Frugal Wednesday’s TPS Report: Amone Silk Blouse

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

Joie Amone Silk Blouse, Golden Amber Ooooh: lovely.  I think this relaxed “golden amber” silk top is quite nice — I like the split V neckline, the pleating at the shoulders,and the slightly gathered sleeves. It does look a bit sheer, though — I’d probably wear a white camisole beneath it.  It was $188, then $99, but with the current “extra 40% off everything” sale at Last Call, it comes down to $59.40. Joie Amone Silk Blouse, Golden Amber

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  1. Legally Brunette :

    Hmm, this is pretty but it’s something I would need to try on. That split neckline looks low.

    An ‘rettes live in Tulsa? I have a friend who just moved there and she would love to meet more professional women. She doesn’t know anyone in the area except family.

  2. Thanksgiving Hosting :

    Ladies, what to wear as a thanksgiving host? We will have people coming over while i am still cooking. Does it make sense to change? Or should i just wear something relaxed all day?

    • Two cents :

      I usually dress up a little bit. I find that friends who come over tend to be slightly dressed up (no jeans, nice pants). Probably not a dress, but I usually wear nice pants and a top.

    • I’m planning to wear a sweater dress — very comfy but also practical. If that doesn’t work for you, do you have leggings and a nice top/sweater? I do think it makes more sense not to change. Somehow I think it might seem weird if the hostess disappeared to change after the guests had already arrived.

      • I don’t think it’s odd if there is more than one person hosting. I’ve done it, once people were settled in with drinks and nibbles. Or I’ve also just put a pretty apron over my dress. Tomorrow it’ll just be three of us and very relaxed. I may serve dinner in my terry tunic and leggings.

    • I like to cook in leggings and a tunic with an apron, and then just change into my boots and take off the apron when it’s time to socialize.

    • How relaxed are we talking? I think it’s kind of weird to change clothes after your guests arrive, so I’d wear something reasonably comfortable but nice (my family’s Thanksgiving dress code is basically “no jeans,” this year I’m wearing leggings and a sweater) all day, with a full apron over top while you are cooking.

    • I would go for something slightly dressed up but still comfortable. Plus a pretty apron. I like the ones from anthropologie.

  3. PharmaGirl :

    I love this but agree that it looks way too sheer. A tank or camisole could help but, in the end, you’re still wearing a sheer top to work.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Maybe I’m awful and should hand back my Corpo r e t t e card but I have no issues wearing a sheer top to work if I wear something underneath. Obviously without something underneath I wouldn’t, but I really don’t worry about wearing some gauzy chiffon top if I’ve got a cami under it.

      • Agreed. The whole argument of “how will they know your not naked underneath or your perpetuating nakedness in the office” I find ridiculous. If I was naked or inappropriate underneath you’d see nipples or a bra. If you see neither, the odds strongly suggest I’m wearing a shirt and do not look like a naked barbie unclothed (i.e., no nipples or bra required).

      • I’ll hand in mine with you. I have a couple of chiffon tops for work, always worn with something underneath. It’s less obvious in patterns than solids.

      • Hey, remember when EC MD did the thread on how many of us break the “rules?” It was a long thread!

      • I agree. I actually really like the look of a sheer top with a cami underneath tucked into a pencil skirt.

      • Me too. I almost always wear camis anyway even with non-sheer tops.

      • I usually wear a cami in a contrasting color underneath sheer tops, just so it’s very clear from a glance that I am wearing something underneath. So in this case, I might wear a black cami rather than a white one, since white is pretty close to nude for me.

    • MaggieLizer :

      If your office is too conservative to wear anything sleeveless, I would probably stay away from sheer tops, or wear a blazer or cardigan over it so your shoulders are still covered. If it’s OK to wear sleeveless in your office, I think sheer tops are fine as long as your bra straps aren’t showing.

  4. anon in-house :

    Can anyone speak to Joie’s quality? I’ve had my eye on a dress and some sweaters from them, but hesitate to pull the trigger because it seems overpriced.

    • I love their stuff and all of my pieces have held up very well. I’ve never bought any dresses from them, but have 7 or 8 tops and sweaters.

    • I’ve had a pair of Joie wool pants for 8 years and they are as good as new. I also have a silk top that I’ve worn repeatedly and it still looks great. I’d go for it!

  5. This is pretty but it’s something I would need to try on. That split neckline looks low.

    Any women on this site live in Tulsa? I have a friend who just moved there and she would love to meet more professional women. She doesn’t know anyone in the area except family.

  6. The Starbucks I frequent is amazingly busy, yet the employees are awesome: they’re efficient, nice, friendly, and the place is always clean. I’d like to do something for the employees so they know how much I (and presumably other customers) appreciate them. I’ve written to the Starbucks corporate office a few times to tell them about the greatness of this location and the employees, but that seems insufficient. Is the best thing to do just leave larger tips in the tip jar? If the shop were a different industry, I’d drop off donuts or something, but I have a feeling these guys get more than enough breakfast food :). Suggestions?

    • [insert clever name here] :

      In my very liberal city, a gentleman would periodically drop off fresh flowers from the farmers market to the baristas at a favorite local coffee shop. It was an independent coffee shop, however. I’m not sure if Starbucks would have limits on if they could put the flowers out.

      My other suggestion would be a gift certificate (or several) to a nearby sandwich place or other restaurant with a note saying “lunch is on me”. We’ve done this for building maintenance people to local pizza places – then they could order a big lunch to eat together.

      I’m not sure if either of these are 100% approrpriate or workable for Starbucks… I can see some flaws… but thought I’d at least get the discussion rolling!

    • Large tips + telling them how much their service stands out, and that you have submitted comments to the corporate office. People very rarely bother to do that, so it means a lot. If there’s a consistent staff of a few people you know, maybe gift cards to a bookstore for each of them.

    • Have you ever directly thanked the manager? Meaning shoot a card/note over the the actual location? In your thank you note mention that you, of course, shot a note up to corporate as well but just wanted to let them know directly that they make your morning more manageable.

      You could do something nice like put a large bill in the tip jar–but if I did that I’d want to ensure it was split among *all* the morning staff, not just those on duty that day. Maybe ask the manager if they have a policy on holiday tipping, or paper clip a note to the bill?

      • Awful Lawful :

        I worked for Starbucks for several years in college (and part of law school!). First, I want to say that it’s really great that you want to do something nice for them. During the holidays, regular customers would often give a tip of $50 or $100 (these were very regular customers, so I don’t mean to imply that everyone should give that much). It was always greatly appreciated and word got around pretty quickly through the employees when customers gave large tips. If you only go at a certain time of day, it may be likely that you only see a few of the baristas on a regular basis. Employees are required to pool tips, so even if you try to tip specific employees, if they do the right thing, they should share with everyone. However, if there are a select few you really want to recognize, I would go with individual gift certificates because it’s not something you necessarily have to share. Customers also made tins of cookies, which were nice as well. A nice card telling them how much you appreciate them and a nice would be best. Customer cards often get hung in the backroom for the employees to see.

    • Thank you guys for your suggestions. I will write personal notes and include a gift card in each envelope.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Yay! Fruegel Wednesday’s now!!!!! I love FRUEGEL day’s!!!!!!

    I like this shirt, but Frank is NOTORIOUS for stareing at me and the V neckline shows alot. It would not be good for me b/c I would NOT want to do anything to ENCOURAGE HIM. FOOEY!

    The manageing partner is letting all of us go early today! Yay!!!! That is, unless we have to send out anything by FEDEX, which I do NOT. So Myrna and I am goeing to head out to my parent’s home for the THANKSGIVING holiday at 5 today, eat Turkey there tomorow, then drive back to NYC FRIDAY. I invited Roberta, but she has her OWN family to eat turkey with. We are still going to meet Roberta to work at the SOUP Kitchen Saturday in the Bronx. Oh, and I am NOT going to do any black Friday shoping this year, b/c of the ELECTRIC power issue.

    My dad is geting into it. He is also goieng to drive again to COSTCO to do a can food run for the LONG ISLAND food bank. Yay for Dad!!! Roberta want’s to meet my dad! My dad seem’s to like all this atention, even tho he has had alot of atention in his long career! I am proud of him.

    Other then all that, I do NOT have specific plan’s, and b/c I was planning to take FRIDAY off, I will have a 4 day weekend!!! Yay!!!!!!

  8. Okay, what’s on everyone’s menu for tomorrow (if you’re hosting)? Also, who’s trying new recipes? I think all but two of mine are brand new so we’ll see how this goes. We’re having:

    butternut soup with creme fraiche and cornbread with bacon jam to start (yes, bacon jam)

    smoked turkey (that Mr. TBK is cooking out on his backyard smoker)
    sausage stuffing (courtesy of Mr. TBK’s mom — yay MIL! she’s an amazing southern cook)
    green beans with roasted fennel and shallots
    cranberry/orange relish
    gravy (if Mr. can get enough drippings from the turkey in the smoker)

    apple pie a la mode
    coffee with spiced whipped cream

    To drink: beaujolais nouveau, dry riesling, and English-style hard cider from a nearby farm

    • springtime :

      Can I come over? Yum

    • I’m trying the salted caramel cheesecake from Joy the Baker, per one of the recommendation on this site. Can’t wait!

      Also on the menu: smoked turkey, stuffing, roasted butternut squash, mashed potatoes, broccoli and hollandaise, and Alton Brown’s frozen blueberry pie.

      • We always do asparagus with hollandaise for holidays, but I’ve never thought of trying broccoli. Might need to try this sometime…

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oohh will you let me know how the salted caramel cheesecake comes out and how difficult it was to make? I’ve been wanting to try it but haven’t found the time to make it yet.

    • Outsourced this year to Fresh Market: Turkey, gravy, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, dressing, rolls
      Rounding out with:
      Sauteed brussels sprouts with pancetta
      Parmesan green beans
      Pimento cheese stuffed celery
      Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake (Pioneer Woman recipe)

      Wine and sweet tea to drink.

      • We were so tempted to do that this year. I was in fresh market a few weeks ago during their Thanksgiving “tasting”– we were really impressed.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        We are doing this too with Fresh Direct. Turkey, stuffing, rolls, yams, macaroni and cheese (?), mashed potatoes, and creamed corn. I’m making green bean casserole, sour cream apple pie, pumpkin pie, and Pioneer Woman’s cranberry pie.

        • I heard on the radio that mac and cheese is a traditional Northeastern (I think it was that region?) dish for Thanksgiving. I thought it sounded pretty odd, but that’s different regions for you. :)

    • Merabella :

      This is the first time the hubs and I are having Thanksgiving alone together, so we are doing mostly traditional stuff. Roasted Turkey with sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions & carrots, green bean casserole. For dessert I’m making a chocolate bourbon pecan pie that I’ve never made before.

      We’ll see how it goes.

    • We’re having:
      cranberry relish
      grape and walnuts mixed greens salad
      roasted vegetables (carrots, parsnips, squash, and brussels sprouts)
      mashed potatoes
      green bean casserole
      creamed pearl onions
      apple cheese crisp
      jello salad
      several pumpkin pies
      apple crisp
      pumpkin cheesecake
      gingerbread cookies

      I am cooking maybe about half. One of my aunts always brings these “country cooking”
      casserole style recipes, like creamed onions and jello salad, that nobody really eats. We’re having maybe 15-20 people and always end up with way, way too much food.

      • I have a great aunt-in-law that brings some kind of cream-of-onion + fried oysters deal because she’s convinced someone in the family eats it. Somehow, nobody does (but typically someone goes in and scoops some out anyway to be polite. Probably an unknowing great-nephew.)

      • Apple cheese crisp? I am intrigued. As in cream cheese or cheddar cheese? Care to share the recipe?

        • It’s sliced apples layered with cheddar cheese and baked, sort of like scalloped potatoes. One of my aunt makes and it I think she pours some mix of butter, cheddar, sugar, water, and flour before baking. I don’t have the recipe, but I’m sure you could find many similar ones online. It’s not bad but I find it insanely sweet with all the added sugar and would recommend reducing it or cutting it out.

    • There will be just three of us. My SO is up north meeting his newest grandson. So there will be me (the cook), one pescatarian, and one picky eater. I’ve been so sick that I haven’t been able to be all that creative.

      We’re having:

      marinated shrimp with tarragon
      turkey breast
      tofurkey (obv not my choice)
      cranberry sauce with cherries and cloves
      mashed potatoes
      green bean casserole
      green bean salad with dried cherries and walnuts (this may get jettisoned but I have the fresh green beans)
      corn pudding
      pumpkin and apple pies

    • Jenna Rink :

      I’m cooking dinner for the first time this year! On the menu:
      Salad with roast pears and gorgonzola
      Curry butternut squash soup
      Sweet potato biscuits
      Pickled cranberries (there will be storebought cranberry sauce too)
      Sweet potato casserole
      Cider brined turkey
      Apple, parsnip and sausage stuffing
      Apple pie
      Chocolate midnight pie

      We’ll also be going to another Thanksgiving the next day where I’m responsible for bringing homemade rolls, a cheese ball, green bean casserole, 4 desserts (President Tyler’s pudding pie from this month’s M-Stew Living, a Linzertorte, German chocolate pecan pie bars, and pumpkin pie). I am a bit of a Thanksgiving over achiever.

      • This sounds like an amazing menu. I want to come to t-giving dinner at your house.

      • Scrap my menu — I’m coming to your house!

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Yes, please tell us about pickled cranberries??

      • Jenna Rink :

        Aww, thanks ladies! I’m really excited to be cooking the whole meal this year. It will be my first time cooking a turkey, so fingers crossed that it turns out well! The pickled cranberries come from here: It’s a really tasty sauce – sweet but with a vinegary kick.

    • I’m not hosting, but I’m making gruyere risotto with mushrooms and asparagus. GET IN MY BELLY!

      • Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing. I’m actually drooling.

      • Sounds wonderful ! Is there a recipe you could/would share?

        • Lilly, this is the recipe I’ve always used for the gruyere risotto. SO SO GOOD.

    • Smitten Kitchen’s deep dish apple pie from her new cookbook. Nothing else matters.
      Homemade cranberry sherbet
      Candied pecans

      Other peoople are making things, but I only care about the stuff I’m making. HA!

    • anon in tejas :

      it’s for 5 this year (we’re not hosting, but jointly hosting/cooking with brother in law and his new wife at their place). I’m marking their dishes with * since I know what they are cooking, but not the recipe.

      – turkey breast*
      – mashed potatoes*
      – brussel sprouts*
      – roasted maple butter nut squash
      – cassarole style mac and cheese (smitten kitchen)
      – rolls

      pecan pie and apple pie with homemade icecream

    • Cheese, fruit and nut plate
      Sorghum-brined herb roasted turkey
      Madeira gravy
      Savory bread pudding with mushrooms and herbs [first time in over a decade not doing a cornbread- andoille dressing]
      Cranberry sauce with black walnuts/ Cranberry relish/ Canned stuff
      Green Beans with shallots
      Sweet potatoes [chunks] with pecans and maple glaze
      my grandmother’s squash casserole
      Wild rice salad
      Poached pears with mascarpone and ginger cookies
      Pumpkin pie
      Huguenot torte with whipped cream
      water, tea, coffee and cream, and wine – wine is nothing special, we go for quantity, not quality for this day : )
      already made and frozen for the weekend: jambalaya with chicken, shrimp and sausage & corn muffins; bourbon slush punch
      ready to go: sandwich breads and fixings, caesar salad makings
      – I am not the chief cook and bottle washer, I am the >only< cook and bottle washer, and it is my intent not to cook again until next week!

      • Jenna Rink :

        That sounds so good!

      • The pears with mascarpone sound amazing! Do you share recipes? :)

      • Sure! For 6-8 servings (doubles nicely):
        6-8 Bosc pears, preferably somewhat hard
        1 bottle Zinfandel wine or the like
        2 cinnamon sticks
        Half a dozen black peppercorns (opt)
        Half a dozen cardamom pods (opt)
        Strip of orange peel or two (opt)
        2 cups sugar

        Peel pears. Looks nice if you leave the stem on. From the bottom, core pear. I use a metal 1/2 or 1 teaspoon utensil, use a knife or small spoon if necessary. If they’re a little messy on the coring, hopefully you don’t have guests who will check the pears’ bottoms! Combine all ingredients but for pears in a large pot and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Add pears and adjust to low simmer. Cook until pears are tender. How long will depend a lot on the texture of the pears you started with. Usually about 20-45 minutes. Poke ‘me with a toothpick or skewer to test tenderness. Once tender, remove from liquid. Then, you can store them in the fridge a day or two in the liquid if you like. You can also reduce the liquid to make a syrup to pool on the plate or use as a drizzle. For the mascarpone, put in a bowl, take a sturdy fork and whip it with some sugar and/or port, sherry, vanilla or almond extract or liqueur to lightly sweeten and flavor
        the mascarpone. Plate whole, halved or sliced lengthwise into sections and fanned, with mascarpone, ginger cookie (or berries) and the pool or drizzle of syrup if you bothered with that.

        • Argh. And add a couple of cups of water or so once you’ve put the pears in the pan, more or less to cover, though they will bob about a bit and not submerge fully.

      • Dr. Science :

        I may be too late, but would you share your grandmothers squash casserole recipe? I used a new recipe this year and I wasn’t happy with it. Squash Casserole is one of my favorite side dishes, but I keep losing my good recipes. Thanks!

    • My mother is doing the main meal: roast turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, salad, peas, cranberry sauce, stuffing.

      I made pumpkin bread over the weekend and am making the Pioneer Woman’s cranberry pie this afternoon. I’m also making an appetizer using crescent rolls and brie.

      I think my sister-in-law is making apple pie. My sister will probably bring cheeses and shrimp for appetizers. And my brother will get the beer and wine.

    • LovesPatentLawNotPatentLeather :

      Just H and me, so it’s small

      Omaha Steaks smoked turkey
      Cranberry chutney
      Veggie casserole
      Sweet potato souffle
      Macaroni and cheese (southern style)
      Trisha Yearwood’s cornbread dressing
      Coca cola cake

    • Just my H and me, but we’re having:

      tofurkey (my choice)
      meat of his choosing
      jellied cranberry sauce (that’s right, we both like the jelly stuff)
      mashed sweet potatoes
      roasted fingerling potatoes
      maple brussel sprouts
      cornbread stuffing
      derby pie
      royal riviera pears
      maybe another starch (biscuits? herbed popovers?) but not sure we really need it

    • Mom’s hosting but I am making the turkey – cooked in a (metal, new) trash can, creamed spinach and a sugar free dessert for my grandfather and I to share. I am mostly excited about mashed potatoes.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Roasted brined turkey breast (just 3 of us for dinner so we don’t need the whole bird)
      Citrus glazed carrots
      Mashed potatoes
      Sausage stuffing
      Pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream

      I’m surprised by how many of your menus do not include mashed potatoes. That is an absolute requirement for my Thanksgiving! Mashed potatoes and turkey make me a happy lady.

      • I know! I love mashed potatoes and don’t allow myself to eat them all that often but we are definitely having them tomorrow. Luckily, my friends feel the same way.

    • Not hosting a thanksgiving dinner, but I did bring in homemade red velvet and pumpkin spice cupcakes for the staff today. They’re all pretty happy.

      I know NGDGTCO says not to cook/bake for the office, but I don’t care. It keeps my staff happy and it’s a way for me to show them how much I appreciate them (and I just enjoy cooking anyway).

    • I’m flying home for Tday for the first time in a long time so it will be just the immediate family, 5 of us. we’re doing:

      Honeybaked Ham (outsourced)
      Creamed Brussel sprouts
      cauliflower rice (for the no-carbs folks)
      spinach & citrus salad
      Yorkshire puddings ;-)

      and All The Desserts:
      mini pumpkin pie
      mini chocolate silk pie
      Nantuket cranberry pie

      my sister and I were more excited about baking than the dinner, so we’re playing w dessert all day ;-)

      Only reason im missing the turkey is I like homemade cranberry sauce, but we’ll get plenty of cranberries in the pie ;-)

      only reason

      • Yorkshire pudding!!!!!!!!!!!! (I get really excited about this. I lurve it.)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I’m not hosting, but I’m bringing sweet potato souffle and pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting. Though I just found the good brand of key lime juice at the fancy grocery store near work and am tempted to make a key lime pie, too, except 1) not very thanksgiving-y and 2) possibly too much dessert, if there can be such a thing (host is also making cheesecake and possibly pecan pie)

    • We are also smoking a turkey! The feller is crazy excited; my mother is a little bit skeptical. Fingers crossed that all goes well.

      The full menu is pretty nerdy, because he’s a chef and we’re both nerds:

      To start:
      assorted cheeses, homemade lamb terrine, etc.

      smoked turkey (or as my mother put it, a “free-range, run-around” turkey. which the turkey man told us had been named Ira. gulp.)
      sausage and cornbread stuffing
      sourdough sage stuffing with caramelized onions (yes, two kinds of stuffing)
      pan-fried brussels sprouts with bacon
      blanched green beans with toasted almonds and mounted butter
      roasted sweet potatoes with thyme
      roasted garlic potato mousseline (yes, two kinds of potato)
      curried cranberry sauce
      apple butter
      buttermilk biscuits (yes, this is the fifth starch on the menu)

      pecan pie
      hubbard squash pie
      cranberry pie

      • Jenna Rink :

        Oh my gosh, your dinner sounds absurdly amazing. I love that there are 5 starches – that is my kind of Thanksgiving!

      • Looks so good. I’m jealous of having both kinds of stuffing.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Ham with tomato marmalade, potato pancakes, brussel sprouts, roasted acorn squash, pie (sweet potato and pear/cranberry).

      Husband and I only figured out this year that neither of us like turkey or most of the traditional foods! We’d been doing it every year thinking that the other liked them! Whew, what a relief.

    • Praxidike :

      Totally non-traditional TG meal since it’s just me and my husband. I am making Mario Batali’s bolognese sauce over fresh fettucine, a roasted pear and arugula salad, a loaf of french bread, and a chocolate cream pie. My husband requested all of these items, and I don’t mind making them so …

      Actually, this should be a nice break. Though I’ll miss the traditional accompaniments, there is no reason why we can’t make cranberry sauce at a time other than Thanksgiving.

  9. I don’t think that color would work for me, but it’s quite pretty.

    Threadjack: I ordered a dress a while ago from Amazon ( proper, not one of the associated sellers), and meant to return it, but put it off too long. The “return” section says that the return window is closed now. Does anyone know if there are any work arounds for this? I really would hate to just waste the money (I guess I could try to resell the dress?), though I know that it’s my fault for setting it aside and waiting to “get around to it.”

    This is why I almost never buy clothing online. :)

    • I’ve returned things past the window before, accompanied by nice notes explaining that life got busy and I forgot to return it in time :( They’ve always accepted my returns but I have paid for the return shipping.

    • I’ve emailed and chatted with them before when this has happened. As long as you are close to the end of the return period (i.e., not 6 months later), I’ve had no problem returning stuff.

    • Good enough for me – I’ll send it back. Thanks!

    • Tired Squared :

      I actually just did this — you can still return it to the address on Amazon’s site, but they will take a 10% restocking fee or something like that. Better than nothing :)

  10. momentsofabsurdity :

    A friend posted this article on Facebook and it elicited a really thoughtful discussion. Would love to hear the Hive’s thoughts too.

    • Wow. Yes. Yes yes yes. But I would also add (which the article implies but doesn’t state plainly) that we need to make sure that there’s no fall-out for women who say yes when they mean yes. i.e., zero slut-shaming. And that’s a really tough one still. Full disclosure — I slept with my now husband the very night I met him. And I feel a little weird about that sometimes. I’ll say things like “oh, well we ratified all that by getting married so it doesn’t count.” My husband will point out that (1) we ratified what, exactly — am I embarassed that I slept with him? why? (2) the only person who might care is him and, hello, he was there with me and (3) he’ll never think less of a woman for wanting to have sex with him.

    • I think that there’s a difference between showing some restraint (not throwing yourself at the guy or laying all of your feelings on the line right away) and saying “no” when you really mean yes. The author of this peice seems to conflate the two, and suggest not doing the former is somehow dishonest. That strikes me as silly.

      • I agree with this. I think it is perfectly fine if you want to have sex with a guy, but I think there is something to be said for restraint and not going all in right away. Sometimes the anticipation of it all is what makes it exciting. But I don’t think you should say no when you mean yes, I think this sets up issues for women in general.

        • Do people actually do this? Say no when they really mean definitively, right now yes? I guess I just don’t really understand how other people do it.

          I know when my now-husband first, er, propositioned me, I said no, but it was a no, not right here and now, I want to plan a little bit and be ready. Which we did (and he was completely understanding of) and it all worked beautifully. I didn’t see that as playing hard to get, but as being responsible and ensuring that it went the way I wanted it to, which, for me, did not include making a split second decision and using whatever protection we happened to have around, but something very special and very safe.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I think for me the issue is – why is there something to be said for WOMEN “showing some restraint” or “not laying all their feelings on the line right away” but we’re not having a similar discussion for men? I know you didn’t say women specifically (and maybe you didn’t mean that either) but when we (society) talk about “keeping up the chase” “playing it close to the vest” “not coming on too strong,” it feels like we are always talking about women behaving that way, not men.

        I’m not saying you should have sex with a guy if you don’t want to, or if you would prefer to wait. But if you DO want to – should you still feel pressured to “hold off” because there’s something to be said for waiting? Why? Should the guy feel that same pressure? Does he?

        • I would say that most guys should definitely show some restraint on [email protected] – Whenever I hear a story of a guy complaining about his crazy baby mamma, my first thought is “Well, why’d you sleep with her before getting to know her a little bit?”

          As far as showing restraint with coming on too strong, well, it depends. There’s no doubt that guys are usually the ones to “make the first move” and that there are genuine biological drives that influence that. But that’s not necessarily about [email protected], so much as about just asking people out. And for that, I think that the woman that actively chases (by which I mean, more than just asking someone out, but making multiple attempts) is almost always going to come on as too strong, while for men it’s a much more subtle balancing act. And, I don’t know, I think for women (but probably not men), you can re-eval the situation over time. I’m thinking back to high school, but there are a few guys that I got close to but wasn’t interested, but when they put some continued effort into things, I re-evaluated and decided that I was. I’ve never really seen a guy do that (continuous efforts tend to decrease a girl’s perceived value), but I’ve seen a lot of girls do it (where continuous efforts tend to increase the value by showing what they would bring to the relationship). There’s a lot of evolutionary psychology at play here, which I know a lot of people don’t buy into, but men and women do mate differently, which is obviously going to affect how they pursue.

        • I have a 16 year old son who just lost his virginity with his girlfriend. I’ve been counselling him to wait, take things slow, be careful, all his life. When they first started dating he said they were taking it slow. After they started having sex he told me (and I bought birth control for both of them; hopefully they are using it). He said she initiated the “going all the way”. I congratulated him for doing this in the context of a committed loving relationship (though told him not to get TOO committed).

          So in some cases, yes men are told to wait and take it slow.

      • This is my qualm with the piece as well. I think it is possible to say no as a matter of “I need to slow this down and figure it out for my comfort.” That no may eventually become a yes on my terms, but that’s not because I was initially being dishonest about my feelings. It also doesn’t mean I’m “giving in.”

        • I should probably clarify, I agree 100% with the author’s sentiment that everybody should be upfront. Communication is good :)

        • anon today :

          I agree with KC. I think the author has some valid points, and I’m certainly not endorsing game-playing such as pretending to be busy when you’re not, but I think the danger in preaching the author’s attitude is that it threatens to obscure the fact that taking it slow is, for some people (myself included), a legitimate preference. I also agree with Lyssa that no can sometimes change to a yes with increased exposure to the person – I think ruling out “hard to get” kind of eliminates the chance for someone to grow on you, you know? And I wouldn’t mind if some men would show a little more restraint – I’ve dated guys who come across as pushy to me, and I usually end up backing away from them quickly because they seem to want more commitment/intimacy from me than I am ready for at that time (I mean within the first couple of dates). Maybe that makes me an Ellen, but eh.

    • LOVE this article. I’m dating someone new right now and, being relatively new to the whole dating thing, I’m getting so much anxiety over how much interest to express, when to ask if we’re exclusive or where it’s heading, etc. Why can’t people just say what they feel?

      • Jacqueline :

        Same. It’s causing me way more stress than I anticipated. I constantly second-guess myself for holding back too much or being too forward. There’s no rule book for this stuff, which makes it really challenging.

      • I was talking about this with a guy that I was sort of casually dating a few months ago. We typically are upfront about our s3xual needs in hookups, fwb, casual dating, etc. but people are much less open about their emotional needs. It seems to perpetuate the issues and create anxiety. It isn’t actually unreasonable to want to discuss if you are exclusive or where it’s heading, but since there’s stigma (might be a harsh word, but same idea) about talking about it, it gets shoved further and further back. A few years ago, I was accused of being too aloof and “lawyering” a guy I was dating. Here, I think he meant lawyering as being overly logical and methodical, not the I’m deposing my boyfriend in normal conversation way, because it was easier than discussing my feelings.

  11. Follow up to yesterday’s FMLA/STD/Mat leave thread. DH and I have a fertility consult after Christmas (been trying for year and a half). However if I get pregnant my due date will fall in my one year judicial clerkship at the state appellate level. I have no idea how a maternity leave would fit into that or how my judge (male, no kids) would react. I am completely happy to take 6 weeks unpaid but am worried that this is bad for my reputation in the legal community, especially because this was a competitive position and I don’t want to look like I’m not taking it seriously.. FWIW I’m approaching 30 and want to have 2-3 kids. I know really we could wait a year, but we’ve already wated a year and a half and we wanted to have kids young. File this under decisions men never have to make. I guess my question is has anyone ever given birth while clerking or know someone who has, and will tis adversely affect my reputation in the legal community? Is it even possible?

    • Since you are approaching 30 and your clerkship is only one year, I would suggest waiting. Assuming your clerkship starts in August, you only need to wait until October 2013 to start really trying, so less than a year from now and only ten months from your fertility appointment. Generally, I think it is better to give this competitive, short term opportunity your full dedication. Unlike at law firms, there will not be anyone else to do your work while you are out. Anecdotally, I have a friend who gave birth while clerking and took only 4 weeks; her judge was not impressed.

    • I’m sure people have done it. Life happens. In fact, I recall prior posts about it here.
      I wouldn’t worry about it. Just work hard and do a great job, try not to take a lot of time off (if you can) prior to going on leave, and no one is going to say, “Gee, that Dilemma sure does suck because even though she was great the entire time that she was here, she took off 6 weeks to have a baby!” I just wouldn’t talk about whether it was planned or not, but you don’t need to talk about that at work anyway. Good luck.

    • I’m not in law, so take my opinion with a grain of salt… but for me, family planning would come before my career in this case. There was a discussion about pregnancy during clerkship a while back and I remember thinking it was pretty harsh, but I don’t think your situation is very analogous. If you are almost 30, already at the point where you are scheduling a fertility consult, and having 2-3 kids is important to you, do what you need to do to have the family you want. Good luck!

      Depending on your relationship with the judge, I might include some of your concerns (RE: reputation, not fertility issues) when you tell him about the pregnancy. “I know the timing’s not ideal…” do good work, and minimize the impact to the maximum extent possible. IMHO, it’s ridiculous to fault a married, 30ish woman for getting pregnant.

      • I agree with this, and I am in law. Also, there can be (and there usually is, at least in my experience – many friends have been in your situation) a big time lag between the fertility consult and actually being pregnant (unless it “just happens” in the meantime, and I hope for you that it does!)

    • Someone that had clerked for the judge I clerked for in a prior year had taken a maternity leave during her 1-year clerkship. I don’t know what the details were, but the judge never spoke badly of her or indicated that he wished it hadn’t happened. Also state clerkship, but the judge was an extremely kind person and had (adult) children himself. We also had a clerk on the same court need extended sick leave for non-pregnancy-related reason, and it’s just something that people deal with.

      You should be able to tell from the interview what the judge’s general personality and expected work from clerks is, so that could help inform your decision, as well as talking to past clerks about how the judge was about hours and vacation.

      • With my last comment, I didn’t mean to equate vacation and parental leave, but I was just thinking that a judge that wouldn’t let a term clerk take vacation days or any substantial vacation might not be happy about working out parental leave – you never know, but I would personally take that as a bad sign.

    • I wouldn’t worry about it. Pregnancy is part of life and nobody should hold it against you. Also since you’ve been trying for a while, it may take you a while to get pregnant.

    • former state clerk :

      It’s hard, because you haven’t started yet, and you have to decide about something that, best case scenario, is still 9 months away.

      As a former judicial clerk for a state appellate judge, I really, really wished I had NOT waited until my clerkship was over. The benefits were great, I would have had months to prove myself to the judge, with the upcoming docket I could ‘pre-work’ more than 50% of what needed to be done during a 6-8week maternity leave, and…

      Now in private practice, and currently pregnant, it is so much harder to plan for and take maternity leave. Clients, partners, etc have needs all the time. Things are so much less, I don’t know, “predictable” now than they were in my clerkship.

      I also see now how it would have helped, and not hurt my reputation in the legal community to have already ‘proven’ myself competent through one pregnancy and childbirth (at a time when, as I said above, it would be much easier than during private practice), then to have that feeling of risk hanging over my head for as many years as it took to ultimately get pregnant. (And it took us three years).

      Also I just want to reaffirm what I said above – you can minimize your absence with a clerkship, because there are just not that many surprises and last minute emergencies, as there are in private practice. You really can plan it and have most of your work done in advance, which will make you rock out with the judge.

      • Thank for this! (And everyone who replied). You perfectly summarized my difficulty in planning for something that is so unpredictable that will have an effect on a job I haven’t even started. I’m glad to hear that at least some of you think it can be done. I was leaning towards having the consult and letting things happen as they happen, and this reaffirms that.

    • Pregnancy can be very difficult to plan. So can jobs. You have no idea what the next year will hold. It is important to do your best to make responsible decisions, but you can’t control everything. If you and your husband are ready for kids, and you’ve already tried for a year and a half, I would not advocate for putting it off for another year for a clerkship. You will figure it out with your judge, if you are blessed to get pregnant. If you put it off and then have even more trouble or, god-forbid, can’t get pregnant, which would you regret more?

      • +1. I’m not in law, but I’m now in the third trimester of my second pregnancy and have learned first hand that life and career are unpredictable. Deal with what happens when it happens and plan as best you can in the meantime. Good luck!

    • Diana Barry :

      Don’t wait. Fertility treatment is unpredictable and may not be successful right away. You have already been trying for a year and a half – don’t put it off again!

  12. OK, ladies, a fun (I hope) threadjack. My in laws arrived yesterday and I am doing my best to be in Zen, let-it-all-wash-0ver-me mode. Along the lines of in-law bingo, what’s the most annoying petty gripe you have with your houseguests?

    Mine is: my mother in law cooks separately for herself when she visits, despite whatever I make (Zen! Zen!). She likes to cook broccoli in a pot with water all the way down until there is no water left. The smell! My pot! Yuck!

    Anyone else have any entertaining houseguest habits to share?

    • Is your MIL Southern? There is a big thing here with cooking veggies to within an inch of their lives!

      My mom always rearranges our furniture/throw pillows because it isn’t “perfect.” This drives my husband and I CRAZY.

      • DH’s grandmother (has never left Texas) overcooks meat. Always. She’s got a paranoia of bacteria and thermometers do nothing to assuage her fear. When she’s in charge of the Thanksgiving turkey, we have to drown it in gravy.

        • Its not just a Southern thing – my Ohio relatives do this too. Took me until I was an adult to realize that its not that I don’t like vegetables, just that I don’t like cooked to death vegetables.

          • Turns out I like steak, I just like it rare. And I like some crunch to my veggies. Life is much better as an adult.

          • Ha. I also learned I love salad, I just hate salad drowned in dressing.

          • Same here! Turns out I love salad when it isn’t a wedge of iceberg lettuce coated in orange dressing!

    • When my mother visits, she always starts projects around the house…and then leaves before they’re done. Typically she’ll rope either me or DH on board.
      Example: she came up last spring and offered to do yard work for us. I get her all set up to do some weeding, then she asks/ advises that a plant should be moved. You know, across the yard. Where I’ll need to clear a spot for it. And then oh, gotta get home before traffic hits…and she left with a plant dug out, the spot half cleared. Now DH and I have a policy never to let her “help” around the house.

      Mom also comes over and cooks food for us, making a HUGE mess in the kitchen, then gets too tired to clean it up. And the kicker is she makes meals that DH and I don’t like (eg. She made a giant mess of flour, deep fry oil, batter, etc. to make eggplant parmasean– I’ve never been wild on it and am dieting, and DH hates eggplant. We told her as much, but she was insistent because SHE HAD BROUGHT OVER EGGPLANT!).


      • That’s hilarious. My mother is also a shrub mover. And then the next year she wants us to move it back.

      • Brant, you must be my long-lost sister…our mothers are the same. Mine loves to start yard projects and leave them unfinished, or offers to “help” and then only wants to do projects she identifies as “needing” to be done. She’s also beyond messy.

        My family, thankfully, is not coming for the holiday this year. But my mom rips open Splenda packets, empties them into her coffee, and then LEAVES THE EMPTY PACKETS ON THE COUNTER. Put them in the garbage!!!

    • Research, Not Law :

      FIL and MIL both make a huge mess. MIL is a hoarder, so she brings a mess from home and then fosters it at our house. FIL is just inconsiderate.

      He pees with the door open and leaves the toilet seat up.

      He makes comments about my weight, my kids weight, my husband’s weight. (I’m a size 6, people, I don’t have a weight issue. Neither does anyone else).

      We gave them our bedroom for one visit (we didn’t have a guest room), and he made room in our closet to hang his clothes by taking all my clothes of the pole and putting them on the floor of the closet. I would have made space if he asked! And why wouldn’t he at least do that with his own son’s clothes instead of his DIL’s!?

      FIL also does this annoying thing where, when we’re trying to get out of the house to do something, he gets himself ready and then sits down *right* by the front door and sighs until we’re all ready. When we do leave, he complains that we take too long. Well, hello, we’re trying to get two little kids ready. Your wife packed up a lunch for everyone. Of course one person only looking out for themselves is going to be ready sooner. HELP SOMEONE. Or at least keep your superior attitude to yourself.

      Whew. I feel better. It always amazes my husband that his father bothers me so much because he’s the ‘normal’ parent. I much prefer my quirky MIL.

    • My in laws don’t tell us when they’re coming in, and we’re expected to be “on call” to get them from the airport. If we don’t have a second car available for their use, we are expected to rent one for them (and pay for it). If we don’t have a place for them to stay? We reserve and pay for a hotel room. Go out to eat? We ALWAYS have to get the bill. Eat fast food? They follow us to the counter so we order together, and…pay together. With my husband’s card.

      MIL is passive-agressive (she sent a card after my Dad was killed in an accident that “even though we didn’t agree with you two getting married, we’re glad you have DH at this time.”), and mumbles instead of speaks. I cannot stand trying to carry on a conversation with her. We literally have nothing in common, and when I try to speak with her, the conversation falls flat quickly. She once told me that she likes to “sit on the couch and do nothing.” I asked her if she read, crocheted, etc., her answer was “No, I just like to sit there.” Which leads to: she is the laziest person I’ve ever come in contact with.

      Last year, as we were leaving their home for the airport (at 4 AM) after spending Thanksgiving with them (a miserable experience), she informed me that they would be at my home for Christmas. Did not ask, told me. I was proabably the most pissed off I have ever been, excluding the time when they moved my wedding date.

  13. I have a totally non-holiday related question about family dynamics and how to show support without stepping on toes.

    I have an ex from a cohabiting, long-term relationship. It ended amicably and he remains one of my closest friends. We’re in contact frequently, but nothing is going on there and we’ve both long since moved on. I’m marrying someone else next year, and he and his partner are having a baby. My question is about how to handle the latter situation. She and I have never met, mostly due to distance, but he says she has no issue with our friendship. He told me about the pregnancy early on, when it was still not public knowledge, and my heart gushed with happiness for them and pride for him and his new family. That said, I know it could be quite easy to accidentally offend or put off his current partner by seeming like I’m getting too involved, almost like I’m trying to reclaim a place in his life that I don’t hold anymore.

    Which of the following things that I feel like doing would be acceptable, and which are too much?

    1) Sending a congrats card to them as a couple
    2) Sending baby gifts
    3) Sending age-appropriate gifts in future years
    4) Expressing interest in meeting the child
    5) Offering to have a relationship with the child going forward
    6) Agreeing to be the go-to person on the father’s side for any issues that come up with the kid. This is a particular concern for me because he and his family are almost fully estranged and in some ways I am the closest thing he has to family.

    Any other advice about how to navigate this?

    • 1 & 2 for now. Follow their lead on the rest. They might open the door to some or all of 3-6 (invitation to birthdays, etc.), but it seems a little too much for you to offer these things at this point.

      • +1. The reaction to 1 and 2 will tell you a lot about 3 and more.

      • +2.

      • I agree to take it slow and feel out the situation as it develops.

        May I also just say how nice it is that you have managed to have such an amicable split? I have a somewhat similar ex and we have managed to stay on good terms but, unfortunately, we do not have much contact outside of holidays and other special occasions, mostly because I haven’t managed to figure out how to navigate him and my current SO. I am always happy to hear of people who have gotten the balance of this right. It’s so encouraging.

        • That’s kind of you. I do consider it a credit to both of us. To be fair, we had to have a no-contact period for several months right after the breakup. It was extremely hard, but necessary. Somehow the air seemed to clear as a result, and we’ve been drama-free since.

    • e_pontellier :

      My knee-jerk reaction is to send a card and then see how this unfolds. I would trust that your friend knows how you feel, given that you are still close with him, and that he will think of you (especially for your #4, 5, & 6). I think sending a gift at this point might be inappropriate, but you can certainly see how they react to a card and go from there. It’s tempting to be over zealous and it’s tempting to want to make all of these decisions now, but you don’t need to and it will be far easier on your friend’s partner if your friend suggests these things.

    • Yes to (1) and (2), but with some restraint on (2) (Toy or cutie-cute baby outfit, yes, expensive or personal item, no). (4) only to the extent of “I’d love to see the baby sometime” or “Since we’re doing this (activity that kid could come along with) anyway, why don’t you bring Junior along?” I think that offering to have a relationship or continuing gift giving would be odd – just continue your same level of friendship, and if you naturally happen to build a relationship with the kid as well, that’s fine, but actually setting out and trying to have a relationship with the kid would come off as awkward.

      • Thanks to all so far. I totally agree about the awkwardness, but to be clear I am only thinking this way because the future father has very, very little family support. He and his sister haven’t talked in over a year, and when he told his parents the baby is coming it sounds like they had no reaction at all (and have not called him again since either). I know “offering” to be there for the kid sounds totally wrong, but it’s the kind of thing where I’m wondering, if not me then who?

        But if this doesn’t change anyone’s opinions, I hear that.

        • But he may have friends who he didn’t sleep with or that he feels way more comfortable being a godparent, or maybe he loves and trusts the mom’s relatives. And have you even asked your husband to be about you offering this? Especially if you are offering to basically take on some financial responsibility if the father dies or something? You are making many presumptions about you being the ONLY person in his life, and frankly is seems like your trying too hard to stay involved. I say this with the best of intentions that you should really evaluate why this is something you feel the need to offer.

          • Yes, I have talked extensively to my (future) husband about the potential responsibilities involved. The rest of the assumptions and judgments you’ve made in this comment and your other one can’t really be defended against, so I’m not going to try. Take care.

          • I am surprised you ask for how others would perceive something and then be offended when given an honest answer that to me it is strange, would rub me the wrong way, and would make me think you have some sort of hidden agenda, especially if my baby daddy’s ex offered these things when I never met her.

            But go ahead and be defensive, since obviously my reaction is totally not within teh possibility of her possible reaction.

            Considering everyone else agrees that basically your suggestions seem out of line and you should take it as it comes.

        • While it sounds like your intentions come from a good place, I feel like #6 is something that could really rub new mom the wrong way and harm any future relationship with her/the family — particularly since it sounds you’ve had no relationship with her so far and have never met her.
          #1-2 for now, and as you build a relationship with baby and the family, consider expanding that list.

        • No one has to offer. He will naturally pick. Or maybe there is a ton of family support on her side. Like I would assume my sister would be there for my child. She would be my go to. If she were to be like, “Kiley. I want to offer to be there for your child” Id be like umm, no sh*t. It puts him and her in a really weird position for you to offer. Either you are a) the person he would go to for that stuff and it will arise naturally, or b) he would not go to you for that stuff because he and her feel its weird, and now he has to reject your over the top offer.

          You just dont offer to have a relationship with someone. You do or you don’t, you know? Like think of it in terms of a good girl friend. If she had a child, you wouldn’t offer to have a relationship with the child. You would just see the kid at events, go to birthdays, and eventually youd have a relationship. or if you and your girlfriend grow apart, your relationship with the child would also grow apart probably. Your hearts in the right place, you are just overthinking it a bit because of the past history and what you know about his family.

        • His family support is now her. I’d stick with 1 and 2. If he wants you for the rest let him ask.

        • anon in tejas :

          it may be better to say in the card… “I want you to know that you have friends who are happy for you and support you.” It’s an honest statement and may open the door without awkwardness.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I would definitely do 1 and 2 (and probably 3). I’m not sure that I would do 4 out of the blue, but if you were planning to be near their city for some reason then I think it would be nice to see if they want to get together for a meal and bring the kid. Then you can meet the woman and hopefully get off to a good start and possibly start building a friendship, which would make the rest of your list much easier to express.

    • 1 and 2 only for now, 3 in the future probably. 4 through 6 sound insane and weird, especially to offer now. 4 sounds like you want to date him and meet his kids, 5 sounds like your the stepmom or something, 6 is something that is asked of you, you don’t just volunteer to be the godparent/equivalent. 4 through 6 if they want you in his life will come naturally, you dont just throw it out there especially to a mom you never met. How strange if someone I never met asked to meet my child, that sounds like a dateline episode or something.

    • I dunno, when I put myself in the position of his new, pregnant partner, I’d really want you to do as little as possible. Perhaps a card or some fruit from Harry & David. Or just a nice heartfelt email congratulations. Even if you are close friends and his new partner is cool with everything, you are still his ex-girlfriend, and whether we like it or not, that will always come with a little bit of emotional baggage.

    • I agree with the others on 1 & 2, and go from there. How far away are you that you haven’t met her due to “distance”? Are you inviting them to your upcoming wedding and is the wedding before her due date? Do they live in a city where you have ties (where you used to live, where your family currently lives, etc)?

      Also, even if he is estranged from his family, she may not be, or they may have developed a “family’ support system where they live now. I think 3-6 could be different if you lived nearby and had kids of your own so you could offer parenting advice, but in your current situation you’ll have to see how it plays out. And don’t be offended if your frequent contact becomes a lot less frequent – babies are exhausting, and I barely have much contact with a lot of my friends right now due to so many of us being in the place in our lives.

    • OK, thanks for the consensus. I’ll send a card and gift, and see how it goes from there.

  14. e_pontellier :

    Thanks to everyone for their support on yesterday’s coffee break thread and I’m so grateful for this community.

    • Best to you in figuring this all out. Hoping you can make it if we organize a meet-up next week.

    • I just read the coffee break thread today. Sending hugs and I’m sorry you’re going through this difficult situation. I can relate in some ways, b/c I am a more quiet, meek person and my husband has a “bigger” personality than mine. Unfortunately, that means that he acts like a flat-out bully sometimes. My first instinct is to just to shut down. I totally get that it can be hard to stand up for yourself, but I’m glad to hear that you were able to assert yourself with your husband. I know how difficult that can be sometimes! Good luck with your situation. Take care.

    • I was about to post to say that I hope your talk yesterday went okay and that I was thinking of you this AM!

  15. MaggieLizer :

    In an amazing display of grace and poise, I just dumped an entire cup of coffee on my floor… and my suede shoes. My favorite suede shoes. That I in fact didn’t even intend to wear today but I couldn’t find the (patent leather, easy to clean up) shoes I wanted to wear after 10 minutes of digging through my disorganized closet. Sigh. In any case, I would really like to salvage them. Do I take them to a dry cleaners or a cobbler to get them cleaned? TIA!

    • Anon Analyst :

      Oh that sucks! Sorry to hear about your mishap. My first thought is a dry cleaner, but it wouldn’t hurt to call a cobbler to see if they could also help.

  16. Shopping discipline :

    I have decided to make a list for myself entitled: Things I Am No Longer Allowed To Buy Unless to Replace Similar Item Which Is Falling Apart.

    On this list: sweatshirts “for hanging around the house”; sweatpants/pajama bottoms; T-shirts to sleep in; scarves of any kind (I have a problem); cheap “fun purses”; work dresses (I mostly work from home and need them maybe 5 times per year); anything that needs to be hemmed until I actually get my current bag of alterations altered.

    What would be on your list?

    • -on my list is -black tshirts – I finally got all my laundry washed and hung and was amazed at the number of black shirts I have once I put them all in one place.
      -pj pants/sweatpants
      -button down dress shirts that require ironing- I wear them 1-2x year, then don’t get them ironed before I put them away, then don’t wear them again because I’m running too late to iron them
      -“cute” socks – I lose one, then I have a giant bag of lonely socks that are too cute to throw out because I swear their match will show up soon.

      not purchasing, but setting aside stained/ripped clothes as: oh, I can do chores in these/wear around the house/wear when I paint. They wind up so far in the back of the closet I never break them out when I could wear them and just wind up ruining one of my other older pieces, adding to the stained/ripped pile. New rule – keep one or two outfits for “grubby”, throw the rest in the ragbag or away. Since I am NEVER NEVER NEVER living in a house I am personally remodeling ever again (we renovated duplexes while living in them early in the marriage, after 4 kitchen remodels, 4 bathroom remodels and lots of drywall hanging, painting, tiling and flooring, I am DONE) I don’t need these clothes anymore, but the kid in me who grew up on the edge of poverty has a hard time throwing them out.

      • Shopping discipline :

        You should have a quilt made out of cute socks! There are companies that do this with T-shirts, I bet smaller sock squares could be adorable. (Apologies if i just gave you permission to hoard single socks until you have enough for a quilt)

    • I’ve made a similar mandate to myself.

      “Merabella, you aren’t allowed to buy any new clothes until you can put away/hang up the ones you already have like a grown up.”

    • Black pumps. Party dresses. T-shirts.

      But this is a great rule that I need to follow with more discipline.

    • Hoodies. I never wore them before but have bought so many recently for hanging around the house. My problem is that they are so hard to store.

    • Godd*mn high waisted pencil skirts. they flatter my figure and look good, but 2 hours into my work day they are cutting into my belly and I am so uncomfortable. I have 7 that I avoid wearing. I think of them as my “staple” but realize today I will always pick a dress over them or my pants which arent even close to as flattering but are way more comfortable.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Oh, lady. Ditto on high waisted pencil skirts. I don’t care how great they look on me – they are totally uncomfortable when sitting at a desk all day. I have several languishing in my closet, too.

      • Can I ask where you ladies found your high waist pencil skirts? I wear mine regularly, but can’t find ones I like that fit well anywhere right now. I need to replace a few!

        • darjeeling :

          I’ve bought several really nice wool ones on Etsy which is a great source b/c sellers tend to list the actual waist and hip measurements and I’ve found it easier to find my size (no gapping at waist) in vintage.

    • phillygirlruns :

      oh, hoodies and sweatpants/PJ pants FOR SURE. i have stacks of them.

      also: workout clothes. specifically, nike’s “pro compression” shorts (i have 6 pair), lululemon’s “speed” shorts (i don’t know how many i have but it’s way more than 6) or cute and colorful sports bras (see speed shorts).

      really, i just like workout clothes and sweatpants so much more than regular clothes. so i end up spending all of my available clothing budget on things made of elastic and spandex and fleece instead of things i could wear in public without being embarrassed.

    • Shopping discipline :

      Oh, and slippers. How many pairs of Ugg slippers does a girl seriously need? (I have three)

    • Tights and knee-highs. I have a stockpile, while still wearing a 2-year old pair with holes on both toes.
      Yoga pants.
      Totally agree on the “clothes I will wear when I paint the house”. I also have “clothes I will wear when I go skiing/sledding” – old sweaters for layering under ski jacket. Except I don’t like winter sports and have not even gone tubing for 2 years.

    • Hello Kitty apparel. No matter how adorable.

    • – Black tops. I already own a number to shameful to be counted.
      – Navy cardigans. If I count navy prints, my count is even worse.
      – Dress pants. For a while, I had very few that fit properly, and even though I’m stocked up and they are properly hemmed and all, I still have the automatic reflex “need more pants”. Which I don’t.
      – Flats. I have perfect ones in the colors I wear most often. Any new shoe budget needs to go for replacing my spendy but workhorse black boots and black heels.

      This one’s not really about things I can’t buy, but things I repeatedly fail to purge. The semi-ratty shirts and short and old workout clothes that I keep “for household projects and yardwork”. I actually have a dedicated drawer of such items I know I should toss because I wouldn’t wear. Ditto on winter coats I haven’t worn in 5 years, including one that looks like the Michelan man.

  17. new Fed worker :

    Anyone know if the Federal government typically has an early release on the Wed before Thanksgiving and, if so, how early it typically is?

    • It depends on your department and organization, it is not federal government wide. My directors have given us a few hours early dismissal that I found out about through email this morning.

    • SpaceMountain :

      My agency usuallylets us go at 3:00; my husband’s agency never does early release.

    • ask around your agency (call or in person)

    • Usually 2 hours.

    • applesandcheddar :

      Usually 2 hours, but if you don’t know by now, I’d say you’re in for the long haul. We found out about it yesterday morning.

  18. Anyone watch Happy Endings last night? I *love* the character Jane’s outfits. And, Penny’s outfit was super cute last night too a navy silky top…

    • Goosebumpy :

      I’d watch that show for Jane’s outfits alone. The fact that it’s so d*mn funny is just icing on the cake.

    • I love Happy Endings!

      This website often covers fashion from the show:

  19. 1, 2, 3 are fine. 4 is fine. These are all things that friends do. 5 and particularly 6 seem a bit much, especially if you don’t see these people much and have never even met the mother. You can certainly offer any assistance you want, but what does being a “go-to person” mean? Are you offering to be a god-parent, a future guardian if the parents die, funding college, going to family day at school? Those decisions may take some more time and have a lot of moving parts. Perhaps best to start slow.

  20. Anyone else spending the holiday alone? My family is having a big one, and H’s is too, but I’m so far behind on my studying for finals this semester that I can’t justify the 3-8 hours of driving tomorrow to attend either one. I might stick some stuffing in the oven to pretend to get some holiday spirit, and I have eggnog, but it’s going to be a rough day!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Are you really sure you don’t have 3 hours of driving plus time to eat? I know everything seems really scary right now with finals getting close, but I hope you reconsider. I’m prone to catastrophic thinking, particularly when it comes to something I think I can control, like if I study more, my grades will be better, so I should study as much as is humanly possible to maximize my odds, even at the price of important life events I care about. I hope you’re not doing that. And you needn’t lose the entire time – make the car ride productive. You could study in the car while H drives – flashcards are great for this. Or, you could stay up late studying, sleep in the car, attend dinner, and then sleep on the way home. Three hours of driving (each way? round trip?) plus say, two hours of dinner and you and H agree to leave at x time, is not going to be the difference between one grade and another. I know it may feel like that, but really, it’s not. It’s just most of one day.

      • It’s only about 1.5 hours one way to H’s family but H will want to be there for at least 5 hours (likely much longer). Add that to some of the awkward family dynamics/stress and the fact that I get sick if I try to read in the car, and I really think I’m better off staying here. I’m kind of an introvert anyway, so I won’t miss the crowd, but it is a little lonely. I do appreciate the suggestions though!

        My thoughts are: call mom for a while before her house gets crazy, then drink eggnog and eat stuffing while studying. My brother spends every holiday alone (even more of an introvert than I am).. so I’ll probably give him a call too.

        Is it really so rare to spend the holidays alone?

        • Definitely do what you think is best, but, as a fellow introvert, my law school time was the best time for family stuff, particularly for my husband’s overly friendly family, because I had an excuse to step away. I could bring books and show that I’m there, but if I had to “take a break and catch up on studying”, I had a good excuse to get away from them. Either way, though, good luck on your finals.

        • I don’t think it’s that rare, especially for people who don’t have 9-5 jobs. I have spent many a holiday “working” at the front desk of a nearly empty hotel.

        • MacKaylaLane :

          I always found that thinking about how lonely I am is way less productive than just taking Thursday off fully to eat/relax/spend time with people instead of law books and then spending Fri-Sun studying.

        • You can also disappear after dinner to study in another part of the house while your DH spends time with his family.

        • I think it all depends on how you feel about it. I honestly don’t care much about Thanksgiving. Two years ago, I made plans (on their insistence) to go to Thanksgiving dinner with my friend to her friend’s house (whom I had never met). I was traveling right before the holiday and ended up with bronchitis. I was so relieved to have an excuse to cancel and spend the day in bed. I’m usually pretty wiped out by this time of year (fall semester is brutal) so it’s the first big break I get. Other people were horrified that I had spent the day at home alone and couldn’t believe I hadn’t called to let them know I was alone. So I will say, yes, it’s rare, but mostly because other people will push you to not be alone for the holiday. If you can’t relax and would rather wait til Christmas to be with family, then do what’s right for you.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Oh, in that case…. You don’t actually want to go, his family stresses you out, you’re already stressed out about finals, and he insists on being there for five hours? Shoot, I wouldn’t go either. I’d study part of the day, then take the evening off to relax by watching fun movies and eating good Chinese food. Peking duck seems apropros. Cheers!

        • I spent at least one Thanksgiving alone — not because of too much work, but I had just moved, didn’t know anyone, and didn’t have the time/energy to go visit my parents.

          It was actually very enjoyable — I made my favorite sides (I don’t eat turkey), slept in, and went to a few movies.

    • Studying for finals can wait! Those extra few hours aren’t going to change much, especially this far from finals, and so I think you should go celebrate the holiday.

    • Please don’t skip the holidays for law school. Skip the holidays if your family is horrible, or you genuinely can’t afford to fly home, etc. Not because you think you need to study.

      Speaking from someone who is a few years out of school now and can see that there is more to life than finals!!!

    • Aw that’s a bummer, but it’s truly not the end of the world. Can you take a study break to call or Skype with your family and say “hi” to everyone? My Dad has a job that causes him to miss lots of holidays and before I went to law school I did too, so I know that it sucks, but sometimes it’s just what you need to do. I think the total amount of time and attention you give to your family is more important than seeing them on a specific day. Will you have a chance to visit when finals are over?

    • Why not borrow some of the BARBRI audio lectures to listen to while you drive? You get to feel like you are doing something, and I actually found the lectures to be very helpful in pulling together the “big picture” (especially 1L). You really do NOT need to skip holidays to well on finals. The BARBRI CD’s are free to rent if you signed up for BARBRI first year; otherwise your law library should have something similar.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I think last year was the first year I’d spent Thanksgiving with my family since high school. Until recently I’ve lived a 5-6 hour flight or 8+ hour drive each way from family, and it just never made sense to spend that much time and money traveling for a long weekend when I was going to see them over Christmas anyway. I really liked having the holiday to myself, especially in law school, because I could have a last weekend of relative peace before feeling really stressed. I would make myself a huge traditional Thanksgiving dinner, freeze most of it, and have it as my meals through finals. I love me some turkey burritos, tacos, soup, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, etc.

  21. Ladies, thanks so much for all your advice to manage long road trips. Got back from election duty and much needed r&r. Feel like an almost normal version of myself again; apparently when you’re not 22, the 18-20 hour days catch up to you a whole lot quicker.

    I missed yesterdays thread, but e_pontellier I wanted to give you a big hug and glass of wine after reading your posts yesterday. I remember you posting a few times about your husband and I’m glad that you are trying something new to see if you all can move forward together. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you.

    • e_pontellier :

      Aw, thank you. One of my best friends sat me down over the weekend and said, “he treats you like crap. You have to do something. You’ve been doing nothing and that doesn’t work.” so my IRL friends are pretty great too.

      • I really hope that something is dramatic. I would love love love for you to divorce him, or whatever works for you that makes you truly happy. I’ve noticed lately your solutions have been not him changing, but you changing your attitude towards him being awful. Like he is awful and you kind of mantra “that is not my problem” Which is good if it makes you happier, but I know from experience that the awfulness still takes a HUGE toll. I’m worried that it will continute to damage you even if you think you are dealing with it. He sounds so selfish and punishing. you just seem awesome and I want to be reading your updates in two years about how you have this new guy that worships the ground you walk on and is your partner and doesn’t have a major 3 day freak out when you “do something stupid” but recognizes that you are intelligent and smart and insightful!

      • I’m glad you have a good group of friends to support you through this. you seem like one heck of an awesome person so I hope it all works out!

      • I just saw yesterday’s thread – and I agree with your friend. You deserve more, and better, from your marriage that what you’re currently getting.

      • So glad you have good friends like this. I just wanted to share my story, in case it helps. I spent years accepting the most detached and distant behavior from my ex. It took me to the lowest place I have ever been in my life. Because of our shared history, similar values and compatibility, I never wanted to leave him. He was “home” to me. But finally I decided to want more for myself. When I ended it I prepared for the onslaught. I thought I would not be able to get off the floor. I worried I might be self-destructive. Turns out, I’ve never felt more relieved. Great actually. Choosing myself has been the best thing I have ever done. Right now my biggest concern is not beating myself up for doing it sooner, I feel like the future has so many possibilities again. It can for you, too. Good luck e.

  22. Third time's the charm :

    I am making brussel sprouts for the first time this year. Can someone share a good recipe (not involving meat or anything too sweet)? Thanks!

    • I’ll post the link in a moment to avoid moderation, but I made the Pioneer Woman’s Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries on Sunday and it was quite good and vegan, incidentally. She adds sugar to the balsamic but gives you the option to omit it if you don’t want it too sweet.

      Although I must say that for meat eaters, Smitten Kitchen’s Balsamic Braised Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta is the best sprouts recipe of all time. Links to follow!

      • +1 for Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It’s the only way I like them.

      • Links! Someone make these for me for lunch, please!

    • This is a very easy recipe I have:

      1. Buy brussel sprouts thinking your an adult and they’re probably at the farmer’s market and organic and your hip and healthy and will cook them.
      2. Throw them in garbage as you remember that they are disgusting.


      • Or, you could substitute Panda’s #2 for 2. Fry up some bacon. Saute brussel sprouts in bacon grease. Mmm…these taste just like BACON!

    • I roast them in the oven (375 degrees, ~30 minutes). Cut them in half first, toss them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then sprinkle on sea salt and ground black pepper. I’ve also tried them roasted with grated parmesan and pancetta. Both ways are delicious. Cook them until they are brown and a little crispy on the edges but not the whole way through.

      • Cut off stems and cut in half. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat up chopped garlic and olive oil in skillet. Place brussles flat side down until brown and crispy. Simple and delicious, btu LawyrChk’s variation sounds really good too.

      • Yup, this is about how I do it. They’re terrific — and still good cold the next day.

      • MaggieLizer :

        This is how I usually make them too. I’ve also added cherry tomatoes and apples tossed with balsamic half way through cooking and it was a big hit.

      • +1 for LawyerChk’s recipe. I used to think brussels were disgusting, but one of my girlfriends from college turned me on to roasting them.

        Wash them, cut off the ends, either cut an X in the base (so the insides cook) or cut them in half. Toss with a dash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar (optional), and lemon pepper (or regular pepper, depending on what’s on hand). Lay them out on a cookie sheet (on parchment paper or foil for no-mess). Roast @375F until they’re kind of wizened and caramel-brown. The outer layer will be crispy and delicious, the inside soft and steamed. They’re really flexible, you can do them anywhere from 300F to 400F (just adjust cooking time) so they can share an oven with your main dish. Yum.

    • Roast them! drizzle with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I usually do 400F for 30-40 minutes, until they’re nice and charred. They’re also good with balsamic vinegar like LawyrChk says.

      • Yeah, it just occurred to me that I have a convection oven, which probably shortens the cooking time. 40 minutes is probably a better estimate for a conventional oven.

    • anon in tejas :

      I like roasting.

      cut them in half.
      add olive oil (1-3 tablespoons depending on how many)
      salt, pepper

      between 30=50 minutes in the oven at 350-425.
      they will be fork tender when done.

  23. Workplace threadjack – We work in an open office – there are six of us all in one big room. Our newest employee, a woman about 3 years younger than I am (so she’s in her mid-20s) today sort of broke down into tears. I don’t know about what, maybe something personal as she was texting right before, and then right afterwards. One of our co-workers asked if she was alright, and she said she was, thanks – no elaboration. I kinda want to send her an email saying “if you need to vent or talk, I’m here…” But I wasn’t sure how it would be perceived. Thoughts?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      When a new employee in my office was clearly having a personal crisis (she was crying, it was obvious), I stopped by Starbucks and picked up one of those petite treats. I left it at her desk (she was at lunch) with a note that said “Seemed like you could use a pick me up.” She came over to thank me, didn’t elaborate a ton on her problem, but said she appreciated that I cared. So maybe you could try something like that?

    • Anon Analyst :

      If I was in new employee’s situation, I would appreciate an email like that. You’re not specifically asking her what’s wrong or prying into her business, just offering support, which I think is a nice thing.

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that idea. Sometimes people don’t want to talk about personal stuff at work, but maybe just bring in a coffee or something to make her feel a little office love? I think it’s a good idea.

  24. assuming you are not her superior, i think it would be sweet and well-received

  25. Recommendations for a dermatologist in DC/NoVA (inside the Beltway) that is Retin-A prescription friendly?

    Thank you so much!

  26. Everyone on here gushes about their sweaters. Do any retailers in the US carry them? Since would be an investment purchase to me, I’d like to try them on and not just mail order. Thank you!

    • No, they aren’t sold in any brick-and-mortar stores in North America that I’m aware of (and I am the #1 Brora proponent on here). If you aren’t going to the UK anytime soon, you will have to order online.

      However, they have really friendly and helpful customer service, so if you are concerned about sizing, I would suggest contacting them directly and having a chat about it.

      Their sweaters are totally worth it in my opinion, so I hope it works out for you!

      • Cosign, not sold in US–From the No. 2 Brora proponent. I have a handful of their sweaters that have lasted years and years, and a ton of scarves and hats from there. In terms of sizing, note that (i) it’s mostly +4 (UK 4+4 = US 8) (ii) several of their styles are pretty cropped and (iii) the thickness of their cashmere is different in spring/summer vs. fall/winter lines–fall is much more substantial. They will also send you a swatch list if you want to check colors, and their customer service is great.

        The sweaters that I have are from almost ten years ago, and they still look great–no pilling. They use much higher-quality, high-twist yarn. Their stuff truly is “investment cashmere.”

  27. What would you wear to . . .

    a champagne brunch wedding reception held at a synagogue in Connecticut in mid-January?

    (That is the most qualifiers I’ve ever used to describe an event.)

    In case this is relevant, I’m mid-twenties, old friend of the groom. Never met the bride. The actual wedding is taking place in Israel a few weeks before the reception, though whether that’s for the sake of piety or just because her family is there, I don’t know.

    I feel concerned that cocktail attire would be too dressy for mid-day at a synagogue, but I also want to look appropriately festive (which means straying from my usual winter blacks).

    • I would wear a nice conservative top, a nice skirt (black is OK), tasteful jewelry, black tights, pumps.

  28. I got invited to the holiday party for the firm I’m going to be working with starting in January. This party is the first time I’m going to be meeting most of my new coworkers.

    The party is a Friday night starting about an hour after work, and the attire is “party attire”, with a note from HR saying to remember it’s a conservative firm. What on earth? Does that mean modest cocktail dress? Or suit with a sequined top? I also have a hunter green velvet tuxedo jacket with satin lapels. What could I wear that with? Help!

    • I would wear a black dress (with sleeves, and appropriate length) along with strappy heels and maybe sparkly accessories.

  29. Repost to get out of moderation:

    I got invited to the holiday party for the firm I’m going to be working with starting in January. This party is the first time I’m going to be meeting most of my new coworkers.

    The party is a Friday night starting about an hour after work, and the attire is “party attire”, with a note from HR saying to remember it’s a conservative firm. What on earth? Does that mean modest c*cktail dress? Or suit with a sequined top? I also have a forest green velvet tuxedo jacket with satin lapels. What could I wear that with? Help!

    • MacKaylaLane :

      Suit pants with a nice top (sequined/silk/beaded/whatever you want) with your green velvet jacket sounds lovely.

    • Something like a sequined pencil skirt with a sweater top, or a nice embellished sweater top with a satin pencil skirt, or a nice short sleeved party dress (c$%tail).

      I think it just means not to wear a party dress that you might consider otherwise appropriate (i.e., sleeveless or strapless or short or low cut)

    • Your outfit is exactly what I wore to the holiday party when I was in your exact situation . Go to the party and have fun! Let me know if you have any other questions–it’s kind if a weird sitnation to be in.

  30. (Reposted to avoid moderation.)

    What would you wear to . . .

    a champagne brunch wedding reception held at a synagogue in Connecticut in mid-January?

    (That is the most qualifiers I’ve ever used to describe an event.)

    In case this is relevant, I’m mid-twenties, old friend of the groom. Never met the bride. The actual wedding is taking place in Israel a few weeks before the reception, though whether that’s for the sake of piety or just because her family is there, I don’t know.

    I feel concerned that c—tail attire would be too dressy for mid-day at a synagogue, but I also want to look appropriately festive (which means straying from my usual winter blacks).

    • LBD, colorful wrap?

    • I’d wear something bright and cheery. Maybe along these lines:

      • Or maybe this:

        Anthro is basically my go-to for these kinds of occasions. They have dresses with enough fun details to make them feel festive without it look out of place in daytime.

        I would also bring/wear a cardigan, which will dress down your outfit if needed but which you can take off if it ends up being a more formal occasion.

        • AIMS, we have the same taste! I tried on this second dress and had to size up 2. In case anyone was interested in getting it for something. So cute, IRL too.

      • That’s kind of cute, although I would freeze.

        Do you think something rather short would be too short for a synagogue? I have a wool wrap minidress in a kind of cranberry color that is often my go-to for looking cheerful and party-ish while also staying warm, but the venue is making me think that a short skirt (even with tights) is a bad idea. Not that I know anything about synagogues–maybe I’m overthinking this!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      How about a brightly colored (coral? blue?) knee length sheath dress with a wrap/pashmina for modesty? I think something like this in blue with toned down/not evening belt/accessories might be lovely.

    • I think you are right that cocktail attire would be too much. I would go for a sweaterdress, or something like “festive workwear”
      I love this in blue but am unsure how clingy it might be,default,pd.html?dwvar_3312779_colorCode=240&start=23&ppid=c23&cgid=sale-dresses

    • Is it being held after Shabbat morning services? If so, are you or some/many of the guests planning on attending? C-tail would be too much either way, but I think the suggestion of a nice sheath is great. Cover your shoulders and (most of) your thighs and you should be fine.

  31. I love this top, but it would get all sweat stain-y immediately. I feel gross saying that, but I know myself (and my sweatiness) too well. SIGH.

  32. Bostonians: How warmly should I dress for my Thanksgiving trip to your frigid city? Last year I wore my wool coat and nearly froze to death, and I am generally a person who runs hot. The forecast calls for mid-50s, so it seems like my puffy down coat would be overkill, but Boston has tricked me before.

    • Wool coat with scarf, hat, and gloves. You probably won’t need all of this but the scarf + hat can seriously make it feel 20 degrees warmer than just the coat alone. (But maybe I’m the wrong person to ask. I’m from Boston, live in DC, and I actually find DC winters to be colder because they’re so much wetter. Give me 20 degrees and dry over 34 degrees and sleeting any day!)

      • Thanks! I find DC winters really cold compared to Colorado, where I’m from. I think it’s the dampness of the cold, if that makes sense. But Boston, which is where my soon-to-be-in-laws live, really knocked me out at both Thanksgiving and Easter last year.

  33. Ugh, boyfriend told me yesterday that his friends (who we usually spend New Year’s Eve with) all have prior engagements this year. I don’t have any friends on my side and family is far away, so it looks like it’ll just be a two of us.
    I can’t help finding this utterly depressing … Do you think it’s weird ? Do you have any suggestions ?

    • I don’t think it’s weird to spend NYE just the two of you- it’s actually kind of romantic. But I do think it’s weird you have no friends of your own- what’s going on there?

      • I don’t think it’s weird to spend the day just the two of us, I think it’s weird to get all worked up about that … We’re not romantic at all but maybe we could plan a candlelight dinner ? That would be a first !
        As for friends, it’s OK – I’m not really a people person. Except on 31. december, apparently.

        • As far as getting worked up about it, it’s probably just because people make such a big deal about this holiday- I agree that it’s so overrated. Buy some champagne, get some good movies and order in some food!

    • Wasn’t there a How I Met Your Mother episode about how going out on New Years Eve is never as fun as we think it should be because it’s always a ton of pressure to have the Best. Night. Ever.? I definitely find that true. Think about how you have 364 nights ahead of you to do whatever you want this year – there’s definitely no shame and nothing weird about settling in with your boyfriend and making a nice dinner and maybe seeing a movie.

      Or, if you wanted to go out, maybe the two of you could make reservations at a nice restaurant for the midnight seating. It’ll probably be a slightly older crowd, but also a nice way to celebrate the New Year.

      • springtime :

        There IS so much pressure to make it unbelievable- don’t let it get to you! I often visit family and make it a quiet affair. NYE sucks for singles.

      • So true !

      • Yes! Agreed. I used to work with a guy who always said New Year’s Eve was Amateur Night at the bars. Love that!

      • Ah, yes, the Moby episode. A classic.

      • Research, Not Law :

        So true! I hated the holiday!! Honestly, I was so thankful to have kids, because the pressure was off. (“Oh, we’re just staying home. You know, because of the baby…”)

        Husband and I like to make a really nice dinner, but I’ve also wanted to do one the midnight dinners, too. There are often concerts on NYE, too.

        • Yeah, now that we have kids we have an excuse for having a boring at home NYE. But boring & at home are the way we like it! We eat pizza & ice cream floats (we don’t drink),watch a movie & then watch the East Coast countdown on TV at 10pm (we live in Mountain Time) so I can go to bed.

          We’ve been invited to a party once or twice, but we’re homebodies, so we don’t mind at all just staying in.

    • My then-boyfriend, now-husband and I went away for the weekend over NYE a few years ago. It was very romantic, and relaxing. Even if you can’t make it out of town, nothing wrong with having a romantic night just the two of you!

    • My husband and I are fairly introverted, so we always have stayed in for NYE with either just the two of us or occasionally with a few close friends or family members. We have a tradition where we make cheese & chocolate fondue, and go out on a special trip to expensive grocery stores to buy fancy cheese, chocolate, wine & bread. Its actually been great to have that tradition in place now that we have kids, as its been really fun to share with them. I have another friend with a similar tradition for him & his wife where they do steaks & lobster tail at home for NYE. Maybe you and your boyfriend can start a tradition of your own? A romantic dinner in (either something you cook or from somewhere that does good takeout), a fun or cheesy movie, or even just playing Scrabble by candlelight can all be fun, especially with a couple of bottles of champagne to go along with it.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Just another idea I don’t think anyone has mentioned – if you want to go out, why don’t you and your boyfriend just go? A nice dinner, or a fancy party? I think most of my friends are out of town this NYE so I’m looking for a fun, classy party for us to go to, so we can dress up and ring in the new year in style. I usually agree that NYE is amateur night but I also like the idea of celebrating it (FWIW, I once spent NYE in with an ex and it was a little depressing but that was because he didn’t really want to celebrate).

    • I’m jealous; I would pay ungodly amounts of money to have NYE be just my BF and myself this year – nice dinner and a romantic night in at home. Maybe I’ll try to persuade him to consider something like this this year, because I hate the pressure of trying to make NYE “OMGawesome” every year.

    • Restaurants are crazy overpriced on NYE and I don’t like local “holiday” food, but a very special dinner at home followed by a movie marathon sounds good !

      I already have some good ideas for the menu and wine …

      Thanks for cheering me up ! You’re right, it must be peer-pressure. I usually don’t even have fun at NYE parties and go to bed as soon as I can.

  34. Jacqueline :

    What do you think is too much to spend on a sweater? And is Club Monaco generally good quality?

    I ask because I’m obsessed with their sweaters (and really, everything they have this season). However, I think $160 is a bit much. On the other hand, if the quality is good and they actually last a few years, maybe it’s not out of line. I’ve never spent that much on a piece of clothing before, although I’ll happily spend that (and more) on bags, boots, and coats.

    • Try to figure out the cost per wear. Is it a wear every single weekend kind of sweater? If so, $160 is not too bad if you’re going to have it and wear it for 5 years. I don’t know what kind of shopper you are, but I’d much prefer to have 1-2 expensive sweaters that I feel great in and wear all the time, than have 10 cheaper sweaters that are slightly off the mark and I don’t love. Sweaters + jeans + boots (lately booties) is my go-to winter weekend outfit.

      Also, an obvious tip, but sign up for their emails so you know when there’s a percent off sale.

      • I didn’t answer your question about quality — I have one Club Monaco sweater and its very good quality. It has held up better than BR, J. Crew sweaters and on par with a James Perse sweater that I live in.

    • springtime :

      I posted recently about my love affair with CM. I think they have stepped up the quality a bit in the last few years unlike the BRs and JCrews of the world. However, I do think their stuff is a bit overpriced.

      Maybe wait and see if it goes on sale for Black Friday? Stalk the sweater online for a bit before you bit the bullet.

  35. OK, so I rediscovered these black suede over the knee flat riding boots at my mom’s house recently during a clean up, and I love them, but I have NO IDEA how to wear them without looking like a pirate. Any suggestions, or should I just embrace my inner Sailor and roll with it?

    • This is going to sound funny, but I would look to celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez for inspiration. I’m thinking of sleek leggings and sleek tunic + blazers and dresses that are on on the casual side + black tights and boots. I have a silk, empire waist brown and black printed dress that would look great with black suede boots.

  36. Kontraktor :

    Long shot, but can anybody recommend a personal injury lawyer in Fargo, North Dakota…?

    • Why? Was someone run through the wood chipper?

      (I’m sorry; I couldn’t control myself.)

  37. Talked to my Dad on the phone this morning. He said that he and my brother had talked about Christmas and:

    1) he and my stepmother are demanding that my brother and SIL plan things to do while we’re there. Because we’re not just going there to sit around and watch TV. Which is true, but my brother is like me and pretty wiped out by the holidays and likes to sit around in sweatpants and watch TV. My SIL and I were plotting buying new games, which my stepmom and the boys like. Unfortunately, my Dad doesn’t know how to just relax and enjoy the kids. I sort of tuned out during this part.

    2) He sounded a little disappointed because my brother had suggested that we just get each other gift cards and we can do some shopping together. We usually end up doing that anyway because they buy me things that don’t fit and we exchange them or I go with my SIL to help her shop. I said it’s fine with me.

    Let the crazy begin!

  38. Nonny @ Equity's Darling :

    Thank you for your Seche Vite recommendation. I bought a teeny tiny bottle earlier this week, tried it out yesterday, and my nails today are gorgeous even after making dinner, washing up, etc. Will have to invest in a larger bottle now.

    Essie topcoat, henceforth you shall be as dead to me.

    • springtime :

      Oh thanks for the review! I have the same problem- have to bit the bullet and get it.

      Ps- where did you get it? I know you’re in Canada…

      • I am in Vancouver and found it in a pharmacy near me – it is called Pure Pharmacy – may be independent or a small chain. But they only had the teeny bottles and not Seche Restore, which I know I will need if I get a larger bottle. I looked in Shopper’s and they didn’t have it – neither did Sephora.

        On Equity’s recommendation, I’m going to order it from Nail Polish Canada.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I’ve also found Seche Vite at a Trade Secrets in the mall. I don’t know if you guys have Trade Secrets?

      • I’m not in Canada, but Sally’s Beauty Supply carries it :)

    • Equity's Darling :

      Yay! I’m glad you like it! :)

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