Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Readers were singing the praises of Mott 50 recently, and because I’m like a vampire and hate the sun, I’m now drooling over this cardigan that you can wear as a cover-up with a suit, or just outside anytime. It’s rated UPF 50 for sun protection and even has thumbholes to cover your hands, it’s machine wash cold/line dry, and it just looks awesome. The cardigan comes in seven colors in sizes XS-XL at Amazon. Mott 50 Women’s Marilyn Open Cardigan

Nordstrom also carries the brand (but not the cardigan); of course the brand’s site has the most options.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! How is your office handling the Tuesday holiday?

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Happy holiday weekend! I’d been waiting very eagerly to hear back this week from a big final-round interview/presentation (one of two finalists), but they haven’t said anything yet. I’d love to know (either way), but for now am heading to the beach with a full Kindle and plenty of sunscreen. : )

    • Yay Echo! I hope your good vibe’s reverbereate and you get the job. You are very lucky to be goeing to the beach. I wanted to go to the Hamton’s but dad is makeing me save for my new apartement. He is goeing to pay for it, but I have to pay the carrying charges, which include maintenence, and to pay for all new furniture, b/c my furniture is already more then 3 years old.

      I am thinking of getting a TEMPERPEDIC mattress. I had a nice one, but Sheketovits stained it and it is already 3 years old. Does any one in the HIVE have a TEMPERPEDIC? Mom says they are sweatey in the summer, b/c Grandma Trudy told her, but Grandma Trudy is sweatey herself. I would LOVE to hear the HIVE’s experence with this kind of foam matteress, which is a MEMORY mattress. Have a great HOLIDAY weekend, as I will be in the City in my apartement. FOOEY!

    • Enjoy!

      Fingers crossed for you….

  2. Would appreciate a little input on a small gift for my brother.

    He travels a bit for work, and is never quite organized enough to have everything he needs at hand. He is also a troubled sleeper, so sleeping in random hotel rooms etc.. is not his favorite.

    I was going to get him a small ?travel bag, that will always be in his suitcase, and pre-pack it with travel essentials. Not so much bathroom stuff, but other things.

    I was thinking a ?sleep mask, ear plugs, maybe a travel alarm clock and something to put his medicine in (that he tends to forget…). Any little simple things …. or even treats…. to stick in here? Anyone have a simple bag they would recommend?


    • Senior Attorney :

      My input is that he should be responsible for his own grown-man self. Seriously. I’m not sure you’re doing him any favors by mommying him this way. And you’re definitely not doing his future spouse any favors!

      • Ehhh would you have made this comment if she had said sister? My sister has ADD and travels and has trouble packing but gets it done eventually. She would love a gift to make her life easier. Like the Tile has changed her life. She never said her brother had learned helplessness. If someone is bad at directions you wouldn’t say no don’t give them a GPS!! They need to learn to be better. That’s just goofy. She wasn’t saying she was going to pack his bags every trip that would be hand holding!

      • Well…

        He’s 49, and is a wonderful man, has been in a long term relationship for many many years and is very responsible with life issues and is a great partner. He just has increasing difficulty with sleep/traveling with aging. I’m the practical sister, that since my mother died young, still try to think of useful gifts for him. He has helped me with caregiving with our one living aging parent, and I am so grateful to have him as a brother.

        Thanks for that slap. Honestly, I was just hoping someone had a favorite little travel bag that they liked, that could work.

        • And it’s his birthday…

          • This sounds like a kind and thoughtful birthday gift. Have you looked at Mark and Graham?

        • Yeah, I think that is an example of total hypersensitivity from this board. Sometimes you’re just trying to do something or say something nice. Not everything has to be soooo gender loaded.

          • Anonymous :

            +1. I would totally do something like this for my husband and he’s an adult who definitely contributes his share around the house, including cooking most meals. It just seems like a nice thing to do.

        • Anon in NYC :

          My husband has a toiletries bag that looks like this (, and you can find similar items in a range of price points. My husband’s is a thick canvas and I’m sure it was inexpensive because he would hate to spend money on something like that.

          If he struggles to relax in a hotel room, what about something essential oils adjacent (like a lavender roll-on, like this:,82,1,29211,724554.htm).

          Also, mints/gum could be a good addition to a travel kit.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I’m sorry! It being his birthday is new information that totally changes everything! I guess we all see posts through our own prejudices and misconstrue. I really am sorry.

          I really like this multi-0utlet power station for traveling because sometimes there aren’t enough outlets for everything in the hotel room:

        • Extra chargers!

      • I don’t know whether getting him some useful, practical stuff for traveling is mommying him.

        If she calls him every time he leaves and tells him that he needs to make sure he’s packed his bag? Sure. But I think that, especially given his other good qualities as related by the poster, that this is a kind thing to do.

      • [deleted by management]

    • Hear, hear to SA’s comment. But if you decide to go ahead anyway, or just as a comment about great travel stuff, I got a tiny travel fan from (I think) Travelsmith that I absolutely love. I sleep with a fan at home and miss the white noise and air circulation it provides when traveling, so this has been a great addition to my suitcase.

    • I personally think this is thoughtful of you. I bought a similar gift for my younger brother last year, who travels quite a bit on business. I don’t know what your budget is, but Tumi makes durable travel bags that would fit this bill.

      • +1 to Tumi. My husband has a Tumi leather toiletry bag that my parents bought him for Christmas 10+ years ago, and it looks as good as new.

    • I travel for work and after a certain point I think a lot of people stop wanting to cart stuff along. I wouldn’t use ear plugs because I would be afraid of oversleeping and travel alarm clocks are obsolete because we have cell phones. An eye mask might work, but hotels usually have good light-blocking curtains though, and you’re not exactly sleeping in if you’re traveling for work – plus if he used one, he’d already have one. Maybe a bottle of melatonin and a pill case? I have a Folca pill case that I bought from Amazon that is nice and small, but still holds a lot. The other thing I like are fancy samples of beauty products that I can use and throw away, but that isn’t really a typical brother gift. Maybe some packs of gum or mints for the plane and hand sanitizer? Spare toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      A bottle of liquid melatonin? I recommend Nature’s Harmony Sleep Tight – completely tasteless even in water.

    • Anonymous :

      one of those wall adapters for USB devices, melatonin, a cheap disposable just-in-case razor, travel toothbrush, a few of those flavored drink powder packets (because sometimes you are thirsty at 3am and realize you now have to drink gross hotel water)

      • Yes to the adapters. Anker makes a nice 4-port one (or 2, but I like the flexibility of the extras), available on Amazon. My travel essentials include that and an extra-long USB cable to attach to it in case the outlet in a hotel is inconveniently located.

    • you can pick up a travel white noise machine… often they have them cheaper in the baby section than in the adult areas, I got mine from @mazon that plugs in, is super small, and costs about $18.

      • Or there are great white noise apps out that are free or cost less than $2 you can put on a phone–that’s what I do.

    • Anonymous :

      I think this is a great idea. I’ve started using this herbal powder from a local fitness supplement store called Fade Out – it’s amazing for hotel sleep.

    • For medicine organization, I bought this for a recent trip and love the heck out of it. I used a label maker to label each compartment.

    • Silk sleeping bag liner. Takes up no space. You pop yourself into in and the foreign space becomes more familiar. & really easy to launder.

    • Melatonin 3mg for travelers insomnia.

      The Emme bag is the ultimate travel toiletries bag. I’d go for the smaller one. It’s $30 on their website.

  3. Anonymous :

    I need some advice on workflow management. A lot of my job requires me to speak to people on the phone, which often results in multiple rounds of phone tag. I’m finding it hard to keep track of all the “open loops” I have going – sometimes there’s a dozen or more. I don’t get a 100% prompt response rate because people get busy, etc, so I sometimes have to call them a second or third time. I’ve tried a couple of different systems but none of them have been successful in the long term. Has anyone successfully dealt with this?

    • Yes. You send an email saying that you left a voicemail. That leaves a written record of you contacting them. Then it’s on the other party to call you back.

      • cat socks :

        Good idea. With email, I have a “Waiting for Response” folder so I don’t lose track of things in my Sent folder.

        • How did I never think of this? This is amazing.

          • cat socks :

            Hope it helps! I send so much email, I got tired of trying to search through my sent items.

        • Anonymous :

          I HAve a whole “waiting for response” column in my to-do list for each project. So my columns on my spreadsheet are “action item”, “waiting on” and notes. It has been lifesaving.

        • I have a seperate email address I use at work for telephone conversations. It is hooked up to a seperate telephone number, so I can NOT use my iphone if I want to keep track of calls. But at work, when I use that line, all incomeing calls are recorded and stored in my email file. Outgoieng calls can also be recorded, if I want, so when someone picks up, I start the recording. If the person does NOT pick up, I leave a message, which is also recorded. I then put the calls in a case subdirectory on my harddrive, then copy it to my thumdrive, which I then can bring home.

          By doeing this, I have recordings of ALL calls, and a copy that I bring home and put away, in case anything happens to my Imac at work. The teck guy set my machine up to do all this so I never loose any messages on all cases. I do NOT use that line for personal calls, so I do not have records of my personal calls, but use my iphone for personal calls. YAY!!

    • cat socks :

      What kind of systems have you used in the past? I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my to do items that require feedback from someone else to complete. One column is for the task I need to get done. Then I have another column for notes. There I’ll write “Sent email 6/30 – waiting for response” or “Meeting scheduled with Jane on 7/7”.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve tried keeping a running list – but some people call back immediately and I cross it off and then the list quickly becomes illegible and needs to be rewritten. I’ve tried putting in on my calendar a few days in the future to follow up but I often forget to delete if the person called back and then forget – and it also makes my calendar look insane. And I’ve tried a couple of digital lists (including a spreadsheet and a word document) but I don’t seem to be as good at keeping up with them as on paper, especially since I often get calls back to my cell phone when I’m away from my desk.

        I feel like this is such a simple thing that I should be able to solve!

        • Salary Range :

          It sounds like you need contact management software. When I had a job like yours, I LOVED it. There are all kinds of systems out there, and they make it easy to pull up a contact, jot down the latest call or action, and see the entire string of your history with that person.

        • I used to do the future calendar event too for the reminders and found that cluttered my calendar. If you use Outlook, I’ve found it helpful to use the feature they have where you can right-click on an email and flag for follow up including the option to provide a pop-up reminder at a certain time. Even with no pop-up reminder, you can click to view the list of flagged still pending items at any time, and can dismiss with a click. It keeps me from putting non-appointments on my calendar so the calendar is cleaner and more accurate, but I still get the reminders. Though agree with prior posters that contact management software may be what you ultimately need.

    • Try OnePageCRM. It’s so simple, basically a revolving to-do list/action stream and you manage it by checking off the action you took and immediately inputting your next action item and a date to do it on.

      I’m in sales and it’s a great contact management tool, because same as you, 80% of what I do is in-person or on the phone. If you’re not in sales, you won’t need some of the features, but you can literally put in their name and nothing else. You can easily delete people out if you need to, or close their case so it’s no longer in your daily workflow. The app is also really easy to use.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check it out!

      • Do you use it in addition to something like Salesforce, or instead of it? I’m structuring/scaling a sales team for a start up right now and currently using SF, but something like this could work…

    • Anonymous :

      I always use the “Follow up” flags in Outlook when I send or receive an email that needs a response. I set what date/time I want to be reminded to check back with the person. The email then shows up in my tasks list. I can then snooze it or set a completely new date for follow up. Mark it complete when it is done. No need to buy or use any additional apps, spreadsheets or software.

    • I use post-it tabs and keep them on the side of my screen until the call/task is complete.

      • This might be the perfect solution for me! Thank you!

        And thank you everyone else as well!

      • Post-it addict :

        Similar. I log calls in a separate steno pad and add a small post-it on the side if I need to either return, follow up, or add as permanent contact.

    • Depending on the volume of phone calls you have, I’d try using a bullet journal. You mentioned keeping a running list, but with a bullet journal, you can also rapid log if you find you don’t have time to go and cross things out, so you can at the end of each day (or beginning of next day) go through and figure out which ones still need follow ups, and which ones are complete. Check out the bullet journal website and try it out – see if it works for you.

      I use a bullet journal for task management since it’s easier to jot things down on paper right away, rather than opening and waiting for a Word/Excel doc to open up. I keep separate collections for matters, with color-coded stickers for whose queue it’s in (supervisor, client, assistant, mine) so I know which ones need to be followed up. I rapid log all phone calls and voice mails, then go through them at the end of the day to change any color-coded stickers in the collections.

    • Anonymous :

      I use a really simple system but it’s worked for me even in complex situations. It’s just a word doc, with tables in (I prefer this over excel for some reason) – one table per open issue. Left column – date. Right column – running updates. One row per day. If I need to action anything, I highlight it red. I keep the file open all day on one corner of my many screens. I look over it a couple of times a day to remind me what to action, and whenever someone actually, finally, calls I can quickly scroll to the relevant table and talk to the issue without scrambling.

  4. Clementine :

    Thank you to everyone who kindly offered suggestions for work tops this morning.

    I ended up deciding that I did want something that wasn’t dry-clean only (because Summer) and have bought the Riviera top at Boden and the ‘Easy Care Cutaway Tank’ at Banana.

    I also picked up two replacement dresses – one black sheath dress from Banana that is to replace a well-loved black dress that I’ve had since grad school which has finally given up the ghost and the Margot Jersey dress at Boden which looks like what I want to be wearing at work right now.

    Thank you all for your help! It’s shockingly hard to find reasonable tops for me this season… Although I love the look for a date night, make the off the shoulder go away!!!

    • Clementine :

      Oh! and I plan on picking up one of the Calvin Klein pleated neck tops when I can find a color I like with free shipping…

      • I am a *little* disappointed that you found “replacement dresses,” not “resplendent dresses” as I originally read it…I was all ready to shop :)

      • Macy’s has a number of these on sale right now, f/s at $49. Check the website for 20% off most items and 6% cash back through eBates! I saw a couple patterns that looked work appropriate.

    • Cookbooks :

      I just got the Margot dress. I like it a lot!

  5. Looking for SPF 50 mineral-based sunscreen :

    Does anyone have recommendations for SPF 50 mineral-based sunscreen (zinc or titanium dioxide) that plays nicely with makeup and drier skin? I’ve been trying to use Avene’s SPF 50, but it pills up a bit when I use it in conjunction with skincare. I’ve tried Cerave as well, but it’s chalky and doesn’t spread well on my face. My face is on the drier side, so a more moisturizing sunscreen would be better.

    • I use as a daily moisturizer the Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sensitive Skin SPF 50/Purescreen one and have for years. I then wear the Neutrogena mineral sheers pressed powder as my makeup over it and don’t have any issues. I’ve used liquid and stick foundation in the past as well with no issues.

      For actual beach/out in the sun days I use the Cerave sunscreen stick, but it leaves a bit of a whitish cast (which frankly blends in with my super pale skin), so I wouldn’t recommend that for under makeup. I think Clinique just came out in the last 6 months with a new mineral based sunsceen fluid for face, but I haven’t tried it. I’ve also been known to use the Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby lotion on my face at the beach, but I’ve never tried it under makeup.

    • Stuck in moderation with my longer post, but try the Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sensitive Skin SPF 50 Moisturizer.

    • I recommended PCA Skin a couple of weeks ago to someone, and she just reported back this morning that she loves it. It works great. It’s 45, not 50, but that’s close enough, right?

      • Looking for SPF 50 mineral-based sunscreen :

        The PCA sunscreen is a combination of mineral (zinc) and chemical (Octinoxate and Octisalate). I’m looking for a sunscreen that’s just mineral. The chemical sunscreens don’t protect against UVA rays at all and there isn’t enough zinc in there for really good UVA protection. It’s probably the equivalent of SPF 15 UVA protection.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I just got the Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense sunscreen and it’s 50+. It doesn’t list the 2 chemical ingredients that you’ve listed. I like it. It has a bit of a tint to it, but I find it pretty sheer. I think it would layer well with makeup and other moisturizer.

      • not the op but same question :

        I looked into that but it’s not a pure mineral sunscreen, it is both a chemical and physical sunscreen.

    • anon a mouse :

      I’m a fan of the Josie Maran argan moisturizer with SPF 47. My super-dry skin loves it.

    • Clinique’s mineral fluid. Comes in SPF 30 or 50. Not extremely moisturizing but doesn’t pill at all and it’s very lightweight feeling

    • CorporateInCarhartt :

      I just started using Bare Minerals Prep Step spf 50, and I like it a lot. It’s designed as a primer and works well with my dry skin. I use it under a tinted moisturizer. I love having an SPF product to put on my face that doesn’t feel like sunscreen. Added benefit is that it’s gentle on my sensitive skin.

    • not the op but same question :

      I have been looking forever for this as well and still don’t have a perfect product. I also have medium brown skin and most mineral sunscreens leave a white residue, so that’s the other issue for me. I’m currently using Cotz SPF 40 facial sunscreen which is tinted, so no white residue. With that said, it’s very dry so I don’t think it would work for you unless you used a moisturizer underneath.

      You may also want to try Elta Md’s physical sunscreen, which comes highly recommended, but for me the problem is the packaging — the pump stops working after a while and you waste a lot of product.

      I’d love to hear any other suggestions!

      • Love the Elta one (EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum)! The product waste issue is real, and frustrating since it comes in such a small bottle, but it goes on so much better than others and doesn’t leave a white residue in its wake. Haven’t yet found a better one.

        • What about the Elta MD that comes in a tube?

          • not the op but same question :

            I don’t think that’s a mineral/physical sunscreen unfortunately.

          • turtletorney :

            I think one of the tube ones is physical… I LOVE eltaMD and have like 5 different types. I also have dry skin. I wear it every day under makeup.

      • I love Elta MD too

    • Looking for SPF 50 mineral-based sunscreen :

      Thanks everyone for your fantastic recommendations! Going to stop into a Kiehl’s, Sephora, and Blue Mercury this weekend to test as many of these as I can. I’ll report back…

    • Old Lawyer :

      Sephora has a kit you can buy that consists of tiny sunscreens. I bought one and have been trying different products. So far Shiseido is my pick, but YMMV.

    • I wish I could find a better, cheaper sunscreen than R+F’s Soothe line sunscreen but in three years I haven’t. It’s a really nice formulation.

  6. Myrtle Beach Qs :

    Anyone been to Myrtle Beach?

    I’m used to preppy small beach towns and house rentals. The inlaws picked MB for a family get-together this July (with many school-aged (but not high school aged) children in tow).

    1. What to pack? Is it more preppy? Or maybe there is such a thing as too much Lilly.
    2. High-rises on the beach — will the beach be crazy mobbled in the summer? I’m having flashhbacks to drunken spring break in college-level rowdiness. Yes? No?
    3. What about the recent shooting? Is it unsafe? Just stay on the beach or up in the highrise?

    I’ve never been and while I understand that North Myrtle Beach is “nicer” / quieter, we will not be there but Myrtle Beach proper.

    • SC Native :

      Myrtle Beach is really good for families, especially kids in the age range you mention. It’s definitely more party than preppy, but Lilly wouldn’t look out of place. There’s more of an amusement park kind of feel though, so keep that in mind for the types of activities the kids will want to do (and how you’ll want to dress for them). More casual shorts and t-shirts will not look out of place, while Lilly might imply you’re going out to a nice dinner or something that day. When I was in college, Myrtle Beach was definitely the party beach spot, but it’s perfectly safe. Check and see if there are any special events happening the week you’re there to get a sense of potential additional crowds (i.e. bike week). Expect it to be crowded regardless of events, but crowded in a too many girls laying out on towels kind of way, not a beer pong on the beach situation.

    • I used to go as a kid. There were different parts – downtown and “Shore Drive”, which was more condos/family friendly. No idea what it is like now, but I always thought the Shore Drive area was nicer.

    • Pawleys is not that far if you could get a house there?

      Nice thing about Myrtle is all the non-beach stuff if it rains or whatnot. I recall aquariums and awesome human mazes. Of course the bungee and carnival rides and go carts. Make the most by checking out all the neighborhood stuff and embrace some tacky.

    • Carolina Girl :

      I grew up in this area. Where to begin. Myrtle in general is more of a party/trashy beach than others on the Carolina coast. I would not say it is preppy at all. It by far has the most tourists. It is hotel after hotel as far as the eye can see and the beach itself is very crowded. You must get out onto the beach early in the morning to get a “spot.” You are much better off staying in the North Myrtle/Cherry Grove area – it is much nicer and family friendly than southern areas. For kids, take them to the Boardwalk and Broadway on the Beach which are family amusement parks. Angelo’s was always my favorite Italian restaurant there. Christmas Mouse is an adorable Christmas themed gift shop that I would always visit. And please, don’t judge all Carolina beaches after trying Myrtle! The rest are absolutely gorgeous and residential. If you ever have the opportunity, try the Outer Banks in NC, Wrightsville Beach (my favorite but near my alma mater so I’m biased), Ocean Isle and Holden Beach (quiet – not much for kids but SO quiet and peaceful), and of course Charleston. Hope this helps. Overall not my favorite beach as an adult but I had fun there as a kid and your kids will too.

      • +100. Myrtle beach is a party beach and not remotely preppy. If you want preppy, you need to keep driving to Sea Island.

    • Anonattorney :

      I’ve wanted to go to Myrtle Beach ever since I saw Shag (maybe 7 or 8?). Is it anything like that? Please say yes.

  7. Any tips besides heat and ibuprofen for IUD insertion recovery? I’m patting myself on the back for managing to coordinate IUD insertion with a work from home day and the gentleman being out of town for the holiday weekend. I’d say pain was a 5 or 6/10 and 30% less painful that I thought it would be. Now just feeling crampy, I may go for a long slow walk, as it actually feels better when I walk around.

    I’m also excited to have happy health news to go into the weekend: at the appt today, my awesome DNP ordered a few tests I haven’t had in quite a while and my HbA1c test came back already in the middle of the normal range – very well below pre-diabetes. I’m super active, I eat well and consistently 80/20 or better, but I don’t lose weight easily, so I’m glad to have some peace of mind. As long as I’m in-shape and healthy, I can live with being a 14/16.

    • if you have a pet to snuggle, use him/her in addition to or instead of the heating pad. Find other things to focus on, whether it’s time in a hot bath or reading a great book, etc. Consider this a chunk of “you time” to do/eat/watch only what you want. <3

    • Anonymous :

      More ibuprofen! I’m a 14/16 too and ibuprofen is ineffective unless I take 4. I was not able to walk comfortably until the next morning and then walking did feel better than not walking. If you can walk, go for it!

    • Aleve (generic name: naproxen) works better than ibuprofen in clinical studies

  8. Senior Attorney :

    Our office is open on Monday and I’ll be here because I just got back from vacation. Lovely Husband’s office is closed Monday and Tuesday but he is in a multi-day hearing and the courts are open Monday, so he may be working anyway. If not his job is to figure out with which of our insurance companies we are going to consolidate our policies. Finally.

    • Senior Attorney :

      In response to the question “how is your office handling the Tuesday holiday,” above.

      LOL maybe later I’ll post what I’m eating for dinner or something similarly random…

      • Weirdly enough, I don’t see the question you were responding to. Maybe it was deleted? Hmmm… well we’ve been given both days off and a lot of people are taking the whole week, but I don’t think I can (some people coming back from vacay with whom I need to meet next week). My only issue is probably having a rehearsal on Monday night, which messes up my plans for day drinking on Monday.

        • Cookbooks :

          I think it’s up in the blurb by Kat, after she wishes everyone a happy 4th.

          I went looking for the question, too!

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah, it’s at the very end of Kat’s post.

            I’m just a big ol’ dork on this thread today.

            And this just in: I had a turkey burger for lunch, no bun, wrapped in lettuce.

    • Working Monday, off Tuesday. But I have three briefs I am working on so I will be working anyway from home.

  9. Anonymous :


  10. I get eczema on my hands, which worsens if I am swimming (both pools and oceans). Any ideas to limit exposure to water (other than, you know, not swimming)? Would some kind of barrier cream work? I was also thinking of a cast cover, but I haven’t found one without fingers. Would a swim glove work? Thanks!

  11. Navy Tote Rec :

    Just an FYI. I got this Lands End Canvas leather navy tote for $87 (waited for an extra 30% off sale) and I’m very pleased with the quality for price. It’s perfect bc I don’t need navy that often.

  12. I’m in my first job out of college, which is an entry-level, hourly position. I plan to work in this role while completing my master’s and then move onwards and upwards, either here or at a different organization. However, everyone I work with is much older and still in the same job I have now. Some of them have their degrees but haven’t moved on, while others have no interest in ever getting the necessary degree (I should note- our employer has worked out a deal where we get free tuition). I know that there are other positions available and that the higher-ups value promoting from within, and there are incentives available for those enrolled in master’s programs. I also know that it’s not really my business what these people choose to do with their careers, but for some reason it bothers me that they’re all so complacent about staying in a boring job with low pay when there are so many opportunities for advancement. Am I just being a naive and judgmental college grad, or is this actually weird?

    • I think, about 10 years further along than you, that it takes all kinds, and that different people have different strengths and different priorities.

      I try really hard not to make a value judgment about what other people have prioritized just because it isn’t what I would. My life has been better for it.

    • Salary Range :

      I don’t know if you’re naive or judgmental, but you are a recent college grad. You’ve been on a “Make the grade!” “Hit the goal!” “Go somewhere!” track for years, and it probably strikes you as odd to encounter people who aren’t living with those priorities. Advancement isn’t a required value that people must hold. There are other ways of living.

      • +1

      • I agree with this. I currently work in a field/location in the US where there is a level of relentless ambition that I have never experienced before. I come from a culture where the goal is more to seek contentedness- where at some point you are expected to say “this is enough for me.” Whether you reach that point as a factory line worker, or a nanny, or as a supreme court justice, the goal is to attain contentedness, peace with your life, and hopefully, happiness. There is a high level of awareness of the lifestyle trade-offs that come with career ambition.

        I’ve been thinking a lot about this, because I really am happy with my current job, I feel fulfilled by it, and I’m trying to resist the pressure from my workplace that I should be pushing for more when fundamentally I’m not willing to make the sacrifices to achieve more. This is enough:) It’s a wonderful thing to be content!

    • It could just be weird. Or those people could have other things in their lives that fill their time and their “buckets,” so to speak.

      I used to work in state government where this was common, and about 70% of the time it lent itself to a strange cultural dynamic. The other 30% of the time was great, because these people had absolutely excellent recall, institutional knowledge, and had mastered their work so that they could be helpful to the organization.

    • Cookbooks :

      I work in state government, and there a lot of people of varying educational backgrounds who have been around for quite a while. Some are just complacent, but others are waiting it out to get their pensions, and many really believe in the work that we do. Others have stuck around because of the steadiness. No crazy hours and decent vacation time means you get to have a life. For some people, that’s more important than moving up the ladder or higher pay.

      Basically, people have their reasons for sticking around.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re being naive and judgmental. There are lots of reasons why they might stay:
      1) this is just the job that ‘pays the bills’ for them while they do crafts/theatre/whatever unprofitable passion on the side,
      2) healthcare – does your job have a solid healthcare plan? They may be staying because of that and because they have a special needs family member at home that requires a lot of mental effort to deal with so they don’t want to have a ‘hard’ job,
      3) they could be like me – DH has ‘big new job’ right now so I’m sitting tight in the same lawyer job I’ve had for ten years because I need to lean in at home more right now so I didn’t apply for a recent internal opportunity, 4) they could have other professional or personal circumstances that mean they are interested only in doing a good job in their current job and earning paycheck that pays the bills.

    • I’m a CPA who works at a law firm. I used to be in public accounting, but now my job title is “paralegal”. I’m working with a bunch of women who have been here for decades, doing the same thing, year after year.

      I don’t think it’s weird. People have different priorities. I could still be climbing the ladder in public accounting, and I may go back to that at some point. But right now, this job is allowing me to enjoy my life. It pays well, the work is interesting but not particularly challenging. I’m not a stressed out basket case like I was in public accounting. I have friends and hobbies that are regular parts of my life, and I get to spend time with my family. I don’t think I’ll be doing this for the next 20 years, but hey, if I am, you can bet that it’s because it allows me to do the things I want to do outside the office.

      • I should add– these “hobbies” include things like volunteering and being on boards so I can give back to the community. It’s a way I can channel my leadership tendencies in a way that helps others.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe the ambitious people have left already?

      I wouldn’t want to be the only ambitious one. Maybe an outside group to network with would help put your mind at ease and give you people to hang out with who share your values on this?

    • Baconpancakes :

      I’m a bit surprised by the responses here – I don’t think it’s weird that the people at this organization are happy where they are, but if you’re ambitious, it’s probably not the best environment for you. If you’re used to being around ambitious, goal-oriented people, it can be a little uncomfortable to be the only person in your work group looking up and out. But their lives are their own – remember what Amy says, “Good for you, not for me.” There’s a strange expectation that “not judging” means you have to be agree with people’s life choices – you don’t. You can absolutely say “in their shoes, I would get my degree/go for management/find another job.” But that doesn’t mean their choices are wrong for them. Respect their choices, and do what’s right for you, which sounds like it’s getting out of that group. (Which is probably what all the other career-minded people hired into that role do.)

      • Anonymous :

        I am similarly surprised by the responses. I have been in your shoes and it does feel weird. In both times I have been in jobs like that, I moved out (not up) because the organizations weren’t good fits for me culturally. But they were valuable experiences and I enjoyed the work.

        I would just caution that as you grow, if/when you manage people, try to be attentive to who wants up/out versus more steady people so you can support them well as a manager. That’s been a struggle for me because I am ambitious and have trouble understanding when talented people aren’t. I worry they’ll get bored and push too hard on growth. I just had an employee leave for that reason.

  13. Money Mama :

    Anyone use a financial planner through Fidelity? I have investments there and got sort of talked in to making an appt with a CFP. I have been doing meetings with a planner on a bi-annual basis, but his advice is always quite complicated and expensive. Fidelity’s CFP’s are free, and I like the idea of continuity. The other guy I have been using doesn’t do yearly checkups – it’s just schedule when you want. I don’t have lots of $ to invest, but would like to keep track of my retirement savings in a more meaningful way.

    What troubled me is that this guy said that my money needs to be “managed.” I’m more of a set it and forget it mindset.

    Hive – thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      I agree that I wouldn’t like anyone who said money needs to be “managed”. Red flag.

      I had a poor experience with Fidelity when I was randomly assigned some young kid to give me advice, who couldn’t have cared less. They initially didn’t even want me to sit down with him…. they wanted me to stand at the Fidelity “counter” (have you been to one of their sites), and discuss my portfolio out in open with everyone in the sitting area listening. That was a red flag too. I found them patronizing.

      Honestly, I would also drop your other planner. Twice a year seems like a lot and it shouldn’t be complicated.

      I am also slowly moving all of my $$ from Fidelity to Vanguard, and sticking it mostly in Index Funds.

    • Seems like a reasonable idea to forego the Fidelity option since it sounds like your investment philosophies don’t align. (Yay, indexing!) There is a growing movement of fee-only CFPs that are shifting toward an ongoing service model without necessarily managing assets– and some offer virtual services. I’m not sure if any of their advice would be less complex than your other planner’s advice, but if you feel overwhelmed, it seems like maybe he’s not doing the best job of making recommendations that fit your life and level of simplicity desired. XY Planning Network or Garrett Planning are two directories where you might find what it sounds like you’re looking for.

  14. Duke University question :

    This is a sincere question, pls don’t flame me.

    My stepdaughter is wants to apply to Duke and should be a strong candidate. We live in the SEUS (transplants). I grew up in the NEUS, in the heart of Achievement Culture. Everyone I knew who went to Duke for undergrad was like a silver medalist — so upset that they didn’t get into Harvard and get the gold medal of college acceptances (to their credit, they were often indistinguishable from the Harvard admits, but they can’t let in everyone from rich suburban counties even with perfect SATs). Please tell me that there are Duke undergrad people who are happy to be there (like bronze medalists — just happy to be on the podium) and enjoy their 4 years there. I knew nothing but unhappy people, which I will fully admit is a skewed sample.

    FWIW, I went to State U at home on a full ride and never applied to private U due to family finances. My SEUS state schools are very good (NC/VA). I work with Duke grads who enjoyed their time there, but they all seem to have been grad students who had an excellent experience elsewhere for undergrad.

    Also — there is a grandparent paying for all of this, so I am actually indifferent, $-wise (although I’d try to go to sell grandparent on State U for free and bank the $ for grad school / house purchase if it were me).

    • Anonymous :

      Breathe. Yes, lots of people who went to Duke wanted to go there. I get what you mean about it being a silver medal school for New Englanders, but in the south it’s the top choice for a lot of high school students. Also, the fact that your SD wants to apply there doesn’t mean she’s going to go there – hopefully she is applying to many schools.

    • I have a very close friend who LOVED her time at Duke. She is significantly more left leaning than the student body may trend (although, maybe that’s just the law school?), and both she and her similarly-minded brother attended and have nothing but adoration for their alma mater. This was definitely her gold medal experience all the way.

      Another piece of anecdata, but there you have it.

    • Hmm, I think your concerns are off base and your sample is indeed unusual, at least based on my own sample!

      I’m also from the northeast. I LOVED Duke when I was in high school. LOVED it, and so did the delightful undergrads I met when I toured. I really wanted to go, but I got into Harvard and just couldn’t imagine turning down that opportunity. However, Duke is still my “dream school.” And I liked Harvard!

    • Your question is almost amusing to me, because the joke about Harvard grads always finding a way to let you know they went to Harvard completely applies to Duke grads in my experience. Remember that students coming from the NEUS may feel like the SE itself is a step down from the NE, but of course students from the SEUS won’t share that view. Some of the loyal Dukies I’ve met were in Greek life, so that may generate its own loyalties. But if your stepdaughter’s interest in Duke involves a specific major, program, mentor, or opportunity, she may enjoy her time there for the same reasons as the graduate students you’ve worked with.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m an alumna (undergrad), and loved it; it was always my first choice. Went on to similar graduate schools. I had plenty of friends who were happy to be at Duke and had a great time, though I did indeed know the types of whom you write. For perspective, I’m an NC native and, at the time (long ago) with some financial aid (not major) it ran about $5k more per year than UNC, which my parents were fine with. Though I had friends at UNC and that would have been fine, I’m very happy I got to go to Duke.

    • Anonymous :

      No help for you on the Duke culture, but I have to say that this post is so sad. Something is really out of whack when so many privileged people positioned for a great education are so disappointed about it.

      Is your concern that your daughter will be surrounded by disgruntled, unhappy people, or is your concern something else?

      • Duke University question :

        That’s exactly the concern.

        My sample is 100% Debbie Downer for what should be happiness at being in a great school with better whether than where I grew up. And they all clearly wanted to be elsewhere and were loud about it. I can’t imagine four years of that.

        The Georgetown / Tufts / etc. crowd all seemed to be happy where they were (even if not Harvard, Yale, etc.). It’s just Duke that sticks out like this. I’m glad it seems like most of this sample is happy and not Debbie Downer tainted.

        • I feel like I was at the leading edge of this kind of approach to college admissions: prep school, graduated at the turn of the century, and spring of senior year was excruciating…so many tears from people who didn’t get into Yale and were going to have to go to Brown, or didn’t get into Brown and were going to have to go to Vanderbilt, etc.

          It was awful, and I was only insulated from it by the fact that my parents told me that they wouldn’t co-sign loans for undergrad and so I’d better only apply to schools where I’d have a very good financial deal, so I was forced to focus on that rather than on ranking and prestige. I managed to have some teenage annoyance at them about the whole thing, but ultimately I was far better off because they forcibly kept me out of the obsessive cycle that consumed my classmates. (I ultimately went to a school that was very similar to Duke in terms of ranking/national profile – as well as being a lot of people’s second choice – on a full ride and was incredibly happy there.)

          Your instinct – to help keep your daughter happy and excited about the school she’s interested in – is great. Don’t let other people’s angst poison her happiness.

        • [deleted by management]

          • That is appalling. Why would any self respecting woman allow herself to be prostrated by men, just because of a basketball game? It does not make sense to risk pregnancy with some anonymous dork who cares nothing for you.

      • This was going to be my response as well. I grew up with a lot of privilege, and I went to a prep school that sends a lot of kids to Ivies, and I can’t help but think anyone who views Duke as a disappointment is seriously messed up in their perspective. It is an excellent, prestigious, and very expensive university. Those kids need to get a grip.

        And also, everyone I know who went to Duke was thrilled and loved their time there.

    • I know nothing about Duke (went to a small private liberal arts school) but if she’s serious, look into an overnight or multi-night campus visit where she can stay with current students, attend classes, and find out if she likes the undergrad vibe and culture. Also consider Duke’s ranking for the programs or majors she may be interested in, and encourage her to apply for schools top-rated in those areas.

    • Everyone that I know who went to Duke loved it, and becomes totally obnoxious come basketball season. And I’m not exaggerating about the last part – every one that I know becomes very, very difficult to be around from late October through March. I also live in North Carolina, so the Duke/UNC rivalry is strong here, and perhaps that brings it out.

      I also know of only very few people who are from SEUS who attended Duke. My understanding is that the vast majority of the student body is from the Northeast.

      • Anonymous :

        This is SO true. You know who the Dukies are when March Madness comes around. I’ve never met a Duke grad who wasn’t thrilled to be one.

      • Duke University question :

        Re your last point, that’s why I’m concerned that if much of the student body is from the NEUS, it may be the but-I-applied-to-Harvard crowd and not the OMG LOVE IT HERE crowd. [They could overlap. But it really gnawed at the kids I knew.]

      • Ha. My SO is from a strong UNC family and the Duke hate is strong all year round.

    • Duke Alum :

      I’m a Duke alum (recent within the last 8 yrs) and also LOVED my time there. I think the poster about many from the NE thinking anything in the south is a step down is on point. For most of us that went there, Duke was the actual target not Harvard (because we valued having fun at school and tolerable weather too). Duke is often known as the Harvard of the South because if your daughter will ever seek employment below the Mason-Dixie line, and/or West of Texas, most people won’t distinguish the policy for employment purposes. Anyone who was truly disappointed to be at Duke just didn’t want to be in the south, to tell the truth and later transferred in their sophomore or junior year, some to Harvard, and some to lesser ranked schools (like Syracuse or Boston College- we thought they were crazy.)

    • I went to Duke and while there was a lot of that hyper competitive NE vibe, there were a lot of people thrilled to be there too. My big culture shock was how much wealth there is in general, but unfortunately I think that’s par for the course at any elite school. Great education, beautiful campus. I went back for my reunion for the first time in 15 years and (I realize this is hokey) truly restored by the beauty. Many people from Northeast, DC Corridor and California, as well as Texas cities, because income, but a lot of really talented and in my opinion, nicer people from flyover states as well. Definitely a little more southern in culture.

    • This question just made me think about the recent NYT article about teaching college students how to fail. It’s a valuable skill to learn to deal when you don’t get everything you want.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yes. I went there because I wanted to. Most of my friends were there because they wanted to be. I didn’t apply to any Ivies because I thought they were snobby (I judged this on a college tour of Princeton. In hindsight I realize this was not the best idea). I had multiple friends that turned down Ivies for Duke for one reason or another. I knew one or two that were a bit bitter they weren’t at HYP, but they were few and far between. Most of us loved it. The beauty of Duke is it’s a large enough school you are always going to be able to find your group of people, whatever that may be, but not so large you get lost in the crowd. The campus is also gorgeous. I moved back to the Triangle area a few years ago after living in the NE, and Durham itself has improved so much since I graduated. It’s really a great place to go to school.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Also, our alumni base is fanatically loyal and willing to help other alumni, especially compared to my law school.

    • Anon for this :

      I’m from NC. At my fancy private high school (one of the best two or three in the state), Duke was the “goal school” for most of our smartest students. We sent 5-6kids there a year, vs 3-4 to Ivies. Those of us who went to Ivies weren’t necessarily smarter, we were just the kids who wanted to get out of the South. Plenty of very smart kids went to Duke as their #1 choice.

    • Long ago Duke grad here. When I went, it was just beginning to climb the rankings; frankly, most of my friends and I probably could not get in now. I had plenty of friends who were thrilled to be there (including a large and vocal group of legacies who not have considered going anywhere else) and there definitely were some of us (including me) who had wanted to go elsewhere.

      That said, I really value my Duke experience and it was a good choice for me. I was not and am not bitter about how things turned out and in fact, became one of those people who became a huge hoops fan (and yes, I do hang with my fellow Dukies for the Carolina games and become annoying during the tourney.)

      Fair warning though: Greek life is a big part of campus life and that is not for everyone. There are a lot of rich people there (and I mean, like kids of CEOs and TV star rich), which can be disorienting if you come from a more modest background. I would encourage multiple visits to multiple campuses, because the reality on a particular campus can be a lot different from the pictures in the glossy brochures.

    • Anonymous :

      Ummm what? Please just stay out of this. You’re cray.

    • Duke alumna :

      I went to Duke. It was free for me ( we were very poor). I didn’t go because I didn’t get into the Ivies (I did) and the people I was with weren’t there because it was their second choice – many chose Duke over Ivy acceptances for a lot of reasons, including location, specific programs, etc. Duke has a powerful focus on the undergraduate experience that my brother and sister didn’t get at their state schools. The name helped open doors for me. There was also a strong percentage of people who, while they weren’t first generation college students, were far from rich or upper middle class. Looking back, I wouldn’t have traded my undergraduate time there for any other place.

  15. I started at a new company, and I’m working earlier and longer hours than I did before. Still, two months in, I find myself passing out early in the evening and losing time to catch up on working out, household chores, etc. What’s worse is that I’m falling asleep before my boyfriend gets home, and I feel like we’ve barely seen each other since I’ve started my new job. Does anyone have tips on maintaining energy throughout the day without guzzling coffee? A lot of my college friends are still relying on Adderall and energy drinks to make it through the work day, and I don’t want to end up addicted to caffeine.

    • Sounds like you need to catch up on sleep!

      Some tips for maintaining energy: drink a ton of water (just, drink constantly all day). Eat small/light but high protein meals and snacks (and avoid relying on sugar, since it will set you up to crash). Make sure you get some natural sunlight when you wake up and, if you can, at lunch.

      If you do resort to coffee on days when you are just too sleepy, use a thermos, sip rather than guzzle, and assume the caffeine will keep you awake at least 8 hrs from when you stop drinking it. If you prefer cream and/or sugar, drinking it strong and black can help you not guzzle.

    • If you are falling asleep b/f your boyfreind comes home, you need to regroup, as you can NOT blame him for being tired. I suggest you get your boss to give you one of those sound machines, and then tell him you need to get a power nap in between 3 and 4 EVERY day. I am now doeing this and it is great! I wake up and it’s time to go home, but I am rested NOT stressed!!! I just have to go home and start billing my cleints for that time I am napping! YAY!!!

    • Only sleep will make up for loss of sleep.

    • For me, it just took me a while to adjust to the new demands on my energy. At first I was crashing hard in the afternoon, but after a few months my body seemed to adjust and I’m feeling better.

  16. Travel Qs :

    Hi, Marshmallow here. Husband and I are going on vacation to London and Paris (with a quick stop in Dublin) and I could not be more excited! However, we are newbs. Except for a brief school-organized trip to Paris when I was in college, these are new destinations for both of us and we’ve never traveled independently to Europe. Does anyone have tips on the following (or just things that I wouldn’t know to ask)?

    — Favorite restaurant for a fancy night out in London or Paris? We’ll try to conserve where we can but want to go out for one nice meal in each city.
    — Thoughts on doing Versailles vs. Giverny? I’ve been to Versailles and was kind of underwhelmed, but it was too cold for the gardens and my husband LOVES history. We probably only have time for one of these.
    — Anybody been to the Jane Austen museum? Is it worth losing a day in the city?
    — I’m super into skincare and makeup. Any favorite shopping spots where I would find goodies I can’t get easily in the US? I’m interested in natural skincare or just fun makeup that I wouldn’t find here.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Cookbooks :

      As far as skincare, be sure to stop into a French pharmacy. They’re goldmines for all kinds of skincare goodies.

      I hope you and your husband have fun!!

    • Anonymous :

      For a first trip to Paris, I vote Versailles over Giverny, especially if your husband is into history.

    • I found the inside of Versailles too crowded and overwhelming to really enjoy, but did a bike tour of the gardens and it was fabulous. We picnicked on the grounds too which was lovely. I was seriously not excited to see Versailles for a second time having toured when I was in high school but I think that might have been my favorite thing I did during a week in Paris. It was through Bike About Tours. Have never been to Giverny so can’t comment on which is better. There are tours that do both but that seemed too intense to me.

    • Giverny is really pretty and a manageable size — you feel like you can see everything in an afternoon. Also more of a relaxed pace/less touristy. If you choose Versailles, definitely try to get your admission tickets ahead of time (they sell them at the train stations in combo with a train ticket, or at least they used to), so you can arrive and skip the lines.

    • Eager Beaver :

      I visited Paris recently and my favorite restaurant was Spring ( Based on a recommendation here, we also did a evening Siene River Crusie on Le Calife (, and I really enjoyed it. We also visited Chateau de Fontainebleau (, and I actually enjoyed it more than Versailles in some ways. Versailles is obviously way grander, but Fontainebleau was less crowded and still pretty grand and interesting for a history buff. It’s a short drive from Paris, but we actually decided to stay overnight and stayed here:, which is actually a castle. It was wonderful.

      • Eager Beaver :

        Ugh . . . Seine not Siene.

        • Eager Beaver :

          Totally forgot one of my favorite things we did in Paris. Check out the Paris by Mouth food tours. We did the Taste of Marais and it was one of the highlights of our entire trip. The blog is also a great source for restaurant recommendations.

      • SFAttorney :

        Probably too late unless the OP is checking replies. When we toured Fountainbleau about eight years ago in July there was hardly anyone else there, which was very nice. We were alone in the gardens.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This isn’t a fancy night out, but tea at Sketch in London was fantastic. Be sure and visit the bathrooms, which are a hoot.

      I haven’t done Versailles but I have been to Giverny and loved it. So beautiful and the gardens are just like in the paintings!

      • Travel Qs :

        Oh good, I was looking for somewhere to have tea! Thanks.

      • +1 to Sketch! I even got to meet the lovely Senior Attorney in person there as our trips overlapped!
        I also loved cocktails at the Connaght Hotel – the drinks were average, but the atmosphere was classic, English, hotel bar.

      • Ps – I’ve done Versailles and Giverney, both a long time ago, but full endorsement for Giverney over Versailles. Giverney was magical and Versailles filled with tourists.

    • joan wilder :

      I’ve been to both Versailles and Giverny and my vote is for Giverny. There is something about the setting and its connection to artistic inspiration that I found very sort of powerful in a meditative way (as someone who can barely draw a stick figure). In Paris there are so many other opportunities to walk among history if you don’t go to Versailles. I would also throw another idea in the mix, which is a day trip to Auvers sur Oise, where Van Gogh lived, painted, and spent his final days.

    • Travel Qs :

      Thanks for the suggestions so far, everyone!

    • Anonshmanon :

      If you have a warm, dry evening in London, you could see a Shakespeare performance in the rebuilt globe. We had the super-cheap tickets for “the plebs” (standing in the crowd) and it was great.

      Visiting Lyme Park is not super-easy (4 hour drive, you will have to rent a car), but it was the setting for the BBC Miniseries of Pride & Prejudice. The have Jane Austen Events occasionally and you can dress up in Edwardian Era costumes. It was the highlight of my last visit to England!

    • Not makeup, but I heart the Annick Goutal shop in Paris for perfume.

      If you want splurgy fine dining in Paris, we loved Le Grand Vefour. It has been operating for over 200 years and every table has little plaques listing who used to dine there (we sat at Andre Malraux’s table). I recommend going for lunch — you will get to order four courses, but will eat 7 or 8, plus mignardises, etc. It runs 115 euros right now (a bargain compared to 315 euros for dinner). Two Michelin stars.

    • When are you planning to visit? A few thoughts:
      If your H is really into history but Versailles is just too much (and it definitely can be), consider a day trip to Vaux le Vicomte. It was the chateau that inspired Versailles; it’s gorgeous but far less overwhelming and crowded. Amazing gardens and buildings…if you go, there’s an option to go all the way up into the attics and dome of the chateau. You can see for miles and get a hands-on look at how the house was constructed. We loved it. Giverny is also a good option if you’re into Monet but I think it would depend more on the season.

      If you do go to Versailles, consider heading to the gardens first. We wandered the gardens/Le Hameau/Petit Trianon, etc. all morning and had lunch out by the canal and then headed to the chateau. Doing it in this order meant we found the house much less crowded since most people see the house first and then the gardens.

      For fun skincare, there are pharmacies on practically every corner in Paris, but Citypharma on the rue du Four in the 6th is the grande dame.

      WRT London, do you mean the Jane Austen Museum in Bath? If so, it’s not worth the drive on its own, but if you add in in the very interesting Museum of Costume and you tour the Roman baths, it’s fabulous day trip. Bath and it’s architecture are simply stunning and worth the drive.

      • Sorry for the late reply– we leave on Friday! I’m going to talk with H but I’m pretty sure my own vote is for Giverny.

    • For a fabulous dinner without breaking the bank, go to L’Esquisse in Montmartre. It opens exactly at 8 pm, and I would arrive exactly at 8 pm if you can. It’s gotten very popular lately after some write-ups in more popular magazines. Also, it’s closed Sunday/Monday. Both the food and service is FANTASTIC and it is significantly less expensive than any of the nice places downtown. The server is Thomas — he is hilarious, speaks great English, is obsessed with wine (chooses all the wines they have on the menu), and you MUST ask him to pair wine with your dinner. This was one of the best wine experiences of my life.

      L’Esquisse is located at the bottom of the Montmartre butte, so you could go see Sacre Coeur and then walk down the back of the butte and go to dinner.

  17. Cookbooks :

    As far as skincare, be sure to stop into a French pharmacy. They’re goldmines for all kinds of skincare goodies.

    Have fun!!

  18. Moms Day Off :

    I have Monday off, but husband will be working and kiddo can be in daycare. Weather around here isn’t supposed to be super nice (50s and rainy?), and I’m drawing a blank on how to make the most of my hopefully relaxing day.

    Any good ideas?? I’m also 16 weeks pregnant.

    • Movie marathon, baking/cooking something complicated, massage/facial/mani/pedi, hair cut/blowout, shopping, sit quietly and read a book, go for a walk…

    • Anonymous :

      Relaxing: Coffee shop with a good book or junk magazine; Brunch out (by yourself or meet a friend); Long bath; Nap; Pedicure

      Productive (but still better to by one’s self than with a small child): Grocery shopping; Sort and categorize baby clothes

  19. Weekend win! Just got a new with tags MM LaFleur dress on ThredUp for $60 that fits me like a glove!

  20. Anonymous :

    Did the comment collapse feature disappear for anyone else? I’m viewing on Chrome.

    • Anonymous :

      Mine is intermittent :/ Sometimes it will show, othertimes, not.

    • Did for me. I’m on my phone now and my top two wishes for this s i t e are 1) edit button (clumsy typer) and 2) collapse function in mobile.

  21. Mott 50 fan :

    Yes- this cardigan is fantastic!! I have it in white and wear it everywhere- to the gym, the beach, etc. It has a really nice weight to it. Also just got the Mott 50 hooded cover up. It is a bit short for everyday/non-beach wear, but I have been tying up the split sides and wearing it as a longer shirt/tunic with shorts. The quality is outstanding. Great pic, Kat. I want all the Mott 50 now…..

    link to tunic here:

  22. Baconpancakes :

    100% outing myself if my friends are on here, but with summer weekends being so busy, I’m starting a new thing where I host a “happy hour” at my house in the middle of the week to see friends in a low key way. Serve some drinks, a snack/treat, and after two hours, people leave so we can have a sane weeknight. This week was sour cherry pie and lemon ricotta dip with crackers, paired with aperol spritz and a rhubarb tequila drink. Everyone loved it!

    Next time, I really want to make something with sprinkles! I’ve decided on funfetti angel food cake. But what drinks should I serve with it??

    • Cookbooks :

      Pomegranate champagne cocktail? Champagne often goes with lighter cakes, and since you’re making funfetti (yay!) angel food this is something light, fizzy, and colorful.

      A simple, low-key happy hour sounds awesome!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Not sure if you’re still reading on Monday morning, but +1 to champagne. Or how about a classic champagne cocktail (drop a sugar cube in a champagne flute, soak it with Angostura bitters, fill the glass with champagne)?

    • We used to do things like this all the time back when (the 90s!). Drinks and nibbles one evening, pancakes on a week-end, Monopoly and BBQ another time. Why did people stop going to friends’ homes to socialize? It’s cozy and social –quieter and cheaper!

      • ponte python's flying circus :

        When people stopped being able to afford homes with socializing space :(

        • You just need a living room and a kitchen. I lived in an apartment with a communal front yard. My friends all lived in apartments. You don’t need a private ball room to have friends over.

          • +1 – I have a studio (with den) and I have girl’s night on a regular basis – Sunday night wine with cheese and fruit and a movie we may or may not end up watching. Just a chance to catch up.

            And because we do it on a fairly regular basis, if you miss out on one, you can just catch the next one.

      • Mary the Librarian :

        We have a ladies night about once every 6 weeks and a board game night about once a month, and rotate between houses/apartments. Totally still happens.

  23. No recommendations, but this is a great idea

  24. This post is about weight/weight gain, so feel free to skip if you want.

    I got blindsided at the doctor this week when I stepped on the scale and discovered I had gained 10 pounds since last August. (I don’t own a scale because I had an eating disorder at one point and having a scale results in some unhealthy obsessive behavior.) My clothes all still fit and some of my pants are actually looser than usual, but the number is what it is. I am 41 and my doctor thinks it’s perimenopause kicking in. I’m in the “overweight” band of the BMI chart and I really, really don’t want this gain to keep going. Everything else is good – A1c, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.

    I’m really frustrated because I’m already journaling everything I eat with My Fitness Pal and working out three times a week. I’ve cut way back on sugar this year and feel like all I ever eat is salad. I’m watching my drinking also. My doctor suggested less strength training and more cardio, which I’m willing to try, although I love lifting and don’t lift heavy weights anyway.

    Anyone been here with this? Up until this week I felt like I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been, I’ve really worked on good habits this year. And now this happened and I feel one, like a loser, and two, like nothing I do will ever work.

    • Actually, I’m starting to think you might not need to change too much.

      Could your weight actually be up because all of your healthy weight training is causing you to have more muscle, less fat? You can’t always trust BMI.

      Other than being careful of carbs > = sugar (maybe more sweet potatoes instead of potatoes, less pasta, skip the rice), not wasting calories on drinks, and keeping active, I would not change very much. There is a lot of argument that weight training can be as effective as cardio.

      Are you walking?

      I am now 48, and my body changed a lot in my 40’s. But from what you describe, you are doing an outstanding job at taking care of yourself.

      I would only make small dietary changes that are manageable long term. My weight stabilized after removing the potato/bread/rice course from most of my diet. Now I have two veg with dinner + protein. One of the veg is a more filling, starchy veg (sweet potato, beets, squash etc…), and a salad can be one of the veg. Keep lots of healthy snacks in the house. But I still let myself have treats and am bad a lot and enjoy food because that is important to my quality of life.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m definitely not walking as much as I should during the day. I got a new job this year and it’s really sedentary. I’m looking into getting one of those cardboard standing desks Kat featured a couple weeks ago (company won’t pay to convert my existing desk) and also trying to build a wall break into my midday. I had thought reducing calories would make up for the lower daily activity level, but I guess not!

    • Anonymous :

      I found something similar happening. It helped to avoid having peanuts or cashews in the house -I have no resistance and they put on the pounds in a remarkable way. Now I choose nuts that I do not particular like – walnuts, almonds, etc – to go with salads etc. These I can resist! I also find that having more than one yogurt in the refrigerator at a time is similar. One is OK – I have a spoonful from the one small container with fruit, usually blueberries, for breakfast.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here – this is so funny, because in talking about this with my husband,he suggested we quit buying peanuts because it’s hard to stop with just one handful. We’ve both gotten into a bad habit of snacking on nuts instead of other things, like carrots or apples. I’m going to do a “kitchen audit” and get rid of anything problematic. He’s gained a bit too and is just as unhappy about it as me.

    • I think less lifting, more cardio is terrible advice. As you hit menopause, strength training is more important than ever to maintain bone density and functional strength. If you’re adding cardio, make it intervals. Maybe consider seeing a licensed dietitian to discuss your current diet and goals and a trainer or physical therapist to help with your exercise plan?

    • Anonymous :

      Does your doctor know your history? I’m annoyed on your behalf that the doctor isn’t looking at the big picture, which is apparently that you are really healthy. So, good for you for having that going for you. You are not a looser. And do not panic – you will figure out what to do to stay healthy, you just don’t know what that is yet. Also keep in mind that hormonal bloat is real; my weight tends to peak right around the time I ovulate and can easily go up 2-3 pounds. And if your clothes still fit, maybe you should check your weight in at least one other scale before changing everything – is it possible the doctor’s is off? 10 pounds is enough to notice in clothes. All that being said, I’m 40, and I found that to loose weight I really have to eat less calories than MyFitnessPal thinks I should to loose. It’s definitely harder than it was 10 years ago. I’m not talking about crazy restrictions, I’m just saying I’m loosing at a slower rate than the app thinks I should. It suuuuucks. I personally was unwilling to cut out any particular food group, so I didn’t, although I kind of try to hit the MyFitnessPal macro goals. (Vaguely). I also love weights and if done properly find they can get my heart rate going – especially with large muscle groups. I like fitness’s workouts that mix hiit and weights. They really keep your heart rate up while also building strength. They have a bunch that are 30 min or less. Can you try to add 1-2 more workouts a week? Do you like dance, biking, jogging outside, swimming, classes? Can you add a walk at your lunch break? Just remember you are more than that number on the scale – you are just as healthy and strong as you were before going to the Dr

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Trust how you feel. If you can get a 4th workout in (maybe make it cardio focused to please the doc) that would probably be helpful in combating the metabolism slowdown. But please don’t let this checkup discourage you. You’re doing all the right things!

    • If you’re still checking, here is an article written by an MD about how BMI is meaningless as a predictor of health on the individual level:

  25. Anyone ever been to Seoul? Will be there for work next month and not sure if I should build in a few extra days for sightseeing or if it’s sort of a 4-days-in-between-meetings-is-enough kind of place.

    • If you can get a few extra days, buy a ticket to Jeju Island (1 hr plane ride, tickets as cheap as 15 dollars or even less) – it’s the Hawaii of Korea, peaceful and amazing! Otherwise, 4 days should be enough for just Seoul. Eat lots of Korean food!!!! Tour the DMZ if you can, also if you can get tickets do the moonlight tour at the palaces.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Don’t know if you’re still reading, but I was in Seoul last summer and I loved it!

      DEFINITELY take a tour out to the DMZ. It takes a full day but is just amazing and like nothing else on earth.
      The N Seoul Tower is really fun with great views.
      Gyeongbokgung Palace is amazing. We did a day-long city tour including the Palace and loved it.
      Lotte World Tower is a great shopping destination and I understand they just opened the world’s highest observation deck.
      There is a ton of fun shopping and dining in various neighborhoods. Although the city is overall pretty expensive, taxis are cheap and there is a great subway so it’s easy to get around.

      Have fun!

  26. Anonymous :

    This is late but I doubt anyone is still reading – but I got some weird feedback on Friday.

    For context, I’m 30, work for a major insurance company handling high level exposures – have been in the department and have worked my way up from a college hire to the most advanced position I can for this role. I’m good at my job – have always received glowing reviews, and recently a >10K annual raise during a year in which many coworkers received nothing. Overall feedback is great, however it was suggested that I should try to be more “conversational” (result of a rack and stack review process) as that was the only think that was potentially out there to work on.

    Not going to lie, I’m a bit offended. The feedback was given in a manner in which it was caveated as otherwise extraordinarily positive but for this one thing and I appreciate my manager giving me a heads up it was out there – but at the same time – I’m just left thinking WTF. Not really sure why I’m sharing this – just stings

    • Wondering if they’re required to list one thing as an area to work on… often, companies have to document both what was said in reviews and list positives and areas to work on. They are required to come up with both. In your case, it sounds like they came up with something totally subjective and random, which is likely due to not having anything legitimate to write down as a negative. I’d suggest being aware, in case it’s legit, and not thinking too much of it, in case it’s not. <3

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Also, if you’re used to be a stellar high-achiever (or even great student back in school), any negative feedback stings disproportionally. We’re just not used to getting it. When I was in my first job, I got similar feedback, and I was offended. What I didn’t realize is that I was doing very well on tasks, but didn’t recognize that taking time to be personable and relational WAS part of doing my tasks well.

    • Be judged on merit. Do not sleep with your boss.

    • Anonymous :

      This feedback seems really minor, but if they took the time to bring it up, I would take it to heart.

      It’s unclear to me why it stings you so much. You had about great year, and something to work on to be more effective next year is to be more conversational. It’s really not a huge deal.

      I would check if they mean in everyday interactions, during meetings, or if it pertains to your presentation style. In any of these cases, a more coversational style may improve your executive presence and improve your ability to be effective. It’s not that you are not effective now, but there may be a more challenging scenario ahead where this will be useful.

  27. Anon law student :

    How is this suit for OCI interviews? Would this be too light? I have a black suit but it’s a little too tight.

    • This is a lovely suit for when you have the job, imho. Stick with a more conservative cut and color at a lower price point (Kat’s earlier post this week is helpful!).

      Charcoal, black, navy 4 season wool. Full length pants, knee length skirt, or (if you’re comfortable) sheath and jacket suit.

      • Sadly, I agree. But that is really lovely.

      • Anon law student :

        Thanks! The cut is normal (I have the skirt version), but I’m worried about the color. I guess the suit searching continues… Thank you!

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah +1. Wouldn’t be a terrible offense, buy you’ll need a navy or charcoal suit anyway sooner or later, so might as well buy one now and not stand out for your sartorial choices.

    • I’ll dissent. That is perfectly appropriate for OCI. You’ll look slightly different than the army of navy suit white button down clones, but not in an unprofessional way!

    • I’m in California and this would be absolutely fine for OCI and or callbacks here, except for the length of the pants (and it sounds like you’re wearing a skirt). It’s a beautiful suit. Fwiw I’m a senior transactional associate at a stodgy formal law firm.

  28. I gave googling this a quick attempt, but I thought I’d see if any of you Floridians know the answer. Is Zika still a concern at all in the Orlando area? We recently visited, encountered quite a few mosquitos and are trying to conceive. Just wondering if I need to give this any more thought… Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      My parents live in the Tampa area and said Zika has been confined to Miami. That’s not super scientific. I would ask your doctor and see if they think you should get tested.

    • Agree with Miami. It’s really up to you and your husband to determine the risk/benefit. Obviously mosquitoes don’t contain themselves within drawn geographical boundaries, but on the other hand there haven’t been any reported cases in the Orlando area.

      If you do decide to wait, the recommendation is to wait 6 months (for men) before TTC. Speaking from experience, your doctor will likely NOT test you for Zika during the TTC period. Mine wouldn’t for several reasons, including long wait times at labs and the inability to draw definitive conclusions from the tests.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you both!

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