Something on your mind? Chat about it here.
Hooded blazers: yea or nay? Obviously, Veronica Beard has been doing that for years — offering chic hooded dickies to attach to her blazers. (Oooh, this striped one is nice.) Something about the trend and the moment seems really apt right now, though — a lot of people are still working from home but trying to look more put together , and the blazer-as-weekend-topper is back bigtime. I think it’s a sleeker look than the weird athleisure blazers (why, Theory, why?).
I saw the Cinq à Sept hooded blazer the other day and put it aside for the Weekend Open Thread — but upon looking at Nordstrom it turns out Liverpool has a bunch of options at a much better price point, and in regular and plus sizes. The pictured blazer is $139; the brand has a few others. I’d thought the hoodie was attached, but no — it is a removable bib. Nice.
Psst: if you’ve ever wanted a camel-colored Barefoot Dreams cardigan or robe (or have someone on your gift list who might), that color is 50% off today at Nordstrom.
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Workwear sales of note for 3.24.23:
- Ann Taylor – 40% off everything
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – 40% off dresses & tops
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off select styles; 25% off markdowns
Are people flying on Ryanair for flights in Europe? I flew Ryanair when I was studying abroad in Europe like 15 years ago and it was very, very budget. I’m just wondering what it’s like these days and if people other than broke student fly on it. Thanks!
It is definitely still a budget airline, but I have used it on routes that don’t have a lot of other options (e.g., I flew from Madrid to Fez on Ryanair). I can’t remember the details of what is available, but I highly recommend buying all the extras… reserved seat, baggage on board, priority check-in etc.
Agree with the extras, and make sure your carry-on fits the small size they allow.
Yes…but there are more options now, and also, while the flights may be advertised as “20 euro” they are not actually that cheap as the budget airlines charge you for everything, including carry-on baggage and to choose a seat, etc., etc. That said, even the “upgraded” tickets are usually reasonable if you book a decent amount of time in advance. It just depends on where you are trying to go. I fly Vueling and EasyJet fairly frequently out of the UK and I would say it is similar to taking a domestic Southwest flight in the US.
I used it this summer in Italy and it was a nightmare. We checked in online and the line to drop off 2 of our checked bags was over 2 hours. We finally got through that line and our tickets said we were boarding. Had to ask the entire security line if we could skip, and by the time we got to our gate they had yet to start boarding.
On the return flight we were delayed for 1.5 hours. If you can afford to fly something else, you should!
This sounds like every airline everywhere to me!
Yes, people fly on it. Service on Ryanair has actually improved somewhat in recent years, in my view, and is somewhat similar to regular US airlines. They are also known for having a good timeliness record compared to other airlines (as they are too cheap to pay passengers compensation required under EU law for delays of over 3 hours, they manage to be quite efficient). One potential downside is that they tend to fly to weird, out of the way airports, although, depending on where they are going, this can be actually a plus.
As a European – yes, we all fly using budget airlines.
Wizzair is also very popular.
I think Ryanair is worse than other budget airlines. I’ve had fine experiences on Eurowings and Vueling but I would never fly Ryanair. I’ve heard so many horror stories about that one in particular.
Oh it’s fine if you know what you’re in for. It’s the best route for us to get my parents, and we had long delays this summer but every place had long delay. I got a refund surprisingly fast (EU regulations require a delay repay, got £630 back which paid for my Christmas flights).
Yes our German friend was surprised and horrified when he told him in the US your flight can be delayed for 12+ hours without any compensation. Very jealous of your automatic compensation for 3 hour delays.
Second this, yes, we do fly budget airlines. Often because they are the only ones offering the less-frequent route. More often because of the low-cost price. I fly often within Europe for short trips [<5 days], I pack my things into a cary-on, do the check-in online and do not see much difference between let's say AirFrance/KLM vs WizzAir/Ryanair on short European flights [2-3hrs]. I do take the other airlines for short flights in case they have a good deal as it still helps to add to my loyalty miles.
However, I would never take a budget airline for a flight 5hrs+.
The comment on budget airlines flying to less popular airports – it could be an advantage: I have spent one lovely Sunday afternoon waiting in a 4km queue outside [!] of Schiphol airport in Amsterdam and was thinking how much it would cost to catch a train and fly from other nearby airport.
As I start to think about holiday baking, what ingredient upgrades do you think are worth it? I’ll buy store brands for most of the basics, but yesterday I had to buy King Arthur flour and it made me wonder if I would notice any difference. I buy Kerrygold for eating but not baking, and I generally buy name-brand chocolate. I’m thinking of stepping up to some of the chocolate chips/chunks that King Arthur has. Any specific recs? Any other worthwhile ingredient upgrades?
I’d get the best butter, vanilla and cinnamon I could afford. I think those make a big difference in how my stuff turns out.
+1 to good vanilla.
Oh yeah, left that one out. I adore the Nielsen-Massey vanilla.
The biggest upgrades in my opinion are butter and chocolate pieces or anything that’s going to be chunky in the cookie (like getting great jelly or real M&Ms or nicer dark chocolate chips, etc). I bake seriously and don’t think people can usually really tell the difference in something like flour or granulated sugar.
This probably goes without saying, but extracts are hugely superior to flavorings as well!
I don’t bake or eat baked goods, but I do know a little about that and cooking, and if you are trying to elevate your baked goods, I’d say you should be treating butter as an element to consider upgrading. Fat content makes a difference in baking, where I think differences between ordinary and good are really marginal.
Agreed. I have a whole extra “84% fat butter budget” for Xmas! You can’t beat the higher fat European butter.
I’ve read that doubling the vanilla makes a really big difference. I buy the big bottle of Kirkland vanilla at Costco so it doesn’t seem like such an indulgence, and I think it really helps.
Instead of doubling the vanilla, spring for the Penzey’s double strength vanilla. That way, the liquid ratio remains as in the recipe, but with the double vanilla flavor.
Gail the Goldfish
So the different type of flour can make a difference because of the different protein content. For cookies and cakes, I use White Lily all-purpose because it has a lower protein content than most brands, which makes for fluffier baked goods (this, incidentally, is why southern biscuits are so good and soft/flaky compared to northern biscuits–most southern flours have lower protein content because of the wheat used to make them. Northerners don’t suck at biscuit making, their flour does.). For things like bread where you want a chewier texture, then I use King Arthur. I only use real extracts, not imitation.
Gail the Goldfish
Sigh I’m in moderation. But the short answer–the type of flour makes a difference because of the different protein contents of different brands of flour.
Same with butter and the fat vs solid percentages. Kerrygold is different than American butter, so I think there are some applications where it might not turn out the same.
Using high fat European butter in recipes written for American butter will likely lead to unfortunate results.
With spices, fresh is usually superior regardless of brand. So that’s more important than spend most of the time.
Trader Joe’s unsalted stick butter is best for baking.
I love Trader Joe’s unsalted stick butter. Originally, I used Brakestone’s butter, but then it got to hard to find, so I now use Trader Joe’s butter. Myrna prefers Smart Balance, but that is not the same as butter. I know that butter is full of calories and fat, and that goes right to my tuchus, but I need to have something better on my toast then jam or jellies or preserves, b/c that is all sugar, and that is even worse for my tuchus.
I am happy to report that I got over being sick this week, and that is why I have not posted. The manageing partner’s brother was also sick, so I think it could be related to my coop building. I will ask my Dad to look into it. I am staying this weekend on Long Island to recupperate with Grandma Trudy since Mom & Dad left and went to see Rosa, Ed and the kids up in Chapaqua. Grandma Trudy told me she knows someone who can set me up with her grandson in Merrick, but I really don’t want to start dating someone out here, especially since he works for his uncle. I think we all need strong men who are leaders, not followers, and that is why I am waiting for the right guy in NYC, where I live, even tho I have not found one yet. Myrna told me they don’t exist except in the movies, and there are no movie stars in NYC running around looking for me. FOOEY!
I only use Guittard chocolate chips, and will never use anything different. Wholeheartedly agree on the comment around vanilla and cinnamon.
I’ve started using dark chocolate in cookies (either Guittard chips or freshly chopped Trader Joe’s pound plus bars) rather than semi-sweet and things taste SO much better. I also use Trader Joe’s butter, not sure if that makes a difference or not though.
anon a mouse
If you are baking cakes or cupcakes, using cake flour (Swans Down or King Arthur) makes a huge difference – the crumb is so much lighter and fluffier. Agree on upgrading vanilla – last year I bought Penzeys double-strength vanilla and used it in sugar cookies – they were delicious and I could really tell a difference. For chocolate, I’ve found that mixing types of chocolate really adds to the robustness of flavor – my cookies now have a mix of milk, semisweet and dark chips.
Also – good salt, in a couple of different sizes, for sprinkling on the top of baked goods, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I like Penzy’s Vietnamese Cinnamon- it has a sharper almost spicy taste.
Why are people competitive? I have a close friend who is hyper-competitive. She often expresses feeling “better than everyone.” If I’m playing a puzzle game on my phone, she has to show me she is better at the puzzle game. She competes and judges over small things: how much others spend, how hard they work at their jobs, etc. My guess was maybe it is that she puts a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect in these ways, and it agitates her when others go easy on themselves or do things she deems “wrong.” But I feel like she makes a lot and saves a lot, and is very smart. So I don’t understand if she feels better than others, why she would put energy into competing with them.
Would love others’ insights into this given the tense back-and-forth about competition this morning! :)
I would 100% not be friends with her. I think I’m a pretty competitive person, but I am also not a jerk and I don’t compete with or judge my friends.
There’s healthy competition and then there’s being weird and bitter. Healthy in my view – you always want to do your best and maximize the opportunities given to you (and yes sometimes that means beating someone else out for a job or promotion), you use jealousy of someone else as a way to inspire self-improvement, you enjoy beating your own record, etc.
And then there are people who use it to be a jerk. Like seriously, you’re going to take a crack at someone over Candy Crush?
In my experience people like that are incredibly insecure, and need to prove to both themselves and others that they are “superior” in various superficial ways in order to feel worthy/lovable etc. They can’t just be at peace with themselves. It is very sad.
Bingo. This friend sounds like someone I would not want to spend time with.
That’s a weird, petty, almost pathological sort of competitiveness. I am competitive, which means I have to pick and choose what to take seriously. If I take something seriously I will do whatever it takes either to be the best or to make a satisfying amount of individual progress even if I am not the best. With some things, I can say “I’m not taking this seriously, so it’s okay if I am not very good at it.” Then there are a lot of things I just choose not to do because I’m not interested enough to invest the time to be good but I don’t want to lose–for example, chess.
signed, someone who is pretty darn competitive, is wickedly insecure, also a middle child. Trifecta?
I think it goes back to a zero sum world outlook. Somehow you doing better means she’s doing worse, even in weird things that don’t actually work like that.
Your friend sounds unpleasant. This is not what people mean when they say that they are competitive.
When I say that I am competitive, I mean that I enjoy fighting hard and winning. For work, that means litigation. For play, that means games. For exercise, that means beating my personal best because I am not athletic!
Competitive and comparative aren’t the same thing. As a competitive person, I understand what is and is not a competition. However, I know some people who are comparative, for lack of a better word: they will look at their family and friends and immediately stack people up against each other, or themselves, in their minds, no matter how petty or absurd the comparisons.
I had a friend who was so intent on negatively comparing every aspect of my life to hers that she even told me my marriage was less important than hers because she got married shortly after college and I got married later in life. I never asked to compete on those grounds – I think it’s a rather gross thing to compete over. (Some if my best friends aren’t married. I’m not better than they are for having found someone FFS!) She just thinks it’s important to make those comparisons and let me know I lost.
If you’re forcing people into your “competition”, that’s a problem. Even in some competitive enterprises, many people are there to have fun – think road running, with people competing for first place to those happy to finish. It would be weird to get competitive with the fun crowd, and it would be weird to tell the people aiming for PRs or awards to get therapy.
This is such a good way to phrase it. Your friend reminds me of one of mine from college who I rarely spend time with anymore. She compares her life so much to everyone else that I. don’t think she can help herself anymore. She recently called and asked what was new with me. I told her my mom was having heart testing done following a stent procedure a few years ago, and nothing really new other than I was excited about a job I have been interviewing for but frustrated with how long things were taking. We talked about what she was making for dinner. And then two minutes later she was saying how happy she is because her new job is perfect and all of her family is healthy. Like, dude, did you seriously just try to “win” at the healthy parent game?
Anyone else, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. But it happens so often that I can’t NOT notice it now. It’s become almost comical that I sort of wait for it.
Major eye roll at your last sentence. The poster this morning was trying to say that competition in the workplace isn’t healthy. Not athletic competition. But I digress.
We can all read what she wrote and her remarks were far more broad than just work. Consider:
10/07/2022 AT 10:05 AM
Ignore this, OP.
I am competitive. It is a problem if I let it be a problem, just like anything else.
10/07/2022 AT 10:48 AM
Sounds like you need therapy too”
“So I don’t understand if she feels better than others, why she would put energy into competing with them.”
The answer is that she actually does not feel better than others, and as a result, she’s constantly looking for external validation to make her feel better about herself. Inside, she is a bottomless pit of need and despair. The right response from you, assuming you want to keep the friendship, is to find compassion for her. Think of how awful it would be to live inside her head. If she’s saying these things about other people, think of what her inner voice is saying about her. She needs to prove that she’s the best at Wordle or spending or whatever because she’s terrified that if she doesn’t constantly get “proof” that she’s the best, everyone will see just how terrible and hopeless she actually is.
My strategy for dealing with these people is to just stipulate to the fact that they are, in fact, awesome, and gently tease them that they don’t need to keep proving it. For example, “Sarah, I know you’re fantastic at Wordle. You don’t need to prove it to me!” or “Sarah, I know you’re great at your job, but not everyone can be just like you – let’s talk about something else.” It’s not easy, but if you love this person, it can be worthwhile.
How are we wearing jeans to work these days? My company has been more open to casual dress for our limited in-office time, but my role often puts me in front of C suite so I want to make sure my jeans are part of an outfit that looks intentional.
40s, athletic pear shape, ideally would love to wear jeans with flat shoes and a blouse/shirt/top rather than a jacket/blazer. Specific recs for jeans to achieve this would be welcome!
(Also recognizing this might have been asked a few dozen times already but I had no luck in searching…)
I’ve worn straight leg jeans with a sweater and loafers.
I wear high rise straight leg jeans without embellishment or distressing. They can be dressed up or down. They work with any shoes.
I am a rectangle, so I don’t have specific recs for you.
No Face, I’m a rectangle too. What are your specific recommendations for that shape? Thank you!
I wear Levi’s 724 High Rise Straight. I am not a fashion expert, but I think I look good!
Curvy pear here and this is also my favorite cut for office jeans!
If you are in a warm climate, Paige Mayslie joggers. Come in many colors as variety from jeans.
I basically swap my nicer jeans with my dress pants. The difficulty is that right now, so many jeans are fray hem, distressed, or the vintage “mom” style that is a little too casual for my office, so the options are limited. But I can wear my old dark wash skinnies, my [really] old flared/bootcut (kept them around so long they’re back) in a dark wash, and on very casual days, some of the more trendy styles. I have “office jeans” and “weekend jeans” because I find that currently, those things don’t overlap. I think the key is to keep the rest of the outfit elevated with a blouse, nice shoes, and jewelry. If I go casual on the shirt and shoes too, it’s a Friday outfit.
I still wear skinny jeans, even tho I no longer have the svelte figure I once did, now being more of an apple shape with a larger tuchus and pooch. But the men still are looking, which is a good thing, probably more at my cute face and boobies, which are still perky for age 40. All in all, we must do the best with what we have if we want to attract and hang onto the best men we are able to get, by looking good, dressing well, and being as adventuresome as we can to satisfy them emotionally and physically.
Is This Weird?
Can someone talk me off my weird mental ledge? At the point of TTC and I have stuck in my head A Thing for planning/having a kid born in Jan – May. ((I know, I know, conception isn’t promised, you can’t plan it, bodies might not cooperate, etc.))
But I have it so engrained in my head for a mix of reasons. I’m born in 1st-half of year so it’s what I know. The idea of having no issues with school cut-offs or whatever. I have a Strong Christmas Personality and I would love to have an older kid by then and not a newborn/super baby. Time of year maternity leave, etc.
Do other people plan like this (obviously at the expense of delaying TTC)? Is this my first lesson that having children is chaos and you can’t plan everything and it’s time to k!ll my over-type-A self? Or can someone indulge my last-ditch effort to plan something important in life?
This sounds like you have anxiety and it latches onto anything, even if there is nothing there, and tries to get evidence or justifications to support it. It won’t matter what time of year your baby is born. There is no right time of year to have this baby, and yet you are constructing a fake framework in order to defend your right to over-plan and manifest your Type A tendencies.
Let this go, and start letting other things go too. It’s not real and the more you cling to needing to constantly have control and optimize, the more difficult life is going to be, especially with a newborn. You know it isn’t real and isn’t productive, so that’s a great first step.
I was going to reply but this is so well said, I’ll second it.
I completely agree with this. I think our minds can fixate on weird things we feel like we can control when the big stuff in life feels ambiguous or not fully in our control.
OP, I was also really hoping for a particular time of year for both work and holiday reasons like you… and we ended up with a mid December baby. Turns out it’s magical to be snuggled with a newborn next to the Christmas tree and to be in hibernating and in baby mode in the winter!
It really is. I have really fond memories of being in the baby haze during the holidays.
This is odd and does not seem rational to me. It also seems like it could ultimately interfere with your real goal — having a baby. But more concerning is that you need to take a look at how attached you are to expectations, how intent you are on imposing those expectations upon others, and how you are going to cope with unmet expectations, before you have a child, because not having good coping mechanisms for that could be disastrous for you, your kids, and your marriage.
I know people who have actively avoided TTC when it would likely result in a Christmas baby, and teachers that do their best to deliver early summer, but trying for a particular season for the reasons you cited does seem over-the-top…
Is it possible you don’t really want to TTC and your mind is making up excuses to wait until summer?
can't control this much
I vote that this is the first of many lessons that there’s so much out of your control when you’re a parent. Better to learn that lesson sooner rather than later and think about what really is in your control.
Even if your child is born exactly when you want, you could still have issues with when to start school based on the child’s readiness/needs and evolving community norms. You may not be able to do lots of Christmas stuff because you or your child are sick, or your child is vulnerable to whatever illnesses are circulating, or your child ends up hating lights/sounds/big gatherings or whatever it is you love about Christmas.
I’ve never wanted to have a kid that has a holiday birthday. It took me over 2 years (and fertility treatments) to have my daughter… born in December. Now I tell her that she’s a special “Christmas girl” and so far she loves that.
Since I had frozen embryos, I thought I could plan #2 more accurately. Wrong. Still took 18+ months (and lots of heartache) and I am 8 months pregnant due right at Thanksgiving.
So this is to say, I think it’s something you can try to plan and for some people it works out – a teacher friend managed to time her kids with summer break. But know that it might not work and letting go of the plan upfront might save you a bit of stress.
Would it really matter if your kid has a November birthday instead of a February birthday? I get not wanting to have a baby born right before the school cutoff, but I think you are creating an issue where none exists. Especially with Christmas – that baby is going to get older every year.
The Christmas thing makes no sense to me. I have a January baby and the first Christmas was not all that exciting for him – and in some ways, a bit worse for us because we worried that he would pull the tree down. Newborn or almost one year old, they don’t really understand what’s going on anyway. In fact, a little kid (under six months) might be more entranced by the shiny lights and new decorations.
Get over yourself. You sound like a control freak.
OMG go touch grass. Why are you so mean?
You are making up issues that don’t really exist. Consider this an important lesson for your type-A self. I have a Strong Thanksgiving Personality. My first kiddo was born 2 days before Thanksgiving. And … oh well? That was one year. We resumed normal activities the following year. And there was a massive blizzard before Christmas that year and we basically didn’t get to celebrate with family at all. While it was a bummer, it is now a very distant memory.
The school cutoff thing … it is foolish to try to TTC around that. You have no idea what your kid will be like, what needs he or she will have, if the community norms will change, etc.
Well where do you live? I have a May bday as does DH. We have May babies and where we live people start red shirting in March/April so my kids will often be the youngest. I was initially pregnant with a baby due in February which i was super excited about but i miscarried. I wasn’t so thrilled about a May due date and I suppose if I had my pick I’d probably go with October or March based on where we live. But i do love that their bday is halfway through the year from the holidays so it’s not an onslaught of stuff. I’m a type A planner and TTC was an excellent lesson in with kids you can plan as much as you want, but so much stuff happens outside of your control – both before they arrive and once born
You can’t control when you have a baby but you can control when begin trying and you can also control when you *don’t* have a baby by using protection that month. People here are all “you can’t time babies don’t even try” but my husband and I are in the academic world and know many, many people who timed babies for the end of the academic year. My daughter’s university preschool class is probably two thirds April-June birthdays. We wanted a January-February baby so my husband would be going on summer break right when my maternity leave was ending, and we succeeded. So my answer is yes, reasonable to try for a particular time you like, but accept that you don’t have control over it and likely if conception doesn’t happen quickly all your timing concerns will go out the window.
(Fwiw in my town at least the school cutoff is August 1 and many May birthdays are red-shirted. If you’re trying to avoid having a kid be the youngest or oldest for their grade, the right window would probably be Oct-March. But of course this depends on where you live.)
+1. I also know many people who timed babies. And even more that *attempted* to time them (i.e., it doesn’t always work out).
I’ve got a couple teacher friends who have done similar.
I agree you can control when you don’t try, but I think comments here are focusing on two things, the first being that if you do end up having trouble, then you often don’t always have the luxury of skipping certain months and the second being that if it’s worries about having a holiday baby because of the holidays or redshirting (and not career or other big life stuff) then those concerns are worth reconsidering.
Yeah I get that these are maybe not the best reasons for timing a baby to a certain month. I was reacting more to previous discussions where people have said timing is impossible and it’s not even worth trying to time a baby, even if it’s for good reasons.
This is interesting to me. I see many tenure track academics who try to time so for arrival of baby/beginning of leave to coincide with the academic year, rather than the summer. This gives them both the benefit of paid leave AND pushing out the tenure clock. I have seen it used to great and frustrating advantage by male academics who acknowledge that they are not really all that involved in childcare, but who love the time off to give them a leg up in the tenure process, especially when added to the tenure clock delay.
In my husband’s department you get a one year tenure clock extension and one semester without teaching duties regardless of when the baby is born, so it’s most advantageous to have a baby at the start of summer or the start of spring semester so you can combine the one semester off with the summer break. I agree that what you mentioned with men taking time off and not using it for childcare is a real issue, but that was not our situation. My husband was our child’s fulltime caregiver from when I went back to work in June until he started teaching again in January.
I have a cutoff baby. Who knows how it’ll work out with school, but she came after a miscarriage and before cancer, and any other timing would mean we didn’t have her. Brains are weird about fixations, but the worst case of having a baby not in the first half of the year is that you still have a baby!
I did it twice. Second time in my very late thirties. Got pregnant late summer, baby in spring. (Wanted no part of summer pregnancy- wanted mat leave in spring and summer.) I only told close friends this because I imagine most people do not want to hear that getting pregnant was super easy for me. (My kids are also five years apart very much on purpose but I think people like to assume it was a struggle.) so yeah maybe it won’t work but why not try? Plenty of people get pregnant easily, we just don’t talk about it.
+1 While I’m not trying to discount fertility struggles, it’s important to remember that statistically most women get pregnant easily even in their 30s. As with any issue, those that have struggles tend to talk about it and those for whom it comes easily keep quiet, so the voices you’re hearing aren’t necessarily representative of what will actually happen.
Signed, was honestly mindblown when I conceived first cycle in my mid-30s because from reading here and talking to friends I was sure it would take at least six months. My OB was not at all surprised and said it happens to lots of patients my age and older.
To be very frank, I do think your reasons are a little over the top and reflective of wanting to control something that can’t really be controlled.
I’m 8 weeks with my first right now. I would consider targeting a time of year if I were a teacher or other profession that could ONLY get paid time off at a particular time of year AND I were young enough that I was okay with potentially having to hit pause for six months. In your case, it would actually be pausing for seven (!) months. Honestly, once I started TTC, there’s no way I would have been able to happily pause for a reason like Christmas (which I too love!). I had to miss a cycle while we were moving out of state this summer. I’m not a crier and I cried more than once about that missed month, even though we hadn’t been trying long at all. For those of us having kids at or after 30–like many FTMs are in the 2020s–I don’t think it’s worth potentially delaying by a year. YMMV though, especially if you don’t think you want to have multiple kids and are confident in your fertility and family history.
Unless you’re hitting the end of your fertility window, why not try to time things the way you’d like? I see nothing wrong with aiming for whatever makes sense for you.
This is not a crazy thought to get stuck in your head, and it’s not crazy to try for what you want, if you have time/fertility on your side. I also had a general feeling that I didn’t want my kids to be born before October, in December, or after April. I pulled this off with 3 babies born in my preferred months. However, I had my first at 28 and was in no rush. And now I have a dream job that means my schedule is so crazy in the beginning of the year that I’m not even guaranteed to attend those kid birthdays. So… yes, ultimately this is very unlikely to be one of the big things that matter, even if you pull it off exactly as you want now.
You can try to plan, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get the birthday you want. While I managed to have an end-of-May baby so I could take most of the summer as maternity leave and get him a spot in the baby room at his big sister’s daycare center, he could have been born on big sister’s birthday as a preemie. By planning, I mean “used an app for a month or two then had strategic coupling,” so not a lot of planning.
My first was about 9 mos. old on her first Christmas, which was fine but some 9mos are easy as pie, and others are not. The thing about kids is that they all have their own personalities – some are going to be scared of Santa, some are going to love driving around looking at Christmas lights.
Can you all help me vicariously shop? I need a dress (preferably midi) that isn’t covered in ruffles and flowers. I’d prefer sleeves, at least short sleeves. This is for a few events this fall that are indoors, not super formal but I want to be and feel dressed up. I’m struggling to find options that aren’t either body con tee dresses or patterned prairie dresses.
I like this dress: https://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=4275940120003
Following with interest as I’m in the same boat with family parties/birthdays that are moderately dressy but I’m over the ruffle puff and the sweater dress bodycon things aren’t super flattering on me. I’m debating something like this:
Macy’s has some.
I think a wrap dress would be really good for this. Here are some options:
Options from BR Factory:
Lucky sizes only: https://bananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com/browse/product.do?pid=437484011&cid=1181673&pcid=1045225&vid=1&nav=meganav%3AWomen%3AWomen%27s%20Apparel%3ADresses#pdp-page-content
Might not be dressy enough but looks comfy: https://bananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com/browse/product.do?pid=434999001&cid=1181673&pcid=1045225&vid=1&nav=meganav%3AWomen%3AWomen%27s+Apparel%3ADresses#pdp-page-content
Modern Citizen has some good dresses for this purpose. Some are probably more body con than you want, but look at Lenese and Magdalena.
I love Emerson Fry clothes, I’d go with this
I have this in black and love it.
Link in mod, so check out the Halogen Wrap Woven Midi Dress in Black at Nordstrom.
I’m so tired of flowers and ruffles too!
I don’t get the hooded blazer idea. A hoodie is comfortable, and adding a blazer makes it uncomfortable. A blazer looks sharp, and adding a hood makes it look sloppy. So basically you are both sloppy and uncomfortable. Why would you want that?
I agree. I love hoodies (wearing a hooded cardigan today) but this is a bridge too far.
This piece looks very, very confused.
Me. I like it. The hoodie makes the blazer casual, so cute with sneakers and jeans. It it’s still a blazer which is super figure flattering on me and makes me feel more polished than a regular hoodie. The subversive combo of both that feels dumb to you is exactly why I like it. It’s not unlike how my pre distressed jeans freaked out my grandma in high school. Plus it’s a recognizable and pricey brand which gets you style points in my upscale town.
I like it too. I can picture it with a cute tee underneath, cuffed jeans, nice sneakers, and a crossbody for an upscale farmers’ market – brunch type outing.
I’d like to get involved in my community for personal and professional reasons. I’ve been in my community for 5 years but for a variety of reasons (including the pandemic) I haven’t had the capacity to get involved until now. I’m thinking about joining the women’s branch of our chamber of commerce (I’m in higher ed) but I would love to hear some other suggestions.
Reach out to your neighborhood senior center for volunteer opportunities.
I would suggest joining the regular chamber of commerce. Segmenting yourself off from a lot of the power brokers makes no sense and, while I completely understand why that is your inclination, I think subgroups like that are designed to keep women from real power and their appeal comes from (and serves to deepen) women’s ingrained belief that they don’t belong at the center table.
There have been threads on here about Junior League – it sounds like it varies by region. Check out your local chapter and see if it interests you.
Consider posting where you are for better suggestion. I think what might work best varies by geographic area.
Oh man, there are so many! A few ideas from my community:
1) We have a million city commissions and boards – housing, transit, social services, library, golf, parks and rec. Apply to serve on the one that best fits your interests. Even if you don’t get selected, you put yourself into the conversation
2) Start going to school board or city council meetings. Give an occasional public comment. Write an occasional letter.
3) Serve on the board of one of the big non profits. Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc, the PTA Council, Chamber of Commerce. To do that, call the CEO or the volunteering coordinator and say, “I’d like to help.” They will be ecstatic. Getting involved often starts with getting to know the organization, and that can be a slow process. Go to the events, say hello to everyone, offer to help. Once you start doing this, it will just take off.
4) Consider getting involved in elections. Host a house party for a candidate, or go to a house party for one of them. Offer to walk precincts and knock doors. Write a check. There are lots of ways to do this.
5) Look at Rotary, Lions Club, or whichever service organization is big in your community.
6) Look at some of the business districts and see if they need volunteers. That might be more fun than Chamber of Commerce – just depends on who is in what organization. I think it’s super fun to have a relationship with the folks who run the shops in our little local downtown and they’re always up for fun projects, street fairs, Halloween strolls, etc.
7) Think about Girl Scouts. You can volunteer to lead a troop (which is frankly a lot of work) even if you don’t have a kid. Or you can volunteer with their service unit, which is more like the board that keeps everything running. Of all the volunteer work I do, Girl Scouts is 100% the most rewarding because the quality of the relationships is so intentional and substantial.
I live in a smallish city (100,000 people) and my experience is that when you start doing this, the opportunities just keep expanding.
tips on getting a better haircut? I bring photos and have conversations and the stylist looks at/combs/ touches my hair doesn’t seem to work so I’m open to feedback.
for reference, I’m white with naturally blonde hair so fine but lots of hairs. I choose cuts/ photos appropriately.
I tried a new stylist last weekend after going to two others over the years who never did what I wanted. I finally felt like a ray of light shined down from the heavens, and it was clear the new stylist and I were communicating on the same wavelength. He gave me the best haircut ever— exactly what I’ve been wanting for years.
So 10/10 can recommend finding a new stylist.
recommendations on finding a new stylist when you don’t know anyone who gets great cuts near you?
Possibly also find a more expensive stylist or pick the “master” stylist at your salon. I’ve had my best haircuts when I’ve paid exorbitantly for them.
I have similar hair and have had the exact same problem. The thing that helped was choosing a very senior and expensive stylist. I have had luck twice with choosing somebody who’s responsibility includes teaching and training other stylists in the salon chain (but no cuts during their teaching time!). I think what this brings is person with an openness to communicate and patience to listen and spend time to get it right.
recent haircut was 165$ in suburban nj, so throwing money at it didn’t work.
Suburban NJ is your problem. Go to NYC.
Are you able to articulate what isn’t working? I have straight hair, fairly fine textured (although my grays change that to some extent!), but tons of it. I need a lot of thinning with each cut to keep my hair from looking too heavy, and razor thinning is much better than texturizing shears. No thinning = helmet. Texturizing shears = too choppy. Razor thinning = just right.
it never looks like the style we discussed. ie style has pieces sections. stylist feathers it, I couldn’t believe it. there’s no fix from that but wait and try again.
she was a senior stylist at s well rated place
*chunky pieces, not pieces sections!
For the piecey look, you need texturizing and product. Use pomade or wax on the ends to emphasize the pieces. Maybe your cut is okay and she just didn’t style it well?
The biggest tip that helped me was bringing photos of what I *don’t* want, and describing the aspects I don’t like: too short, too much volume in X part, too choppy, etc. I also learned a few key haircutting and hairdressing terms as well so that I could speak more confidently about what I wanted and didn’t want. Finally, I chose pictures of people with similar hair types as mine. I kept trying to get a wispy, floaty, lightweight pixie with lots of texture and tendrils and my hair is like a horse’s tail—thick, and coarse. And wavy! So the pixie with visible texture and layers was just not going to happen for me.
Does anyone here have Monday off? (Federal employees only?) This thread is my only notice that it exists.
Same. I had to really think about what holiday was happening. And I work for a gov’t contractor!!
Yes, state employee
Monday is Thanksgiving here in Canada!
Alas, no. I think Feds are the only ones who get it. I don’t get it now at a tech company, and I didn’t when I was in state gov’t (in CA) either.
It’s a bank holiday too
I now work at a F50 company and this is the first time I haven’t had Monday off. I’m cranky!
I don’t have the day off since I’m in the private sector, but I know plenty of state and federal employees who have it off
Nope. I’m in a red state and it’s a state government holiday here, but I don’t have it off even though I work for a public university (non-student facing). The university seems to treat us as state govt employees when it benefits them, but not when it benefits us. Harumph.
Does your University close with pay between Christmas and New Year’s Day? That is how my public university employer observes the “state” holidays that the university does not observe on the state schedule. I far prefer having an extra week where folks really take off to a bunch of scattered holidays where all the professionals work without support staff.
Yes, it does, and you’re right that the week off at Christmas is better than a few random days off throughout the year. But I’m still salty when the holidays we don’t get roll around. Also I think it doesn’t quite add up? There are three bonus days at Christmas and five state holidays we don’t get.
Banks have it off. I’m bank-adjacent and most people are shutting down or loosely WFH on Monday.
No. Our state courts and most of the agencies don’t even close for Columbus Day.
I too had to look up and go ‘huh, is Monday a holiday?’ — not for us!
My daughters have no school (private elementary and preschool in NYC), but I and everyone else I know has work.
I don’t but my kids do, so that’s cool.
It’s fall break at the university I work at, so there are no classes Monday and Tuesday but staff still have to work.
Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day weekend!
Where I live we celebrate indigenous peoples day on February 6th, The Sami People’s day in the Arctic regions.
Nope… but my kids do :-(
Nope. I’m self employed but my clients don’t have it off so neither do I.
I get it off, but my kids don’t, so it’s one of my favorite weekdays of the year.
I have my own small firm so I put on my automatic reply that I am out for the day. Looking forward to having a day to do work without interuptions.
It’s going to be a perfect chilly fall Saturday, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to maximize the day! One kid has a school event from 9-10 a.m. Another kid has a soccer game from noon-1:30ish. And then first kid is going to a special event with DH from 6:30-9:30 p.m., so I don’t want her to be a worn-out mess. So there’s still lots of time left in the day, but it feels like broken time, and I’m going to fritter the day away if I don’t have a plan in mind. Ideally there would be some time just for me, somewhere in there …
Ugh, i hate days like this because objectively there’s not SO much to do but the timing of the things make it really hard to plan something bigger and I feel like I’m just killing time between the things on the calendar.
IF you’re looking for advice & not just venting…you could try something fall-special but around home/local? E.g., make the Trader Joe’s gingerbread-like haunted house, paint pumpkins, etc.? or go get your nails down while spouse takes all kids to soccer, etc.? Whatever you do, I hope you have a good weekend!
Be okay with frittering?
I love days like this. I will attach an errand to any drop-offs/pick-ups and then use one hour chunks to iron napkins, start a pot of chicken stock, do some laundry, clean my windows, rake the leaves etc etc
power wash your siding and porch, or away seasonal items outdoors.
Reviewing two recent recs I’ve loved here —
Just finally got a pair of Universal Standard Moro pants, wearing them today. I love the fabric and most of the fit. They expect my waist to be a bit smaller than it is relative to my hips, but it’s fine if I’m not bloated. I can see a slight line at the bottom of the generous front pockets. Even though these are a narrow fit, I feel at home in skinnies and will buy more of this pant.
Abrams Block books — my kiddo wants the ones I got for the two year old birthday parties we’re headed to! They are such cool, interesting books. Hoping they’re a hit with the recipients, but we will definitely be buying some here once we are past the tearing-fold-out-flaps-off stage.
“once we are past the tearing-fold-out-flaps-off stage.”
That stage can last a long time…my 4 year old just ripped a flap out of a book the other day.
Oh my. Thanks for the heads up 😂
anon a mouse
Has anyone purchased a dress from Wool& lately that can comment on the fabric? I love the look of their things but I am a bit, ahem, lumpy, and don’t want the comfort to be negated by having to wear spanx or something. Is it more substantial than a t-shirt or is it a lightweight knit?
If you want heftier wool knit that shows fewer bumps, go for Eileen Fisher. I am a huge fan of wool knit dresses and own a handful and Eileen Fisher the heftiest, least clinging of all that I own.
Lightweight knit, so clingy if you get any of the more fitted options. I have a Willow that I wear a lot but it is definitely thinner material than I expected.
Agreed. I have the one recommended here and it is very thin (and shows finger marks). I won’t buy another.
Just a comment to say – try things with a slip too. I bought a dress 2 years ago that was so clingy and unflattering (final sale, of course) that I shoved it to the back of my closet, figuring I would maybe wear it once with spanx so it wouldn’t be a total loss. Fast forward to now, I found it and was about to give it away unworn and decided to try it with a very comfy gap slip underneath (mainly because I don’t know where my one pair of spanx is anymore). My body hasn’t changed but the dress looked totally different this way! So much so that a woman stopped me on my way to work to say that the dress I was wearing looked ‘perfect.’ Made my day. And I am still shocked by what a difference a slip makes.
No one will see this, but I’m always shocked how people around here call slips “old-fashioned” or “out of style.” How can an undergarment that makes your clothing look better be subject to the whims of style?!?
I am a big fan of half slips to make dresses and skirts hang better.
recommendations for high quality half slips please! willing to spend around $200 if needed.
not shapewear please and tried / struck out at Wolford.
My taste in half slips is really low-brow but Vanity Fair (at Kohl’s/) and Jockey (at Target) are really the best, work well, fit well, and last a long time. Natori has one that looks nice, and I’ve liked their other products, it might be worth a try.
It’s all so silly. Also – not that it should matter but Mr. AIMS is a HUGE fan of my gap slip dresses. Way more appealing than spanx shorts ;)
I think it’s the word ‘slip’ that has old fashioned connotations. I still use it, but when I’m in a store, they use the word shapeware, camisole, or smoothing, which while not exactly the same thing, is what many turn to today. I have a half slip that belonged to my grandmother, from silk and lace that is a bit too long, but I wear once in a blue moon. I used to have some good slips that lasted a long time, and they were great under dresses. The fabric of a slip I have now is really bad and pilled quickly, and didn’t retain the shape that well. As someone who sews, my plan is to one day make a bias cut slip from silk or silk jersey to wear under some dresses and skirts.
This. I mean, isn’t “shapewear” really just my grandma’s girdle?
Has anyone ordered Vessi shoes? Which style, how did they fit, and are they really waterproof?
Not that you are looking back so late but just in case, my sister bought a pair of Vessi sneakers (unsure of exact style) for a trip to the UK this spring and reported they were super comfortable and actually waterproof!
Not that you are looking back, but thanks! One “real-life” recommendation is enough for me!
any feedback on sezane quality ?
Alanna of Trebond
Not sure if you’re checking back, but I feel their quality has really deteriorated.
thanks. my firat (and last) order just arrived and I’m so so so disappointed. I bought a significant amount (4 pairs of suede boots, pants and sweaters…about 3k worth)
all of the boots’ suede are all marked up right out of the box, with flat spots and scratches, so cheap suede. the overwhelming chemical smell is horrible, which is the sign of very cheaply made leather goods and would trigger migraines or allergies even in hearty people. i expected way more for$370/pair.
all of the clothes are amazingly! itchy!!! I imagine it’s what itching powder is like. or wearing fiberglass insulation….
I only kept the heart socks but I don’t expect them to last long.
+1 my new suede boots were marked up right out of the box. I was so sad. My Pierro button down was noticeably more stiff/scratchy with poor quality seams and buttons. I was not happy with my last order. I will say it made its way from France very quickly though. Faster delivery than J. Crew.
dining table on carpet
I recently moved to a rental apartment where the only option to place my dining table is on standard apartment style beige wall to wall carpet. I’m afraid the first spilled glass of milk will be a disaster. I’m only renting this place for 2 years. Does anyone have suggestions of what I could put under the dining table to protect the carpet and be easy to clean, and would still allow chairs to move and not look too weird? The dining table is round and seats 4 – 6. I was thinking maybe an outdoor rug?
I’ve spent years living in places with this carpet. I’m a huge klutz, plus I have two cats that vomit a lot, and it’s really not a problem. This carpet is a staple for a reason. I use the pet stain remover on cat stains and vacuum regularly and it stays completely clean looking.
If you do ever spill beverages on carpet, the best thing to prevent a stain is to immediately dilute the spill with plenty of water. Not hot, just room temp or cold. Blot up what you can with a towel, then reassess. This buys you time to get whatever cleaner you need, find a wet vac if necessary, dig up your scrub brush, whatever. I’ve used this method on red wine, grape soda, milk, dog pee, kid vomit, all on my light carpets. None of those left stains, and I’ve not had to have the spots professionally treated.
Go for a rug. I did an outdoor rug from Home Depot and it actually works really well, but any flat area rug will probably serve you here as long as it’s big enough to pull chairs back and still be on the rug. (Bigger than you’d think)
Any advise on dealing with the office mean girl? Especially when they are sunshine and roses to most everyone but you?
My boss noticed it in the past and almost fired her, but I felt it was premature given the mean girl’s short tenure and convinced them to do an internal transfer to a parallel team. This backfired and now the mean girl is still even more conniving and troublesome for me. Her new boss thinks I just have a vendetta against the mean girl. My boss is able and plans to overrule her boss, but it will take a few weeks for Reasons and I need to function like a professional adult. In the meantime, the mean girl is actively attempting to push every last one of my buttons.
More details would be helpful. What is she doing?
General advice: disengage. Only communicate with her when necessary and do so in writing. Be polite and civil. Cc your boss if needed.
Make sure your boss actually has your back as much as you think. That MG continues means she likely is being emboldened somewhere. In the meantime, communicate as much as possible in writing or with a third party present. Keep a file of screenshots or examples in case you need to cite specific instances at some point.
in case anyone is still reading:
any recommendations for places to done or see in Krakow, Poland? business trip for Sunday to Friday this month.
Krakow is one of the Polish cities heavily hit by air pollution in winter months. Not saying the air pollution is bad right now, but be ready for it. It triggered horrible migrain for me bitj times I visited.
On the plus side, Krakow has beautiful architecture and rich (but sad) history.
There are (free) guided walking tours (also in English), which I would recommend to take. Polish people are very proud of their history and will flood you with information.
Depending on your interests and what you have seen before:
Wawel castle, walk in the Old town, Jewish quarter, stop at many restaurants and cafes (check reviews on G**gle maps). You can also try local favorite fast snack – zapiekanki.
Day trip to Auschwitz is a unique opporrunity, but very strong experience. Not everyone wants to deal with this sort of emotions during vacations, so up to you. Schindler’s enamel factory and museum is also in Krakow.
Trip to Wieliczka salt mine. It is protected by UNESCO, one of the largest mines, and its air is actually benefitial for health.
If you love mountians, Tatra Mountains (Zakopane city) is 2hrs away and it is not yet crowded with people. Amazing place for hiking, you can combine with spa.
Or National park of eagle nests (Park krajobrazowy orlich gniazd) for a castle tour and hiking.
I would recommend booking tickets through official sites and book English guide (for Oswiecim, Schindler, and Wieliczka).
so great, thank you!
Longer reply pending…
Since you’re there on business and probably only have the nights free, I won’t recommend the obvious day trip to Auschwitz, but if you have the time, you really should go.
If I only had a few hours free, I would focus on the Wawel, walking the grounds of the Jagellonian, and going to the old market/wandering old town. Others will have up to date recommendations for restaurants or whatever, but those things still stand out to me 20 years after I spent a couple weeks in Krakow.
I second the salt mines – surprisingly amazing!
Anyone flew to Paris CDG in the last few weeks and can confirm if the issues with luggage (delayed/lost) are now a thing of the past? I am flying on Tuesday and can still switch to carry-on luggage if needed. TIA
I’ve flown in and out of CDG a couple of times in the last month, including a verrrrry tight connection where the ticket agent at my originating destination just plain told me my bags wouldn’t make it because it was too tight, and my bag showed up each time without issue.
Excellent, thanks for good news!
Recipe request, difficulty level semi-high:
For temporary medical/kid reasons, I can no longer eat dairy, soy, egg, or beef. (Other meats are fine). I am making a bunch of killer salads, but I’m wondering if folks have any recipes they LOVE that fit those guidelines!
When you’re dealing with restrictions, top notch ingredients, rather than a particular recipe, will make or break your dish. If I was having friends over, a meal would look something like a firm white fish (grouper, snapper, etc – whatever looks really good that day) grilled/broiled with olive oil, salt and pepper, beans cooked simply with onion, carrot & celery (tons of variety from Rancho Gordo), rice (with coconut milk maybe) or a grain like farro, a simple salad, and cut fruit for dessert.
When it’s just me, it’s usually beans (sometimes dressed up, sometimes not) and a salad.
No specific recipes, but I would look to chickpeas or lentils as base ingredients. Indian stew type things over rice or other grains?
Sheet pan dinners are great here. Lots of recipes for chicken thighs and vegies would work (rubs and sauces switch this up and make it more or less complicated).
Salmon a zillion ways
Winter squash stuffed with quinoa, or farro (or rice) mixed with mushrooms, onion, garlic, etc. I’m all about the soup right now, since we are having a cold front … white bean and kale, roasted apple and squash, chicken chili verde, pasta fagoli.
When I need comfort food I do gringo tacos/taco bowls with ground turkey instead of beef and Daiya cheese (non-dairy, soy-free).
Also agree on the bean substitute suggestion. I just read a lentil bolognese recipe that I will probably try out this week.
I have found oat milk the best dairy substitute. Hummingbird High’s Weekend Baking cookbook has a great vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe, if that’s something you’re missing (and Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips are dairy free). I would recommend leaning into nuts and legumes. Also, Purple Carrot’s vegan recipes are great and have taught me a lot of good tricks (miso, cashew or hemp heart based sauces, etc). I think they have free recipes on their website if you don’t want to do the meal kits…
Lots of Thai recipes would work great. Use rice or vermicelli noodles instead of egg noodles if any recipes have noodles. Curries with coconut milk base would be great – things like chicken or mushrooms in spicy green curry or the sweeter red curry.
Indian recipes would be great – look for vegetables or meat in a masala (spiced) sauce, or a coconut milk lentil dahl soup/stew, Chickpeas in saag spinach or kale sauce.
Lamb meatballs or aubergines/squash/peppers stuffed with rice, lamb, vegetables and spices – no cheese necessary, but if you want a “crust”, maybe some brown rice panko sprayed with olive oil.
Aguafaba and oat milk pancakes or waffles with fresh berries.
Salads – warm potato salad with tuna, olives and artichoke hearts, vinaigrette dressing.
I was thinking Indian and Thai as well, especially if you can swap coconut aminos for soy sauce. Ground turkey is really versatile, too, and still affordable (for now at least).
When a lawyer leaves a law firm to go work inhouse at one of the firm’s clients, how is that typically negotiated? Is it the individual, the firm, or the client who tends to initiate the discussion about a possible move?
The only time the firm itself gets involved IME is if they’re managing out someone pretty senior and they “make an introduction” at a client.
For the typical scenario of an associate deciding to leave, either the client quietly hints to the associate about a new opening, or associate applies directly to a job posting at client and then lets their contacts know they did so. All is handled directly between individual and client.
Really late, but I disagree. At my Big Law firm it was pretty standard for senior partners to make introductions on behalf of good associates who were interested in going in house at a particular client. Maybe it’s true that these were not superstars and they might not have made partner, but I don’t think it’s fair to say they were being “managed out.”