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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
Cute, but not TOO cute! And it makes my questions less of a threadjack:
What’s the consensus on hanging a visible, decorative mirror in your office? I moved into a new office last week, and am working on decorating a bit. My old space had no wall space – window, cabinet, pinboard, door – but the new one has three open walls. I’m getting a print to hang on one, and will add a combo whiteboard/pinboard to the wall over my desk. I was thinking of adding a mirror over a short bookcase on the other. No bigger than 2’X3′, I expect. Yea or nay?
I would find this distracting if I could see my own reflection in the mirror.
It would be on a wall to my left and not in a direct sight line of anyone sitting in the guest chairs. The corner is dark, but a mirror would reflect light from the oddly-placed window. Also, it’s near the door so a good place for a quick check before going into meetings.
With this background, I’m a yea.
I’m a yea as well.
I have one in a very similar placement. It works well in my situation, but I work in a pretty casual environment.
S in Chicago
I say YAY!!!!! I now work a VERY small space now, with NO window. My mom sugested a full length mirror for me to put so that the space looks bigger. So Alan bought me a cheep one from CVS, but I have to shut my door to see it, and it is very crappey. So when we moove to the new space, my mom will let me use Grandma Leyeh’s mirror, which she brought from somewhere, so I can THROW OUT Alan’s cheep CVS mirror. FOOEY on cheep mirror’s and Alan for makeing me put it up in the office. He is out of my life so I want the MIRROR OUT of my office. YAY!!!
Oh just do it. If you’re worried people will think you’re vain (they won’t because no one will actually notice it ), get one of those decorative latticed ones so it doesn’t look like it’s just for checking yourself out. (along these lines: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Desmond-Distressed-Taupe-Mirror/6765621/product.html?refccid=ZXYYJPY7EGT3W6KLNAHPTXFLC4&searchidx=618_)
Don’t overthink these things.
I say go for it, as long as it won’t be in a position to be weird/distracting to you or anyone sitting on the other side of your desk.
I have no interest personally, but I don’t care when others do so long as we can’t see our reflection during meetings. I know a couple of people with them, fwiw.
Completely agree that this is cute without being too cute. I’m not a desk décor person, but I really want it!
I put one behind my door. My door is usually open, so no one really ever sees it or knows it’s there. It’s about 15″ x 12″ and pretty.
Senior A t t orney
I have one (an antique I inherited from a relative) on the wall at right angles to my desk. It’s about 18 inches wide and three feet (or a bit more) tall. You can’t see your reflection from any of the seating in my office and as far as I know it has inspired zero comment. And it’s handy for checking on my way out the door for court or meetings or whatever.
Anon For This
Would anyone be willing to share the price of their home relative to their income and size of downpayment? DH and I are trying to decide what we’re comfortable with (we definitely do not want to borrow up to the amount the bank will allow us to borrow) and I would love to hear some real-life decisions from people and how it is working out. DH is a little bit older than I am, so our timeline is a little bit earlier than most of my friends, so this isn’t really something I can even talk about with the few friends that I normally would be comfortable talking financial advice with.
we just bought a place for 305, put 61 down and make a bit over 100 together. We’re both very young relative to most people who own property. We don’t have other major financial commitments, and the mortgage is less than what we had been paying in rent before. Does that help?
We’re looking at buying in a large southern city, moderate to high COL. Combined income around $250k, looking at homes between $400k and $500k. He just happens to have $190k in student loans as well ($2200/mo). Monthly payment for a mortgage, assuming between 10-20% down payment, should be high $2,000s, which is around what we pay in rent. So even though I’m a bit hesitant to push forward with that outstanding student loan debt, I think the fact that it will be the current rental amount makes it worth it.
Anyone have thoughts about student loans v. mortgage in such a case?
You pay high $2000’s in rent in a large southern city? Wow. We have what I consider to be a nice 2br 2ba place in a large southern city in a central and desirable neighborhood and pay ~ $1400. Now I’m wondering if (1) my city is actually much cheaper than I thought or (2) my standards for “nice” are off :)
We have a luxury apartment, 2 br + den that’s almost 1800 sq ft. We could do with less, but for various reasons that aren’t worth going into, it was the best fit for us at the time we moved here. In Los Angeles, it would probably go for nearly 3x what we pay in the South.
This is a different Anon than the one at 4:20pm.
DH and I paid $1,800 for a 2 bed 2 bath 1,400 sq ft apt on the edge of the downtown area of a beautiful, very desirable medium-sized southern town. We wanted a 3 bed 2 bath which would have been around $2,100 but they were all taken with a mile-long waiting list.
I earn about 100k and bought a house about 2.5 times my income or about 250k. Put 20% down.
Also, I live in a medium cost of living place where my mortgage payment ended up being about $150 lower than my rent.
Edited to add: I bought at 30ish and it seemed like all of my friends were buying houses at the same time too.
I bought a condo once and put down the bare FHA minimum of something like 3.5% back in the day (income was then X and condo was 2X).
I bought a house later (single, just my income) and put down 10% and felt much better about it (income was X and house was 2.5X).
I think that % down and the spread b/w house cost and income are related (to me). If you think you might be having children anytime soon, don’t max out! Daycare is expensive and you don’t want everyone to be homeless / forced to sell at a loss if one of you stumbles at work (both of us have: husband was rightsized one year and where I work had a bad year and I got a 25% pay cut even though I had a good year). I’d see what you could afford on 2/3 of your salary just to allow for some daycare bills and life-happens stuff.
This. Our daycare bills are roughly half of my monthly take home salary and we have an ‘affordable’ daycare in our high COL city.
I suspect this is going to differ a *lot* depending on the market and where people are in their careers, but here in Texas, we’re looking at buying a new home. The total cost of the home is about 3 times our annual gross incomes and we’re going to put 20% down. The mortgage we’re shooting for is about 2/3 of what the bank will allow us to borrow. (DH is older than I am as well, so this is something we can mostly do because he’s had time to save 20% for a downpayment on his own)
Anon for this
Down payment: $83,800 (20%)
Income: $143,000/year when we bought, down to $115,000 right now temporarily (I hope). Could go up to $150,000 next year. Our monthly take-home income after tax and retirement contributions is $6350.
Monthly mortgage payment is $2133.30. That includes $1528.68 for mortgage, $90.58 for insurance, and $405.94 for property tax.
So, after our retirement contributions (which are at 9%, not as high as I’d like), we are currently paying 33% of our take-home income on the mortgage. This feels really high to me right now, and I really wish we’d bought a cheaper house.
When I bought I earned ~$70k and bought a condo at ~($240k). I put 20% down (my savings + inheritance from grandmother + help from parents). I moved from the NYC suburbs and my mortgage payment was just a little more than my rent had been there.
We live in a low cost of living area, so our first house was under 100,000 and needed major renovation. We weren’t making much money at the time (less than 50k combined, and less than 6 months each at our respective jobs) but it was 2004 and mortgage brokers were handing out mortgages like candy – we were actually approved for up to $150,000 . If you don’t want to borrow up to what the bank will allow, be VERY clear on that to your realtor – our realtor kept trying to upsell us to properties that were more than we wanted to spend, closer to what the bank approved us for.
We’re in the midwest and got a new house built for around $307,000. My parent’s helped with the downpayment and gifted us around $50,000 and we contributed $10,000 of our own money from the sale of our previous home. Our monthly payment is $1700. We have a combined income of $130,000 a year. Our old house payment was only $1100 so we used that as a basis to determine how much higher we wanted to go. $1700 is definitely our max
Anon for $
First house was pre-housing market crash. My husband and I made less than $60,000 combined. House was $179,000 and we put zero down as first time home buyers with sellers paying all closing costs. We had to move after we changed careers and had to rent the house out for quite sometime. We are finally under contract to sell it at $20k less than we bought it for.
The house we currently live in we paid $280,000 for. It was valued about $20k higher and we put 5% of the purchase price down and paid our own closing costs. We make approximately $150,000 combined now.
Our current monthly payments are $1300 on the house we live in, $1000 the house we are still trying to sell and about $1300 in my student loans.
Anon for $
My monthly payment includes tax and insurance escrow.
NYC suburbs: bought our first house for about $600K about a year ago. Gross income about $230K. Put 20% down. Taxes are about $1000/ month.
If you are talking about a house (rather than condo which I can’t speak to) there will ALWAYS be more things costing you money than you think. In the last year, for us the list included: replacing broken dishwasher, central air maintenance, and some roofing issues (undetected at inspection) in addition to the things we actually foresaw and wanted to improve. If you’re on the fence, do yourself a favor and be conservative.
We paid $475 (about) for our house with a downpayment of about $100 – at the time we made around $225 (though we had not insignificant student loan debt from law school.) We put together our DP from savings and also taking out a loan on my husband’s 401k (which is allowed for paying for your first house.) This has allowed our monthly mortgage to be manageable and we are still able to pay down student loan relatively aggressively.
I agree with other people – be conservative and remember that location is KING. The market is coming back in a lot of places right now – but almost exclusively in more desirable areas (closer to cities, easy commute, whatever.) I would trade location for size (smaller house and better location) almost every time because you get better resale I think. And if its your first house, even if you *think* you’ll be there forever, you need to consider the fact that your life may change significantly in the next 5-10 years. The easier the resale, the happier you will be.
Northeast, bought in 2013. $347,500.
Married, late 20’s/early 30’s. Joint income is $140,000, spouse finished degree 2 years prior to purchasing house.
Purchased doing a VA mortgage and put 5% down plus paid all closing costs- ~$25k out of pocket. Bought with a lower down payment then planned as found a very good deal and had the option of utilizing a VA mortgage. Monthly payment ~$2,000 including taxes and insurance. $20k in low interest student loans (total) left.
Midwest. When I bought my place, it was an FHA loan with the minimum down payment, house price a little over 2.5x my income. At the time it felt like a stretch, but I’d definitely been living in a cheaper area than I had to, so I got used to it quickly. 5 years later it’s less than 1.5 my household income, and my monthly payments are only around 10% of my gross income. They say your mortgage payment shouldn’t exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. That seems high to me, but I’m sure it’s normal in a high COL area.
In the Midwest (big city), my husband and I bought a place for $1.14 million. We put down over 30%. We are savers, and I inherited some money that helped with the down payment, as well. Together, we make around $400,000.
We have now bought an investment property, as well to rent out. The place cost about $200,000. We put down over 20%, and we are renovating it before we rent it out. The rent should cover all the expenses and net a very small amount of monthly income.
also anon for this
Salary at time of purchase = $60,000
Home Price = $300,000
Down Payment = $10,5000, 3.5%
Monthly payment, including taxes and insurance = ~$2,200
I purchased a multi-family home with 2 apartments. I live in one apartment and get $1000 rent (gross) from the tenant in the other apartment. I also provide some of the utilities, so I don’t net $1000/month. Rent is under market value because tenants have been there much longer than I’ve owned building and they’re great tenants. I put the $1000 directly to mortgage, leaving $1200 that I have to pay (plus part of tenant’s utilities).
I’m partnered but not married. Partner and I have lived together for a while, but I bought house solely in my name since we’re not married. Combined income is around $150,000, and partner contributes monthly as rent/contribution to mortgage payment.
The last apartment that I lived in alone, I was paying ~$1000/month in rent (+$100 for parking space, which I eventually got rid of). Apartment was much smaller, but in different neighborhood where real estate prices are higher.
Bought a house for $1.5m with a downpayment of $400k with my husband and I making a combined $350k per year. It’s a doozy, but it was what we needed to be in the area we wanted to be in. We didn’t borrow any money from my parents to buy, but they are there as a safety net if one of us loses a job or an unexpected expense comes up (they were dying to have us move close to them). I wouldn’t have done it without that because I would have constantly had a pit in my stomach.
My advice is to not forget to factor in your tax payment. For us, that’s about $1k a month over and above our mortgage.
Yes, and lookup the actual tax rate, don’t just trust the online calculators or the ones provided by a mortgage company or realtor – the online calculators way underestimated the tax and insurance costs compared to what we actually pay. The actual taxes paid on a property are public record – in our area they are available on the county auditor’s webs!te.
+1 It’s amazing what a difference property tax makes. We were able to buy a house in the South that cost much more than the house we owned in NJ for the same total monthly payment because the taxes in NJ are so high.
Anon for this
And your taxes will keep going up: mine has gone up about $400/year since we bought (on a house we bought for low 400s.) It’s not an entirely insignificant amount.
Married, both 30ish, we bought our first house in 2012.
We rolled in closing costs so total loan amount was around $465k (smaller, older house in DC suburb), and our combined income is about $250k. We got a VA loan with 0% down. Our payments including insurance and taxes are around $2400, about 25% of our take home pay.
Other than one of our cars, we have no other debt… we were approved for something like $750k, to which I said “now I understand how that financial crisis hapened.”
Bought in N. California in 2005. Just under $1M purchase price. No down payment (which I wouldn’t recommend and don’t think you could do anymore, but it was a common practice at the time and it ended up working fine for us). Combined annual income at the time was around $200K.
Due to market appreciation and aggressively paying down the mortgage we probably are close to 50% equity right now.
You’re kind of an outlier in this thread, but I’m definitely considering a similar situation to you in the next few years. I probably would do at least 10% downpayment, but looking at a ~$1M place with ~$300K income in a high COL area. This is definitely above the 2.5X income rule.
We did a 10% down payment for a $800,000 house with $300,000 income in the SF Bay Area. I have mixed feelings about it. I know it feels like there’s nothing to buy for less than $1 million in these areas, but I really feel tethered to the house (and in a true HCOL area, even $1 million doesn’t get you very much.)
I don’t think the multipliers work as well when you are talking about HCOL areas and high incomes. They are based on allocating a certain percentage of your salary to housing, clothes, food, etc. But at a certain point, are you really going to spend 10% (or whatever the assumed amount is) of your $300K on food? As your income increases you have more disposable income that can be shifted towards housing (if that’s where you want to put it).
It helped to look at the house as an investment with a very long timeline, which only works if you are willing to be tethered to the house (as Anon above puts it). Even though we purchased at the peak of the bubble, we knew that due to good schools and very limited supply in our area prices would eventually go back up. I’m actually shocked at how much they have gone up in the last few years (bubble 2.0?) but not too worried since I don’t see us moving any time soon.
Anon for this
Very good point. It really depends on what your spending is in other areas. If you have other loans, daycare or private school costs, expect some inheritance at some point, etc.
That’s a good point – when we were purchasing, we definitely were locked into more expensive houses because we were committed to public schools. We could have bought more cheaply and sent the kids to private, but we really didn’t want to do that for many reasons. And it’s nice to know that my “school tuition fees” are also building equity.
I also bought in the Bay Area by myself. House was just over 2x annual income (working class neighborhood, not great schhols), 20% down payment was just under 0.5x income. My first mortgage was a 30 year and approx 20% take home pay. I couldn’t sleep so I refi’ed to a 15 year where my payment was 30% of my take home. New job and my payments are closer to 40% take home but it is still cheaper than renting without roommates around here!
I paid $250k for my condo with 50k down on a 15 year term. My note is around $2,000 per month with taxes, insurance and condo association fees – which includes water, trash and parking. (A 3o year note would have been just over $1,500.) At the time of purchase (5 years ago), I had an income of $100,000 per year and my rent with water and parking was $1,950.
In my opinion, the 2.5x income multiplier is a great barometer for a mortgage payment that does not require much sacrifice from other aspects of your budget. I saved up for my down payment so long that purchasing the condo was almost like a raise!
Anon for this
Gross income: About $85k including bonuses.
Down payment: 5%
Closing yet to occur!
Single, HOA fees, $200/mo, $100/mo property tax, student loans of 100k ish.
I could have been approved for more, and in theory afforded more, but I am nervous about getting in over my head. This puts the payment at just under 25% of my take home pay, which I’m comfortable with.
At the time we bought, the house was in my name and off of my income only since my husband was then my fiance and just starting a business. I paid in the 170s and was earning about 65k a year (husband about 30 at the time). I put 10k down. We’re earning about 150 a year now and are at 85% equity, hope to start attacking the mortgage this year.
My house is in a low COL in central PA. I bought in 2009, with an FHA loan, put 3.5% down, with a purchase price of $150k. My salary was $110k at the time and I was paying approximately $1200/mo in student loan payments. My mortgage payment with PMI, taxes, etc., was $920/mo. It has since dropped to $858. I received a 10 year tax abatement on my property because I had to completely renovate it and they were giving them for new construction in the city. It was part of a redevelopment plan. The purchase price included all renovations, so that was all the money that was put into the house. I no longer live it in, as I have relocated, but I rent it out. The market there is terrible for selling and I can’t float my mortgage payments without a tenant. I am making a fraction of what I did when I bought the house – luckily, renters are easy to find in that area.
My DH and I just bought a new house (our second) in the Chicago suburbs for about $750K, 20% down. Combined income of $380K salary plus about $80-100K bonus last year. Our payment is around $3900 a month.
We’re hoping to pay down aggressively for now, as we anticipate that one of us may have a job change that will decrease our income soon.
We bought our first house in 2008 — which was a bad idea that ended up working out OK for us eventually, but we were underwater for awhile and were facing the prospect of having to bring money to the table if we sold the house a few years ago.
We bought at the height of the market in our Low COL area (2007) and did not have a downpayment. We bought from a family member for what they owed on the house (approx 110k). We recently refinanced for a much better rate and the mortgage is less that 20% of our take-home pay. I sometimes want to upgrade, but like the freedom of a small mortgage payment.
St. Louis house
This is fascinating! I’ll play.
Midwest. Purchased in 2013 for $160,000 (3 bed 2 bath huge backyard. I love living in a low COL area!). Down payment around $30,000. DH and I make ~ $175,000 combined.
Combined income around $350K to $375K in Boston area — income likely to go up to around $400K in the coming year. Bought a $700K house, with 20% down. We were approved for a mortgage up to $950K, I believe.
Combined income of $500K, bought a place in NY for $700K with 20% down last year.
Single, roughly 250K/year income. Bought a house for 575k in late 2012. 20% down payment, 3.5% fixed for 30 years. At the time, I thought I was buying this home “with” my partner of 2.5 years who made a similar income. But he abandoned me 3 weeks after the closing…his name wasn’t on the mortgage so I was stuck.
It is going ok, although I feel the coldness of golden handcuffs at times and also that I am wasting money on a nice home that I am never around to enjoy. The house also feels like a tomb for my lost relationship…I am working to make it mine but on a budget.
The home is extremely well-located so I do not need a car. That saves me hundreds of dollars a month, helping me somewhat justify the higher mortgage payment. Plus, in the rare event that I do meet someone, there is plenty of room to grow.
Paid 695… Down payment of 270 I think, or whatver we needed to avoid the jumbo mortgage category. Our household income that year was something like 180, but very much in flux – I had just left a well paying corporate law gig for a non profit. Don’t remember it being an issue but that may have been because we had so much in cash. It’s a tossup whether it’s smarter to out the $ down at one time like we did and have a smaller monthly mortgage payment… Or to put down less for your dp, keep the cash in the market, and hopefully make a killing there. So far it looks like we’ll make out ok but everything changes quickly here.
Anon from Chicago
Paid $1.16M two years ago; down payment of 20% (whatever that works out to). I think our monthly is around $6k/month, including taxes. Combined, hubs and I make about $750k.
We bought when we had a joint income of $140. DH was about to go back to school, so for years 2-3 of owning our income was about 120k (he worked part time, I got a raise ). Our (tiny) house cost $380k and we put down 5% to have cash available in case I lost my job while DH was in school (mortgage rates were cheaper than student loan rates!)
That was about 5 years ago. We now make $230-270 depending on bonuses, but have a 1800/month daycare bill! Our PITI is about $2400/mo. We are looking to buy in the $600s in the next 18 months and are shooting for 15-20% down depending on rates, 2014 bonuses, and other life situations.
I love this!
Can anyone recommend a snow boot that will fit a narrow, low volume foot, that doesn’t look too much like a big bulky snow boot? (No plastic ‘boat’ – I’m thinking it will probably need to have laces all the way down like a hiking boot)
Primarily for city wearing with skinny jeans in South Germany, budget of up to £100-£120 I think. I prefer brown but could deal with black maybe.
Columbia Bugaboots and North Face has options.
You could also consider hiking boot/shoes, for the substantial tread and lace up options. The lace up boots are definitely better options if you are going to be doing a lot of walking in them. Sorels and other duck boots tend to be a bit better for the “walking a bit and then standing around, but still keeping your feet warm” options.
So, your planned use for the boots will probably matter.
I was thinking of hiking boots, but they all look so clumpy… I lived in riding boots last winter, but they don’t have that much tread.
If you want to keep your riding boots, you can ask a cobbler to put some tread/rubber on the bottoms, since you are only wearing them in city.
They’re suede, so wearing them in slush all winter would knacker them I think – I’m definitely taking them with me, but I need to replace my actual snow boots with something I can walk further in without losing my socks (because they’re too big inside).
I’ll be going up to the mountains on weekends skiing so I will have to take some kind of snow boot and I’d rather have some I’m happy to wear to college in the week too
Well – I don’t think that you’ll find a snow boot that is as slim as a riding boot. Most of the slimmer line snow boots are still going to be on par with a hiking boot for thickness – which is going to be the insulation that keeps your feet warm.
I guess I’m looking for something the same shape as a hiking boot but a little taller in the leg and with less athletic-looking fabrics.
Something like this, maybe?
Possibly too tall and too shiny – or at least, they wouldn’t stay shiny on me. The Columbia Bugaboot appears to come in some less ‘technical’ looking designs so I’ll have to get right on that as soon as the new season stuff comes out (weird feet so I can’t buy online)
Late, but I have some Merrell boots that are waterproof leather with thinsulate lining. They’re knee-high with a side zip, so riding boot style. They’re a couple of years old but still going strong. I have very narrow feet, but I tend to wear thicker socks in the winter anyway, so my feet don’t slide around too much in them.
No specific recs but maybe ask at the nice shoe shops on Rose Street what they might recommend? I can’t imagine they’d have any in yet but they might be able to special order?
Good idea, thanks, I’ll go in there and show them my oddly shaped feet and see what they suggest.
Yes, good idea. Rogersons Fine Footware also owns the Ecco shop opposite, so you can cover two at once. Oh, and go now unless you want to be flattened by tourists mid-August. I’ve always had great service there and you may get lucky with a sale.
However, finding one shoe yo do what you want is going to be tricky. For Germany a bit further north I have a pair of El Naturalista with a chunky rubber dole snd both zips and laces for a good fit, but unless you’re very short (I am) they’ll only be mid-high calf. Otherwise, you may want to wait. Germany has access to lots of good brands for problem feet which also look good, but the price can be alarming. Most of my shoes are Think!, which are rarely under €150.
Mid-high calf is fine – I’m just looking for higher than a standard hiking boot, I think. I’ll go roaming through the shops on Saturday.
The thing is I have money now (well paid internship) and I have this thing where once I put money into savings I find it difficult to take it out again, so I won’t have money when I’m in Germany. Rogersons it is!
I love my Sorel boots, which were great when I went to college, and walked 2 miles everyday in slush and snow.
Thanks for the recommendation, this is exactly what I’m looking for – my current snow boots, while toasty for standing around, are too big for walking in
Sorels probably won’t be helpful then. I know there are quite a few people that find them heavy and get chafing on the heel from it sliding up during walking. I can walk in mine fine, but they are really better standing around boots in my experience.
Thanks – the big dealbreakers with them, looking online, seems to be that they only lace down to the ankle rather than out to the mid foot. I have such low feet I really need to be able to lace my boots tightly.
La Canadiennes. Hands down. Stylish, warm, great protection, wear well. The booties look great with skinny jeans. Keep for years.
Look for sales on 6pm.
First Time Commenter
One option if you really want a riding boot style is to look at places that cater to equestrians. I ride competitively so I bought winter riding boots, but I also wore them consistently around my college campus. During the worst of winter when it was usually -30 degrees Fahrenheit (includes windchill) and snow and ice on the ground they were even better than my snowboots because they came all the way up to my knee. I got mine on sale for approximately $60.00 from stateline tack. They had a heavy tread but still looked decently reasonable. Mine wore out from 5 months of heavy almost continuous wear, but for $60 and warm, dry feet they were worth it. If you want something a little more snowbootesque my moon boots have been my go to snow boot for skiing for the last 6 years.
Horse boots: http://www.statelinetack.com/item/blizzard-winter-boot/E002943/ (you can find more fashionable ones that work just as well, this just happens to be the pair I bought)
Moon boots: http://www.amazon.com/Tecnica-Womens-Butter-Moon-Boot/dp/B003AZYJYA (they are suede but they are waterproofed so there are no stains from salt or snow)
Jcrew actually has some jewelry trays that I think would serve a similar purpose on your desk and are also cute (and much cheaper!)
CWonder is good for this too.
throwing myself on your collective wisdom:
great first birthday present for close friend’s daughter?
light “get-well” package to ship to close, male friend recovering from surgery in the UK. He likes books, food, theatre, etc. I live in NYC and cannot think of what to send him! I looked into magazine subscriptions but they are $$$. He will be home for another month.
I bought Theatre Tokens for my in laws. Perhaps that would give him something to look forward to?
You can’t go wrong with board books for a 1 year old. I love anything by Sandra Boynton.
+1 Our most chewed are Moo Ba Lalala and Belly Button Book.
I’ll second the Mozart cube, too. My youngest received it for her first and I was so impressed by it.
For the adult – kindle gift car?
for the sick friend, could you give some sort of online subscription that he doesn’t have yet, e.g., netflix or amazon prime streaming, a digital subscription to the New Yorker, or some Kindle books? That way, there is no shipping at all, and it could be a good way to pass time time while he is recovering.
You can gift Next Issue subscriptions, which includes a ton of magazines.
Kindle is good too because ebooks don’t bring new germs into the recovery.
For the sick friend, how about a gift card to a food delivery service of some kind? I know London has a few of them (will bring you take out from a variety of places…something like that.)
For the kid, I’m a big fan of books also – but a little keepsake for the parent could be nice – like a frame for the “cake” picture or something. Lets be honest, the first birthday is for the parents as much as the kid who will probably not remember it.
Someone here recommended the mozart cube thing and it’s now my go-to first birthday gift. Kids seem to like it and it’s like $20 on amazon. win.
I think AIMS recommended it and it was a huge hit with my year old nephew. My sister got him one of those ball popper things that you drag along the floor, which he also loves.
Please, please, please clear the ball popper thing with the parents first. Ours had to meet an “untimely demise” because it was so loud and kept waking up the baby when my toddler would play with it.
But YES on the Mozart cube. My younger son was obsessed with his.
I am so glad your nephew liked it! I posted before I saw this post but that was totally my recommendation, too.
Anon for this
For my friend’s daughter’s first birthday I created wall art for her. I found this Etsy shop (Articipe) who turns recipes into art. I created my own recipe of “what are little girls made of.” I actually asked the Hive what qualities they’d like to see in the recipe (some of them: sass, curiosity, independence, magic, compassion). I put it in a frame for her bedroom. My friend loved it, and I hope her daughter appreciates it when she gets older.
For my son’s first birthday, most people got us toys and books, which we really appreciated because (1) you can never have too many kids books, because you read several a day and need some variety after a while, and (2) babies change so much in the first year that it’s hard to keep up with what’s developmentally appropriate, so getting more “advanced” toys was great. I’ll post a few links to his favorites in a moment to avoid moderation.
Some favorite toys:
Thank you! Bookmarking all of these.
ANON in CO
I got a charm bracelet for my best friend’s daughter. Now I just get a charm for every birthday and special occasion, like baptism. It definitely makes for easy presents until she turns 18….she’ll hate it when she’s about 13. Ha ha
For first birthdays I like to give the Mozart Music Cube (and something else as needed). It’s about $18-20 at Target/Amazon and is always a huge hit with kids that age. Someone here recommended it and I’ve basically been giving them ever since.
For the parents – packs of AA and AAA batteries for all the battery operated toys. And a screwdriver with multiple tips for all the different sized screws on the battery compartments.
Only half kidding – we go through a ton of batteries a year, even with making an effort to buy few battery operated toys and use rechargeables.
I’m a PI lawyer. I have had some anxiety issues in the past. I’m trying to avoid getting paranoid hearing about all the really bad and awful things that happen to people every day. The car accident stuff doesn’t bother me too much because I’ve always known there is always a risk of car accidents. It is more some of the freak stuff (stepping on and falling through a man hole cover for example) that I’m starting to find out happens fairly frequently. The med-mal stuff is hard too because you want to just be able to trust what your doctor tells you. How do you avoid getting paranoid when you see all this stuff?
I recommend doing some reading about probability and statistics – nothing technical, but a book like “Innumeracy” by John Allan Paulos which clearly and entertainingly explains how we misinterpret the likelihood of certain bad things happening.
I do a lot of work with medical devices and literature publications on those devices. And there is always stuff that goes wrong in the write ups, since a publication likes to talk about unique cases. But for every one thing that goes wrong, there are how many thousands going right? Humans are notoriously bad as assessing risks – we tend to give more value to the stories we hear, without putting them in the context of how often the action is performed and what ideal and non-ideal circumstances it can be performed under.
Agreed. II constantly notice people miscalculating the risks in their lives. I *think* its because its easier to worry about the things that are unlikely to happen (and are thus out of their control) rather than the things that ARE likely to happen but whose risks could be mitigated by difficult actions (smoking, heart disease, whatever.)
But, if your anxiety is becoming debilitating, you should really get yourself to a therapist. A therapist can use CBT to help you learn to derail the cycle of negative thoughts that come with anxiety. And they can also prescribe medication if needed – especially to get you through the initial period.
I agree with the others who recommended learning more about risk calculation. If it’s weighing you down every day though, I’d also consider whether the same skills/training could be used in some other way than you are currently doing. Could you can look into moving into another area of law or using your education in some other setting entirely? I only mention because I can tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac and ended up in a job where I was regularly interviewing physicians and patients when working as an editor for a health magazine. I left that position to become an editor at a publication serving the needs of folks who deal with health policy and the economics of providing health care , and I was shocked by how much happier it made me. I felt so much less anxious and obsessive about everything in my life, from what I was eating to how I was exercising to being around or hearing about people who were sick in some way. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Sometimes I think personality and work really have to fit. And when they don’t, they just don’t –and it’s OK to recognize that and make a change.
Don’t go into criminal law, that’s my only advice.
Body changes due to weight loss
For those who have lost a significant amount of weight, have you noticed changes in your menstrual cycle? I recently lost a significant amount of weight, not sure of the amount but a year ago I was inching towards a size 10 and now I’m at size 6. I keep track of my cycle using an app and have noticed over the past 2 months or so it has grown shorter by about a day or two. I know that seems trivial but I figure a day is pretty “big” since this is a biological process, also I’m in going on my mid thirties so also wondering if this is an age thing? FWIW I feel better than I have in a long time but still wondering if this is normal.
Cycles do tend to shorten with age. Mine are a lot shorter (5-6 days shorter) than they used to be, but I’m in my late forties.
My cycle has definitely shortened with age, and I have had no fluctuations in my weight. In my 20s it lasted around 5-6 days, now in my mid-30s it’s usually just 3-4 days.
ANON in CO
How short is short?
Yes, it does make a difference. Gaining or losing fat will affect your hormone levels and it’s not unusual to have lighter periods if you body fat decreases. Age also affects it.
Do you mean that you are having shorter periods or that the time between periods is shorter?
Hipster Hijabis! Thought other people would appreciate this article on stylish dressers of various cultures as much as I did.
Beautiful! Thanks for posting.
Ideas for Lisbon? 5 nights over Labor Day weekend. Do we spend a night in a different city? Are the beaches nearby nice? How much wine can I buy with €10?
Oh, Lisbon…one of my all-time favorites! If you want to spend a night somewhere else, try Sintra–you should go anyway to see the palace and gardens, and Sintra itself is gorgeous and super-romantic. The beaches are very nice, especially if you go out farther to Cascais (my pick) or Estoril; the view over the water on the train is pretty as well. You can probably get 3-4 bottles with 10E, depending on how budget you’re willing to go; Casal Garcia is a nice vinho verde that’s not too hard on the wallet.
As for what to do in Lisbon other than drinking wine, my favorite stuff to do is always, in no particular order:
-The Monastery of St Vincent in the Alfama–tons of gorgeous, typical tilework, always peaceful and calm; the cafe has great lunches and a pretty, bougainvillea-draped courtyard to eat in
-Taking the trolley up (mind your personal effects, though) to wander in the Alfama, up to the Thieves’ Market/Feira do Ladro (conveniently next to St Vincent; I’d do the market, lunch in the monastery, then check out the monastery itself)
-Hanging out in the Jardim de Estrela, plus or minus a subtle wine bottle and snacks
-Going to all of the miradores/lookout points and having wine in each
-Caipirinhas in Bairro Alto; also some interesting niche clothing and art boutiques during daylight hours
-Window-shopping along Marques de Pombal, which is where all the swanky stores are
-Getting arroz de marisco in Martinho Da Arcada in the Praca do Comercio; it’s the oldest restaurant in Lisbon and should be super-touristy, but somehow manages to maintain itself every time I go there (which is every time I go to Lisbon)
-Eat ALL THE PASTRIES. Cafe Gelo in Dom Pedro IV is not to be missed, but really anywhere with the sign in the window that they make their pastries in-house is going to be good.
Not sure if you can tell, but I’ve spent a lot of time in Lisbon, and would be happy to pass along specific hotel and restaurant recs if you want them!
I’ll add, because I think know my audience, that the best Zara is the one in Chiado!
I would love them! Could you email me at lisbon9282014 at g m a i l?
First Year Anon
Co-sign all of this- I went to Lisbon in 2012 and that’s pretty much exactly what we did!!!
I second not missing out on Sintra. It’s like a real, meticulously maintained fairy tale.
Alanna of Trebond
Third Sintra and Cascais. Also, the best pasteis de nata are in Belem–not too far from Lisboa. I think 5 days might be a lot of time, although that’s how long I was there.
5 nights in Lisbon is probably too much… you can see the entire city in 3 days.
I disagree- I was there for 5 nights a few months ago, and I wish I had spent more time there. Adding in Sintra and Cascais, each of which took an entire day, didn’t leave me nearly enough time for Lisbon.
Right, but since she was asking about spending the night in another town, both of those places would qualify?
I did both those as day trips, and most tour books make the same recommendation. I don’t think Cascais would be worth spending the night in. Sintra may have been nice for one night, but probably not worth the hassle of relocating. Neither took more than an hour to get to, if I remember correctly, whereas the train to Porto took what felt like forever (3 hours? 4 hours?).
A girlfriend and I stayed in Lisbon for a few days in 2006, and we stayed at and loved As Janelas Verdes. I recall prices for everything being reasonable. I bought a lot of ceramics (bowls), use them all the time, and love them.
Yes! Such a lovely hotel.
I would have spent a night in Sintra were I doing it again, just because it was so lovely and dreamy and it would have been nice to have been able to enjoy it at a slower pace.
I’m in love with the Zara light wool blazer in yellow (link to follow). Ideas for what color pants/skirt to pair with it (navy, light brown are all I can come up with)? Also, is this only appropriate for spring/summer or could I make it work in the fall with darker bottoms?
edited to add: I’m in big law, junior associate.
That is gorgeous but why in the world would
Zara call it a “wool blazer” when it lists the composition of the outer shell as : 73% POLYESTER, 23% VISCOSE, 4% ELASTANE
haha good question… that is slightly annoying. on the upside, love the buttons!
For other neutrals – grey, white, camel, olive
Tops in prints that mix a brighter yellow with neutrals, where the brightness of the yellow is muted by the other colors in the print.
For colors to mix with it – burgundy pants or skirt might look good with a white or cream or pale pink top. You could do a pale skirt in almost any pastel color (peach, pink, mint, pale blue, light purple) and a white or cream or pale grey top and neutral shoes.
Also think it would look cute with a red pencil skirt.
Mexico City tips?
I’m going for a long weekend and wanted to see if the hive had any tips/recs/must dos!
Hmmm… there is SO much to do but I’m not sure how much you can see in a long weekend. If you’re there on a Sunday, consider going down to Xochimilco (floating gardens) for an afternoon- you can boat down the river in a colorful barge (google will show you images), get food and beer and just relax. You can take the “tren ligero” to Xochimilco, which is a light rail line. To get there, you have to take the Metro to Tasquena. FYI the metro is a great way to get around, super cheap and also safe. But since your time is limited you may want to consider taking taxis some places for the sake of simplicity… if you’re worried about safety (I’ve never felt unsafe in Mexico City but you won’t know your way around there), just make sure you take cabs from designated taxi stands- they’re all over the city- when it doubt hail one at a hotel.
The anthropology museum is awesome… you should also check out the Chapultepec castle (in the middle of Chapultepec park, very near the anthro museum) which is where the emperor Maximilian (sent by Napoleon to rule Mexico for a brief period in the 1850s) lived with his empress.
Frida Kahlo’s house in Coyoacan (a beautiful neighborhood) is definitely worth a see. If you’re looking for similarly quaint neighborhoods, definitely check out San Angel. They’re both a little far to get to but worth it.
The zocalo, national cathedral (adjoining the zocalo) are must-sees but you can do those very quickly. If you’re interested in religious stuff you can also check out the Basilica, but architecturally it’s not that interesting. There are some ruins behind the cathedral that are worth checking out.
Of course people will tell you to go see the Teotihuacan pyramids (Sun and Moon pyramids) but it can be a lengthy day trip so I might skip it if you only have a few days.
Roma Norte and Condesa are the trendy neighborhoods- if you’re looking to bar hop, start there.
things to avoid- Zona Rosa- used to be a very touristy zone, I guess it still is, but it’s overpriced and seedy. Skip street food UNLESS it’s cooked in front of you (grilled/roasted=ok; raw=iffy). As in any major city, watch out for pick pockets. I would also avoid wearing super blingy jewelry or carrying an obviously expensive purse (as I would in any foreign city I wasn’t very familiar with). I like to blend in wherever I go- in Mexico City it’s pretty easy regardless of what you look like because there are people from all over, but don’t walk down the street with your nose in a map (there are tons of cafes you can pop in if you need to orient yourself), be aware of your surroundings, and try to dress more on the dressy side rather than casual (you will stick out as a tourist if you wear short shorts, a floppy hat, flip flops, or things of that nature).
Templo Mayor was one of my favorites, especially if you aren’t going to be able to make they full-day trip to see the pyramids outside the city. I think those are the ruins that Lily B is referencing as being near the Zocalo.
Mexico City tips?
Thanks LilyB and abogada! These are really helpful!
Does Nordstrom ever add items to the anniversary sale as it goes on? I’ve noticed other retailers do this, but I’m a new Nordstrom shopper
I feel like they do, but I’m not hard core enough to document enough to be certain. It’s nothing major, but enough to be worth looking again.
This year it seems like they did at the beginning of the pre-sale, but could have been a tech glitch. More common is items that were sold out/unavailable getting returned and becoming available for you to purchase once again. Not that I stalk things that are sold out or anything. ;)
Looking for some opinions –
I started a new job in January. It was essentially a lateral move from my old job, with a very small pay increase. Shortly after that, immediate boss left and I was promoted into his job. It was a great title boost, but didn’t come with a salary increase.
Since then, I’ve been doing his job, as well as my old one because I couldn’t get the green light to hire another person (money is very tight). I haven’t taken a single weekend off since March, and I routinely work until 9-10 at night.
I’m a) frustrated that I haven’t been able to hire someone to help me, but also b) frustrated that I haven’t seen any kind of salary increase through all of this. Any advice on how to approach this? I’ve never asked for a raise before and like I said, money is pretty tight where I work.
Ask for a raise.
They are saving money by having just you instead of you + someone else. And as long as you do the work of two people with no complaints, why would they spend more money? So ask for a raise, them to hire someone else, you to work fewer hours, or whatever combination of that would make you happy.
I promise you that no one in HR is thinking “that woman who is doing 2 people’s jobs? She deserves a raise.” ASK. It won’t happen at all if you don’t ask. And, given my experience, ask around at work regarding budgeting cycles, because if you wait too long to ask, it’s really easy for higher-ups to say, “Whoops, that isn’ t in the budget…let’s revisit a year from now.” Ask and ask asap.
Why would you get a title boost but not a raise? Definitely ask.
I realized this weekend that I should probably seek medical help for anxiety (medication–I did a lot of work with CBT and that has staved off depression but my anxiety is more situational and less “in my head” nowadays) and for migraines (symptoms and triggers changing plus I am losing consciousness).
Can I see either a neurologist or a psychiatrist for both conditions or do I have to go to both: a psychiatrist for the anxiety and a neurologist for the migraines?
If you need to see a neurologist for the migraines – then ask them? Your migraine and anxiety treatments might interact so you want to clear with the docs that you’re doing both so they know about any problems. Primary care folks can write basic prescriptions for anti-anxiety and anti-depression meds, but you’ll want to make sure that a pro is checking for any interactions.
Thank you! I will start with a neurologist and see where it goes from there.
Definitely you will need two separate doctors. Start talking with your primary care doctor and CBT therapist now to get referrals. I agree with starting with the neurologist since this sounds very urgent if you are losing consciousness (my goodness… what do you mean by this?!?!? Have you fallen? Could you be having seizures??!). Ideally, a general neurologist or a headache neurology specialist. If you are comfortable sharing a major city near you, I can recommend someone.
You will also need a psychiatrist to help with your anxiety, but make sure you talk about your depression/anxiety with the neurologist. It can definitely affect your migraines. Also, some of the migraine medicines can actually help depression/anxiety, so the neurologist may be able to help some. There is a good chance that once your anxiety is treated your headaches will lessen, and once your headaches improve, your depression/anxiety will improve.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have two doctors, working together on these problems. They are intertwined.
And until you see the doctor, start keeping a “diary” now of your headaches. Write down every time you get one… what is it like, where is the pain, are there any other symptoms associated with the pain (eg. nausea, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, dizziness etc…)… what makes it better/worse… any triggers?…. what do you take for the headache… does it help? This will be very useful to the doctor, so start writing your diary now.
And to try to decrease your headaches, some things to think about trying now. Sleep a regular schedule, every night, EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS. Eat regular meals, scheduled throughout the day. Do not skip meals. Look for food triggers (eg. alcohol, fermented meats, cheese) and avoid them. Stay hydrated. Get some exercise every day, even if it is just walking. Make sure you are sitting at work with good ergonomics in front of your computer. Neck position, room lighting is important. Make sure your eye prescription is up to date. If you are addicted to coffee/caffeine, try to gently become regular with when/how much you drink, and try to wean it down slightly.
Obviously, we have migraines in my family!
Thanks! I am 90% sure I do lose consciousness. I lie in bed in pain and then “wake up” with no pain. I don’t remember anything and the pain is so bad I am not falling asleep. Diary, check. Triggers, check. Type of pain, hard to forget. Regular schedule, as much as possible with the insomnia caused by anxiety. Caffeine is under control. I guess I have been dealing with this for too long!
Thank you! I am near Palo Alto (Bay Area) if you are offering recommendations.
The very best is at UCSF – Neil Raskin. He’s older, a bit gruff, but world famous. I brought my Mom to him, but she had been through many many medicines for years and needed a senior person.
But Stanford also has a “Headache clinic” in their Neurology department. Any one of them will be very good.
They might be able to send you to some in psychiatry that they work in collaboration with, which would be very helpful.
In light of the very interesting thread on housing costs – anyone want to share tips/strategies/stories about how you saved for your down payments? I just finished paying off a ton of student loans and estimate it will take another 4ish years to save for a down payment in my high COLA. The thought of several more years of hardcore saving is daunting! I know I just need to do it, as the payoff will be worth it in the end (and what’s 4 years, really) but would love to hear your success stories for extra motivation.
No advice, but I am following this thread as I am also facing this prospect.
Really, it was luck and timing. I paid off my student loans, gave myself 3 months of payments to “splurge” as a reward (I only ended up spending about half of it) and then saved my “loan payment” going forward in a low cost index fund. Timing was kind to me: I rode the market up while housing was falling. I was able to sell my stocks at a decent profit and buy in a down market. Really, the best thing to do is try to lower your expenses and keep them low, then save as much as you can.
Check to see if you qualify for any downpayment assistance or local first time homebuyer programs.
I was going to wait for tomorrow’s thread, but for worked up thinking about it! Please excuse the long post.
I started a job in October doing 50/50 A and B, where A was higher level work than B. Then 2 people left the org and I asked to replace B with C (which was at the time a part-time role), and also take on D (budgeted for part-time, never actually executed) and E (brand new projects). Put another way: starting job = A+B; current job = A+C+D+E.
I asked my boss for a raise and basically got blown off. At minimum, I saved my org the cost of on an additional part-time person, and I’m doing C+D at a much higher standard than the previous occupants. I also think the role I’ve taken in E is strategic and senior level, plus it’s something our Board has been pushing for. Actually, all of the aspects of my new role are things the Board was pushing for.
Did I blow my chance of a raise by not getting it set before I took the responsibilities, or by actively lobbying for the change? I waited because our new fiscal year is starting soon and I wanted it to be part of that discussion. Or was I wrong to ask for a raise at all?