Thursday’s Workwear Report: Jane Brown Trousers

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

I’m always happy to see bootcut trousers coming back in fashion because they’re a very flattering look for a lot of women. I’ve never heard of this brand, Sentimental NY (apparently they specialize in “cocktail, evening dresses and much more”), but these pants are getting good reviews and they’re only $82. I kind of like this bright, happy blue — it’s called “new navy” but I’d say it’s more of a marine blue — and these also come in black. They’re hand washable, which means that you could probably use the hand wash cycle on your washer. The pants are available in sizes 0–14 at Nordstrom. Jane Brown Trousers

Here’s a plus-size option at White House | Black Market.

Psst: Check out our guide to what to buy for work in the Nordstrom fall sale!

Psst2: I’m traveling today and tomorrow, Kate has jury duty, so the moderation queue may be a bit slow these next two days – thank you in advance for your patience!

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  1. booties for work :

    I work in an office where I hew to the business end of business casual. At least for clothes. For my cold feet, could you recommend some booties that will work with (maybe edging towards slightly cooler/edgier/casual) my work outfits? Can be higher / sock booties / shoeties. But I have never figured these out and am reluctant to flag down strangers to ask about their footwear.

    I am realizing that I love boots b/c I can size up half a size and wear socks and this is such a help with warmth AND warding off blisters.

    In case it matters: I have really, really narrow ankles (like Acqatalia Rhumbas are not tight on them. And somewhat triangular feet (so I cannot wear Ferragamo or Stuart Weitzmans at all) with almost a B+ width across the ball of my foot, narrow heels, and high arches.

    • Do you wear mostly pants or skirts? Heels or flats? Need weatherproof?

      I also have similar slender ankles and triangular feet. Look at La Canadienne and Aquitalia. Both fit my foot very well, warm, waterproof, very comfortable. La Canadienne can vary wildly on ankle size, and I usually call them directly to ask which current styles work with my narrow ankles.

      But I still struggle with ankles of these being wider than I would like. My best pair is a black suede high shaft heeled bootie which hugs my calf from La Canadienne. It is like a short version of the Rhumba, without ankle bunching.

      Maybe check out youlookfab blog. I remember she mentioned she prefers close fitting booties, and has a narrow ankle. And extrapetite blog.

      • booties for work :

        I’m a dress girl but I don’t want to wear the Rhumbas every day and they don’t work for every dress.

        Rubber bottom is helpful b/c my climate is more wet than snowy/icy (doesn’t need to be really waterproof though).

        I’d prefer a slightly lower/chunkier heel than the Rhumbas and no platform (I really, really wish the Rhumba had no platform, but at least it’s a small one).

    • Have you checked out Antelope? They are affordable and durable. Also, a heated foot pad and SmartWool socks are my cold/reynaud’s feet essentials.

    • My dad got me a pair of UGGS slippers that I wear at work which are sheepskin lined suade. I onley am allowed to wear them IN my office with the door closed. If I come out, I must put on my pump’s, b/c the manageing partner wants me to look professional. They are great in the winter b/c it is cold in my office b/c I have a big draftey window. FOOEY!

  2. Anonymous :

    I’ve been back at work post maternity leave and I feel super super sad. I miss my infant SO much. I can make it until about Wednesday and then start to become a weepy mess. Is this just the hormones or my body telling me I need to make adjustments in my work schedule? This is my second and I don’t recall feeling this way after the first. I’m 4 months post partum. I’ve been pumping at work. Yesterday I was really wasn’t able to work all morning, I was just feeling so crappy.

    • Anonymous :

      It gets easier. It’s probably both hormones and work schedule. It’s hard being away from your LO all day. For me, fatigue was also a big factor, when I was exhausted everything felt worse. I sometimes napped with LO in the master bed on the weekends because it helped me get more rest and I loved the extra cuddles.

    • I’m going to say this – if you’re pumping, it’s hard. I gave up BFing (personal choice of course) and my life got much much better. It cleared my mind and I love going to work AND picking up the little one.

      • I mean this only to say that if you’re waffling on this, it may be an occasion to consider scaling back. No one says that but it’s true. You can still BF in mornings, evenings, and night.

      • anonymous :


      • +1 –

        • For anyone who has delved even a little bit into the studies surrounding bre-st-feeding, it’s rather clear that there’s no right answer for everyone. The differences, once corrected for the reality that BF-ing women are richer, more educated, and have more supportive partners, basically say that the kid might get a couple fewer diaper rashes and might have an extra IQ point or two.

          I wasn’t BF-ed, and my mom jokingly told me that she’s sorry my IQ is in the 99.7th percentile and not the 99.8th percentile. At this point, any shortcomings in my own life are on me and not how my mom (young and overwhelmed at the time) chose to give me nourishment.

          If people stopped with the screaming about how it helps kids or represses women, it would be abundantly clear that it’s a perfect time to say “you do you.”

      • Thank you for saying this. I have zero interest in ever having kids and I avoid mommy talk like the plague but even *I* am pretty tired of hearing women get shamed about not BFing or not BFing long enough and omg you’re horrible if you don’t want to put yourself through the emotional and logistical turmoil of pumping when you’re back at work. Seriously people need to stop.

        • There’s plenty of judgment flying in both directions. No one I know who nursed past 18 months discusses it publicly because there’s lots of judgement on that too even though it’s literally the WHO recommendation.

          And heaven forbid one actually says that they loved BF and are sad to be done, as I felt, because then you are somehow putting down or judging women who didn’t. It’s literally more socially acceptable to complain about how hard BF/pumping is and want to stop then it is to love it and want to make it work even if it means pumping three times a day. Anytime a women is struggling, the first advice is to drop BF.

          OP – try the moms site, it’s less judgmental over there. One of the few mommy sites that supports everyone’s choices, BF or formula, CIO or attachment parenting – there’s lots of support for all choices.

          • Diana Barry :

            True. I nursed until 2 with all 3 of my kids and didn’t talk about it after 12 months bc everyone expected me to be done. However, I did stop pumping at 13 months or so.

          • Nobody is saying the things you think they are in your second paragraph. You’re creating a straw man there.

          • @ Anon 11:46

            Yes, I’ve clearly imagined all the posts suggesting that the OP stop pumping or cut back on BF. And I must have also imagined it when I have been told, or two other BF friends have been told, to not talk so much about how we loved BF because it makes xyz person feel bad that they weren’t able to/chose not to. I wouldn’t have posted it if it wasn’t my personal experience.

          • Anonymama :

            I’m sorry people gave you a hard time about bfing. But some of those comments seem to be more about being courteous about other people’s feelings or insecurities more than about breastfeeding in particular. Like, it’s just good manners to not brag about your fabulous luxury vacation in front of someone who is unable to go on a trip for some reason, or not talk about how easy it was for you to lose weight in front of your friend who struggles with it.

      • Mrs. Jones :

        I was never so happy about anything as I was when I stopped pumping at work. Another happy moment was when we got rid of all the bottles and their million little pieces. Good riddance.

        • +1 and I liked BF (at least with #2; with #1 it was a hot mess with being a new mom and having a jaundiced baby).

          • Same, I liked BF and pumping was the worst part of my life for a while. I agree with others that I was able to continue BF several months after I stopped pumping. (Son was done, which was why we stopped BF after 13 months.)

          • And with my pumped milk, it has some enzyme in it that makes it smell really BAD after storage, even overnight. [The interwebs were all: you can scald it and that will kill the enzymes but be careful not to boil it. And stupid me, I tried. On 0 sleep often. And burned it often. And had mess to clean up.] If I were a baby, I’d be all for taking it directly, but would have refused pumped milk easily.

            TL;DR: pumping blows. I don’t know anyone who likes it. I used to fantasize about what I’d do it it when I quit, a la Office Space. Beat it with a bat? Run it over? Shoot it? Light it up?

      • RatherBePainting :

        I had to give up pumping at work but did successfully continue to BF in the evenings with no ill effects. It also allowed DH to stop by and feed the baby during the day which led to him having a really close relationship with her. So, do what’s right for you and it will all work out. Seriously, this is one area where there are no right or wrong answers, only what works best for your family situation.

        • Frozen Peach :

          I quit pumping at work and was still able to nurse mornings, evenings, and weekends for another year. Quitting pumping got rid of about 85% of the hormonal sadness almost immediately, TBH. But these feelings are normal and there are ways to improve them. They sound at least partially hormone driven to me, which is why I would get screened for PPD.

      • +1 Being a pumping, working mum was SO MUCH HARDER for me than being a working mum. It felt like it magnified the guilt I was already feeling about being away from my baby and not being able to BF him. And, you know, wacky hormones. I weaned at 4 mo and it improved my life a heck of a lot, and that’s even taking into account the tsk tsking I get from folks.

    • Anonymous :

      See your doctor and get a PPD check. You’re unable to work, it’s worth checking on.

    • Not sure why all the responses turned into a breast feeding saga, but agree with the postpartum depression check. I have a friend who with both her kids has experienced PPD after 5 months, so it isn’t necessarily right away. This also makes me sad – I’m pregnant with my first in my first trimester and I’m already sad about going back to work after and I’m still months away from giving birth! Hang in there! I hope it gets easier for you!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Word. I didn’t get checked up/help until like 8 months… but boy I should have earlier! It was kind of a slow build, but eventually it got unmanageable. (I still miss Kiddo every day at work, but I’m not crying at my desk etc!

    • Oh my, hang in there, Mummy!

      1. Please do see your family doctor and TELL her how you feel. It might be PPD in which case take all the help you can get.
      2. If you feel like pumping is making you too tired, just STOP. Your baby will be fine. I promise. I say this as somebody who hung on too long pumping. I don’t view it as a badge of honour that I carried on, now that I look back. I would have been less exhausted and happier at home and at work if I hadn’t burdened myself with it. Frankly, if you want to keep nursing morning and night babe might make up for lots of it (if you’re worried about such a thing).
      3. You are an amazing person. Two more wonderful human beings on this planet and you are still working – WOW. You deserve to take the best care of yourself ever.

      • Frozen Peach :

        What great, supportive advice.

        +1 to all of it. From my own experience, the damage I did to my family relationships (not just marriage, but marriage too) with hormonal mood swings/stress induced by various pumping issues was umpteen zillion times the potential drawback to my kid of not getting a full year of pumped milk.

  3. [National Law Firm name redacted] Associate? :

    I’m currently waiting on an “official” offer from [National Law Firm name redacted]. The position is similar to what I do now but with a higher billable hour requirement, much longer commute, and a big bump in salary. The problem is I’m not sure I want to do this area of law anymore and I had a prior bad experience with a big firm.
    Billable requirement is 2000 for the year (500 per quarter) with bonus paid quarterly for anything billed above 500. Anyone have experience at this firm? I have small children so I’m hesitant to take a job at this point in my life where I’ll be working non-stop. Any insight is welcome!

    • Never heard of the firm but I’d be hesitant to take a job with a quarterly hours requirement. I’m a litigator fwiw; the work flow tends to be lumpy. Am I going to get dinged for billing 400 hours in Q1 when I just billed 800 in Q4? Seriously eff that. I’m human, I need a break.

      Maybe your practice area has a more even work flow? Or do they give billable credit for non-billable stuff that’s within your control – like CLEs, article writing, conference attendance, or a pro bono project you can actually schedule, like will writing or family court stuff?

      • +1 In litigation, the trade off for an 8-week out-of-town trial is that your billing target for the year is a lock. In this scenario, it would only help you in 1 quarter and you could get dinged in the other 3.

    • Flats Only :

      I would pass. The longer commute and higher billables kills the deal unless your husband is an at home spouse and you desperately need the extra salary.

      • new job who dis :

        +1 I’m not sure what is appealing about this job outside of more money. more work, more commute time, less family time all sounds terrible to me.

    • What appeals to you about this job? Do you badly need to leave your current job? Is it just the pay? It doesn’t sound like there’s any thing appealing about it.

      Not wanting to do that type of law with a higher hours req and a longer commute is not a recipe for happiness. I’m also a litigation associate and I’ve never heard of a quarterly req. Litigation can be highly variable, but if this is a volume practice then things might be more even. Will you be staffed on a few large litigation matters or run a docket of smaller cases (ie insurance defense type)? The quarterly bonus structure makes me fear it’s an hours mill.

    • I know a female partner in their LA office. She seems happy there, and I know her through an organizations she spends a lot of time on and does a lot of travel for, so she doesn’t seem to be working all the time, but I don’t really know anything beyond that. I think what you already know tells you everything you need to know about whether it’s the right fit for you.

    • you really should ask Kat to take out the name of your firm- this is totally identifying.

    • My current job is awful. I haven’t had a raise in 3 1/2 years so I’m way underpaid. Also, the Managing Partner is a screamer with a terrible temper. There isn’t really a bonus structure at my current firm either but on the flip side your billables aren’t a huge issue as long as you stay around 160.
      For the new firm, I loved everyone I interviewed with but am the hours are high and the location isn’t great. I anticipate the offer will be a 35-45% raise from my current salary.

      • Can you negotiate working from home one or two days a week to address the commute issue? Or negotiate a carry-forward of hours so if you bill 600 hours in one quarter, you can carry forward 100 hours towards the next quarter if you are short.

    • I’m not a lawyer but took a higher paying job (24%) one year ago and truly regret the sacrifice of flexibility and introduction of mean spiritedness in the work place. It is really stressful.

      • glad to hear someone else who doesn’t think money is everything

        • That’s honestly most people around here when the topic comes up.

        • I definitely wouldn’t consider myself to be someone who thinks “money is everything.” But I didn’t grow up with money, my husband and I both graduated undergrad with student loans, and I STILL owe $100K+ from law school after paying more than the minimum on them for nearly 10 years. All we currently owe on are my law school loans and our mortgage. We live an extremely modest lifestyle and put everything towards savings and paying down our debt.
          All that to say… don’t be so quick to judge. It is much easier to talk about not worrying about money when you have it or know you have someone (parents, other family, etc.) to fall back on to bail you out if you need it.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I don’t think that is the community view here at all. In fact, sometimes I feel like I am part of a very small minority that loves private practice and would never consider going in house.

      • Suuuuch a timely comment. I’m in the middle of this tango right now, but glad to hear that someone else’s perspective. In my case I’m currently in the (potentially) UBER high paying job – I’m lowest on totem pole and only pulling in about $150k, but there are promises of getting to $500k+ after 3 years (many around me have so it’s not a pipe dream). However, the things I’d have to give up personally and tolerate culturally to get there are enough to make me sick.

        I was just presented with an opportunity to go “in house” (not in law) for like $150k year initially, maybe growing to $250k over 5-7 years time… all still REALLY solid money I know, but something about that carrot dangling in front of me at current job is completely clouding my judgement. I could write a novel about why current job isn’t a good fit culturally/personally, etc, but the hope of hitting the highest tier of current high paying job is so, so distracting. I’m essentially paralyzed by the choice.

        Anyway, I always appreciate hearing from people, especially women, who made the decision to give up the super high earning job for lifestyle/sanity/wanting to be a part of their kids’ lives.

        • How long have you been in the current job? If it’s not very long and you already know it’s not a good fit, I’d get out. That feeling will only get worse as your level of authority, responsibility, and stress increases, and you have to spend more and more time at and on work, possibly to the point that you will be utterly miserable. They won’t pay you 500K for nothing! Also, I’d consider the possibility that it will be more difficult to move in-house at a lower salary once you are more senior and making more money. Employers may see it as a step down/ odd choice, and prefer the more traditional candidate. Now may be the best time to make a move.

          • 6 years at company. 4 years as “senior associate”, 1 year as “partner”, to put it in law terms. Culture has deteriorated dramatically in the last 24 months. Your point about current earnings making it easier to leave now is very well taken, and one of the biggest items in my “pro move” column.

            Thanks for the validation. My gut says now’s the time, but my head/ego/dreams of future earnings are telling me to suck it up.

  4. Trying to Speak Up :

    What are your best tips for getting a word in edgewise on a crowded conference call? This is not something I’ve ever had an issue with before, but I recently started a new job where I work with (primarily old, white) men who all feel the need to weigh in constantly on conference calls. I actually have something to contribute to the conversation (I’m the primary person managing this group of cases) but I’m constantly drowned out by their ego-boosting conversation. Any tips for interjecting and ensuring I get heard?

    • Once you start talking, don’t stop. If two of you are speaking at the same time, don’t yield. Force him to yield.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Also, this is a skill you have to learn and practice, so don’t feel bad if it takes you a while! It’s like becoming good at chicken–you have to train your nerves. My mother came from a small, sedate family, and when she visited my father’s large, rambunctious family, he had to take her into another room and coach her on how to interrupt and hold the floor. It’ll come with practice!

      • Veronica Mars :

        I agree. Some people you absolutely must talk over until they stop if you want to get a word in.

      • Yes, and if you don’t want to lose any of your point while there are multiple people talking, say some filler like “I think this is very relevant, I’d just like to add this here before we move on,” to keep your voice in the conversation but not having the first part of your statement be unintelligble.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      ^^ That, plus be ready to absolutely jump at the first pause and go for it. “Yes, Paul, and about those cases,” Say it with a ton of authority and gravitas and keep on talking if someone interrupts you with something other than a question.

    • Anonymous :

      If you get a pause, jump in and lower your voice a little and focus on projecting loudly. If there isn’t a pause I guess you have to just interrupt and keep talking. I recently had to write my coworker a “stop – let them talk” note while on a telecon with 2 women. He was seriously going to be the only one of the 4 of us who spoke, the entire call. WTH!

    • Frozen Peach :


      “Please let me finish.” When interrupted.

      Long, stony silences waiting out whoever has interrupted or talked over me.

      • Stony silences don’t work well on conference calls, because without a stony facial expression it’s just the same as regular silence.

        I find it helps to jump in with a precursor comment to signal that you’re going to talk so that part of your point isn’t missed while others figure out that you’re talking and shut up. “Let me add” and “it’s important to remember” seem to be mine.

    • I have this problem with the men I work with. I now keep talking, even if I’m talking over them (and when I do, it gets apologies for interrupting me, which makes me realize that they’re not intentionally doing it). I also say “let me finish” or “as I was saying” etc. if I get interrupted mid-sentence. It’s a slog (and it’s definitely not in my nature) but I think it’s so important. And frustrating – so I feel your pain!

    • Best Tip: Avoid conference calls to the extent possible.

      Reality Tip: When you do have a call, if you are the leader send out an agenda and lead the call. This insures that all conversations come back to you.

      As much as possible avoid conference calls and when you do have to have them, keep them as short and efficient as possible.

      • If only avoiding conference calls was possible. I agree, I strongly prefer to be in-person, but that’s just not reality the vast majority of the time.

  5. BabyAssociate :

    DC ladies: any salon recommendations in the Logan Circle/Dupont/Shaw area? I have a straight hair that I very rarely wear down, so I don’t need anything fancy. No color. All I really need is a trim, but it’s been so long since my last haircut, I’ll probably need to cut a good bit off.

  6. Triangle Pose :

    These trousers look very dated to me and I can’t quite figure out why. Is it the belt loops, the styling

    • booties for work :

      maybe the rise also?

    • Anonymous :

      For those of us who are pears shaped, this cut is a staple, and more flattering than most other cuts. A good fitting pant is never out of style.

      • 100% agree. Tapered ankles aren’t for everyone.

      • Triangle Pose :

        The cut is fine. Like Cat below, it’s the combo of the rise, wide waistband with corresponding wide belt loops. Has nothing to do with tapered ankles.

    • I agree – they remind me of the pants I purchased when I was doing internships in college over a decade ago. I think it’s the combo of the rise, wide waistband with corresponding wide belt loops (both of which are typically narrower now, as are belts), and those tiny useless pockets!

    • Agree, I think the thicker waistband with the prominent belt loops makes them look very 2003. The cut is fine, but the details are early millennium.

  7. Sickening :

    I’m so stunned and sickened by the lengths Weinstein went to to silence and gaslight his accusers. Not even sure how to react.

    • Was wondering what this group would think about Boies Schiller’s involvement in this (

    • Minnie Beebe :

      It’s disgusting, I agree. I’m glad to see this information being made public though— Harvey Weinstein not only knew exactly what he was doing, but also that it was very, very wrong. I hope he does in prison.

  8. Breakfast suggestions :

    I am looking for outside-the-box suggestions for breakfast protein. I don’t like eggs and got burned out on turkey bacon. I’m currently eating two pieces of nitrate-free real bacon every morning, which I realize is not a great long-term health strategy. I need protein with breakfast to keep me full, but am drawing a blank on options. Does anyone have any high-protein breakfast suggestions that don’t involve eggs or turkey bacon?

    • A protein shake. Protein powder with water or cashew/almond milk. Protein powder is a supplement, because it does just that – supplements your food when it’s not giving you all the macros you need.

      • Or plain greek yogurt with protein granola. High protein and a little bit of carbs.

        • Anony Mouse :

          Icelandic yogurt has even more protein than Greek. I like Icelandic Provisions and Viking; not a fan of Siggi’s. They can be tart, but a spoon of honey and/or granola helps.

          • I just got into these and love them! I like the Siggi’s whole milk ones best.

          • non-black tie holiday party :

            I thought I hated greek yogurt and siggis (and I am a lifelong yogurt lover of all types). Turns out, I really hate no-fat dairy. Get me up to 2% milkfat and there are some delicious choices out there. Full fat is even better.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Same as non-black tie. Nonfat, ew. Full fat? Hi, yes, please. But I don’t like it just plain. It’s got to have fruit of some sort- honey or maple syrup (a fall only Chobani attempt) is just too tart for me.

          • Siggi’s is my favorite!! Definitely the full fat ones.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I have found protein shakes taste way better with almond milk than water, if you want to go that route. And try different brands–even the vanilla flavor seems to vary in taste depending on brand.

    • Anonymous :

      my go-tos:

      plain 2% greek yogurt with granola and berries (fat, protein, carbs)

      Kodiak brand protein flapjacks (you can get the mix at Target) with maple syrup and berries (super easy to make, and you can increase the protein even more by adding an egg or subbing milk for water). These taste just like regular pancakes too.

    • Overnight oats. 1/2 c oats, 1/2 cup milk of choice (I use almond), 1/3 c yogurt, mix in whatever you want – I like nut butters or topping it with almond slivers.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Swole Woman over at The Hairpin has a recipe for super-high-protein overnight oats!

    • Protein muffins. You can google for recipes; there are several out there. I use vanilla whey protein powder.

    • Morningstar farm vegetarian sausage patties. These don’t taste like sausage, but are very tasty on their own merits. The key is how you cook them. I do 30 seconds in the microwave to thaw, and then sizzle in a pat of butter in a mini-frying pan until each side is crisp and brown (a minute or two per side if the pan is hot). They’re delicious.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Morningstar farm sausage links are my jam. Not even remotely like sausage, but I like them. Not sure on the protein content but likely high.

        They go particularly well with eggos. Microwave the sausage, toaster the eggo- was my breakfast throughout middle and high school.

      • Ditto. Not a vegetarian, but I really like them. Also, they have them at Costco, which is a plus for me. I generally eat them with salsa.

      • +1 Eat these every morning in my breakfast burrito; they’re great.

    • Peanut butter + celery sticks = protein + vegetable. It’s also reasonably fast, or something you can keep in your work fridge and just grab when you get in the office.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Chia seed pudding, topped with almond or peanut butter, and whatever other toppings you like.

      • That actually doesn’t sound very high protein to me, unless you add protein powder.

        • Anon in NYC :

          The way I make it has 12 g of protein, 44 g carbs, and 17 g fat, which is sufficient to tide me over until lunch (and if you eliminated the sweetener, it would reduce the carbs to 30g and leave the other numbers unchanged). To increase the protein, you can always add more nut butter, protein powder, or other sources of protein like hemp seeds or ground flax.

    • I’ve recently switched to a sliced banana with dry oatmeal, cinnamon and a little brown sugar on top. Portable, no prep, protein, fiber, and cheap. 1 cup of oatmeal and a medium banana.

    • anon a mouse :

      I recently started drinking Premier Protein shakes with my peanut butter toast. They have 30g of protein per 11 oz. I know shakes aren’t for everyone, but they make a difference for me.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Another vote for Greek yogurt! I also find it easier to get a lot of protein in if I break it up–on mornings when I work out (so I’m in more of a hurry) I have a protein shake before I leave the house, and then granola with yogurt at my desk.

      It’s also really easy to make your own granola and customize it (more nuts!). I started with the recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking ( and fiddled with it according to what ingredients I happened to have on hand. One other tip–I leave the dried fruit out until after it’s done cooking, because otherwise it gets crunchy easily, and whole dried fruits like raisins puff up, which drives me crazy.

    • Frozen Peach :

      I absolutely love the Svelte protein shakes and they are a frequent breakfast. I order them on Amazon– the chai flavor is really really good.

    • I’m really just craving a skewer of beef now…

      • Mmm me too!

        • I think you could easily just grill a strip steak to your liking on Sunday night, cut it into strips against the grain, skewer (for ease of eating…like a beef satay hors d’ouevre), and pack with your breakfast.

          I want this badly now haha.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Peanut butter on whole wheat toaster waffles with an Icelandic or Greek yogurt. Quick, easy and I can toss the yogurt in my bag to eat at work if necessary.

    • turkey sandwich. rice and beans. tofu, egg and rice bowl with soy sauce and sesame oil, I just treat breakfast like lunch.

    • We really like the Bob’s Mill (or whatever it is called!) quick-cooking steel cut oats at Costco. My current jam is mixing peanut butter and raisins in.

    • I actually misread the name of your post as “Breakfast sausage”. So, there’s that.

    • I just dump hemp seeds on everything. At breakfast this is whole milk yogurt with granola. At lunch it’s usually some kind of beans. At dinner, if it has meat, I don’t add more protein, if not, more hemp seeds. Higher in protein than chia seeds, and lower in fiber, which, if you’re eating them in large quantities, is actually good.

    • Oatmeal with peanut butter, pb 2 (powdered no fat peanut butter), or other nuts. Add greek yogurt if you want and if you want to make it even better try pb 2, sugar and cocoa for chocolate peanut butter oatmeal.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        OMG powdered peanut butter flashback. I remember a company giving us a sample of this years and years ago when I worked for a legislator (company was in our district) and thinking it was a cool idea, but what on earth would anyone use it for? Now I want to try it in recipes…

    • Greek yogurt, oatmeal made with milk and mixing in some peanut butter. Sometimes I just eat a piece of fruit and some cheese or a handful of nuts or rolled up deli meat. I also like smoothies with protein powder, but that is a little too complicated for my pre-coffee trying to run out the door brain.

    • Breakfast muffins, you add eggs but if you add bacon/veggies/cheese it doesn’t taste like egg

    • Anonymous :

      Veggie bacon is generally gross, but there is one exception — Sweet Earth brand is good. Also, oatmeal with nuts is high protein.

    • Edna Mazur :

      Does it have to be breakfast food? I frequently eat dinner leftovers right away in the morning and those are usually pretty protein rich.

      When I was pregnant I ate a lot of hot dogs for breakfast…

    • Puddlejumper :

      Google Paleo breakfasts but a favorite is cooking chopped sweet potatoes in my cast iron and then stirring in some fresh spinach til it wilts and topping it with some spicy Italian crumbled sausage and drizzling the whole thing with smoked paprika and maple syrup. I would add an egg but you don’t have to!

    • Anonymama :

      A couple slices of turkey or ham deli meat? On whole wheat toast with melted cheese and call it an eggless breakfast sandwich.

  9. Tips for collecting addresses for holiday cards? Mine are out of date. Should I just use a google form? Do you all find it annoying to get those?

    • I would not respond if I got a google form. I go through my Christmas card list every October and text the friends who I know have moved to ask for their new address. Sometimes they just send an efficient response with their address; sometimes they start a fun conversation where we get to catch up a bit.

    • I’ve always just gotten emails or text messages asking for an address.

      A survey to ask my address feels…weird. Like I’m doing your work for you (I know that’s slightly irrational if I’d have to type out my address anyway).

      If these are people who send you holiday cards, can you just wait until you get those to collect addresses? Or reach out to another family member for their list (or copies of their address book)?

    • Yeah, I just text my friends or send them a Facebook message. It’s not efficient, but it’s the best thing I’ve come up with.

    • I used Postable’s online address collector for wedding related mailings, and now I use it to update our holiday card list. It’s super easy and I think it seemed more “legit” than a google form, so I had a very high response rate.

    • I send text messages or Facebook messages. It does give a bit of a chance to chat and reconnect sometimes, which is nice. If it’s a family member of friend of the family, I’ll sometimes check with my parents or in-laws, but that’s actually been really ineffective. I keep my list on a Google spreadsheet, and I usually have an idea that someone has moved during the year. I’ll double-check every year with my friends in NYC, where people obviously move more frequently.

      I’ve filled out a Google form for save-the-dates and wedding invitations. That feels a bit different because I know they’re trying to collect a ton of information, and it’s hard to keep track of not just addresses but full, formal names of SOs you haven’t met, etc.

    • Yeah super annoying to get a google form. Stop being lazy and I put my data into your own form. You want my address and email of text me and ask

      • Clicking a link and writing your address is no more work than writing it in a email or text message. Don’t be a jerk.

        • Anonymama :

          The rudeness isnt about the amount of work, but rather the avoidance of personal social interaction. If you’re sending a card you presumably have a relationship with someone, so it’s a little weird to ask for something without softening it with social niceties, particularly if it’s someone you don’t talk to very often.

    • I will be a dissenter. I have gotten Google forms from friends for this purpose and it does not bother me at all. I always respond without hesitation.

  10. Skincare Questions :

    I’m thinking of changing my skincare routine/trying new products, but I’m unsure where to start. What are your go-to products/routine and what type of skin do you have? Also, do you keep things simple with three or 4 products or do one of those 10-step routines?

    • Check out K Beauty. The reddit AsianBeauty is a great place to start and they even have a beginner guide.

      I have dry and dehydrated skin. I use Skinfood Black Sugar cleansing oil, a few different second cleanses depending on the day, the Ordinary Glycolic Acid (or Pixi Glow Tonic), Hadalabo Gokujun premium hyaluronic solution, Skinfood Royal Honey Good Moisturizing Cream.

      At night add in the TonyMoly Banana sleeping pack. In the morning add in CAN make Mermaid Skin Gel (Sunscreen).

    • Lol 10 steps? What? No. I mean I’m a pretty huge skin care junky; I definitely HAVE way more than 10 products but they’re not part of a regular routine, I just like trying stuff.

      Cleanser. Wash with hands or a muslin cloth not a washcloth. I’ve heard of people using an oil cleanser and a water-based cleanser. I tried it but oil-based makes me break out. Ymmv. I like the Paula’s Choice balancing cleanser but I’ll switch it up with others periodically.
      I recently started using a vitamin C serum from drunk elephant. I’m undecided on whether it’s necessary.
      Eye cream with SPF, I like Supergoop
      Moisturizer with SPF (mine’s actually just a serum, also Supergoop, but I use a more heavy duty one in the winter)
      Neutrogena wipes to remove eye makeup; just don’t get the special scented ones because they have alcohol and they freaking BURN.
      Don’t forget your neck, chest, and hands. They need an SPF moisturizer in the morning too.

      Optional add ons:
      Exfoliate like once a week. The best thing for me seems to be the Clarisonic brush but sometimes I wonder if it’s a little harsh.
      Primer if you wear makeup.
      Masks. I like the charcoal ones to clear out my pores and moisturizing, leave on all night types for the winter when my skin is dry. Glamglow is my favorite but it’s spendy. Sheet masks are also kind of fun.
      Night eye cream. I use a kind of goopy one from Pericone (sp?) that doesn’t layer well with makeup but it help relieve dryness and sagging around my eyes

    • I recently started using one of the Rodan & Fields regimens. As somebody who has never been a fan of MLMs and used to view many of them as pyramid scheme type businesses, I was initially skeptical. But first my Mom tried it and really liked the products and what it did to her skin (she gets so many compliments from friends now on how great her skin looks!) so I figured I might as well give it a try. I have been really impressed with the ease of the routine and the positive impact it has had on my skin. I highly recommend it.

      • Oh and in addition to the 4 step regimen, I used a standalone eye cream. Eye cream is essential IMHO.

  11. Philly Therapist Recs? :

    Looking for recommendations for a good talk therapist in Philadelphia for assistance in coping with anxiety/depression issues. Private pay is fine, but needs to be easily accessible from Center City/West Philly. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    • Elizabeth Byrne LPC

    • Mary Chen or any of the therapists at PHIRST. Their office is in the Medical Tower on S. 17th Street in Rittenhouse, which is easily accessible by the trolley/El from West Philly.

  12. WHBM Plus Sizes? :

    I did not know WHBM had plus sizes. Is this new? Only a few pieces have reviews. Anyone have experience with fit/sizing?

  13. Company holiday party is supposed to be black tie or black tie optional (haven’t received explicit guidelines yet). Can I wear a relatively fancy but tea length black dress with heels and a festive scarf? I don’t have any long dresses and I’m trying to avoid spending money on this.

    • I say yes.

    • Mrs. Jones :


    • Yep. In my experience, even at black tie specific events only older women wear full length and not all, at that.

    • Also yes.

      I don’t spend money for office holiday parties if I can at all avoid it and still look remotely appropriate. I don’t get paid enough to spend money to hang out with my coworkers.

    • Never too many shoes... :


    • A scarf for evening? I’m struggling to see how this will dress the outfit up.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I agree. I think a black tea length dress is fine but scarves are not eveningwear, unless you are talking about a pashmina worn as a wrap.

        • Yeah, but it’s a holiday party. Adding a festive scarf is going to be what makes a black dress be holiday party attire.

          • I’d make it festive another way. Dangly earrings or other jewelry in a festive color, or, since it’s tea length, a fun shoe with a pop of festive color.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Except a festive scarf is still not evening attire. I second the idea of fun jewelry or shoes.

          • Anonymama :

            It can be, if it’s a pretty Spanish-style manila shawl worn like a wrap/pashmina.

  14. RatherBePainting :

    I read not long ago that the anticipation of a vacation is even better than the actual vacation. My company has recently completed a merger and I have taken on a lot of additional duties and responsibilities and have maintained my sanity (mostly) by scheduling mini-breaks and vacations. I leave at noon today and am off tomorrow for an art retreat and I am so excited I’m having trouble staying focused. I know it’s only a day and a half, and I’ll check my email and do some work tonight, but this really does make a huge difference for me. I can’t recommend it enough when you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out to take a mini-break. I’m even looking forward to the 6 hour drive, alone in the car with my audio book. What do you do to recharge and restore?

    • How did you find an art retreat? This sounds awesome!

      • TELL ME MORE PLEASE. I’d LOVE to go on an art retreat. I’ve heard about photography trips, like yoga retreats I suppose, in distant beautiful lands….


        • Anonymous :

          For domestic options, look at Santa Fe Photo Workshops or Maine Photo Workshops. Some of their teachers may lead foreign trips.

    • Sounds wonderful, have a great time! I am counting the minutes until thanksgiving. We are not traveling, and I plan to putter around the house for days.

  15. non-black tie holiday party :

    Spouse’s work party is more of a party — DJ, dancing, wear whatever you like (and people do just that).

    Would you wear this:

    It looks festive. I’d actually go with the green.

    • Cute, but this would be obscene on me (I’m tall and this look suuuper short). If you’re on the shorter side it might work, but I personally would probably not wear a dress that short to a work event.

      • non-black tie holiday party :

        I’m 5-4 and figured I’d be OK since I wouldn’t be getting the petite length.

        And it’s a work event for my spouse, not for me :)

      • Same. Cool if you’re short, but a work event for your spouse is still a work event.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. You don’t want him to be the guy with the spouse who was inappropriate at the holiday party.

    • Super cute!

    • 100% yes. Love it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you’re young and you know it would fit in with the crowd, why not?

      • non-black tie holiday party :

        Eek — what if you’re not young?

        It’s a work party, but it’s for a NASCAR service company (not the racing team). So, not BigLaw or black-tie or anything like that.

        If it’s matters, I’m 5-4, about 125 pounds, and not at all buxom. I could wear black tights so that nothing flashes (and it’s OK to wear black tights at this party or even Christmas-patterned tights).

        • Senior Attorney :

          It seems like you really want to wear it and you feel like it would be appropriate for the event, so whether I think it reads young is totally beside the point! ;) (Keeping in mind, too, that in my world “young” = “35ish or younger.”)

  16. Agree that boot cut is flattering but will always love the skinny and cropped styles because you can have so much more fun with shoes!

  17. Body language - vent :

    Vent and also advice- this year I’ve had several meetings in which 3 separate guys I work with have slumped their bodies over a conference table, or a coworker’s desk, leaning on an elbow or with their heads actually resting on their arms, completely facing away from me. The body language could not possibly shut me out more. I’ve done 360 reviews where the comments were that I am too nice so I don’t think it’s personal or that I am abrasive. At one of these meetings I actually asked the guy – who was senior to me- if he was tired. This caused him to talk to me a little when he said yes, and he made a effort to raise up off the table a bit. I think the next time this happens with the junior guy I’m going to get up and move to the other side of him if there’s room. But this is just ridiculous. I can’t imagine taking up that much space or physically blocking someone that way.

    • I’d feel very put off by this too. What is your relationship to them, work-wise? If you don’t have authority over them, can you bring something visual that forces them to direct their posture toward it to see? If all else fails, I’d be tempted to say “It looks like this isn’t a good time for you; maybe we should reschedule.”

      • I like the idea of something visual. These were in meetings with at least one other guy, so they were talking to the other person while physically blocking me. Two of these are decent guys, I do think they’re feeling tired or overwhelmed. But that is not my problem!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Ugh, this is annoying. I would not re-seat myself in the case of either of them, I would just say “Hey, can you lean back a bit? Your leaning is blocking me right now. Thanks.”

      • This. I think you need to address it straight on in an even tone of voice and with a smile on your face.

        “Hey, would you mind moving back a bit, it’s hard for me to see John when he’s talking”

        or even more straightforward

        “Hey, would you mind moving back a bit? It’s hard for me to participate in the conversation. Thanks.”

        I would absolutely address this with people seniors too. Unless there was a serious case of the flu going around work, this is absolutely ridiculous.

        • Don’t say “would you mind”. Don’t make it a question. *Tell* him to move back and sit up.

  18. Thank you all for the kind words last week. The interviews went REALLY well. I am waiting on hear about final round (should be any day) and they reached out to ask my salary requirements. WAHOO!

    ALSO – unrelated – I found out yesterday I won a gift bag from a recent event I went to and it had a Clairsonic Smart in it!! WAHOO!

  19. Cold ankles :

    What do people do with booties in the winter? I live in the mountain west, so winter means snow and ice—not enough to need snow boots but cold enough to make you very aware of any exposed skin. It seems like all the stores show bare ankles, which isn’t practical once it gets cold.

    Do you wear socks that match the booties and are high enough to cover your ankles and lower legs? And thick tights for dresses and skirts?

    Are there longer booties that cover your ankles? My one pair of mid-calf boots is getting very worn out, so if you’ve found good ones, please let me know!


    • Marshmallow :

      Tights for dresses and skirts, but for pants you need to either show ankle or wear full-length pants that hit the bootie pretty close to the floor. I think socks with ankle pants would look weird in that situation.

      • Older and sensible :

        It’s your choice: cold ankles (and frostbite in some climates) or looking weird. Or as Marshmallow suggests, spend time/make an effort to ensure all of your pants and booties line up just so. I absolutely hate the no hosiery trend!

      • Nope, you can wear socks. I like to wear patterned ones that look intentional. Not just, like, white athletic socks.

    • Anonymous :

      The Mom Edit would have us believe that taller booties like the ones we wore around the millennium are coming back into style. They are calling them “sock boots,” but back in the day we called them “pant boots.”

      • Yes, this is what I came here to say. Get sock boots! I am HERE for practical trends. Boots that cover my ankles when it’s cold? Yes! Comfortable leggings as pants? Sure! Wearing tennis shoes with a dress and calling it “athleisure”? Don’t mind if I do!

  20. Veronica Mars :

    FYI- LL Bean is having a 25% off and free shipping sale today. It works on bean boots, which rarely happens (they’re almost always excluded). This is a great deal for anyone thinking of getting them.

  21. Hi hive— What are your go-to movies when you need to escape reality for a few hours?

    I’ll be on a plane this afternoon and looking for something good enough to get my mind off work for a bit. Bonus if available on google play, amazon, or Netflix…. any thoughts?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Vantage Point, honestly. It’s on Netflix and it’s not a great action movie but the multiple different view points are enough to distract me.

      Other than that- Moana or Lilo and Stitch or some other fun kids movie.

      • +1 Moana! Or, I’ll claim my basic status and admit Love Actually will do it for me. Or any of the Bridget Jones movies. Silly, fun story lines (mostly), and a distracting lovely city.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Love Actually any time of the year. My mom and I watch it any time I’m home.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Me too! The haters can hate but I shamelessly love it.

          • I love it too. I have read so many critiques of it, and I can understand the criticism but I can’t help it, I freaking love that movie.

          • +1

            I was so bummed when they took it off netflix

      • In mod with Moana and any fluffy Hugh Grant London-based movies like Love Actually or the Bridget Jones movies.

      • +1 kids movies

        I rarely see movies in theaters, and this year on Netflix I have watched: Secret Life of Pets, Minions, Lego Movies, Moana, and probably others I’m not thinking of. I love cartoons and I’m not sorry.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Lilo and Stitch is my all time favorite movie and I’m not ashamed. I jammed my poor, poor pup into a Stitch costume for Halloween. With a hood. He hated it but omg did he look adorable. He kind of has Stitch-like facial expressions so it had to happen.

    • Marshmallow :

      Sense and Sensibility, Notting Hill, Ever After, The Princess Bride

    • I like fluff. My last flight I watched Bridget Jones’ Baby (so dumb, but kept me happy). I think it’s available on Netflix.

    • Baby Boom (my fave 80’s movie!), Hope Floats, Dan in Real Life, 10 Things I Hate About You (mostly for the nostalgia!)

    • The Duchess is on Amazon Prime. You can be swept away to the wealthy (and insane) world of the upper class in the 1700’s–or at least, Hollywood’s fantasy of the 1700’s.

    • Wonder Woman rocked my world when I finally saw it a couple weeks ago. I think it’s my new favorite movie.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The Holiday and The Other Woman are two of my faves (both on Netflix) or, if available, Practical Magic.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Sabrina. When Harry Met Sally. Emperor’s New Groove. Totoro.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Anything from Studio Ghibli and/or Hayao Miyazaki, even the sad ones. They’re just so beautiful. *sniff* I think my favorite is Ponyo.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      10 Things I Hate About You, Ever After, or pretty much any Disney or Pixar movie

    • Anonymous :

      legally blonde, that documentary about the met gala.

  22. Sloan Sabbith :

    How does one wear heels in the rain with bootcut pants? This seems like a Thing I Should Know but I’m completely confused. I am wearing a pair of grey patent wedges right now and grey bootcut pants. But it’s pouring rain outside, and I will be walking outside. Swapping shoes isn’t an option. Do I just wear tights or trouser socks under the pants? I would think that will look weird with the heels. Or do I just not wear heels with pants when it’s raining?

    With a dress and tights it doesn’t bother me at all but somehow the whole pants thing is throwing me off. I usually wear booties when it’s raining with ankle socks but I’m not into my bootie options today.

    • As I was reading your first paragraph, I was thinking that this scenario is what booties are for. Then I read your second paragraph. :) My solution is booties.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I wore booties today. It doesn’t look as put together but I will also not look weather-appropriate-impaired and will still be able to feel my feet by the end of the night.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am curious as to why swapping shoes is not an option? Maybe it is a particularly Canadian thing but I feel like women do it here literally all the time.

      • not the op, but for me i usually hem my pants that are to be worn with heels or booties slightly longer and so switching to some form of flats will mean the hem gets soaked

    • Yes, wear the heals with trouser socks. It doesn’t look weird. Trouser socks are about the same thickness as opaque tights. If your bootcut pants are the proper length (in my mind about an inch off the ground) you won’t see much of your trouser sock anyways.

    • nude for you hosiery works–knee highs are great if you don’t want full hose.

      • I wear nude-for-me knee sock hosiery all the time, rain or shine, with pants. I don’t like to go barefoot in heels ever, unless they’re peep-toe.

  23. men's clothing recommendations? :

    Looking for two things for my husband for Christmas, nice sweatpants and a shawl collar sweater (preferably cotton/machine washable). Tall size preferred for the sweater, at least. Any thoughts? Looking to spend around $100 or less for sweater, $50 or less for sweatpants.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      What about this sweater from LLBean? 100% cotton, machine washable, comes in Tall, $65 and they’re having a 25% off sale today:

      They have some nice shawl-collar cardigans too but they don’t come in Tall.

    • These sweatpants are the best. I practically live in them on lazy weekends when it’s cold. I got them for my ex, but he never wore them, so whatever… his loss :-) One thing I love other than the fact that they’re insanely comfortable and have lasted a long time is that the leg opening is wide enough that I can wear them over running clothes & shoes and strip them off without taking my shoes off before a race.

    • Thanks to both of you! I’m ordering both of those!

  24. Shop for me? I’ll be traveling in Europe alone over New Year’s. No clue what I’m going to do for the day of, but I want to look cool and fun and festive. Must be lightweight and easily packable. Thanks!

  25. cake batter :

    Morning, y’all. Game for a self care thread today? Share your ideas for making yourself feel happy and balanced.

    I’ll start… my old post-work routine was to immediately change into ratty PJs and plop in front of the tv. Every single day. Lately, I’ve been picking a few nights a week to read or color in my coloring book while listening to relaxing music that makes me happy, like jazz or Sinatra. I’m making an effort to sort through my PJ/lounge wear and am getting rid of anything that makes me feel, well, dumpy. I’m trying to channel Olivia Pope a little here. I can be comfy and feel luxurious at the same time!

    Also, I bought a cheapie little brush on Amazon to apply face masks and have been doing them 2x weekly. I got the idea from instagram, and somehow I find it incredibly relaxing to neatly paint a brightly colored mask onto my face with a brush, instead of just mashing it on with my hands. I guess it really is the little things!

    • I have been doing the same thing with upgrading my lounge wear. It makes me feel way better! I also have been slowly upgrading my u n d er wear to all nice Natori pairs. Lastly, I upgraded all our throws downstairs and love wrapping myself in them. I guess comfort is my key self care concept right now…

      • What throws did you choose? I’m looking for some…

      • I got the West Elm chevron fake fur throw I had been looking at for ages. It ended up being smaller than I expected AND dry clean only (we have kids). But….I kept it anyway for our bedroom. I just love the way it feels and looks.

        For downstairs, I bought two of these from Nordstrom when they were on sale in the semi-annual:

        They appear to not be on sale right now. I was going to keep just one (bought in two colors), but I was thrilled with the way they felt and looked so I kept both. I got one in the yellow and one in the orange.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I did this with my shirts–I have Good Posture Shirts, and Bad Posture Shirts. All the Bad Posture Shirts are on their way to the thrift store.

    • Working Out :

      I am one of those “I love Crossfit” people. Just a found a great new gym in my area and it’s taken me from being super bored and anxious at work (even though I was still working out) back to my sprightly, hard-working self. There’s a lot of talk about how it makes you better and people roll their eyes, but seriously, this stuff is like magic for me.

      On the weekends, watching Christmas movies with my dog is the best (while wearing our comfiest pajamas and coziest throws). I live for fall/winter weekends!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Taking care of my nails and cuticles has been huge for me! Biting them is both an anxiety response and an anxiety “trigger” for me (sigh), and I’ve finally quit through diligent application of hand cream, cuticle oil, and giving myself permission to sit down and say “The next thirty minutes are for doing my nails so they look nice” and then constantly complimenting myself on them. :)

    • Baconpancakes :

      Weight lifting, going to bed early, and prepping for my week/day. I feel so much better about everything when I force myself to get to the gym, and getting enough sleep is obvious. This week, I cooked or planned out non-cook meals for the entire week, with only one night requiring actual cooking. Having it ready to go in the fridge is huge and makes it so much easier to avoid takeout, and removing the mental burden of “what to make” is a surprising relief. This is a decent amount of upfront work for me, because I hate eating the same meal more than twice a week (so once for dinner, and once for lunch), but it made the week so much easier. On top of that, having my clothes and jewelry and even lip color picked out the night before makes mornings 1000% more efficient.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I just changed out the 60-watt incandescent bulbs in the multi-bulb light fixtures in our kitchen and family room for 100-watt LEDs and I feel like a new woman. They’re dimmable so my creature-of-the-dark husband is still able to make it cave-like, but OMG I am so happy to be able to SEE!

      Also: Joined Orange Theory Fitness and it’s making me push myself harder than I had been at the gym, which is a great thing.

      And Lovely Husband and I have been taking a dip in the spa (I know — so 80s!) at bedtime and it really does help me feel relaxed and ready for sleep.

      • Oooh – I LOVE Orange Theory! I think I heard about it here first. I’ve been going the last 6 months or so and have seen noticeable improvements in my body, and there is nothing better at clearing my head.

      • cake batter :

        Too funny, I always dim my lights as low as they go! Funny what makes us happy!

    • -dressing in warm and cozy PJs (love the Olivia Pope upgrade idea)
      – Coloring in my mandala book
      – listening to classical/jazz/sitar music
      – stretching out/home yoga
      -working out/running
      – having a mug of tea and reading a relaxing ( aka fiction) book
      – Cooking with the music on, sometimes I put on salsa and dance and sometimes I put on something classical
      – washing dishes (this is a new one because we don’t have a dishwasher and something about washing dishes feels so relaxing to me)
      – I used to take baths but haven’t done it in forever, my mind keeps going back to it lately because of a rather stressful time so I may give it a shot soon
      – Meditating or walking through a park

    • The best things I do are:

      – Keep the house clean. There is nothing more relaxing than coming home at the end of a long day to have no dishes piled up or vacuuming that needs to be done.
      – Work out.
      – Turn off electronics unless I’m there for a specific purpose. Purchasing something for the house on Amazon doesn’t stress me out, but mindlessly refreshing Facebook does.
      – Have some good books on hand, both “fun” reads and more serious ones

      I want to work on upgrading my lounge wear too! It’s no fun to feel sloppy and unattractive when it’s so preventable.

      • cake batter :

        Absolutely agree on keeping the house clean. It’s not fun to do but makes me feel so much better about life. Clutter stresses me out.

  26. lash tinting :

    Talk to me about lash tinting. I have sensitive eyes, but this seems like a good option to give me a little “eye makeup” without having to wear mascara every day. What should I know?

    • I love getting my lashes tinted! If it were less expensive I would do it all the time, but I definitely do it for special occasions (esp ones where I might cry, like weddings of close friends or family). Know that it shouldn’t hurt. If it does, the person is not doing it right and definitely speak up.

    • I tried it and it lasted maybe a week. It was years ago and I honestly can’t remember how much it was at all, but I do remember thinking that it was _way_ too expensive if it wasn’t going to last any longer than that. I think how eager your lashes are to take on dye varies from person to person though so it might last longer on you.

      • lawsuited :

        + 1 I’ve tried it twice and it’s low impact and doesn’t last long. It’s definitely pretty far from my wedding or special occasion look, but YMMV.

    • I have blonde eyebrows and eyelashes and routinely get my eyebrows tinted- I tried the lash tint once. While it was pretty exciting to wake up with visible eyelashes, I also found that it lasted about a week and the process was expensive for that short of a duration. I had dreams of not having to wear mascara, but the lash tint darkened my eyelashes but didn’t do anything for volume so I would up wearing mascara anyway. I would try it at least once if you’re curious though- the process is painless and results vary!

    • Baconpancakes :

      I ordered the Godefroy kit – I’m a little wary but I’ll report back to let you know how it goes.

    • I did it all throughout college. It lasts way longer than a week, but you need to do it twice in a row the first time. It’s a thing. It’s pretty uncomfortable when it’s happening–it stings and you swear that you’re blinding yourself for beauty, but then you look great and your sensitive eyes are not burning from mascara every afternoon and you feel glamorous.

      I don’t do it now bc it’s illegal in my state, but I would if I could! My eyes look twice as big with dark lashes!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Go without eye makeup and eye makeup remover for 24 hours before tinting, if at all possible. It’s awesome.

    • I have sensitive eyes too and the dye kept bothering me for a few days after. The results weren’t dramatic enough to make up for the irritation. I felt like I needed mascara anyways for volume.

    • Anonymous :

      get eyelash extensions instead. they are amazing.

  27. Is anyone watching Law and Order True Crime? Just jumped on this one a week ago and I love it! There’s still one episode, so I’m trying to not ruin the end by googling what actually happened to the Mendenez brothers (no spoilers, please :)) while simultaneously trying to google how accurate the show is actually being. LOL tricky google searching. I did find this article on this this weeks episode/sexism – so good.

    Anyway, if you liked the OJ dramatizations, Serial, Making a Murderer, stuff like that – I highly recommend this series.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Good grief! As somebody who has lived in Los Angeles all my life, it honestly never occurred to me before this minute that there are millions of people out there who don’t know what happened to the Menendez brothers!

      • @Senior Attorney — I LOL’d at this comment! I know, right? How could anyone not know? Then I read Laura B’s comment about being 2 years old when it happened….. So I;m just going to go cry now….. :)

    • Well, I was 2 when the murders happened. :)

  28. Wedding Season :

    I need some help with family interpersonal problems. There are 4 female cousins in my family, 3 of us are getting married next summer. The single cousin is so bitter I just don’t know what to do. This isn’t a money issue as she’s an exec and all the weddings are small 20 people events with no bachelor parties/engagement parties etc. So these are just 3 small stand alone events. I want to be empathetic as she’s the oldest, but it’s also pretty petty. She tries to one up us with professional and personal successes and it’s just like… so what?

    • What specifically is she doing that’s problematic? If it’s just that she’s not acting happy for you, I’d ignore it.

      • This. I’m not sure I see the problem. It’s too bad that she’s not able to focus on being happy for you all but sometimes people don’t feel the way we hope they would and there’s not much to be done other than accept it. Hopefully by next summer she’ll be in a better mood.

        • Wedding Season :

          I’d call it death by a thousand paper cuts. At family dinners we’ll be discussing something mundane like apples, then she’ll go on and on about how she’s an apple expert because she’s an exec and she has a master’s degree and being single has allowed her to focus on being her best self. Its a never ending barrage of her trying to mask her insecurity. No topic no matter how dull can stop her

          • Ignore it. Change the subject. You can’t call her out without looking like a jerk.

          • Just deal with it. You’re not going to change her behavior.

          • this is what my father in law is like. he thinks he is an expert on EVERYTHING. it is so annoying

          • lawsuited :

            Why do you think acting like a [whatever] expert has anything to do with your wedding? Perhaps she is just talking about her professional and personal expertise because she is proud of them or she likes the sound of her voice? I wouldn’t assume every aspect of each of your family members’ lives is motivated by your weddings. If you do know that he behaviour is related to your weddings, focus on showing compassion rather than griping that your Thanksgiving will be ruined by having to listen to her during dinner.

    • Why do you need to do anything? She’s clearly suffering. Just live you life, do what you’re doing, invite her and she comes or doesn’t.

      • Wedding Season :

        I’d mainly just like a pleasant thanksgiving, and christmas, and easter, plus the birthdays in between,

        • Change the subject, decide it doesn’t matter to you if she needs to be an expert-just let her, sit on the other side of the room, talk to someone else.

      • Metallica :

        Agreed—if she just needs this to feel good about herself and it doesn’t negatively impact you beyond being somewhat annoying, what harm does it do to let her have this?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Ughhh that’s so frustrating. But it sounds (from your other response) like she’s got a serious competitive streak, so how about this: If she’s going on about her apple expertise, say “Wow, Susan, I’m so impressed by how much you know about apples? Did you learn all that in your master’s program, or did you pick it up at work? How long have you been studying apples? That’s great! Tell me more!”

      If you can do this without sounding sarcastic (which is hard!), she doesn’t have anything to compete against. It’s (a) less exhausting than pushing back on her, and (b) kinda satisfying because it totally deflates her big fight. Think of it as conversational jiu-jitsu. Also, it might even help her feel less insecure, which should make her easier to deal with in the long term.

      • Is it really necessary or helpful to call her out though? It’s obvious to everyone that it’s about insecurity so making her look foolish because she doesn’t have the knowledge she claims to have (which everyone knows anyway), seems kind of mean.

        Nod, smile, change the subject. She’s probably posting on a website somewhere asking how to survive Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter with 3 cousins talking about their weddings. Even if you’re not being obnoxious about it, it’s natural that it will come up at each occasion, times 3 people being asked about picking a date, location etc – I’d be totally annoyed and I’m married/love weddings.

        • I agree that this approach is just mean. Just ignore it.

          • Wedding Season :

            There have been no wedding chats, none of us have even done the FB announcement thing. Seems like just the existence of the rings sends her into a spiral. Its making the whole family a little on edge around her.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Oh jeez, I didn’t mean doing it to expose her! That would be super mean. I was working from the assumption that she actually *does* know enough about “apples” to talk about it intelligently, even if she’s not as much of an expert as she claims to be. If she’s just bluffing and doesn’t actually know what she’s talking about, definitely don’t do this.

          My idea is to direct her energy and attention away from how much more she (allegedly) knows than everyone else and towards what she actually knows, since it’s less contentious and more fun to talk about it. I.e. don’t give her a chance to compete, but do give her a chance to talk about what she’s interested in and even be the center of attention for a bit! Just a nicer kind of attention than she’d get from just one-upping you, and a nicer kind of attention to give.

        • “She’s probably posting on a website somewhere asking how to survive Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter with 3 cousins talking about their weddings. Even if you’re not being obnoxious about it, it’s natural that it will come up at each occasion, times 3 people being asked about picking a date, location etc – I’d be totally annoyed and I’m married/love weddings.”
          This. I empathize with the fourth cousin. And I’m married.

          • This. I’m sure her behavior is obnoxious. But it’s likely she’s feeling really insecure. I am the perpetually single one and I’ve started to dread certain gatherings because convos focus on marriage, weddings, babies- stuff I can’t participate in past generally being interested and supportive and asking questions… Yes, I do care about what my friends and family are experiencing, but your experiences are now so far from mine that it’s hard to connect AND I don’t feel like my experiences are being acknowledged. When (if) the conversation turns to me and what’s going on in my life (um, working a lot? Not dating because omg men are nuts? Lots of crossfit? Cool new regulatory law development?) it can seem pretty meh by comparison. Moreover, it reminds me of what I want but don’t have. So my previously fulfilling experiences- hanging out with my friends–sometimes become a source of sadness. It’s no one’s fault, no one’s doing anything wrong, it just *is.*

            How close are you? Would it help to talk with her? Actually acknowledge whether she feels sad that she’s single, or bombarded by wedding stuff? Sometimes people just need to feel heard. Maybe once she feels like people are at least aware, this impulse to draw attention to herself and her excellence will fade. It could be tough to have this conversation without coming off as patronizing. I know that when I’ve felt like this, even just having someone say “I know it must be hard sometimes, I understand that you feel this way and I respect that, and I love you and what you bring to the table” has gone a long way.

    • White Elephant/Yankee Swap :

      What are some favorite gifts to bring? And favorite versions of the game?

    • Senior Attorney :

      There is not one single thing you can do to change her behavior. I agree that if your description is accurate, it’s coming from her place of pain and your best move here is to show some compassion.

      Sit on the other side of the room, smile and nod, ask her genuine questions about her life.

  29. Sometimes I think the designers at J Crew are having fun just seeing how much ugly they can get us to buy. Remember the horrific oversized sweater blankets? Now, look at this 80s tragedy with a weird bow:|US|DPAM|10_13_2017|18|65|NoList|noBHV|NoCA&utm_source=FacebookPaid&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=RT-USDPA-WomenBlazers_DSK|US|DPAM|10_13_2017|18|65|NoList|noBHV|NoCA&noPopUp=true

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I actually really like this, except for the bow. But I like the 80s in general. :)

      • I like it too (but not a fan of the bow). It doesn’t read all that 80s to me, though.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 – how does this read as 80s?

          Also, I think the bow would be more interesting if it was the actual closure for the jacket, instead of a…decoration?

      • Anonymous :

        I love it too! And it’s basically been sold out except for few lucky sizes so clearly we’re not the only ones that love it.

  30. Kids College :

    Can someone help me think through the different ways to save for kids college tuition? My in laws are doing a lot of estate planning and are planning to gift the max for 2017 and 2018 to our 8 month old son. They think that putting it straight into a trust (rather than a 529) is the best bet because they’re also hoping to be able to pay for college directly, as tuition is not considered a taxable gift. The idea of having 56k set aside for my baby at not even a year old is both blowing my mind and making me feel like I am SO uneducated on this topic. This is just a different world than what I grew up with and my parents situation.

    Is there anything that I should be aware of or any resources that can help me get a little smarter around this stuff?

    • I didn’t find any good answers on this myself, but anecdotally, my parents did the same thing and their financial people advised them to put it into a 529.

    • I saw some discussion of topics like this on a web page that appears to be a forum for investments by medical doctors, white coat investor forum. If you search the forum, you can read about people who front-loaded college savings. Sounds like a good plan if they will do that for you.

    • 529 is a good idea and they could fund alongside a trust. Shop around for 529’s and check the state your in–laws live in because some offer state tax deductions. Parents could max gift to trust and then also more gradually fund 529–which you can also fund at the same time. Meaning you could put $100 a month in, in laws could put $100 a month in, and nice auntie could put $100 a month in. It sounds like this might be an opportunity to fund both a trust and a 529 for your in-laws (which is consistent with their stated goals).

    • i’m also interested in resources. i actually thought the max gift per year without being taxed is $14k.

      currently with a 529, if let’s say your kid were to get a scholarship, and you want to withdraw money from the account, you wouldn’t be subject to the 10% penalty, but the income earned on the account would be taxed. however, with the current tax reform bill it sounds like tuition waivers/scholarships could also end up being taxed? hopefully this new ridiculous bill does not pass, but since a lot of things are in flux a trust could make more sense.

      one thing with a 529, the money does not actually belong to the beneficiary/the beneficiary has no legal rights to the account (unlike a custodial account where the beneficiary does have legal rights to the account at a certain age).

      • $14k per giver/recipient pair. Her MIL can give her son $14K and FIL can give $14K in the same year and they are treated as separate gifts.

      • FYI increasing to $15,000 per donor per donee in 2018.

    • What a wonderful situation! Vanguard has some things that will help you get going.

      Here’s are some things to consider:

      (1) In whose name will this money be? If it goes into a 529 your son will be a beneficiary but the money will be in your in-laws’ name (or yours if they give you the money and you put it into a 529) and your son will only be able to benefit from it for qualified educational expenses. On the one hand, bad if you want the money for something else because there are penalties of some sort if not used for qualified expenses (I believe only on earnings but check); on the other hand, good because then he won’t have access to it for irresponsible teenage impulses.

      (2) Your in-laws could always give the money now (to you for your son) and you could put it into a 529 later if that makes sense. The cost there is that earnings in the interim would be taxed, but it would kick this decision down the road until it becomes a little clearer what you want to do.

      • Another benefit of the 529 in the grandparents’ name is that it is not counted on the FAFSA.

        • Anonymous :

          Are you kidding me? That is not fair–if it’s in a 529 with the kid as the beneficiary, it should count.

          • the money does not legally belong to the kid. the grandparents could decide to deal with the penalties and withdraw all the money, leaving nothing for the kid. the kid has no legal rights to the money, so it would make sense to me that it would not count.

    • Diana Barry :

      If I were advising the grandparents I’d have them put it into a 529.

      They can gift 28K this year and 30K next year – the exclusion is going up. OR if you front load 5 years’ worth of gifts into a 529 plan it doesn’t count as extra, you can still take the exclusion as long as you file a gift tax return and don’t make any other gifts to that person during the 5 years.

  31. Good vibes please! :

    Inspired by the poster above (congrats!) – would love some good vibes for an interview today.
    It’s very much a longshot, but I applied at the urging of you ladies here, figuring why not and now interview day has come and I’m super nervous about it. All good and positive thoughts very much appreciated! Thank you in advance.

  32. Anyone have recs for some great sheet masks available at the drugstore? My ski is a mess with blackheads on my chin and forehead; flaky on the cheeks and upper lip.. I know basically nothing about skincare and I’m looking for a little reset.

    • IME, sheet masks are fun, relaxing and can help moisturize, but they aren’t exactly a cure-all in themselves. They can be a good/helpful part of a skincare routine. If you want a reset, I’d probably go get a facial. Esp. with blackhead issues.

    • I have blackheads and like the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask. It’s not a sheet mask though.

    • Anonymous :

      I would try the Biore pore strips for the blackheads.

  33. Post Interview Follow-up :

    How long should I wait to reach out after an interview?

    Background, I interviewed two weeks ago for an unposted attorney position with a federal agency. I think things went well. I sent thank you emails to everyone the next day. Since it is an attorney position things can move a little faster, so this isn’t a traditionally long government hiring process.

  34. It may be late for this so I may try again this afternoon but – any recommendations for a good, affordable estate attorney in Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix) who would be willing to help us reopen a deceased person’s estate so we can claim some lost property assets?

  35. I’m really struggling with how to approach/deal with/accept the way my husband’s family acts generally but more specifically during the holiday season. This is our first holiday season as a married couple. His family consists of his mom and several adult siblings in their 20s. There is a lot of dysfunction in the family history (bad divorce, bad relationships with extended family, including grandparents). My husband is the one who takes the brunt of a lot of it. I knew this going in because we dated for 4 years before we got married. But dealing with the holidays has become a nightmare. Last Thanksgiving (when we were engaged), I agreed to spend the holiday with his family and their family friends (they visit their family friends in another nearby city). Meantime, my mom was alone (I’m an only child, she’s single). My mom doesn’t really do much for the holidays, and didn’t make a fuss at all about being alone, but I told my now-husband that we need to be fair and alternative Thanksgivings. So this year he told his family that we will not be going to other city to spend Thanksgiving with them and their family friends, but rather will be staying in our home city to have Thanksgiving with my mom. And they are throwing a fit – not just his mom, but some of his siblings as well – accusing him of being selfish and ruining Thanksgiving. I am at my wits end. He isn’t giving into them, but they make him feel horrible and he ends up feeling so guilty and like he needs to make it up to them, which I think is ridiculous. We already spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with them every year (since they mercifully stay home for that holiday, my mom is able to join, but once we have kids, I want to stay in our own home for Christmas morning). I just don’t know how to handle this – I get so angry at his family, but me being angry at them doesn’t make husband feel better, in fact it makes him feel worse.


    • I’m in a similar boat. We alternate which family gets us on Thanksgiving (also an only child, although my parents are married and have each other – for now at least). My husband’s father goes ballistic every year when we don’t come there, although it’s a very well-established pattern at this point that we will only be with them every other year. Just try to remember that this is between your husband and his family. As long as he’s not throwing you under the bus (e.g., telling them “We can’t come because Anonymous is making me go to her family”) or caving into their ridiculous demands, it’s not really your place to intervene in his family dynamics. If getting angry at them is making your husband feel worse you should try to keep your anger to yourself.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think he’s throwing me under the bus – you’re right that I should try to just be sympathetic and not make it about my anger. Thanks!

    • Senior Attorney :

      You said it yourself — your being angry doesn’t make it better for him. Accept his gift of time gracefully, make a nice Thanksgiving for him and your mom, make sympathetic noises if he vents to you, but trust him to be a grown up person who can handle his own feelings. There is no action item for you here. Just love him and make his sacrifice worth it by being loving and appreciative. I promise he will thank you for it.

      • Anonymous :

        You are so right. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to do. I’ll blame it on being a lawyer and obsessed with “fairness.”

        • Anonymous :

          Just because someone is unhappy, doesn’t mean the solution is ‘unfair’. Alternating Thanksgivings is literally the definition of common resolution to this problem in most families.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree, that’s why I get so angry at his family for accusing him of “not thinking of anyone else.” We are literally thinking of everyone else when we make these decisions – we think of ourselves last, actually.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Add wine.

        Alternating Thanksgivings is reasonable, staying in your own home for Christmas with small children is reasonable. We do both and both grandmas are unhappy about it but that’s all I can do. I deserve to be happy too.

    • Triangle Pose :

      You just have to laugh at it. They are being ridiculous. You are both part of the couple now and have to balance each other’s family obligations. It’s the definition of fair that you alternate holidays. Both of you should try to let go of your anger, recognize ridiculousness for what it is, and shut it down if they make comments. If they throw a fit, let them. You husband can say “I’m married to [Anonymous] now. We have to balance our family obligations around the holidays. We are excited to spend [next rotating holiday that his husband’s family’s turn] with you. It’s the holidays, there’s no need for any unhappiness here”

    • Gently, you are not ever going to get his side of the family to think that what you’re doing is fair (even though it is). So don’t spend your time and mental energy trying to do so.

    • Anonymous :

      Stop talking about it. He needs to get over it. The decision has been made. It’s on him to be an adult and not feel guilty.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Set these boundaries now, before you have kids. This is a crucible moment in your marriage as you stake out your own independent family orbit from your families of origin.

      We worked out a compromise that actually worked better for us than alternating. We set the rule that we don’t travel for Christmas, but we spend Thanksgiving week with my in-laws every year. They are welcome to come join our Christmas– some do, some don’t, it varies year to year, but it’s given us some much-needed stability and taken a lot of the stress out of the situation.

      One of the nicest things you can do for your husband, as someone whose family is the problem — nothing is ever enough– is be supportive to him when it hurts when they throw fits, even as he knows he’s doing the right thing. The first year my in-laws came for Christmas, my mom refused to come to church with us at the last minute and I had to take a few minutes and cry it out. It meant a lot that my husband gave me hugs and gave me room to be hurt, even as he was reminding me that my mom is kind of nuts and I hadn’t done anything wrong. With families who are never satisfied, setting boundaries is always uncomfortable and sometimes painful for the person who grew up in it. But SO WORTH IT.

    • My mom does this to my brother whenever he spends time with my SIL’s family. My mother sometimes acts like my SIL has a large family _at_ her, just so that my brother will spend less time with her. It’s ridiculous, and no amount of “you’re not being fair” from anyone, from me, my brother, or anyone else, has made her see reason yet.

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. It sucks. But FWIW, though it used to really upset my brother he’s just used to it now. He has stopped letting it bother him. So your in-laws might continue to be unreasonable forever, but hopefully your husband can soon get to the point where it just rolls off his back.

    • It is your husband who has to be firm. I have been dealing with this for 18 years. Every other year, they act like I don’t have a family. We still keep alternating Thanksgiving.

    • You’ve gotten a lot of great suggestions, but I wanted to throw another idea into the mix. What if you each spend next year’s Thanksgiving with your respective families? My husband and I have a similar family dynamic where he feels bad leaving his mom to celebrate alone, and I have a huge family that is wonderful but makes me feel guilty for not being there. We’ve realized we’re way happier and less stressed if we do Thanksgiving Day separately, and then we go to a big Friendsgiving party with all of our friends over the weekend. It’s an easy way to feel like we’re getting the family time we want, followed by some “us” time over the weekend.

    • lawsuited :

      I have been here. The first 2 years after we were married were the hardest as each family took their first turn being “abandoned”. You’re feeling the pain right now, but don’t give in! It will get better as everyone gets used to the new status quo. My husband’s family was also much less understanding and much more angry than mine, so he needed a lot of support from me in order to deal with that. Sometimes I made jokes for a bit of levity, often I reminded him that if we could just get through this Christmas the next would be better, and I thanked him a lot for all he was doing to manage his family and stand up for us.

      You’ll be glad to hear that sharing the holidays is no longer an issue. Keep it up!

  36. I’m really struggling with how to deal with the way my husband’s family acts generally but more specifically during the holiday season. This is our first holiday season as a married couple. His family consists of his mom and several adult siblings in their 20s. There is a lot of dysfunction in the family history (bad divorce, bad relationships with extended family, including grandparents). My husband is the one who takes the brunt of a lot of it. I knew this going in because we dated for 4 years before we got married. But dealing with the holidays has become a nightmare. Last Thanksgiving (when we were engaged), I agreed to spend the holiday with his family and their family friends (they visit their family friends in another nearby city). Meantime, my mom was alone (I’m an only child, she’s single). My mom doesn’t really do much for the holidays, and didn’t make a fuss at all about being alone, but I told my now-husband that we need to be fair and alternative Thanksgivings. So this year he told his family that we will not be going to other city to spend Thanksgiving with them and their family friends, but rather will be staying in our home city to have Thanksgiving with my mom. And they are throwing a fit – not just his mom, but some of his siblings as well – accusing him of being selfish and ruining Thanksgiving. I am at my wits end. He isn’t giving into them, but they make him feel horrible and he ends up feeling so guilty and like he needs to make it up to them, which I think is ridiculous. We already spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with them every year (since they mercifully stay home for that holiday, my mom is able to join, but once we have kids, I want to stay in our own home for Christmas morning). I just don’t know how to handle this – I get so angry at his family, but me being angry at them doesn’t make husband feel better, in fact it makes him feel worse.


    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I also have some beef with my husband’s family, and I find it helps to focus on *his* feelings. Like, I sit next to him and say “Oh, honey, you must be so sad.” It helps him to have his feelings validated, and it helps me get my mind off my own anger.

      It’s unreasonable to expect yourself to just stop feeling angry, though, so can you enlist someone for *you* to vent to? (I vent to my mom.) Your anger is real and valid! He just can’t be the one to help you deal with it, because he’s closer in.

      Also, for the longer term, can he go to therapy? If I were dealing with what he’s dealing with–even with a supportive spouse, which is huge–I would want professional support and guidance. It sounds like he’s having to unlearn lifelong habits of giving in to emotional manipulation. Carolyn Hax always recommends “Life Skills for Adult Children” (Janet Woititz and Alan Garner), which might help (I don’t have personal experience with it though).

    • oh in-laws. first of all, glad to hear it is not just mine! since we got engaged we established we would alternate thanksgivings. we do not celebrate christmas, so we don’t need to worry about that. When my DH explained to my MIL that we’d be alternating, she said that the only holiday she cares about is Thanksgiving and that we can do all other holidays (we’re jewish) with my side of the family. However, my family celebrates Jewish holidays with my mom’s side and thanksgiving with my dad’s side, so if we didnt do every other thanksgiving with my family i would literally never see my cousins on my dad’s side again. we’ve now been married for 5+ years and while it is not really an issue per se, my MIL still tries to make us feel guilty about it. This year she said what if she invited my parents, sibling + sibling’s spouse, and I had to explain for the one millionth time that we do Thanksgiving with my cousins and it is our only opportunity to see them! I think she has trouble getting it because she isn’t really close with any cousins, etc. and their thanksgiving is done with family friends. my MIL is not good at putting effort into maintaining relationships. this thanksgiving none of the friends are going and I do feel kind of badly, but it also isn’t our fault that they can’t go!

      I’m glad that your husband is on your side at least. It has been very hard on my husband when my MIL tries to make him feel guilty for not seeing her enough, missing a holiday, etc. Hopefully, after a few years of this alternating they will get it. I do think that the first year can be the hardest and the biggest ‘shock’ to the other side. Especially, if there was a divorce, they might not be accustomed to this alternating concept. Once you have kids, if you are up for it, I’d say you host both Thanksgiving and Christmas! I think it’s important for your husband not to do anything to try to make it up to them – there is absolutely nothing to make up for! If he gives into that now, it sets a bad precedent for the future. good luck!

      • I really hope that if/when I am ever a parent, and have adult children, that I don’t try to dictate how they run their families or ever use “but it’s tradition” as an excuse to throw a tantrum. I see so many stories online of people having to deal with their parents like that and it just blows my mind.

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