Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Ikat Belted Peplum Top 

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

This really cool top from Theory looks very stylish and breezy, but also professional — and I love the tie waist, the silk material, and the black and white. I also love the way the belt itself has little striations on it. It’s still available in a couple of sizes at Theory for $285 (and also in a long-sleeved version). Ikat Belted Peplum Top

Two more affordable options are here and here; here’s a plus-size option.

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Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. Chelsea boots :

    How do you style Chelsea boots? I’ve always liked the style (and am aware the trend is over/on the way out now) because it looks so practical and comfortable. However, I’m not sure on how I should wear them – with skinny jeans? Leggings? Cuffed jeans? I am a pear with wide calves if that helps. I would love a simple throw-them-on-and-go style that is also flattering.

    • Anonymous :

      Basically with everything. I’m shaped similar to you. They’re the perfect neutral shoe. Don’t overthink it.

      • Chelsea boots :

        Really? I tried one pair on (admittedly quickly) and they seemed to make me look stumpy. I figured it was the pants or something contributing because I feel like I see them on all body types in my city.

        • It depends a little on how the boots themselves are cut. I’ve found that pretty small variations in height and width of the top of the boot can make a difference in how flattering they are. I’d order several pairs and try them all on with the same outfit to see if one works better.

        • I’m the same shape as you, and I have a pair of dressier chelsea boots (high shine leather, thin sole, almond toe) that look great, but any more casual pair that I’ve tried on with a chunkier sole has made me look stumpy for sure.

        • Anonattorney :

          They make me look stumpy.

    • I wear mine with straight legged jeans over them. Pretty simple but works. I also have big calves so skinny jeans are usually out for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I”m a pear with large legs, so I match the boots to the color of my pants or my tights. That visually extends the legline. Other than that, I wear with anything I want — skirts, pants … very simple to wear.

  2. Prime Day :

    Has anyone found anything good on [email protected] prime day? I’m not super impressed by the deals. Post your finds here!

    • I bought a new Kindle 25% off. Did not see anything else needed/wanted.

    • I looked for a few minutes this morning, but it seems that Amazon is carrying on its tradition of throwing up a random assortment of leftover [email protected] and hoping it will move. If you are in the market for one of Amazon’s tech products, though (Echo, Kindle, etc) do check those out.

    • I wanted another Echo Dot and got that on sale. Otherwise, nada so far.

    • I’m debating getting an instapot. Its $89 for the 8 qt., not sure how much lower it goes on Black Friday but I sort of don’t want it until the weather is colder so thinking I may take my chances and wait.

      • We’re looking at that too. But the 8 qt model seems big. For just two people, is the smaller model a better idea?

        • The 8 qt is huge. We bought that one, returned it, and got the 6 qt instead. Great for a family of 4 and big enough to feed more people if you’re having people over. If you’re only cooking for 2 the 4 qt might be ok.

        • if you’re not worried about storage space, go for it. you don’t have to fill it up to use it. I have a 6 qt and wish I had gone bigger.

          • Thanks – storage is a concern for us. I think I’ll wait for a smaller model :)
            Appreciate the responses!

      • I got the big instant pot on amazon for $65 last Black Friday. I watched it last year on prime day and took a chance on waiting — glad I did!
        I love my instant pot. Have found I no longer need/want a slow cooker.

        • I’m not sure if mine is 8 or 10 quart off hand. It is large. I had to give up one whole cabinet to store it. For a while I had it in that odd cabinet above the fridge (pita), and for a while just always out on the counter. It IS large. But it gets a lot of use in my house. Makes the best baby back ribs and hard cooked eggs!!

    • The best deal was one I actually wanted, the Echo – 50% off! I’d been wanting one but couldn’t justify the price. At half off (and 30% off the dot) I got them as gifts for my dad and a friend too.

      The clothing selection didn’t seem exciting, and I still need to look at the rest of the electronics.

    • I needed some stuff for my son so I threw everything in my cart to see what would go on sale. The only thing that did was a pair of shoes for 30% off so I bought those.

    • Mostly stuff for my kid– a winter coat, underpants, magnet letters. I saw puddle jumpers (those kids life jacket thingies) for $10. and I’m thinking of getting a seed spreader for my yard and one of those light up alarm clocks.

    • CherryScary :

      I got the instapot deal, and grabbed a new swimsuit. Been hoping to find a deal on bluetooth headphones or a new TV. The only TV deals in the size i want are either 4K (not convinced yet), or 720p (not quite high enough quality).

    • Bras, honestly. My usual favorite was a prime day deal so I grabbed three.

      • Thanks for this. I thought to look for my bra and there it was.

        Elomi 38G coming my way!

        • Yes, those are my faves! The elomi amelia is my go to! Trying the raquel, too, as I’ve had success with the not-quite-as-good-looking (but amazingly supportive) caitlyn.

    • I got a set of clippers so I can shave my dog’s belly. She’s hot and I hate paying for a full groom when she really only needs that.

    • Bras (hat tip Pompom)

      Running shoes for my son

      Camping hammock for my daughter

      Crest white strips for my daughter

      Thermapen knock-off for me me me

    • I bought an instant pot ($89 for 8 quart not including tax) and an inflatable SUP board. Yay!

    • I like the Calvin Klein Gayle pumps and they’re 30% off with Prime deals.

    • Blonde Consultant :

      Fossil Smart Watch (such a great deal!). Also trying Lark + Ro (Amazon House Brand) for first time with a sheath dress and wrap belt blazer. Anyone else tried Lark + Ro? Good ? Bad ? Any favs?

      • Lark + Ro dresses have a great… return policy.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Hah, yeah I bought one about a year ago and it pilled so terribly after just a few wears that it couldn’t be remedied with a lint shaver. I think it really depends on the fabric, though. I had also cold washed and air dried it even though it said it was fine in the dryer…

      • cake batter :

        I liked one – the sleeveless tweed sheath. The other fit and flare I tried was such thin fabric that it felt like a nightgown.

    • I managed to get new insoles for about 40% off, sheets for my son for college, and a new mattress cover. Overall, however, I am not that impressed.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      $60 off a Fitbit blaze!

    • Khakis for my husband (classic engineering uniform), handheld vacuum, some Melissa and Doug toys. Nothing too exciting. Britax car seats are on sale if anyone is car seat shopping.

      • I have bought some random stuff — body lotion, foot cream, compression packing cubes (I love them so much and 30% off, so . . . . ). Also some kids/baby toys for Christmas and birthday gifts for godchildren and nieces and nephews.

    • Meh. I found a suit (dress, jacket, pants) on Prime Day special at 30% off, but the same pieces were less at Macy’s after using their “Black Friday in July” promo. Plus I got 12% cash back from them through eBates and I can return to my local store. eBates is running a lot of extra cash back specials today if you have been holding off on something from a place other than Amazon.

      That said, I did buy the 100 glow stick special — Halloween is coming and those will be good to have to for the “gluten free” bowl that I put out. I would buy some Bunches O Balloons if they ran a good deal on those.

      There also is a deal for $5 off of a book purchase of $15 or more and I will pick up something with that (maybe the Harry Potter illustrated box set for The Kid for the holidays).

    • My favorite Mizuno Wave Rider Running shoes for 59.95 (about half price). I considered buying two pairs.

    • Jockey Skimmies slipshorts for $14. I stocked up.

    • Anonymous :

      Clarisonic brush heads!

  3. Anonymous :

    Anyone have experience with plus size Lands End sheath dresses? I’ve gained a lot of weight recently and bought one in a size 18. Fits fine and want to get the same dress is another color. However, it’s currently on sale and only available in plus sizes. I’ve always had better luck with larger regular sizes than plus sizes. They just don’t seem to fit me correctly. But I’ve never tried Lands End and willing to order a 16W or 18W. Any ideas which might work better?

    • Can’t speak to the sheath dress specifically, but generally switching to the plus sizes in LE gives more room in the waist/midsection, relative to the “same” size without the “W”. Depending on your body shape, this may be beneficial – for me, with proportionately larger thighs/seat and narrower midsection, the plus sizes don’t work as well as the extended “straight” sizes.

      One thing Lands End does that I really appreciate is provide garment measurements, not just size charts. When you’re on an item, there should be a link for “Item Dimensions” so you can get a sense of how big a specific garment is, relative to your measurements.

    • Chicago Attorney :

      I have both straight and plus sizes in that dress (“The Dress” as it’s known in some circles…). I agree with embees: the W is slighly larger in the midsection and also in the sleeve, if any. I feel like the W equates to roughly a half size, so if the 18 is snug, I’d size down to the 16W. Otherwise, I’d go up to the 18W – the fabric is heavy and nice enough that it probably wouldn’t look sloppy, and you could always have it taken in if necessary.

    • If you fit comfortably in a straight 18, then 16W is more likely your plus size, but it sort of depends on where you carry your weight – if it’s mostly in the midsection then 16W should be perfect but if it’s in the hips/thighs then 18W might be best.

  4. Style inspiration :

    I need some style inspiration; now that I’m out of college, I find myself gravitating towards a more classic, preppy look and I could use some ideas for how to shift more of my wardrobe this way. Any suggestions for blogs or websites that fit the bill? I’m willing to pay more for good brands that will last.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Extra Petite is lovely. I am many sizes larger and inches taller than Jean, but I’ve successfully copied her styles and gotten inspiration from her adorable outfits.

      Also Capitol Hill Style – I disagree with Belle on a lot of things, but I love her outfit picks and her “one piece multiple ways” posts.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to both of these (and I’m pretty much the opposite of petite), although I don’t enjoy Extra Petite nearly as much as I used to. She became a full time bl0gger and does a lot of sponsored posts. I liked her bl0g a lot more when she was working full-time and doing unbiased reviews of clothing items.

    • Sarah Vickers (Classy Girls Wear Pearls)

      I used to like Extra Petite before she went full-time blogger — she’ll shill anything now — but she does point out some nice options at mall stores, mostly Ann Taylor and Nordstrom.

      Agree with Baconpancakes that Belle herself is awful but she does have a good eye for pairing pieces.

      • I’d caveat Sarah Vickers with…most of that stuff is just really twee for most workplaces (obviously YMMV). I actually have met her and KJP (they live in the same neighborhood as my MIL…which just makes me laugh for some reason) and they are lovely, nice, energetic people. But their look is very curated for leisure and blog hits.

        • Fair point – I was reading the OP’s request as applying to both work and weekend wear. A lot of the pieces that Sarah features are definitely too “resorty” for the office.

        • Anonattorney :

          What is this blog? I just looked at it and am so confused. Are these people just taking pictures of themselves all day long? Do they work? I get that lifestyle blogs are a thing, but this one confuses me for some reason.

          • Anonattorney :

            Okay, nevermind, just read a bit about them and they’re kind of impressive. Not my style, but my comment above was inappropriate.

          • OMG I didn’t know how much my life was missing these people. I’ll just be over here stalking everything on KJP’s website.

          • They have mastered the curated life, for sure. Impressive business chops, actually, as you point out. I grew up right there and their initial third partner was a friend of mine in HS. When they were first starting, they had friends and family modeling all their wares. Totally fun to look back at the social media of a friend from HS (not the partner) and see their old stuff!

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, my. Yes, very impressive. But I have to admit that my first impulse upon looking at the photos on the blog was to punch everybody in the face…

          • So Americana, it makes me a little bit stabby. I am very preppy too but in an entirely different way. The excess and waste and environmental degradation caused by their lifestyle is so crazy

          • Anonattorney :

            Yes, Senior Attorney, exactly.

          • Yeah, it’s an odd world they live in. Don’t let my familiarity with it let you think I’m all about it, either. I eye roll HARD.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I want to follow just for the dog!

          • Blonde Lawyer, the dog has an insta account. I am so mad I know that. at puffinandbennie

          • I was really confused when I first read her blog too. But for some reason, I actually felt better knowing it is 100% curated and that they aren’t super rich prepster ivy leaguers.

      • One of the things I like about Belle is that she definitely has an opinion and can be snarky. Are there any other bloggers like that? It seems like a lot of the bloggers I’ve come across lately are not opinionated enough. I’m not looking for someone I can agree with on everything, but someone with a strong point of view who sticks to the point and writes about fashion instead of posting a million heavily filtered photos of themselves.

        • I agree! and she actually gives negative reviews of bad products, instead of just shilling whatever gets sent her way. I would love to find another blogger like her (although I like her also!)

          OP: maybe Blue Collar Red Lipstick?

          • Meg March :

            Blue Collar Red Lipstick can be snarky, as can Sarah’s Real Life. Both of those bloggers feel like real people to me, and like I would be friends with them.

        • I know some people on here have criticized Belle for her snark but I absolutely adore her. I don’t know why people think she’s awful. Because she’s said that crocs shouldn’t be worn in public? They shouldn’t be! (And fwiw I’m a liberal democrat).

        • designmom is opinionated.

      • With all due respect, I really hope you’re not referring to belle as awful because she’s a Republican – you can disagree with someone’s political views without them being “awful”. You’re essentially calling 40% of the country awful at that point.

        • Judging by the conversations on this site yesterday, it’s become de rigueur to call names first and ask questions later whenever someone doesn’t share your views.

        • Not the OP but my issues with CapHillStyle are more about her calling out her classmates in law school for not dressing up for class. And saying that people should not wear leggings outside their houses, only to turn around and wear leggings for her first red eye flight to Europe.

        • I don’t think she’s awful because she’s a Republican, but I am appalled that she lobbied for the NRA, which in my opinion has done terrible damage to our society. This isn’t about Republican vs Democrat or gun owner vs non-gun owner. Something like 85% of Americans support expanded background checks and we don’t have them basically solely because of the NRA buying members of Congress, which Belle directly contributed too. Also as others have said, she’s whiny and smug, political views aside.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          I think many people’s issue with Belle is that she used to be a lobbyist for the NRA, not that she’s a Republican. I think for many, working for the NRA puts you beyond the pale.

          FWIW, her political stances seemed to have softened the last few times I’ve stopped by her blog since the election, although I’m not a regular reader.

          • But that has nothing to do with her fashion blog

          • Yeah but businesses don’t exist in a vacuum. People are free to patronize, or not patronize, the businesses or blogs of their choice based on whatever criteria they decide is important to them. If Belle’s background as an NRA lobbyist means they’d rather go elsewhere, they are 100% free to do so.

            And FWIW, I do read CapHillStyle on a regular basis, so I’m not some anti-Belle hater. I can just see how someone else would make a different choice.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            It absolutely has something to do with her blog when your clicks mean you’re adding to her bank account. I think most people have businesses and organizations they wouldn’t buy from because of what those businesses support. Like emeralds said, business don’t exist in a vacuum.

          • Anonymous :

            Logic fail

            To support her fashion blog is not to support her previous employer’s political positions.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            Not all people see it that way.

        • I don’t care AT ALL about her political views – I care about her mean-spirited critiques of other women and holier-than-thou attitude.

        • People who voted for Trump are either deplorable, or some combination of uneducated/dumb. Hillary was 100% right.

          • I agree with this, but Belle didn’t vote for Trump. She was vocal about how she does not support him (although I don’t know if she voted for HRC).

          • Anonymous :

            LOL. Here is an appropriate use of sarcasm.

        • I don’t think she’s awful, but I find her blog a bit hard to read these days. I feel like she’s at a fairly lost place in her life – graduated from law school with no job (which I think is doubly hard because she’s used to being a hard-charging go-getter type), talks about needing to budget but clearly spends *tons* of money on clothes (and again, doesn’t have a job apart from the blog), struggles with depression and anxiety…I think a lot of us understand/have found ourselves in that place in life, but knowing that means that her blog reads to me as a lot of putting on a happy face when you’re really kind of falling apart, and that’s tough for me to watch (precisely because I do find her likable and do empathize with her situation, I suppose).

          • This so perfectly captures what I’ve been feeling lately.

          • Two Cents :

            I am a sporadic reader of her blog, I’m sorry to learn that she graduated with no job. I remember being pretty puzzled though at her decision to move across the country to a fairly low ranked law school in an area where she had no ties and did not even want to practice. Not sure what her reasons were for doing that. She strikes me as smart and someone who thinks things through so clearly she had her reasons.

      • I used to be a pretty avid Cap Hill Style reader but I quit around a year ago as her blog persona became more hypocritical and judgmental. She increasingly became “My opinion is the only correct opinion” about a lot of things like what her classmates wore, J.Crew, online dating, what to wear on dates, etc. It increasingly came off as sort of smug and nasty and she was a lot less responsive to her readers. I did really appreciate her willingness to poorly review products when they deserved it.

        • Ugh, I just don’t see it. I mean, the purpose of a fashion blog is to express *opinions* about fashion choices, and I don’t think any of her opinions have been mean-spirited. And as for j. crew — they have slashed their quality and maintained their high prices, and they expect their customers won’t notice?? They SHOULD be called out on it.

      • I actually really respect Belle’s approach to politics, even though I definitely very much disagree with her politically. She strikes me as very thoughtful and even-handed in her approach. And she has great taste in clothes and accessories, if a little heavy on the inspirational quotes for my personal preferences.

    • I like See Anna Jane – her style is similar to mine, lots of clean lines with a feminine touch here and there. I think she works for Trunk Club or something by day.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yes, I love her blog. Sadly, her picks have tended to be outside my price range in the last few years…

  5. Baconpancakes :

    Someone who shall not be named put my linen cotton sheath dress (with sleeves!) into the dryer, giving it a lovely puckered seam style and adjusting the length and diameter by a helpful 1 inch in all directions. Has anyone had success with steaming and stretching items anywhere near to their original dimensions?

  6. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach my manager regarding my job title/pay? For the last 7 months I’ve had increased responsibility and duties (since a member of our team left and I basically took on doing her job as well as mine) and I need my pay and status at work to reflect this change; but every time I bring it up I’m faced with a lot of hemming and hawing and vague promises. I’m getting really frustrated, enough to start looking for another job.

    • Maybe this isn’t the right person to come up with the solution? For example, if you approached me with this, I might “hmmm it” not because I don’t care but because I don’t know the answer. Would it help if you emailed something like, “I wanted to follow up with you on our previous discussions about changing my job title to reflect the additional responsibilities I’ve taken on since I accepted the position here in [June, 2015]. I have done substantial research into how other companies define this role and it seems that most refer to it as [insert industry standard job title here]. I would love to discuss formalizing this with you and deciding how we should proceed from here. I am available XXXX at 3pm or XXXX at 9am. Please let me know which works better for you and whether this meeting should be just you and I or whether I should ask HR/their boss/etc. to join. Thanks!”

      Maybe doing the research (and being ready to show where you researched) would help to get the title changed and then you could use that title to discuss with HR or whomever what the standard pay rate should be for someone of that title?

      • I would not do this. At all.

        You should have a more general conversation about your workload with your manager, and how the new stuff you’ve taken on is impacting your ability to do your core job (the one you were hired for). That should segue into a discussion about whether some of the new work is permanent, and at that point, you should talk about how this will impact your pay/title etc. Your manager might be reworking the team, and there might be a promotion in it for you. Your manager might be trying to backfill the role vacated, but it’s taking a while, so you have to pitch in and in a good company, this will result in a nice bonus at year end. You might be in a spot where you manager is seeing if there’s a promo opportunity for you, but needs to see some results. All of those things are fair game for conversation, but I would not go into it thinking you’ll get a pay bump and title bump tomorrow. The only exception to this is if the person that left has a higher title/salary, and you’ve assumed the role. At that point you can talk to your boss about if you *have* that person’s job, and if so, when will your title/pay reflect it.

        I’m a VP in a non-law company, and have had teams of directors, managers, and individual level contributors reporting into me over the years. We’ve had a lot of flux in terms of team members and people stepping up temporarily and floundering, stepping up and flourishing, everywhere in between.

        • to add- if it’s already been made clear that you are taking on all of this person’s work, and you’ve had a clear convo that you are now performing at a higher level, then you should hold firm to “when will my title/salary reflect this change?” But be prepared for nothing until your next review cycle, or nothing ever (in which case you should look to move).

      • LOL I’m sorry but this is such terrible advice. Sometimes, it’s better not to say anything than to give terrible direction.

        If you as a manager do not know how to handle a situation, go talk to your manager. FFS.

        • +1 There’s no situation where you should ever email someone equal or higher than you in your organization’s hierarchy with anything even remotely similar to the text “I am available XXXX at 3pm or XXXX at 9am. Please let me know which works better for you and whether this meeting should be just you and I or whether I should ask HR/their boss/etc. to join.”

          • anon for this :

            I work in the non-profit sector and previously worked in a corporate office in HR, that advice is pretty standard in a situation where the superior has indicated that the workload is indefinite and the issue with title is a lack of response, not a response that no change will occur.

            I think this might be in a “know your office” (or maybe “know your industry”) situation more than bad advice, though I suppose that’s true about many things posted here.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Heh at a minimum it should be changed to “let me know whether this meeting should be just you and ME or whether I should ask HR…”


      • This sounds like a move one of my “i’m-just-2-years-out-of-college-but-i-still-know-better-than-you”hires would think is appropriate and would do. Horrible, horrible advice.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I think mgmt’s input is spot on…. but could you have another one of these conversations maybe without putting your manager on the spot as much. IE, have a conversation about your “future with the team” / a more general conversation about skills your manager might like to see you develop / what is needed for you to get to the next level. The outcome of this conversation will tell you whether its worth fighting it out at your current company or beginning to plot out next steps.

      I have nowhere near mgmt’s experience but have seen situations where people are lacking something / not really performing a level up and are sort of viewed as an in between until a better fit is found, I have also seen the reverse where person x is stellar and is doing their job x as well as x+1, but is in a team that isn’t in a political place to promote someone to x +1.

      • Agree. If you’ve been doing this 7 months OP, has that 7 months included a performance review? how did that go/what was discussed about your growth at the time?

        I would also ensure that unless you’ve been told otherwise that your actual job (the one you were hired for/are being measured on) is producing excellent results. And by all means, if taking on the open job’s duties has left you unable to do your original job well, you need to be having clear and frequent conversations with your manager to make sure y’all are in sync. Ideally in writing if you suspect this will be an issue (my best people always send me written summaries of talks like this– frankly, I often have too much going on to document myself in great detail, and when my team does it for me it’s magnificent. It also ensures we are on the same page.)

    • Hugs. Men want us to work, but do NOT want to pay us. You show them this post. I am Ellen Barshevsky, and I had a boss who was a slob, so I quickly took another job when I met the manageing partner. He is fair and nice and treats me nice. He pays me and does NOT stare at my boobies like the old boss did. You should be like the manageing partner to your employee and pay her for her work for you. That is onley fair, so stop thinkeing your so smart by NOT paying her. If she leaves, you will be up the creak without a paddel, so just pay her so she can stay and do great work for you.

      OP, try this and we will all be keeping our fingers crossed! YAY!!!

  7. How do I go about finding a housecleaner? I need someone to come in just once or twice a month to do a “deep cleaning” of a couple of rooms. Is Yelp a legitimate source? Do people prefer Angie’s List? TIA!

    • Word of mouth. If you’re new to the area and don’t have any local ties, go to Craigslist and then check references once you’ve interviewed people.

      • I’m in a large city, so a bit wary of just going on Craigslist. I know word of mouth is always best, but I also have an odd situation where all my colleagues live in the suburbs so their recommendations aren’t useful.

        Can I use Yelp/Angie’s List as an alternative to actual references?

        • Anon in NYC :

          Do you know if there are any FB groups or listservs for your city/neighborhood? I’m on a local listserv and get a lot of area-specific recommendations there.

        • PatsyStone :

          Have you checked for your neighboorhood on Nextdoor? I’ve gotten really great recommendations for these sorts of services using it.

        • Tech Comm Geek :

          I’ve had good luck using Angie’s List to find cleaners for a one-time deep cleaning.

      • Yes word of mouth, or Nextdoor for the neighborhood if that is not an option. but seriously, go make small talk with some neighbors.

    • Anonymous :

      Yelp and Angie’s List are both good for reviews. But you may have a tough time finding someone to just clean one or two rooms. We originally wanted that (just kitchen and bathrooms, since we have a Roomba and I don’t mind dusting) but most cleaners required a minimum spend to come out to our house (since they don’t charge for transit) and the minimum spend was basically the equivalent of having our whole house cleaned. I would expect to pay for the cleaners’ transportation if they’re only going to be at your house for a little while.

    • THIS. Any DC recommendations?

      • What neighborhood? Are you in DC proper or the suburbs?

      • I use Lucy Huamani – http://lucycleansdc.com/ Ignore the stock photo filled website! Her business is just her and her husband. Lucy is great, very accommodating, communicative, and trustworthy. I hired her to clean my studio in Dupont once a month but I think she works all around the DC area.

        • Perfect…I have a (small) one bedroom in Dupont, and always felt sort of stupid getting a cleaner…but #BigLawLife, I haven’t been able to keep up with cleaning regularly enough.

    • Make sure to choose someone licensed/bonded so that you are covered in the event of damage or injury. Many seem to also indicate to such that there are nanny cams and home security around, as some thinks it helps to keep people honest and it helps to prevent anyone from tipping off friends who might break in. (Dunno if that’s smart or if it’s paranoid but whatever helps you sleep at night!) Sometimes you can find great deals with college kids or a friend’s high school student in need of spending money, but it’s certainly up to you whether to choose someone who isn’t legally protected in the event of damage or accident vs. getting cheaper pricing!

    • Care dot Com

    • I used living social and groupon to sample a few until I found one I like, and we’ve been using her for 2 years now.

    • Amazon Home Services?

  8. Netflix and Cardio :

    What’s your favorite show to binge on Netflix while on the treadmill or elliptical? I like having a “cardio-only” show, but I just finished Jessica Jones and I’m stumped on what to try next (apart from the other Marvel series on Netflix- the female protagonist was what got me into Jessica Jones, not the Marvel story arc).

    • Master of None

    • Good question! I’ve liked Don’t trust the B in Apt. 23, Kimmy Schmidt, GLOW, Fuller House (stupid, I know, but fluffy), VEEP, and One Day at a Time. Following eagerly for other suggestions! There aren’t that many 30-ish minute shows it seems.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a huge Jessica Jones fan and I love the Marvel movies but I agree the other Netflix Marvel shows haven’t caught my attention.

      I basically use Netflix to rewatch The Office, Friends, Community and Arrested Development over and over and over.

    • Anonymous :


      • Ditto on Glow. I loved Jessica Jones — GLOW is definitely more of a comedy, but does have some female empowerment story lines you may like?
        there is some nudity, but not a ton — FYI if you’re streaming next to someone while on the treadmill.

    • Crazy Ex-GF, for easy silly 20 min episodes, Degrassi, Younger, silly reality shows (Married at First Sight, 90 day fiance, Spouse House, Dating Naked), for something fast paced, ER is great.

    • Chelsea boots :

      It’s too bad Netflix removed Say Yes to the Dress because that was the perfect treadmill show. Otherwise, I’d see if any home renovation shows are available. I prefer something I don’t have to follow too closely when I’m working out.

    • givemyregards :

      It depends how long your workout is, but I’ve been watching old episodes of House and Law and Order on the treadmill recently – something about wanting to find out the ending makes the 40 minutes (or hour if you’re watching on actual TV) go by really quickly.

      • Netflix and Cardio :

        I’m so sad they took House off of Netflix! About 40 mins is exactly what I’m looking for.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

          • Triangle Pose :

            Also off Netflix. On Hulu though, if you have that!

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Really? It is still on the Canadian one.

          • Triangle Pose :

            Ah, yes, it’s off the US Netflix. should have specified. If you have one of those VPN to another country on your browser (Hola!) you can still watch. I watch on my phone so use Hulu.

    • Jane the Virgin! Hilarious and very smart.

    • Hart of Dixie, How I Met Your Mother.

      You could also be really cruel to yourself (motivating?) and watch the Great British Baking Show.

      • Netflix and Cardio :

        I love GBB and it was actually my first thought, until I realized I would leave the gym and want to go bake (read: eat) a cake every. single. day.

    • Chicago Attorney :

      Jane the Virgin! A lot happens visually (texting, etc.) so it’s helpful to be on the elliptical and distracted by it as opposed to on my couch, playing on my phone.

    • I usually watch sports (or read on my kindle) when doing cardio machines, which is admittedly not that often. But as for tv, I really enjoyed “The Good Place”, which I think is on Amazon. Have you watched “The Americans”? The tension alone gets my heart rate up.

    • Shopaholic :

      Last time I was in the US, I saw Desperate Housewives was on Netflix (sadly its not on Canadian Netflix) – that may be a great treadmill show!

    • I stopped watching shows that don’t have a female protagonist unless they’re really exceptional. My favorite shows to watch when I’m doing something else are:

      iZombie (love Rob Thomas and think everyone should watch Veronica Mars–if you like Jessica Jones I think you’ll love Veronica Mars)
      Crazy Ex Girlfriend
      Jane the Virgin
      The Good Place (on Hulu)
      Veep (on Amazon)

      I plan to start Younger (on Hulu) soon since a friend highly recommended it. It sounds like it might fit the bill for you too.

      I started watching Anne with an E, or whatever Netflix is calling the new Anne of Green Gables show and really like it so far. It’s very different from the old one, but the girl who plays Anne is exceptional.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      For short workouts, I rewatch Scrubs. For longer work outs, The Crown, although I just finished season 1, so have to find something new.

    • Another anonymous judge :

      Scott and Bailey – awesome female protagonists. A bit dark, but great stories. 44 minutes/episode

  9. Construction 101 :

    I’m an experienced civil litigator suddenly doing some construction cases. I’m comfortable with the law. Where I’m getting lost is some of the terminology unique to construction cases. I find myself jotting down words and googling them after just about every phone call. I can guess what some of them mean by the context but you know what they say about assuming. For example, retainage. (I’ve since figured that one out.)

    Does anyone have a good resource for getting comfortable with construction lingo? CLEs are too law focused. I need something that’s more fact based. I’m considering reaching out to an attorney I know that does all construction law but I wanted to see if you all had any suggestions first rather than admitting my ignorance to a real life person. :)

    • Is there an Understanding Construction Law or similar approachable treatise you could pick up?

    • I think that the Association for Corporate Counsel has a construction contract primer that might help.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      How about some home improvement shows that are more about contracting than design? There is an old Canadian show called Holmes on Homes where a contractor (Mike Holmes) was brought in to do remediation work on renos gone wrong that was very informative.

      • I remember that show being very popular here in the States right around the time my H and I were buying our first home. The poor seller’s agent…we had the.longest.visit at the open house because we thought we *were* Holmes on Homes haha (also we spotted some things that we were able to negotiate the price down a lot, so, that was good).

        • Never too many shoes... :

          That is hilarious. Our basement renovation, including the installation of a tankless hot water heater and spray foam insulation, was definitely heavily influenced by my husband’s obsessive watching of that show.

          • I love this show, but it’s not a good source to learn what the OP is asking (I do construction contract review). If you have access to ULI, PLI, or NAIOP, check out their programming. Strafford runs online CLEs as well.

    • If you’re in a major or even secondary city, there is likely a real estate construction-focused professional group that offers “101” type sessions. Depending on the programming cycle, it may be a while until you get one that is exactly what you’re looking for (NAIOP, ULI, as examples). There are some great text books out there, too. I’m on the financing side so my resources aren’t a perfect f it for what you’re looking for, but look for university classes and then find out what text book they use and buy it as a reference guide.

    • Call your contact. It is very specialized. My hubby is a construction lawyer and the terminology does have a steep learning curve. He’s in the ACCL which I think gives him access to helpful material — he also goes to area trade group meetings, which has helped get him comfortable with the subject. He’s also gone on some site visits, which really helped with the lingo. Maybe that is an option with some of your clients?

    • No advice, I’m in the same boat. I just google everything I can, and try to use context when appropriate.

    • The AIA has contract docs, as well as glossaries and explainers geared towards architects, contractors, and owners–this might be a good place to start.

    • The ABA used to do a “sticks and bricks” construction seminar that is a good one for terminology. I haven’t been in a while. You may want to check out the Construction Law Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation to get their regular newsletters or the Construction Law Forum, both good resources for construction litigations. Otherwise, just experience and google provide the main sources of primers.

    • Anonymous :

      Use the resources suggested here, but also talk to someone- an experienced construction law attorney or better yet, a construction project manager in your area. I hear you on the admitting ignorance part, but a lot of the terminology is local or different based on what part of the construction industry you’re dealing with. I do real estate law on the transactional side including some construction and its very complicated to me after 7 years. I always have to partner with good construction project manager to know what’s going on.

  10. I’m part of a three member friend group. Friend A and I are both pregnant with our first children and due in the fall, a couple months apart. Friend B has been emailing or texting me almost weekly with links to gifts she’s buying for Friend A. Ostensibly, she’s asking me questions about what she should buy but the questions aren’t practical “mom” questions (not that I’d be able to answer those anyway), they’re questions like “What color should I get this in?” that she really doesn’t need my opinion about. Friend B hasn’t yet bought me any gift for the baby. I assume she’ll buy me something at some point (although I honestly don’t know – she mentioned that Friend A could give me some of this stuff as hand-me-downs) but she’s clearly not going to be buying me all the stuff she’s buying Friend A. They’re closer than she and I are (Friend A is the ‘glue’ of the group) and she should buy gifts for whoever she wants to, but I feel like it’s super rude to tell me in detail what she’s buying for Friend A when I’m also expecting right around the same time and could use all this stuff too. Is there a polite way to say “Please stop sending me links to all this baby stuff you’re buying for someone else?” or is this a situation where I need to just smile and say “Oh that’s cute!” and roll my eyes on the inside?

    • I’d tell her to stop. That sounds like some passive aggressive BS to me. You could say something along the lines of, “This is stressful for me as I’m already overwhelmed with baby choices” – which was definitely true for me during pregnancy – but I would be tempted to just not respond to those messages. Sounds like she is trying to get a reaction out of you.

    • Just stop answering those emails and ignore her gift questions.

      • Anonymous :

        No way! Ghosting your friend is inconsiderate and uncharitable. Presume positive intentions and move on.

        • Is not answering frivolous emails really considered “ghosting”? I feel like that term is starting to get thrown around for anytime someone doesn’t immediately respond to anything. If someone is sending you multiple emails a day or week that are about something that doesn’t even really have to do with you, you don’t really have an obligation to answer them all. or just reply with a non-answer, “I don’t know, they both look great,” or “I can’t even decide about my own baby stuff!”

    • Sounds like she thinks she’s hitting two birds with one stone – she buys for Friend A with the intention that you’ll get the benefit of it too because Friend A will pass it along. She probably knows Friend A’s taste but wants to make sure you’ll like it too.

      If that’s what’s going on, I think an eye roll and “super cute!” is the best you can do. I wouldn’t feel comfortable explaining to someone that if she wants to buy me a gift she needs to buy it for ME not for another friend who will hopefully pass it along in a hopefully decent state.

      • Or she’s just clueless and thinks that you know all of the mom secrets. For all you know, she’s bugging Friend A with gift ideas for you and she’s feeling like she’s left out when she’s the closer friend.

        Senior Attorney has said it better: assume the best and move on
        Similar to Ellen: JSFAMO

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          That is what I was thinking. She IS buying you gifts and bothering other pregnant friend about the details of those.

      • She may also be feeling you out for something she’s getting you? I can’t tell from the question if these are gifts she’s given or not, but if not, that’s definitely a possibility.

    • I think I’d reply “Oh, that’s cute! I’m sure she’d love the purple. I’m going to add one in green to my own registry!” or “Wow, this looks so useful. Hopefully I’ll get one too for Baby Anonymous!” hoping that the I-need-all-this-stuff-too subtext would make Friend B uncomfortable and stop. But you may wish to be more mature about it than that.

      P.S. There is very little other than newborn clothing that will be ready to be handed-down if your babies are 2 months apart, so you might mention that.

      • Yeah, I don’t think she’s really intending this stuff to be handed down. She mentioned in passing that some of the clothing could maybe go to me (even though I think it likely can’t, since our babies could easily be only a month apart if Friend A is late and I’m on time, and my family tends to make bigger babies than Friend A’s family), but she’s also sending me links to lots of stuff that clearly can’t/won’t be handed down, like a baby book, nursery artwork, stuff personalized with Friend A’s baby name, etc.

        • I think if you haven’t had a baby yet, you might not understand that. There’s a ton of assumptions that I made when I shopped for pregnant friends and co-workers that I just cringe at now. I meant well but had no idea at all.

    • Might be reading too much into it, but sounds as though she’s feeling left out of the group since the two of you now share something in common that she doesn’t. She probably wants to stay in the loop by talking baby gear with you and/or Friend A.

      • I thought this too. I’ve having trouble seeing how her behavior is malicious toward you. She is likely either A) shopping for ideas you’d like B) trying to find out what friend A likes through you to get exactly what A wants C) trying to stay connected to both of you when she feels left out D) could very well be doing the same with A for you.

        Hand-me-down talk is probably just naivete – every pregnancy is different and she may not realize all the potential differences in baby size/timelines/etc.

        If the frequency is annoying, just don’t reply back or give a short “cute!” If you’re envious that those two are closer or you want her to buy you something, I’d just let it go.

    • Sounds annoying. HOWEVER!!!
      1. You have a friend that will have a baby +/- 2 months from you. This is awesome and double extra triple awesome if they are the same gender. Even if they are a month apart you will get TONS of stuff from her. Just some examples of what I gave away:
      – overbought on post partum pads, had unopened boxes. Gave away. Threw away the opened boxes because nobody wanted them. My BFF would have taken them in a hot second.
      – All duplicates from her baby shower and gifts
      – All bottles/pacifiers/swaddles she buys out of desparation to GET THE BABY TO SLEEP and then the baby doesn’t like any of them
      – infant insert to baby carrier
      – infant gyms (mine had a self life of 6 weeks max before the little buggers wanted to do other things)
      – bumbo chair (f you want one. they are stupid and my kid used one for 2 weeks total)
      – diapers her kid can’t use or half open boxes when the kid changes sizes
      – clothes- you say you won’t, but you really might! I have so many outfits that my kids wore ONCE or not at all because they grew like weeds.
      – walker- all 3 of mine used this for approx 3-4 weeks

      Plus, if you live close, think of all the things you can try before you buy: swings, rock n play, bouncer, high chair, etc.

      • This is a test. If you aren’t handling a friend asking well-meaning questions on an episodic basis, are you prepared to have 18 years of it 24/7?

    • Or she could be using the other friend as a pretext to see what YOU would like.
      I was once very annoyed at my college roommate for randomly bothering me during the week of final exams. It turned out she was trying to get my other friends’ contact information and plan my 21st bday.

    • I could be your Friend B. So let me say: sorry and I hope you feel like you can have an IRL conversation with me about this. FWIW, you announced your pregnancy SUPER early and made it awkward for all of us (you haven’t told your parents?? You haven’t heard the heartbeat??) Then, when I tried to feel you out on gifts for YOUR child, you said you were “overwhelmed and don’t want to think about that right now” so I backed off.
      Ok maybe I took the scenario too far. But seriously, OP, talk to her! If she’s a good friend she will understand. If not, you should move on because you don’t have time for friends like this after baby arrives. Signed, Been there except I do have a kid and it is hard.

      • Why does announcing a pregnancy super early make it awkward for your friends? I’m not OP but I told several close friends before my parents and before we’d heard the heartbeat. I was trying to shield my parents from the sadness in the event of a loss but I had to tell someone and I would have wanted support from those friends if something had gone wrong.
        Announcing early didn’t have anything to do with gifts and I ended up not even having a shower.

        • Anonymous :

          I am not the OP. My bff told me early and I was so excited and loved it, BUT it caused one of our other friends to try to get me own up to the fact that I knew before she did and make it a competition about who my bff was treating as a better friend. It was completely ridiculous and I didn’t play into the game at all and most certainly didn’t answer the question, but it did mean I had to lie by omission to another one of my friends. I still would have wanted my bff to tell me early, but people are weird.

        • Yeah that’s a fair point, Anon. But I’ve struggled with infertility for years and friend knew this. It just put me in a really hard place that both my friends from a group of three were pregnant and I was expected to react to this news in front of them and their hubs. I basically spent the evening looking into my plate and trying not to cry (my hubs was amazing and really supportive after). Anyway, I know it’s my problem but it came off as a little tone deaf even though I knew she was just sharing due to excitement. Buuuut I didn’t want to get into all that on an internet rant so…

  11. Any go-to potato recipes you love or even just like? We are once again overwhelmed by potatoes during CSA season (plus my dad just loves bringing out a bunch from his garden every time he visits). I am super bored by our potato recipes. We have both waxy and starchy potatoes, though Yukon Gold (waxy) are my favorite and we have those right now.

    • My CSA came last year with a recipe for Blue potato salad with lemon and basil. It works with other waxy potatoes too and is a nice change from the usual potato salad.

      Serves 6

      3 lb blue potatoes
      1 small bell pepper, diced
      ¼ large onion, chopped fine
      Juice of one lemon
      1 tsp apple cider vinegar
      ¼ cup olive oil
      1 tsp sugar
      15 fresh basil leaves
      Salt and pepper to taste

      Place whole potatoes in a pot, cover with water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiled, turn off heat. Leave lid on and let sit in the hot water until the potatoes are softened, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and let cool, chop into bite-sized pieces. Add bell pepper and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and sugar. Chop the basil and stir into dressing. Pour dressing over potatoes and toss to coat. Season to taste. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes before serving.

    • Oven fries (see oven fries for two recipe if you google it). Frankly I just like chopping them into about 1 inch chunks and roasting at 450 with grapeseed oil and salt for about 30-40 minutes, flipping twice. Like eating candy for me.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Smitten Kitchen’s Oven Fries. They amazing and I could eat them every day. I use Yukon Gold for them. (Note – she has both oven fries and french fries that are fried – I’ve only made the oven fries).

      • Anon in NYC :

        I also had a good side dish the other day that was pretty seasonal. Dice potatoes (fairly small) + zucchini (about half moons), toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast at 425 for about 20 minutes or so. Very simple, and you can change up the seasonings if you want.

    • Tortilla Espanola (can be breakfast for the week or nice lunch/dinner with a side salad).
      Pommes Anna (smitten kitchen has good recipes for both)
      I do an oven fries variation with Yukon Gold’s with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped garlic. Rosemary in place of garlic works well too.
      You could make and freeze potato soup for use in September when the weather is cooler.
      Or make a yummy pasta with linguine, small diced potatoes, string beans and pesto (NYT has a good recipe, but I basically improvise)
      Gnocchi – to use or freeze

    • I know it’s summer, but the loaded baked potato soup from [email protected] Delicious is GREAT.

    • Twice baked potatoes. Potatoes au gratin. I don’t have go-to recipes, but always love those dishes wherever I try them.

    • Anonattorney :

      Potato soup! Peel and cube potatoes, boil in broth (vegetable or chicken). After the potatoes are tender, puree with an immersion blender. Add spices – cayenne, salt and pepper, fish sauce. Add some white cheddar (4 oz or so, depending on how much soup). Add bacon if you want.

      I like to make it thinner (higher broth to potato ratio) in the summer and if you season enough, it’s even good cold.

    • Smashed potatoes.


      Or, instead of pesto, can also just smother in malt vinegar. But I love malt vinegar more than is rational so YMMV.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Potato rosemary pizza! I think Smitten Kitchen has a recipe.

    • I had a kimchi potato salad the other day that was completely amazing. Who knew kimchi would go so well in potato salad?

    • Anony Mouse :

      Austrian potato salad (vinegar-based dressing, not sweet): https://stefangourmet.com/2014/03/18/wiener-erdapfelsalat-viennese-potato-salad/

      Colcannon: https://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/colcannon (you don’t need quite as much butter as this recipe calls for; green cabbage or any kind of kale work great)

      Greek-style potato salad (Greek-yogurt-based dressing): http://www.mediterrasian.com/delicious_recipes_greek_potato_salad.htm

      French potato and green bean salad: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12564-french-potato-and-green-bean-salad

      Patatas Bravas: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/mar/31/how-cook-perfect-patatas-bravas

    • Yukon golds are my favorite. 2 recipes for you:

      Roasted –
      Cut in to 1 inch chunks. Boil in salted water (start off cold, bring water to boil with potatoes in it) for 4-5 minutes. Drain and put back in hot pan to dry for a second. Put in roasting pan. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 350 for 30 minutes or until fork-tender. They will have a great crispy crust from par-boiling. If you have a le creuset, you can do everything (boil and roast) in that.

      Potato salad – (I use a 5 pound bag for this)
      Cut into 1 inch chunks. Place in cold water, salt water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes or maybe a little less, until fork tender. Drain and place back in the pot to dry. Put potatoes in a covered bowl in fridge to chill. When cold add 1 cup mayo, 2-3 tablespoons of dijon mustard (to taste), 1 container of blue cheese crumbles, a few crumbled slices of bacon (I use the pre-cooked stuff), 3-5 green chopped green onions, salt and pepper to taste. YUM. This recipe is my kryptonite.

      For starchy – follow the NYT classic potato latke recipe. Delicious.

  12. NoVA ladies: does anyone live in in the Del Ray area of Alexandria? DH and I are looking at houses in this neighborhood. Any thoughts? How is it for families with young kids? How is the daily commute into DC (DH is on the yellow line, I’d be on the blue line)?

    • Be as close as possible to Dairy Godmother.
      That is all I can contribute here, but I don’t think you need any other information ;-)

    • I don’t live there, but several college friends with kids do and they love it and use the public school. Half of the moms work. One dad commutes into DC but the others work in VA/DC (nonmetro accessible part), so can’t comment on that. I think they’ve been there 10+ years, which is to me incredible for such a transient area.

    • AnonNovaResident :

      I live there and have for about a decade. It’s a wonderful neighborhood for families with young kids, in terms of lifestyle, walkability, and proximity to kid-friendly things like playgrounds, casual family-friendy restaurants, library, etc. The only downside would be the poor reputation and test scores/great schools rating of the local elementary school -mount vernon community school. But increasingly neighborhood parents have started to send their kids to MVCS, and they seem happy. My child is not yet school aged, so we have not decided whether to do public or private. We love the neighborhood so much, though, that I’d rather pay for private schools than leave.

      If walkability is not a big issue for you, and public schools are critical, you may want to consider the neighborhood just south of Del Ray — Rosemont. You could be walking distance to the king street metro, depending on where in that neighborhood you are, and their local elementary — Maury — has a much better (current) reputation than MVCS. That said I think Maury had some similar challenges to MVCS, but improved because neighborhood parents committed to sending their kids there.

      Commute-wise, I drive (25-45 minutes depending on traffic), so I don’t know about metro commute times. However there is no long term parking at braddock road metro, so you have to factor in time to walk/bike/bus to the metro as a factor in your metro commute.

      • I posted above — my friends in the area must be zoned for Maury b/c I’ve see kids in their stuff and not the other school’s.

    • I don’t have children so can’t speak to schools, but have lots of friends with young families who live in the area and love it. Braddock Road metro is probably the closest, you will either have to walk or grab a bus. Depending on where you are in Del Ray, bus on Route 1 to Pentagon City metro is also an option.

      Pretty safe, very walkable, inclusive… I love visiting and spending time there.

      +1 to Dairy Godmother. By +1, I mean +1000000.

    • I live about 3/4 of a mile away and there seems to be literally nothing but young families there – to the point that when I go to a restaurant there, I sometimes feel weird that I don’t have a kid/stroller with me. I have friends who live there and plan to send their kids to public school but I know not everyone feels that way.

    • Arlington Mom :

      I live in Arlington, but have lots of friends with young kids in Del Ray. Overall, it seems like a very family-friendly neighborhood, with one important caveat. Almost all of my friends that moved there before kids or with babies are starting to get worried about schools as their kids approach school age. I know quite a few people already researching (expensive!) private schools for the toddlers/preschoolers when the time comes. The houses in North Arlington are generally more expensive, yes, but the commute is usually better and the schools are without exception fantastic, so it might be a financial wash or even a win in the long run. Just something to consider.

    • AlexandriaAnon :

      I live a couple miles south of Del Ray in Old Town/Carlyle Square to be closer to the metro. Del Ray is one of those deceptively close to the city areas of NoVa that, while it has a lovely, walk-able main drag, isn’t that accessible to a public-transportation-only commute. Most of Del Ray is over a mile from Braddock Road, the nearest metro stop. But, if you find something close enough to Braddock or King Street, they’re both connected to the Yellow and Blue lines and service reliability has been better lately.

      That said, Del Ray is adorable and we considered moving there when we both had driving commutes and were primarily ubering into the city for social events because the metro was experiencing such extreme service delays. The yummy-mummy-yoga-pants count is very high, it’s very dog-friendly, and it has a handful of cute restaurants and shops with a nice village-y feel.

      We’re childless, but I have heard people bemoan the quality of Alexandria schools. However, I’m not sure how much that’s due to the fact that Alexandria is composed of several extremely economically disparate areas. (Link on that to follow.)

  13. AnonForThis :

    So looking for some advice from the lawyer hive here….I made the switch from litigation to in-house a little over a year ago for a variety of reasons (but mainly better work/life balance) and I do not think this is a good fit. I’ve had this feeling since a few months in…There’s nothing “wrong” but I feel like the position was really not as advertised (more doc review) How long would you stick it out? Does it look bad to have left after only a little over a year?

    • I think the standard advice is everyone is entitled to leave quickly once. The tricky part is making sure that you will be content to stay at the next place for a bit longer. FWIW, I don’t think over a year is that bad these days. A friend recently switched firms twice after about 8 months at one place and 9 months at the other but each move was a positive experience and the time didn’t seem to be an issue for her current employer.

    • I think a year is sort of the minimally acceptable amount of time. If you’re leaving after less than a year, you better make damn sure you’re going to stay at the next place for a while. But if you’ve been there a full year I think you can move on without overthinking it too much.

    • I would normally stick it out for 1-2 years, but your comment about doc review changes this for me. I’m not sure if this is the case in other industries, but there’s a pretty steep learning curve expected of lawyers. There’s a limited amount of time to develop the skills we need to be successful so you really can’t waste time in a position that won’t provide quality work. You might have more breathing room in house than at a firm, idk, but I’d at least start looking ASAP.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 If you stay you’ll get depressed and your skills will atrophy. It would be different if you were at a place with a steep learning curve. If you graduated during the recession or after job hopping is really not an issue. It’s much more normal to see people with a few hops before they settle in somewhere.

  14. Anon, because this is embarassing :

    More decluttering/closet cleaning discussion. I’ve offloaded 4 grocery bags full of old clothes, I have two more ready to go plus a bag of stuff that’s good enough to donate. Feels good, but I still have work to do. Planning a long overdue yard sale in September as well, and a massive purge of old junk at my parents’ house.

    I am, however, getting hung up on clothing that has sentimental value. For those who acquired a collection of t-shirts from school plays, dance recitals, summer camps, etc. during your teen years, at what age did you get rid of them? Was it hard? Or do you still have some of them? Seems like each year I’m able to get rid of more and more “symbolic” stuff, so maybe I could revisit these in a couple years, but I’m 28, high school was ten years ago, how much longer can I let myself cling to these things I never wear, just because of what they represent?

    • Maddie Ross :

      I have a t-shirt quilt of my favs (in my case, my sport ones) and am getting ready to have a second made of my college sorority ones. It’s not everyone’s style, but I love blankets and it takes up less space in storage.

      • Anon, because this is embarassing :

        I’ve been thinking of doing this, got the idea from Gilmore Girls a while back. I’d need to learn how to quilt first! Could be a fun project this fall though.

        • There are people who will do it for you. I had my husband’s done while I was in law school – a classmate’s grandmother did it. Check Etsy.

      • I have one too. It’s not like I use it as my everyday bed quilt or a throw in the living room but it’s nice to be able to haul out and cozy with especially on an old school movie night.

    • You can have a quilt made of them.

    • The cotton ones disintegrated over time and/or got stinky. I took pictures and posted on FB and kept the memory but lost the stuff.

    • A someone who always wanted a t-shirt quilt but realistically knew I’d never get around to having it done, I can sympathize. I took scissors to the shirts and cut out the parts I wanted (logos, pictures, my name, etc.) and put the pieces in a Sterilite box. Yeah, I still have the box to store, but it takes up way less room and it’s easier to look through the memories.

      • Anon, because this is embarassing :

        Huh, that’s not a bad idea! I still have them in some form, and I can use the pieces for a quilt if I ever feel like getting started.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a great idea!

      • That is a great idea. If they are small enough, you could put them in sheet protectors in a binder.

    • I just hang onto them until I’m ready to say goodbye, while also sticking to a ruthless one in/one out rule for any new event tees (unless they’re technical shirts I can use for running).

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Take pictures of them before getting rid of them.

    • Or you could try these


    • Anon for this :

      T shirt quilt and we don’t make them ourselves, we use a service that makes them nicely with a good fleece backing etc. We had all the typical old shirts we didn’t want to get rid of, and then my husband has a way of acquiring tshirts as mementos even when he can’t wear them. So we just put those in a box until we have enough, cut them up and send them off.

      • Anon, because this is embarassing :

        I don’t know why it never occurred to me that I could have it done by someone else! How much does that typically cost?

  15. I’m going out to a semi-nice restaurant for my anniversary tomorrow and am in the market for an outfit. Anyone want to do some vicarious shopping?

    • I’m totally in a vicarious shopping mood today. Price range?

      • Maybe $150-200?

        • I wore a dress similar to this recently and I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction I got from my SO :)

          I’d wear it with a strappy nude sandal and fun earrings.

        • I’d also totally wear this and go full Greek goddess with gold sandals and accessories, but that’s probably just me.

  16. living out of boxes :

    Sigh! We just lost out on buying a third house in 9 months. The seller leveraged our offer over the weekend into another offer higher than ours. We had been going back and forth with them for over two weeks; they would take days to respond or counter and then they dragged it out to get this other offer. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to spend so much money, sheesh! In the meantime, we are about to sell our condo because the market is crazy for sellers (We own it outright and stand to sell it for 30% more than what we paid three years ago). We will have someplace to go in the meantime, but it stinks. We got married a few months ago and would really like to settle into a home already! No advice needed, I guess, just throwing a pity party. :(

    • You didn’t ask for advice but just a thought – I found my house by sending letters to houses in my target neighborhood. Same thing might work for you if you find someone who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of showings. Had to live threw a cray-cray closing situation with the buyer but it was totally worth it.

    • I included an acceptance timeline in my offers as a buyer and the buyers of my home did the same in their offer to me.
      It cancelled the offer if there was no acceptance by a certain date/time. Might be a useful tactic depending on your market.

  17. DC hair color :

    I had another disappointing hair color experience in DC where my color isn’t what I asked for and my stylist really did not seem interested in listening. Where do people like for color? I don’t need posh necessarily, just reliable and customer focused.

    • Renee at One80 Salon in Franklin Square. I think she still does color; she’s a friend and very talented!

      • (the “I think…still” part is just because I moved and haven’t kept up with her business. No lack of confidence here)

    • Mary Beth Wood at PR Partners K Street.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve never been for color, but have heard good things about Parlour from friends whose hair color looks phenom.

    • Anonymous :

      Anybody at Immortal Beloved. I see Kelly Dee but they are all amazing.

      • Will second that – I see Kim, and have seen Melanie before when I had a super-urgent need and Kim was out of town – both are amazing!

  18. This is a little embarrassing, but I don’t own a pair of sneakers. At all. I’m starting to work out (moving up from crunches in my living room to an actual gym) and I need decent shoes. The problem is that I don’t want to buy expensive, activity-specific shoes right away. I really just need an inexpensive pair of gym shoes to get me through a period of “how much do I want to run? is cycling more my thing? what about crossfit?” until I decide to upgrade to something more specialized. Any ideas on on basic, general activity sneakers? TIA!

    • DSW. Whatever sneakers you find comfortable and un-intimidating.

      • Maddie Ross :

        I kinda disagree with using DSW, unless you are really sure that you want to replace what you buy pretty quickly. While DSW has some athletic shoes, most of what they carry are the very bottom end of each brand and remind me more of youth athletic shoes than adult ones. I’d also suggest you get measured, as even if you’re not running really, you may want to buy gym shoes that are a size or so bigger than your street shoes (I actually wear a full size and a half bigger). I’d probably at least go to a sporting goods store like Academy or D*cks or something and try some on. If those are too spendy there, take note of what you like and look on 6pm, which has last years colors/styles cheaper in a lot of the standard brands.

        • She just said she’s looking for something inexpensive to get started with working out. I think it’s precisely this type of “OMG, you need super specialized shoes that cost $150 from a specialized store before you can even dream of entering a gym” that really turns off so many Americans who want to exercise more but are intimidated.

          I run 20 miles a week and have bought Brooks at DSW and replaced them every 6 months for years. I also got my Nike crossfit shoes there. And my workout clothes come from Old Navy. (Though I do wear $80 sports bras because I need the support.) Anyways, exercise doesn’t need to be about labels and money shouldn’t be a barrier to good health. OP, you’ll find great starter shoes at DSW. Have fun!

          • Plus, it’s DSW. She can try on the shoes and then try on the next size up if they’re too small.

          • Maddie Ross :

            I didn’t say she needed an expensive shoe. I just said that the $60 asics at DSW are the bottom of the barrel ones. She’s better off finding a pair she likes and buying last years color from 6pm for $60 which have better cushioning and control features.

            FWIW, I wear Mizunos and I only buy them from 6pm. I got fitted years ago, bought the first pair for like $120 from a sports store, but now buy only from 6pm or other online sale sites and haven’t spent more than $60 in years.

          • The so-called bottom of the barrel shoes are all fine, though?

          • Where'd You Get Those? :

            Hope this ends up in the right place, but my dd is a college runner and only wears Mizunos. Guess where we bought her last 3 pairs? DSW! They were colors from 2 years ago, but the exact same shoes she had worn 2 years ago. I just bought a pair of Asics at DSW and they were the same ones carried on 6 pm for $60, but the DSW shoes were $53. Yes, many of the shoes at DSW are not up to snuff and will need to be replaced soon, but many are bargins.

          • Anonymous :

            LOLOLO – no, the $30 off-brand at walmart at bottom of barrel. The $60 Asics at DSW are still Asics, but last season’s style/color/whatever. They’ll be fine for being generally athletic.

        • Agree Academy can be a good place to go for this. Look for a pair that’s labeled as cross-trainers (they will have more support for lateral movement than running shoes) and try on several and choose the most comfortable, would be my advice.

        • If you want to find the perfect shoe for you, I would skip DSW in favor of somewhere with a much broader selection, only so you can try the widest possible range. My beef with DSW is simply their limited selection.

          If you want to find shoes that work right now so you don’t lose momentum or spend a ton of money in the process, definitely DSW. Get in and try on a few pairs and get rolling!

    • Any store is fine, truly. You can wander into any shoe store, department store, outlet, or sporting goods store and leave with a pair of perfectly fine sneakers.

    • Also check out Marshalls, TJ Maxx or Ross. You can find brand name sneakers there for much less.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      You’ll want cross trainers. Until I figured out my shoe preferences, I used to order a boatload of shoes off of Zappos and then return what I didn’t want. I really hate dealing with salespeople, I feel you!

    • DSW or Off-Broadway is a good place to start. Don’t be afraid to try men’s shoes or get ones that are brightly colored and focus on comfort. I also like to do some light jumping or squatting to see how they feel and make sure you bring your own socks to try them on.

    • Anony Mouse :

      I’m a fan of Joe’s New Balance Outlet, which sells previous years’ models: https://www.joesnewbalanceoutlet.com/. Go to a dept. store and find your size first.

    • PatsyStone :

      Love Academy for general athletic shoes. Whenever I visit my parents my Dad always takes me to get a new pair :)

    • Anonymous :

      I got my starter workout shoes from Payless — they’re Champion brand, and definitely solid for the $20 price tag. You can also get them on Amazon. Not a forever shoe, but mine lasted about 5 months of daily (fairly strenuous) workouts before I upgraded to Asics.

  19. Does anyone have experience with OCD (themselves or a loved one)? My husband is becoming increasingly cleanliness focused to the point of obsession and repetition and limiting his activities/enjoyment of things, and i am at a bit of a loss.

    • Is he open to therapy and meds? This is on the anxiety spectrum. The obsessions are a way for him to (temporarily) mitigate anxious feelings. It will typically worsen without treatment, it’s chronic, and can be really debilitating.

    • My husband was diagnosed with OCD as a child. He’s tried basically every kind of treatment, including “self management” (read: no treatment at all, just indulging his compulsions). He kept this secret from me while we were dating, and was even able to keep it secret for a little while after we moved in together. It was revealed during a dramatic, teary fight on a day when he “needed” me to participate in his compulsion.

      At my insistence, he sees a psychiatrist once or twice a year for a medication management appointment and takes a relatively low daily dose of prozac. He goes off of it once or twice a year unsupervised/without discussing it with me either, and I can tell immediately — because he will ask me to participate in a compulsion and I will refuse; we usually have a really pointed conversation where I insist he refill his prescription and start taking it again. He does this more because be on a daily regimen than because he has a problem with any actual side effects.

      What the prozac does for him is reduce the compulsions to a point that with his “self management,” it’s just like living with a kind of anxious guy. He bites his nails and has some other self-soothing habits (checks bank account balances several times per day, checks social media dozens of times so that he doesn’t miss something friends are doing — things that don’t “look” abnormal, but what distinguishes them from “normal” behavior is the level of discomfort he experiences if he can’t do them). While I refuse to participate in most of his compulsions, I have agreed to occasionally do some extra handwashing in response to his requests, which he limits to bad days (this happens -maybe- four times per month). I have told him — and I truly mean — that asking me to do more than that would be a dealbreaker.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. Not to scare you, but get him help immediately. Is he late 20/early 30 by any chance? Or under a lot of stress? That’s when it kicked in for my husband. It was the worst experience of our lives and it escalates really quickly. Meds and therapy is crucial ( my husband tapered off meds after a year once the stressor was gone). Getting him treatment asap will be crucial- you can get through this but it is a truly awful disease.

      • Late 30s and under a lot of stress. Started a year ago and getting exponentially worse.

      • +1 to immediate, thoughtful and knowledgeable treatment. I’ve been in an on-again-off-again relationship – but have finally ended the romantic part, I think now – with someone I truly love solely because his germ-phobic OCD and anxiety make it too difficult to be with him on a sustainable basis. (E.g., he hadn’t been to the movies for several years when we met. We finally worked that out and he could to a theater without too much anxiety but it took some effort. But, say, travel? A nightmare.) He is over 60, has been in treatment for a few years but has not found a medication that works for him. I’m convinced that if he had identified the problem when he was in his 30s and gotten good treatment he would not be in the often unmanageable state in which he lives. It is heartbreaking.

    • I have some OCD tendencies with cleaning and organization and decided to get help when I started crying over something stupid. I was ultimately diagnosed with anxiety and learned in therapy that I focused so much on cleaning/organizing because that was the only thing in my life that I could control. Therapy and meds have been life-changing. My issues were never so bad that it impacted the way I lived but I am certainly MUCH happier now. The house is a mess though.

      • Anonymous :

        No offense but you have anxiety, not “OCD tendencies”

        • Actually OCD and anxiety often go together. My anxiety causes behaviors that fit in the DSM OCD criteria. Since my main issue is anxiety and shows itself through OCD actions, my therapist correctly described the OCD as a symptom of my anxiety disorder.

          • Anonymous :

            they do go together but it is very dismissive of OCD to characterize it as organization or “OCD actions” It is characterized by obsessive, intrusive thoughts (which can also be symptoms of anxiety) but OCD is a disease not a symptom

          • The ADAA refers to “OCD symptoms” that lessen anxiety. https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd
            I fully understand my mental health diagnosis. Perhaps you should do some reading.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, when you have OCD. I am just asking you to be a bit more respectful- you do not have OCD and this discussion is about suffering from OCD.

    • I’ve had OCD since I was in my late teens (now in my 30’s). I did nothing about it for many years, and it got steadily worse during that time. In the end I went to my Doctor, got formally diagnosed, and have since attended CBT. The CBT was really useful and has helped, but it’s not a quick ‘fix’ – I still have to put the effort in and do the exposure ‘homework’, but sometimes it can feel impossible. Sometimes my symptoms are better, and sometimes worse, depending on how stressed and anxious I am generally. It’s definitely important that people don’t enable me!

  20. There’s a thoughtful discussion about internet trolls and internet bullying on Joshua Johnson’s 1A on NPR today. I particularly like the examples about how to re-frame responses to behavior that appears to be trolling but is not.

  21. Anon for this :

    Had to leave work early and go to the ER yesterday…long story we’ve been TTC for over a year and it turns out the symptoms over the last ~4 weeks were a pregnancy and now a miscarriage. I’m struggling today. Anyone have any tips on how to focus when you’re already behind at work in situations like that?

    Hearing this news alone in an ER really sucked, too…

    • I’m really sorry :(
      I can imagine the ER was about the most impersonal, clinical place possible to hear this kind of devastating news, especially when considered through the lens of TTC for a long time.

      I hope you are ok, knowing that in some ways your are definitely not. :(

      My own reactions to loss have ranged from diving head-in to other activities to feel busy and focus on something else – to turning inward and trying to take care of myself the best I could.

      Give yourself some space and time to do both, and maybe, nothing. Try to connect with your partner. This type of loss was even harder for my husband to talk about. Lean on each other.

      I get great comfort by thinking of how my babies lives – though so short – how they only knew love.

      I planted some perennials in memory of each of my losses. I like seeing them bloom each year and it keeps me in touch with the seasons.

      Thinking of you. <3

    • I’m so sorry. That’s awful. I’ve been TTC a year and a half too and recently had my own flu where I almost ended up in the ER. I can’t imagine. I think you need to take a little sick leave and let your work stay behind for a bit. All work needs to know is you were hospitalized and will be back when you can. Take a day or two work free and then try to do some remote work until you are ready to go back in person. Hugs.

      • Anon for this :

        I’m all out of sick leave for the year.

        My husband didn’t even come to the ER. We didn’t know what was happening at the time, but he didn’t come and didn’t offer. He went home and played videogames and only asked me when I was getting home. So leaning on him might not be in the cards.

        • Why do you want to have a child with this a-hole??? I’m sorry but this makes me livid. Two of my good friends had miscarriages and their husbands were absolutely devastated, but they tried to put on brave faces and be there for their wives. I can’t imagine being married to someone who’s so indifferent he won’t stop playing video games and come to the hospital when his wife is losing their baby (and no I’m not a video game hater – my husband plays them regularly but he puts them down when it’s important).

          • I don’t mean to jump on this bandwagon, but I’ve seen so.many.women who are so wrapped up in becoming mothers that they miss the fact that maybe the person they’re with won’t be a great father and co-parent.

          • Anon for this :

            Just do want to add that we didn’t know I was pregnant.

          • Anonymous :

            Even so, I still can’t imagine not going to the ER if my spouse was there. Presumably you were having some relatively serious symptoms that led to the ER visit. Even ignoring the loss of the baby, he should be concerned about your health.

          • @Anon for this I don’t care if he knew you were pregnant or not. If something is bad enough that you’re at the ER, not say, urgent care, then it’s kind of a deal breaker to me that he just asked when you were getting home.

            It’s also a deal breaker that this experience colored your perception of him to the point that you are expressing doubt as to whether you can lean on him.

            This isn’t a person you want to have a kid with.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yikes. Sounds like the two of you could profit from a talk about the appropriate level of support from him: “Sweetie, we didn’t know what was happening and it didn’t occur to either of us to arrange to have you there, but in the future I think we should make a pact that if either of us is in the ER, the other will be there!”

        • Wow. I’m not the best at relationships, but even I know that when at loved one is at the ER — YOU GO THERE, TOO. Is this level of non-participation in the relationship normal for him?

          • Anonymous :

            I would go to the ER if a FRIEND was there, let alone my SO/spouse. What in the ever loving H E L L ?

            I am so sorry you are going through this and that your husband is being completely non-supportive about, it to say the least.

          • Mrs. Jones :


          • Anon for this :


          • Anonymous :

            Goodness. I’m so sorry.

            I have two small children. My spouse had to go to the ER and I had to stay home with the kids b/c we have no local family and couldn’t get a sitter on short notice (never mind for an overnight). Sh*t happens. We try to do our best. [Also not fun but what can you do: one parent takes kid to pediatric ER; other parent stays home with the well kid.]

            I found out about my first m/c solo and unplanned (although not in the ER, but in my OBs office surrounded by happy still-pregnant people would not STFU).

            When you get home tonight and are not angry, pls tell your spouse exactly how you feel in case he is the one sort of guy who will actually take direction (but really needs to be given clear direction about what next steps / future plans are for this time and any next time one of you has a major health or medical issue come up).

    • Can you take FMLA leave? I was able to do that during my miscarriage earlier this year, because working through a miscarriage is almost impossible. There was paperwork that my doctor’s office had to fill out, but it was relatively painless for me. I took off 4 days (the remainder of the week) and would not have been able to process working.

      I highly recommend you get some counseling – it really helped me, and we weren’t trying for as long as you guys were.

      This is a family emergency. Take the time off you need to recover, in any way possible.

      Also, I am both sorry that you’re going through this without the support of your husband, and commiserate. My husband was incredibly un-thoughtful while I was going through my miscarriage. It devastated me because it showed me how much differently we were taking it, and that he would literally never be on the same page as me in terms of miscarrying. You – and I – were the ones who had the symptoms, have to live with the bleeding and pain, and have the changing hormones coursing through our bodies. Our husbands get off easy; it’s very likely that this baby is not as real to him as it is to you.

      So, commiseration – this really sucks. I hope you are able to take time to care for yourself. Please, please seek out a counselor, and also talk to your mother, sister, best friend, confidante, etc – whomever you feel comfortable reaching out to. You should not have to tackle this alone; you need support.

      • Anonymous :

        I had two miscarriages and you have my sympathies.

        FWIW, my husband processed each, esp. the first, a lot differently than I did. That didn’t mean that he didn’t grieve the loss of his children though. He must may be processing the loss of his child much differently (as may grandparents). It’s just really tough. Women don’t really have a script, either, but we have more of a sorority on this and guys are really just alone.

        My husband does prayers with our children each night and I can hear him pray for the two babies we lost and it really makes me tear up and realize that these were and are still real losses for him.

        • He was on tinder and arranged a date during the week that I was miscarrying. He wanted me to watch our toddler so he could go out on a date. He didn’t tell me this, though, he said he wanted to go out “with his buddies”. I only found out about this as I saw the tinder app messages saying he couldn’t make it.

          So when you say “grieving differently”, I mean, I’m sure your husband was, but mine was just a plain selfish asshole.

          Note that he’s not as huge of an ass as he could be– we have had an open relationship in the past, although neither of us has actively sought out dates for the last few years. He contends that the lying was because he sort of immediately realized it was wrong of him to ask me, but like, SERIOUSLY? I am miscarrying your (very wanted) child and you want to go get your d*ck wet?!

          This is part of the reason why I went to counseling.

    • Anonymous :

      First and most importantly, I am sorry to hear this and am sending you internet hugs.

      What worked for me, may not work for you. Miscarriage is highly personal. I found working to be a really helpful distraction but wanted to do it from home for physical reasons. Also because I would just burst into tears spontaneously. You’ve said you have no more sick leave, and I can understand not wanting to use FMLA for this depending on how open you choose to be with your coworkers about the situation, but could you work from home?

      You didn’t ask for non-work advice, but other things that helped me: nonsense movies that were just distracting enough to keep my attention but weren’t serious; the rice hot pads for my back; after a few days, scientific research (but I couldn’t have handled that right away).

      Another thought: I know of at least one person who has taken bereavement leave for a miscarriage (about as far along as you, also a case where she learned of the pregnancy at the same time as the loss). That may be an option for you if you do want to take time off.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, also. Tell your husband what you need. My husband was pretty supportive but just didn’t get it. He will never understand what it’s like to go through that physically and how that impacts your emotions. I feel like “come to the ER” is obvious but at home, at least start by telling him what you want him to do whether it’s distract you, rub your back, talk about the baby that could have been, whatever you need at the time.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If you have to be at work could you do an in office vacation day? Your butt is in the seat, you look like you are working, but you are really surfing the net all day? Also, you can ask your office for additional leave beyond what you are normally allotted. What would have happened if you were hospitalized? Could you afford a couple of days of leave without pay? I’m also really really sorry this happened to you.

    • I’m so sorry -for what it’s worth, this Internet stranger’s thoughts are with you.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so so sorry. Sending you a huge hug. I had a mc last year and my work piled up too. Here are just a few tips that helped me through:
      – give yourself lots of grace, you’ll feel pressure to catch up. Be kind to yourself and cut yourself lots of slack
      – grieve the loss. Allow yourself to mourn fully. Do something commemorative if that will help you. I repressed it all because my family dismissed it. It took a kind friend to pray with me one day over the loss (and I wasn’t even religious) to realize that I had to acknowledge the loss fully and the prayer (with me and her crying in my car in our work parking lot of all places jewish) allowed me to commemorate my baby and release and move on.
      – repriortize at work. Be very very selective. Triage your work. Call people and find out what their real deadlines are. For me it turned out that a lot of projects weren’t priority at all.
      – cry when you need to. Leave meetings, close your door, do what you feel
      – change your language if you think it might help. I heard a friend describe her mcs as a “misfires”. She wasn’t dismissing them, just not giving the issue the scary connotations made it more manageable. It helped me a lot.
      I didn’t react very well and blamed my work stress for causing the miscarriage. It made me really bitter about work for a while and I was a total mess. I hope you are able to manage more gracefully than I was. Hugs~

  22. Any general guidelines about how much to save in a child’s 529 plan annually in an ideal world?

    • That’s going to depend significantly on the age of the child and a ton of other factors. Are you a parent attempting to fully fund their education (if so, you can look at expected costs for various universities and see what you need to save), or a relative looking to help out and maximize a tax deduction (in most states its $1000-$2000) a year?

      • Assuming my child was just born and assuming that I want to fully fund the education — but careful not to overfund because the future of secondary education tuition is so uncertain. I’m just looking for people’s general goals.

    • Coach Laura :

      529 saving is like retirement saving. Estimate how much money you’ll need – for example public $75,000 private $300,000- based on school guidelines or family preferences. Then calculate how many years until matriculation. Ballpark the projected interest rate. Then use a retirement calculator like ones found on CNN Money or Fidelity to determine how much you need to save monthly or yearly.

    • I aimed for enough to cover 4 years of in-state tuition, plus room & board, at our flagship big state U. Check it every few years, adjusted as necessary, and we’re finally there. Of course now my first kid is a senior in high school and wants nothing to do with Big State U, but is looking at much more expensive private/out-of-state schools. Well, I’ll give her what I saved & the rest is on her, I guess.

  23. Would love to hear from the hive about the ongoing slow-mo disaster that is the US presidency right now. Anybody want to opine on these latest revelations from Don Jr.? Is this finally going to start unraveling for real?

    • No nothing matters.

    • I just keep remembering my first day at BigLaw, when we were all told never to write an email that we didn’t want read by our grandmother or published on the front page of the NYT…

      • So another argument against nepotism is that Jr. clearly never got that warning. (Though he likely wouldn’t have heeded it.)

      • I can’t imagine this rule is followed in political campaigns in general though (see some of Hillary’s awkward emails that were released). Just because you wouldn’t want it on the front page of the NYT doesn’t make it illegal or against campaign rules.

    • I think it could be the beginning of the end, but I have thought this many times before (including during the election)…
      It’s horrifying though. Even if he didn’t get anything out of this meeting, he clearly tried to obtain damaging information about Clinton that he knew was from the Russian government. I’m not an expert, but I think that’s criminal. And I find it very hard to believe that it’s a total coincidence that by the date of this meeting the DNC servers had already been hacked and emails started being dumped less than a week later.

      • I have thought it was the beginning of the end SO MANY TIMES too. I honestly don’t know what it will take.

        • 2018 midterms??? :/

          • Anonymous :

            The special elections in Georgia and Montana didn’t go well. So far I feel like all signs are pointing to 2018 being pretty terrible for Democrats.

          • Positive thoughts, Anon, look at how much Georgia’s 6th swung from Trump to Ossof. Gained a lot of ground in an otherwise ‘safe’ district.

      • Liquid crystal :

        Serious question here. I’m not in law, so maybe this is fundamental knowledge for a lot of you. But why would it be criminal to obtain damaging information about Clinton from the Russians?

        Of course, interfering with the election would be wrong, but what about just accessing the information and maybe using it negatively in campaigning?

        For the record, I am not saying it was ethical or respectable to get or try to get this kind of information. I’m just wondering what the violation of the actual law would be.

        • Anonymous :

          On the campaign side, could amount to a violation of campaign law that restricts accepting assistance from foreigners.

          On the collusion side, if there is enough evidence of active collusion, could amount to treason and espionage.

          • Anonymous :

            Even if it doesn’t amount to actual violation of a law, it’s also highly suggestive of the intent necessary for a conspiracy offense.

          • Liquid crystal :

            Thanks. This is helpful.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m also curious about this. IANAL, but I always hear “ignorance is not a defense.” I 100% believe the Trumps had no idea that what they were doing was unethical or illegal, because I just don’t think those are concepts that register with them. Like, they don’t say “haha, this is illegal and unethical and I’m going to do it anyway,” legality just doesn’t enter the calculus of their decision-making.

          So what level of intent do they need to have to be legally culpable?

  24. The partner I’m working for keeps correcting me on things I know are right. I make my best arguments but I always give in, and the partner then seems to have amnesia when we get corrected on the same things by the client or someone else. Not really asking for advice. Just a rant.

  25. Any recommendations for attorneys that specialize in international employment contracts in the SF area?DH and i are looking to get someone to review a contract with a German company (the contract itself is in English and German) before signing

    • My colleague Ute Krudewagen at DLA Piper in Palo Alto. She’s an employment partner who specializes in international employment issues and also a native German speaker.

  26. Can the attorneys here give me your gut reaction to Don Trump Jr’s release of the emails this morning? Obviously he can’t be taking counsel’s advice on any front. . . is there some 6D chess strategy I’m missing, besides him falling on his sword to protect someone(s) else?

    • The NY Times told him they would be publishing them in full today and asked him for comment, so he put them out himself so he could at least claim “transparency.” And it seems to be working with the Fox News set who are praising him for releasing them on his own. LOL right…

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah this is totally playing to their supporters, who will say “it’s not that big of a deal!” It’s worked for the Trump organization in the past – claim transparency for criminal/shady acts and hope that their supporters will just accept their explanation that it’s not a big deal. Add in blaming the “mainstream media” for everything negative written about them and you have a recipe for our current national nightmare.

  27. Need some help here . . . Sibling’s kids are 13 and 10. Neither sends thank you notes for birthday or Christmas gifts. The most you ever get is a text after you text and say “just wanted to be sure you got the package.” To be fair, more than once deliveries have gotten left on their porch and are not discovered immediately, so the texts asking about receipt are not passive aggressive.

    Mother of the kids used to send videos of them opening the gifts when they were small, but in their entire lives, I don’t think there has ever been a thank you card or even a proactive text (without a prompting text). Other sibling’s kids (4 and 6) draw thank you notes that mom/dad mail, so this isn’t something that only I expect. (And lately for the older ones we give either cash, a gift card for their current favorite stores, or items off the gift lists that — unrequested — they periodically will text to us.) They live in Vermont, we live in Kansas City, so we are almost never there on their birthdays.

    13 and 10 year old both have birthdays in August. I told DH that I want to give them both personalized stationery (thank you notes) with their names on them as their gift or as part of their gift. He says absolutely not, they are not our children and it is not my place to suggest they should send thank you notes.

    Is there a way to raise this, or do I just give up?

    • In this situation, I’ve seen it suggested that you just stop sending the gifts. Not to be passive aggressive, but because you don’t have to.

    • I think it’s not really your place and you definitely shouldn’t gift them thank you notes (that is soooo passive-aggressive). If it really bothers you, you could stop sending the gifts but this is the fault of the parents, not the children and it seems cruel to the children to punish them by withholding gifts.

      • And fwiw, although I was raised to send thank you notes whenever I didn’t open a gift in person, I do think they’re becoming increasingly ‘optional.’ I haven’t received a thank you note for the last five or more wedding gifts I sent. (I’m 30.)

        • thank you notes :

          it’s generational and honestly if I were writing thank you notes for a wedding I would prioritize by age of gift giver so if I didn’t get to the younger people no one would care

        • Eh, formal, handwritten notes might be optional. But a direct expression of gratitude for a gift – a phone call, a text – seems required, always.

      • +1 Also, if the kids haven’t been taught to send thank you notes, why would a gift of stationery inspire them to start? They’re just going to see it as a weird boring gift.

    • If you want to give them gifts because you love the kids and it gives you pleasure, you should continue to do so regardless of whether they send thank you notes. If you would prefer not to send gifts, because you only do so out of a sense of familial obligation, then you should stop with a perfectly clear conscience. You should definitely not try to teach them to send thank you notes, because your husband is 100% right on this one.

    • I’m not sure what the right way to raise it is, but I don’t think sending personalized stationery is it. Seems passive aggressive.

    • vast majority of kids don’t do written thank you notes for birthday gifts. Don’t send stationary. It’s passive aggressive and it’s not their fault that their parents didn’t raise them to do this.

      Send your sister an email that says you really enjoy seeing the kids open their gifts and would like to facetime when they do so or if she could send a video. Let them thank you verbally.

      • Adding that I 100% believe in handwritten thank you notes for wedding gifts and shocked that another Anon above hasn’t received them. A world of difference between a birthday gift to a ten year old and a wedding gift to an adult though.

        • Senior Attorney :


        • +2. Thank you notes are not becoming optional for adults.

          • Agreed, but the next generation of adults will be less inclined to write thank you notes (or to realize they should write them) if they are not taught as children.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m 32 and have received thank-you notes for every wedding, bridal shower, and baby shower gift. I’m shocked about Anon as well.

        • I’m 32 and have received thank-you notes for every wedding, bridal shower, and baby shower gift. I’m shocked about Anon as well.

        • I have vary rarely received a thank you note from a wedding (only once that I can remember), including when I was in the bridal party!

      • I assume it’s a brother and sister-in-law, since she seems to be really looking down on the “mother of the kids.” Because clearly men have no responsibility to teach their children etiqu e t t e.

        • I had this thought, too.

        • I used “mother of the kids” because they aren’t married so “sibling’s wife” or “sister-in-law” is incorrect. And I identify them as “sibling’s kids” because I don’t view it as her issue — she actually is the one who sent the videos, but he didn’t even do that.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think the personalized stationery is passive-aggressive and will be correctly perceived as a slap in the face towards the children and the parents.

      I think your options are to give gifts without expecting notes, or stop giving gifts and if and when you are called on it, say “Well, as far as we knew the gifts we sent never pleased the children so we decided to just save everybody the trouble and skip it.”

      Question: Do you send thank-you notes? Because if you don’t I think you should back way off. I am not a fan of double standards for adults and children.

      • But these kids aren’t saying thank you AT ALL. not even a text or a phone call. Since when is this acceptable, for anyone over the age of like, 6?

        I would stop sending gifts, and instead just send a card.

      • I do send thank you notes but not to that family as they don’t send us gifts. (They believe gifts are for children and we don’t have any, so they send them to the children of the sibling who has them.)

        When each kid was born they gave us a photo frame to keep photos of the kids in as they grew up and we sent thank you notes for each one.

        • Senior Attorney :

          As I said below, that is cray. Just say no to the madness.

          • I don’t think it’s cray at all to only do gifts for kids. That was the norm in my family and my husbands family and many of my friend’s families. Adults just didn’t exchange gifts, except with their spouse. Unless OP has sent her sibling and the sibling’s spouse gifts and they haven’t reciprocated it doesn’t seem rude.

          • Senior Attorney :

            The general idea is fine. But I think it’s cray for adult siblings to unilaterally decide that their kids are going to get gifts and they are not going to reciprocate, which is what seems to be going on here.

    • Is speaking to your sibling not an option? I’d just call my sibling and say “hey can you get your kids to write thank you notes? I’d really appreciate it.”

    • Stop giving gifts. My family is weirdly passive aggressive about thank you notes and honestly I’m sure they (like me) want neither the drama nor the stuff.

    • Do you send thank you notes for the gifts you receive from them? I think you can model it, but do nothing else. If you talk to the kids or text and they tell you thank you via those means, I think that is plenty of thanking.

      • They don’t send us gifts because they believe gifts are for children and we don’t have any. They gave us a photo frame when each child was born and we sent thank you notes for those.

    • You should be speaking to the sibling, not the niblings.

    • Anonymous :

      Your husband is right. If you want kids to send thank you notes then have your own kids and have them write thank you notes. Repeat this “if a child is not being harmed, it is not my place to interfere”. They aren’t your kids! And honestly I would never expect a thank you note from a child.

      • anonlawyer :


        although i believe thank you notes (or any form of thank you) is proper, i gave up long ago forcing my kids to write them. this is not the hill i’ve chosen to die on. and i suspect there are many parents who feel the same way.

    • If it bothers you to feel that the gifts are not appreciated (and it would bother me), then stop sending gifts, and if the parents ask, have a conversation about why.

      FWIW, written thank-you notes aren’t necessary if they’ve thanked you for the gifts in person, but it sounds like that’s not happening either.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I’d stop sending them gifts.

    • Anonymous :

      lol what? I’m sorry, but sending thank you notes may be “correct” but it’s incredibly out of touch to expect modern kids to send them. A thank you text, yes.

      • Wow. “Modern kids” are going to grow up to be modern adults who will be in situations when a thank you note is warranted. I think it is incumbent upon parents to teach their children to be gracious and express gratitude, and definitely plan on having my kids write thank you notes for gifts (current oldest kid is one; I wrote thank you notes for all his birthday presents). Yes, I remember it as kind of an annoying chore as a kid, but I am so, so thankful my parents (really, my mother) taught me this vital life skill. I get that a lot of kids these days don’t send them — even for job interviews! — but that is not the type of entitled person I want my children to grow up to be. It grates on me when my nieces and nephews don’t send them, for sure.

        • +10000

        • Anonymous :

          Sending a paper thank you note in the mail for a job interview is no longer considered standard.

          • Anonymous :

            +1. Email is waaaaay better because a hiring decision is usually made before the paper note even arrives.

          • Oh, yeah, I agree on this. But email is still–in many industries (YMMV!)–absolutely expected.

            I think what resonated with me in October’s comments was the fact that formal expressions of gratitude are not going away, whether via stodgy handwritten notes or a quick email/text/phone call. Preparing young people to understand and respect that element in interpersonal and business relationships isn’t out of touch, it’s smart.

          • I consider email notes that say thanks to be “thank you notes;” agree that is standard for jobs. But I am amazed at how many (young) job-searchers do not send anything.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s no longer advised to send a paper thank-you. An email is ok, but anything else is dated.

      • Anonymama :

        Lol what? Almost every kids birthday party I’ve been to we have received a thank you note for a gift, over 7 years, maybe 25-30 parties? I personally don’t particularly remember if we don’t get one but appreciate if we do. I have historically not always been great at sending thank you notes myself but have improved, and wish I had learned better as a kid. I do think there is a bit of a class dimension to this though…

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My MIL is big on thank you notes. I was raised that if you say thank you for something in person or over the phone you don’t have to send a note. She believes a note is necessary for EVERYTHING. I love her though and want to keep her happy. She has given us thank you notes before but in a slightly less passive aggressive way. She sent a box of gifts and said something like “I know you only buy thank you notes to keep me happy so I saved you the trip to the store!” We actually found it funny and not annoying because we were going to make a trip to the store for more thank you notes.

    • Anonymous :

      I disagree that it’s generational. We were militant about raising our kids to send paper thank you notes for every gift. but I am happy to report that almost all their friends also send thank you notes – whether for birthday gifts or graduation gifts. My kids are 15 and 18. I strongly believe it is basic etiquette and I’m really sad to hear people saying that “modern kids” don’t need to send them. To me, a text would be appropriate for dropping off cupcakes to celebrate something, but a real, wrapped gift for a major life occasion deserves a real, paper thank you note.

      • Agree. My kids are early teen years, and I’ve raised them to send thank-yous promptly to friends and family after they get gifts. And I’d say 80% of their friends also mail thank-yous for birthday party gifts. (My nieces and nephews, OTOH, generally do not send thank-yous.) But I do agree that if you’re going to be resentful about it, stop sending gifts to them. It defeats the purpose.

      • Also disagree that it is generational.

        My children are similar ages and we insist they write thank you notes … we have many long distance relatives, and if the relative has gone to the trouble to shop for and mail a present, then they deserve to know that you appreciate the present. They also receive thank you notes from my parents and some of their aunts and uncles and godparents.

        Also, almost without fail, my children’s friends write thank you notes for birthday party presents. I am always very impressed when one of my children gets a nice note for some small toy.

        I believe strongly that good manners will take you a very long way in life, and *for me* (not saying it is for others) that includes thank you notes.

    • Anonymous :

      Tbh you sound like an unpleasant relative who only gives gifts to be recognized for them.

      • +1.

        I can’t imagine not sending my niece a gift because she didn’t send me a thank you note.

        • CapHillAnon :

          Im not sure that’s fair to say OP is sending a present so that she’ll be recognized. Her goodwill has been burned up! If the children live in a different state, and the giver never has any idea whether the children like the book/ clothing/ whatever she went through the effort to buy, wrap, and send them, then her gestures of goodwill aren’t being mirrored or appreciated and it’s just a one-way relationship. Shes not sending gifts to be recognized–she’s trying to make a connection, or to show affection, or to be a positive glimmer in their lives. When that effort is swallowed up in an abyss, and she doesn’t even know if they received the package, yeah, it kind of makes sense to stop at some point.

    • CapHillAnon :

      I feel your exasperation–I have a niece+nephew around those ages who have never sent a note, text, video, or anything else to acknowledge a gift. I guess I’m old fashioned about this, but my 3 kiddos write a thank you note for every single gift. After opening them, we move gifts out of reach until the note is written. I’m surprised that the majority of the hive here is shrugging it off as a relic of past times. I’m not so sure that this thread is necessarily representative, because definitely more of my kids’ friends than not write thank you notes, and they span in age from 12 to toddler.

      I’m not going to enter the fray about whether the younger generation has agreed that thank you notes aren’t necessary. I will point out, as I do to my children, that people are much (much!) more likely to give you a gift again if you send them a thank you card; gratitude is an extremely important force and should be promoted; and that a good thank you note is a grace note that helps your relationships. I give my children personalized stationery, lots of space and encouragement to do it, have them choose the postal stamps, etc.

      I haven’t given my niece+nephew personalized stationery, but certainly have considered it. The parents are failing them on this (although it sounds like there are other breaches of courtesy going on with them.) See how we’re all telling you not to send gifts to the children anymore, because we assume that they’re ungrateful? The children don’t know any better, but they’re going to get less love and attention and gifts from you because their parents didn’t tell them that a gesture of thanks is important (even a text). i try to call or FaceTime the niece / nephew about a week after the present should have arrived and ask excitedly if they received the package–a person shouldn’t have to do this, but I want to keep the lines of communication open and not punish the children for their parents’ failures to teach them basic etiquette. Theyre my husband’s brother’s children, I don’t feel comfortable bringing it up with the parents and my husband won’t, so for now I grumble, send them gifts still, and hope for a closer relationship with the children themselves. I would definitely give them nicer/ more expensive gifts if they sent thank you notes, though. I literally have no idea what they’ve liked and what they’ve hated.

  28. Moisturizers :

    Best drugstore brand facial moisturizers for dry skin?

    Looking for one for daytime (no SPF, I use a separate sunscreen) and one for nighttime.


    • Anonymous :


    • Liquid crystal :

      Trader Joe’s Nourish moisturizer is great at night or in combination with a separate SPF during day

    • Anonymous :

      L’Oreal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Facial Day/Night Cream has been magic for my skin.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’m having good luck with Aveeno. I’ve got super sensitive skin and eczema. I use one of their daily moisturizers in the morning and the eczema lotion at night.

    • Anonymous :

      I like Neutrogena for night cream. They have a heavier one I use in the winter, and a lighter one I use in the summer.

    • The Neutrogena hydroboost gel cream is what I use when days I don’t use my SPF moisturizer and/or need extra moisture boost.

  29. Sloan Sabbith :

    I dont’ think this posted yesterday evening, but PSA: if you buy Uniqlo pants and have sensitive skin, consider washing them before you wear them. I wore a pair of their wide-leg black pants yesterday for the first time, felt super cool, really feeling on style….and then my legs broke out in a rash where the pants had touched. It’s better this morning, I rinsed them off and put lotion on, but they were on FIRE yesterday evening, enough that I had to wear yoga pants to a famly dinner out because all of my other pants were touching my calves and I couldn’t deal.

  30. pins and needles :

    Anyone had pins and needles and/or a light burning sensation in multiple parts of the body? I’ve had it over the last couple weeks and am completely freaked out after googling (I know, probably not a great idea). I have an appointment with my doctor next week, but cannot think about anything else. Convinced I have MS or a brain tumor, and my anxiety is clearly not making it better.

    I guess I’m hoping others have had this weird symptom and it has been not the end of the world?

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      There are a lot places you can end up with weird nerve impingement that causes this sensation. I’ve got one in my hip that causes the front and side of my thigh to be numb/burning/tingly. Stretching my hip (especially my IT band) will help eventually. Apparently wearing anything with a waistband can aggravate that one!

    • Anonymous :

      Not a doctor but pins and needles is a common symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. Have your doctor check your blood levels before taking a supplement: too much B12 can cause hives!

      • On my list. Thanks!

      • Anonymous :

        My mom also had numbness due to her body storing way too much B vitamins. She actually cannot take any vitamins and has to stay away from foods high in B vitamins. It’s not that uncommon of a thing, so don’t freak out until you go to the doctor. And while I’m not saying its in your head, numbness can also be caused by stress sometimes. Have them check for Lymes too!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Is it your hands/fingers (one side or both)? I’ve had that from carrying bags that are too heavy before. Could be at least a partial explanation…

      • It’s arms/hands, shins, and a bit on my face.

        • It’s not MS or a brain tumor. Impossible to have symptoms like this at the same time on both sides of the body and face with same symptoms.

          Have you been more anxious lately? Anxiety can do this. B12 deficiency. Also check thyroid. Also dehydration and exhaustion/poor sleep and migraine possibly can do this.

          • I carry heavy bags, am an anxious vegetarian and have 2 under two, so I’m hoping you all are on to something. Thank you.

  31. Anon for this :

    Will repost in the afternoon thread since it’s kinda late in the day: Can anyone recommend a legal career coach and/or headhunter in the Philadelphia area? I am looking to transition from a mid-career federal clerkship back to litigation, and could stand to speak with someone.

  32. Newbie at E-readers :

    Is the basic kindle ok for an e-reader, or should I spring for an extra $30 for the Kindle Paperwhite?

    • Anonymous :

      definitely Paperwhite

    • If there’s not a way to disable the backlight on the Paperwhite, then I’d actually stick with basic. (That’s what I have and I love it.) Much less eye strain to read a non-lit screen.

    • Paperwhite has a light, the other one does not. To ohc’s point, you can dim the light to the point where you don’t notice it. It’s nice to have the option to read in the dark.

    • ALX emily :

      The paperwhite isn’t actually a “backlight” in the bad sense – it’s not like reading a computer screen/tablet. Just makes it possible to see in the dark!

    • I really love my basic Kindle a lot. Reads just like a book.

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