together even though its harder now that we all live all over the place.

      Family visits were extremely important to my parents so I consider all my mom’s first cousins for example to be my aunts and uncles and they regularly send me emails and letters in the mail. (On my mom’s side thats a total of 11 “aunts and uncles”)

    • Every five years or so.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve only seen my extended family at weddings and funerals since graduating high school. DH’s mom is one of six kids and her siblings and their families get together twice a year. We usually go every 2-3 years to that gathering.

  13. Wildkitten :

    Best pointy toe flats?

  14. all-inclusives in Mexico? :

    DH and I are looking at all-inclusive resorts for a milestone anniversary next May. We’re normally high-energy vacationers, but decided to try something a little different this time around (hence, starting our research super early!). We’re generally open to traveling between early April and mid-May, or in September. Basically, outside of high season. We’ve pulled together a list of adults-only resorts in Los Cabos, Cancun, Puerta Vallarta, and Riviera Maya.

    So… how do we choose the best one? The online reviews seem mostly the same, pricing isn’t that different, amenities seem comparable. Also, should we book super early or wait until it gets closer/do one of the last minute deals? Any awesome experiences at an all-inclusive in any of the above locations?

    • Anonymous :

      I look at TripAdvisor. Usually 4.5 or 5 stars is a good sign. I would only stay in a resort with 4 stars or fewer if I had a personal rec from someone I trusted. Between similarly rated resorts, photos can be really helpful. Do you have any special requirements like wanting top shelf liquor or caring about gourmet food? You can search TA reviews for those terms.
      We stayed at Live Aqua Cancun last year for a couples getaway and loved it. Peaceful, not crowded, beautiful pools and beach and the food was much better than I expected (although my expectations were low).

    • Excellence playa mueres was delightful. We had an excellence suite with the private roof pool and were treated like royalty. The service was great and I liked having the private excellence club beach. Food was decent (it is not nearly as good as the best restaurants in D.C., NYC, bos, etc although a lot of people said in reviews the food was out of this world. This was my first all inclusive so I think it’s very good all inclusive food but wanted to level set on how it ranks for food like in my life) we did a trip to Tulum that was amazing – we had a great guide and it was beautiful. I loooooved the spa. Overall highly recommend

    • Anonymous :

      Excellence Playa Mujeres was one of the most beautiful resorts I’ve ever been to. Seriously, we cannot wait to go back, and we are usually not repeat-vacationers. The food, service, and cleanliness are excellent, and the beach and pools are stunning. It’s not on the Cancun strip (it’s about an hour north of the airport) and very quiet. And it’s adults-only.

    • Book asap unless you want a basic room. We tried last January to book a suite for this November, and the resorts that interested us were already sold out. Second the recommendation to look on TripAdvisor. Also join resort-specific Facebook groups. Some to check out: Valentin Imperial Maya, Excellence Playa Mujeres, Excellence Riviera Cancun, Secrets Akumal. The Valentin is probably best bang for the buck and is a physically beautiful resort. . Some issues to consider: are restaurant reservations allowed or required; is room service included; do you have to wear a wristband; how nice is the beach/pools; how bad is the towel game, i.e. Will you have to get up at 6:00 am to get a lounger in the shade. The last one is a deal breaker for me, and the Valentin is the only one I have known to have an alternative, which is to book an add-on package that includes a reserved Bali bed.

    • all-inclusives in Mexico? :

      These are all great recs, thanks! I have been looking at TripAdvisor for some of the reviews, so I’ll definitely keep checking that out. And booking early sounds like the best plan.

  15. Cool idea! I must try one of these!

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