Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Karen Kane Three Quarter Sleeve Jersey Cascade Faux Wrap Dress

stretchy cozy comfortable machine-washable dress for work Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This stretchy, cozy, washable dress has been in our Workwear Hall of Fame for some time, but I’m not sure we’ve ever featured it in plus sizes (only regular). Every year it comes out in new iterations — different colors, different prints, different sleeves. Nordstrom has the basics in neutral black and navy in regular and plus sizes for $108-$124, while Amazon has options as low as $27.  Karen Kane Three Quarter Sleeve Jersey Cascade Faux Wrap Dress

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  1. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have recommendations for an entryway coat rack/shoe storage system? My new place doesn’t have a front closet so I need another solution, but it seems like every freestanding coat rack I’ve found is too flimsy and every set of hooks is either too small for real coats, or overly clunky and industrial looking. I’d also like some way to store shoes and boots that can make them disappear since I hate having a pile of shoes by the door.

    • I’d suggest a wardrobe for this. You can shut the doors to hide the mess and find a nice sturdy wooden one.

    • Diana Barry :

      We have a mudroom that has 2 of the “Samantha Bench” with cushion from PB and many sets of the “Cast-Iron Row of Hooks” (link to follow). We found that mounting the hooks on the wall fixes the space issue better. You can also do 2 sets of hooks above each other if you have kids – one set at kid height and one set high up on the wall.

      Note that we have 3 kids so that’s why we got so many hooks. The benches are good but not tall enough for adult knee-high boots, for example, if that’s a concern (my rain boots don’t fit). But perfectly good for kid shoes and smaller boots!

      • Diana Barry :

    • Diana Barry :

      Other comment in mod (why?)

    • I have a large basket for shoes by the door that goes under a bench- I don’t like seeing shoes either, and this keeps them out of sight but in the entryway so we can stay shoeless inside.

    • Maybe you could buy individual coat hooks and space them out on the wall however looks best / is most functional, add a bench with storage to hide the shoes, and a cute wicker basket to hold winter accessories (hats, scarves, gloves, etc.)

    • For my entryway, I bought a cute accent cabinet with three interior shelves and use that as a shoe rack. You can find tons of options on wayfair or similar sites. Hides the mess of shoes piling up on the floor.

    • We have used the slim, shallow Ik3a shoe storage bins. They have enormous capacity. There are a variety of types and most offer the top of the bin as a ledge for keys etc. one of the options is a three pack of plastic ones that can be configured in different patterns. I have used it in a dozen places it is so useful.

    • anon a mouse :

      I think what you want is a hall tree with a storage bench — hooks to hang clothes, plus storage for shoes and other accessories. Growing up I had a great one with a vintage mirror and side hooks for keys — I wish I had a space for that in my current house.

    • Have you thought of a hook system with a lower separate shoe rack?

      We installed an Ikea Steel Hook system with moveable hooks and it is very solid. We paired it with a three layer shoe rack with cushioned bench. It looks great.

      Or you could go with a freestanding system that combines them all. Links below

      • Ikea Hook system –

        Freestanding Hook and Bench

    • doors are important :

      I would build lockers or get a wardrobe with drawers and a hanging bar. I have never seen a hook system that did not look junky unless there was a closet next to it (for the overflow).

    • How about a hall tree? They can be tricky to find but look really nice.

    • Anonymous :

      In a similar situation, and after much consideration: We have a small hallway off to the side where we installed a shaker peg rail for coats and other things that hang. It’s not in the middle of the living room, so I’m okay with it not looking that neat. We also have a small shoe bench from Ikea right next to the door, and a console on the side of the room that holds boots, gloves, hats, and other odds and ends.

      There used to be a wardrobe for all these purposes, but I thought it was too huge for our relatively small living room.

  2. Can anyone recommend a specific unlined pencil skirt that has a little bit of stretch and works for pear shapes? Thanks!

  3. Anonymous :

    I’m thinking about having insulation blown in to my roof. I have a small house (850 sq ft) and the upstairs is on FIRE during the summer and I assume we lose a ton of heat during the winter too. Has anyone done this or know a ballpark figure for how much this would cost?

    Other consideration is that the house has older wiring so the next time I have ten grand i want to upgrade it. I shouldn’t blow insulation into the walls since the wiring needs to be upgraded, right?

    • Anonymous :

      Great idea. We did it. Also have a smallish house 1300 sq ft and old old wiring (that likely never will be replaced). We had to pull out old fiberglass insulation, clean/sterilize (raccoons had broken in) and then blew n the insulation. I think the insulation part was like $3500?

      Also recommend having them install a fan in the roof, which will also help cooling. I strongly recommend a fan that has a remote controller or else you have no idea if it is on/working.

      I would ask about the wall insulation issue. Makes sense to do electrical first….

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have an attic fan? Ours has made a huge difference.

    • anon a mouse :

      You definitely want to do the wiring first. You could ask an electrician about just upgrading the parts of the wiring that run through the roof/along the upstairs ceiling now, and do the rest later.

    • Do you have a drop down attic at the roof? We just bought and installed one of those insulating things that zips up around the attic entrance as a temporary solution and it seems to be working.

    • I did this in my home in Charlotte last spring (2100 sq ft built in 1989). We also had the attic door tent installed, gaps around our fireplace and air registers caulked up, and had the crawl space original insulation wired up tightly again for a grand total of $1,070. Duke Energy also have us a $200 energy efficiency credit for doing it, but we otherwise have seen no measurable difference in our heating and cooling bills.

    • I had it done. Cost about a grand, and it took probably a year or year 1/2 to pay for itself in electric bill savings. If you don’t want to do blown in because of the wiring, you could do a radiant barrier instead. That costs more to install though I think.

    • We had someone assess the heat loss and then as we could started tackling the list. That included over time a new attic fan, and replacing old windows and jambs. We rewired when we did the attic fan.

    • Does your electric company offer any rebates, or a home energy assessment? Here in Illinois, Commonwealth Edison offers a “free” home energy assessment (but you actually are paying a little every month in your bill for it!) and the assessor will help determine what kind of insulation. If you use one of their contractors, they’ll apply for the rebate for you as well. We did it, and it helped.

    • I also had this done due to raccoon damage in my “second home”– raccoons had built a nest and had a family and totally destroyed the insulation. I don’t remember the cost b/c insurance paid for it, but I have to say that the foam insulation there has made a tremendous difference in how cool in the summer/warm in the winter the house is. Once it gets cool in the summer, it stays cool, and vice versa in the winter. The insulation company also put little cans around all my recessed lights, insulated around them, and put a zippered tent around the attic pull-down door in the hallway.

      I am seriously considering paying for this job myself in my permanent home, just for comfort level and eventual heating/cooling savings.

  4. NYC advice :

    NYC folks, I need your help! I’ll have about 2-2.5 hours to kill on a weekend. It’ll be midday and I’ll be starting near the World Trade Center before a late lunch near the Court Street subway stop in Brooklyn. I’ll be solo and would love ideas for things to do! (I may also need a light snack – I’m thinking DeKalb Market in Brooklyn, but very open to any ideas you might have.)

    • Anonymous :

      Finance museum?
      Fraunces tavern?
      Staten Island Ferry (you can re-enact Working Girl)?

    • Some other ideas:
      – browse the downtown Eataly
      – grab a drink at Pier A harbor house or Black Tail (or Dead Rabbit if it reopens after fire)
      – Walk across Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO. Could grab food at V&H foods in Brooklyn Bridge Park
      – if you have a tolerance for hordes of European tourists and love a bargain, browse Century 21

    • Brookfield place? You could go through and then grab a bite/drink by the water.
      Walking across BK Bridge is another nice idea. If the weather is good my favorite think to do in NY is always to just walk everywhere. Or you could take the ferry to red hook from Pier 11.

    • The 9/11 museum and memorial are mobbed but also very worthwhile. In Brooklyn Heights, the Historical Society is interesting, and both Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo are interesting neighborhoods to explore with fancy shops and dining options; I’m partial to Brooklyn Heights though – more shade, less noise. The Brooklyn Heights promenade has a great view of lower Manhattan.

    • Walking tour of downtown (great stories about Boss Tweed and all that, a quick search turned up a Hamilton walking tour) then lunch on Stone Street – lots of great little places with a street blocked off and outside communal seating.

    • Seconding walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Transit Museum is right by the Court Street stop. Brooklyn Bridge Park also has amazing views of the skyline and great snacks (Calexico food cart and Ample Hills for ice cream).

  5. I have this Karen Kane dress, and while it’s super comfy, it’s also clingy and (like most jersey dresses) has begun to pill after only a few wears.

    • I ordered this from the sale a few years ago and returned it. The fabric was on the silky side and show every single lump and bump. My favorite jersey knit faux wrap dresses are a couple of Lauren ones that I found at TJMaxx. Thicker fabrics and they wear like iron.

    • Anonymous :

      This is my experience too. I’m between sizes so I sized up to avoid the cling factor. The dress is also on the more casual side of business casual – it’s a thinner jersey as opposed to a nice weighty jersey that you can pop a blazer over and call biz cas. It’s still nice for Fridays and summertime, though.

    • I own and love this dress, with a few caveats. It is a great everyday, biz casual dress, because the fabric is so soft (downside: clingy, a biz casual). It’s a great dress to look/feel put together when it is hot as balls out. Great packable dress because of the fabric. Biggest downside to me? I am 5’7″ and *all* the Karen Kane dresses I’ve owned have been a hair too short. Like, I feel like I’m constantly pulling them down, and I have offloaded one in a different (non cascade wrap) style because of it. I am really curvy, size 14, and can’t tell if it’s just my height making this too short, or my horizontal real estate taking up scant vertical real estate in this dress…

    • How’s the neckline on this dress? I often to size up in dresses so that it fits in the hips and thighs, but the too-large top sometimes creates a deep neckline that isn’t ideal for work..

    • I have several of the cascade dresses. A few things about them – first, they come in several different blends, some of which are dryer safe and some of which aren’t (and some are much thicker fabric than others, and hence better for disguising lumps/bumps); they also come in multiple lengths, though the descriptions don’t mention that, so it’s worth it to buy from somewhere that posts the actual length in the description. They are also the only wrap-style dresses that this curvy girl has found which don’t require a cami.

      Like one of the other commenters, I typically wear them in more casual situations when it’s hot – the lighter-weight versions are great for that, but even the heavier ones are very comfortable (and because I don’t have to wear a cami, I can get away without a second layer).

  6. 40 something :


    1. Thanks for the “not dressed as lamb” link yesterday. Very refreshing!

    2. Rothys are sort of a junior varsity office shoe — they are a bit fancier than Sketchers (not the highest of bars), but I’m demoting mine to shoes for the airport where I need to not look completely sloppy and need a soft rubber bottom. I am vowing to do better at work dressing.

    3. Casual dress code means . . . more work actually. Clothes are not necessarily more expensive, not always machine-wash, and outfits require much more thought to be good outfits (I am new to Power Casual Dressing — suspect recent grads may be much better at this vs business proper dressing than I am).

    4. 40s means (for me) that I am a bit softer, so now VPL at the upper line is an issue (largely with machine-wash lightweight synthetic dress materials), even on the back where I am leaner than the front. I feel like even the line of demarcation b/w “restrained flesh” vs “unrestrained flesh” is noticeable in solid colors. One fix: shapewear (on order; my last round of this just resulted in lumps from shapewear rolls and too much fiddling; also the hope that I wouldn’t die or be in an accident while wearing shapewear that would have to be cut off); another fix: slips (although they never seem to be cut to the right length and still have some seam issues); another fix (this works: throw on a jacket over the dress and problem is concealed, which is fine b/c office is freezing anyway).

    SO: seeking washable dresses that are not so drapey and lightweight that the upper VPL / squishy bits issues are not apparent [e.g., light gray synthetic washable dress might look good from the front, but from the side or rear or when going up steps, highlights every lump / squishy / undergarment (and it isn’t even tight, just drapey)].

    • On item 4, I think you just need to go up a size or two in your underwear and/or shapewear. Neither should be so tight that skin is trying to escape it

      • I swear I have tried this and it’s just that any elastic now creates a line of indentation. The Soma no VPL underwear is great for the bottom edge, but it’s like I need that up top, too. Esp. if a dress has a waist, then below it is a light pooch, then below that is top VPL, then flatness.

        I think it is being 40s and maybe 28% body fat (even though at the same weight I was at 25 with 20% body fat — everything is just a bit squishy).

        I went up to a Soma L in the no VPL underwear (and I weigh 125 pounds / 64″ tall, so it is just an Age Thing I think). That and a slip — no dice.

        3-season wool that is lined — no issues. I think it’s age + lightweight unlined synthetics = trouble. Patterns help.

        • Half slips fix this problem for me. I am absolutely committed to slips, year-round, under all but constructed, lined dresses–but especially under jersey dresses. It make a giant difference and allows me to skip the shapewear.

      • +1 Experiment with sizing up, in your underwear, shapewear, or clothing. Or just don’t buy clingy jersey dresses. Switch to clothing with lining, woven fabrics, or clothing with more structure.

    • I an finding that woven fabrics like cottton and linen drape better. I have something similar to the Lafayette 148 Eleni dress (mine is past season) that works, in a cotton poplin fabric.

      • Ah, yes, I think that this is the season of my life where Lafayette 148 makes sense. [Although it seems cut for ladies with bosoms; I am still waiting for them. All of the weight is in my hips/thighs/stomach.]

    • Boden has good washable dresses in thicker knits

      • Ouch! That hurts :

        This. Especially their ottoman fabric. Glad to see it in their new fall preview book.

    • I like jockey skimmies. They are like mild shapewear. Smooth out but don’t really suck in. So they are comfortable to wear all day, easy to take off and put on, and you don’t have the vpl problem. You’ll want to get the higher waist (actual waist) style.

    • My workplace is casual & my version of “power casual” is somewhat of a uniform – I typically wear skinny but not tight jeans w/ a silk blouse, lower block heels & a blazer if it’s cold. I also swap out the jeans for slacks but wear a chambray shirt or more casual top instead of a silk blouse. I have dresses for big meetings that still require more professional looks. Oh, also in my 40s.

  7. We’re moving to London in a couple of weeks. I start work a few days later and we won’t have our container of household items for several weeks. I’d like to order items to be delivered the evening of our arrival. Is Asda my best option for items like shampoo, soap, cleaning supplies, etc?
    We also want to order an inexpensive to moderately priced couch and kitchen table. I’m aware of Ikea. Are there other retailers carrying contemporary furniture I should consider?
    Thanks in advance for any advice. So much to do!

    • Asda is fine but any of the delivery services should do – Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose (I really like the Waitrose own brand products). Amazon should do named day delivery as well but you might not have as much control over timing.

      For furniture, I haven’t bought soft furnishings there but really like Made for household stuff.

      Enjoy London! Which area are you living in?

    • No recs, but congratulations, this sounds so exciting!

    • Just moved in a week ago so here are some suggestions of non swedish giant stores: Wayfair (ordered most of my flat pack from them ) – Made – Loaf – Zara home ( got all my bedding from there) – John Lewis or Peter Jones can have good deals on clearance.
      Now they all have sales.
      Once you’re in London, there is a tiny shop called Tiger. They have tons of inexpensive things like ladles, throws, and decorative items.
      For my first giant groceries order, I used Waitrose they have free shipping over 50 pounds. Sainsbury’s ship too.
      Welcome to London! I’m still a newbie here but it feels already like home

      • Thanks to all for the recommendations. We’ve secured a home in Belgravia. The street isn’t exactly what we want and the home doesn’t have some of the features we were looking for, but it will meet our needs until we find something permanent. It will be a change from the suburbs in the US.

        I don’t ever use the term “overwhelmed” but can truly say that this move has been overwhelming. There are so many factors in play. My previous moves have been under 100 miles and before kids!

        • EuroMover :

          We made move from the US to Germany last year, and the overwhelm is normal and will likely last a while.

          Be kind to yourself, and if some days it feels like everything sucks, know that this too shall pass

          • Minealline :

            Yeah, Euromover is 100% right. It’s normal to be overwhelmed and ok to develop coping strategies for a while. The good news is that compared to the continent, the U.K. system is very US like, and you can find everything you need quickly on the internet, unlike, say, Belgium where I moved to first. There’s even a Costco on the western edge of London if you have a car. It’s a lot of moving parts, and something will get missed, but you can fix almost everything if you have to, so don’t kill yourself too much. Don’t forget to check out your local council’s website, as the government sites here generally are very helpful.

      • Welcome to London, UK Bound (and Houda! I don’t post often these days, but have been on the site for many years and am excited you’re in London now.)
        I moved here three years ago and love it. I have furnished with a lot of Ikea and Made, and Gumtree (UK Craigslist) if you’re interested in second-hand.
        Also for my office I used this second-hand office furniture store (link to follow). I found it a good option because so many people and firms move in and out of London that high quality lightly used furniture is not hard to come by.
        Waitrose is fantastic and their Ocado delivery is a really easy way to get in good quality household/grocery essentials.

    • UK Bound–highly recommend you join the Junior League of London–it’s a very friendly community, and they have a great book for Expats that explains all the things. It’s a nice mix of SAHMs and really-driven career expats. It was a good way to settle in and learn about silly stuff, like where to buy Thanksgiving fixings.

      Re buying cheap household goods, do not rule out Argos. I lived abroad in London over a decade ago, and got tons of little things (curtain rods, window planters, etc.) from there. And I still have my John Lewis towels–they’ve held up very well. M&S has decent, but not fancy, household goods too. Their comforters are dreamy.

      Enjoy all the things! I loved living there!

  8. Anonymous :

    I just wore this dress yesterday. So comfortable, and I always get compliments when I wear it. The breathable fabric is a real plus in the summer.

  9. Anonymous :

    How much time do you waste when you first get to work in the morning? I eat my breakfast, read the news, come here… it’s a good 30-45 minutes before I’m in the right frame of mind to tackle the day. Wondering if it’s the same for anyone else or if I’m being a slacker?

    • I do those things (reading Ask a Manager and this site) while also checking work emails and listening in on conference calls. I work with developers in India, so with the time difference my morning from 8:30-10 is busy with calls. I too need some time to “settle in” at work before starting in full force. I’m not sure how long since it’s interspersed with work stuff – but maybe 15-20 minutes?

    • Housecounsel :

      I work from home most days, so are we counting the time I lie in my bed and check Facebook and Twitter and read the advice columns in the Post or just the time I spend on Corporette and askamanager and getting my coffee?

    • Yeah, that’s definitely me. I can’t just come in and dive right into writing reports, etc.

    • I feel like I need quite a bit of time and am trying to figure out a strategy to combat this. Maybe by identifying a short task that I could do as soon as I get in? A ban on social media before noon?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Same. If I sit down and get started right away, my morning is much more productive.

      • When I need to be really productive, in the evenings, I leave myself a post-it with 3 easy things to do first thing in the morning. Often, they’re administrative or follow-up tasks that I have a hard time getting to once I get into the flow of work, so I can knock them all out in less than an hour. It gives me some good momentum though.

    • I find I get grumpy if I have anything scheduled in the first 30 mins of the workday, so I guess that’s about how long it takes me. I have a routine of housekeeping (emails, time cards, calendar, etc.), tea, and AAM that combines work and time wasting for the first part of the morning.
      Fortunately, my start time falls in the middle of the staggered starts in my office, so about half my coworkers are just arriving as I’m finishing this up and turning to actual work.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yep. I need about half an hour to futz. Walking to work or working out makes it easier to jump right in.

    • The newest s i t e post is not up by the time I arrive, but I do everything else. I eat my breakfast, read the local, national, and global headlines and a few things in full, then I get to working. It helps me transition from want to be back in bed to game face.

    • I find that if I create a to do list when I leave the office the day before, I’m much more productive in the morning. It’s as if my brain isn’t functional enough first thing in the morning to determine what should be done AND do it, but I can jump right in if the first part is already done.

    • I usually start trying to work around 8, and this takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Typically I read my various news digest emails, click on the most interesting items and skim them, and forward particularly work-relevant ones to my team on Slack.

  10. Anyone live in the Raleigh, NC area? DH just got a recruitment call for a position he’s interested in in New Hill, NC. He’s finding out more information today about the job, but in the meantime I can’t stay off of google. Things to know? What’s the housing situation like? What’s it like to live there? New Hill seems to be about 25 minutes away from Raleigh – any recommendations of places to look at to live? How is the cost of living, really? We’re coming from central Florida (love the heat!) but grew up in Wisconsin so if anything the weather looks like we’d get seasons again without the too cold.

    Still trying to wrap my brain around moving a third time in 6 months, but so far the position seems tailor made for him so trying to keep an open mind.

    • Anonymous :

      Third time in six months? Dear god why?

    • Anonymous :

      I live in CLT but my family is from eastern NC. Raleigh is great. We have seasons here. But I have never heard of New Hill and things can really vary 30 minutes outside of Raleigh (also, what even qualifies as 30 minutes to Raleigh is very subjective and varied). At any rate, it is a great state with lots of newcomers. Very welcoming. And Raleigh has NHL hockey :)

    • I do! I think there are a few others here, too, like Gail the Goldfish.

      I’m in CH/Durham side of the Triangle, but work in Raleigh. Don’t know a lick about New Hill (my line these days is “I’m not from here”). It’s a great place to live, generally! Cost of living is higher than the rest of NC, maybe save CLT, but still pretty reasonable IMHO (I’m from an expensive part of new england, and moved here from DC). Housing is creeping up pricewise, but that really truly depends on where in a 30 min radius you are.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I am in Raleigh. I hadn’t heard of New Hill, but yea, it looks like it’s just one of those tiny towns that’s really just Apex. The area is great. You will get seasons. Summer feels like Florida, but you get to late September/October and it’s gorgeous. We only have a few months of cold weather and it’s not even really cold. Like, it’s still a big deal when it snows (and everyone stays home and then it melts the next day). I’d look in Apex and west side of Cary for places to live. Apex is undergoing a construction boom (like everywhere else here), but it’s still not quite as expensive as Cary or Raleigh. Real estate market is hot, like places under 400k sell first weekend they’re on the market with multiple offers hot. Cost of living is probably going to be more than Central Florida, but it’s still relatively reasonable (for now. If we get HQ2, forget it. Apple is probably coming, as well).

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Longer reply stuck in moderation for no apparent reason, but yes, I’m in Raleigh, and it’s great. I’d look at Apex or West Cary for housing.

    • I’d look at Cary – New Hill is on that side, and Cary is a nice area, relatively diverse, with lots of newcomers. Suburban, but that’s going to be the way of things in most of the area. Very good schools.

    • QuayObsessed :

      New Hill itself is just a name on the map, but it’s not really a town. It’s pretty much considered a part of Apex and the surrounding SW Wake County area, which is a great place to live. My dad is a custom builder and has built quite a few homes there. The entire Triangle is fantastic and I would guess that COL is similar to central Florida, though inventory is incredibly low in this fast-growing area and driving up home prices at a considerable clip. Homes under $200k are gone in minutes and under $300k are gone in hours, but affordability is relative to your expectations so it’s hard to tell you if it’s affordable for you. I lived in Fuquay-Varina and loved it to death before having to move away for another job in CLT, then Greenville. It would be an amazing town for you to consider and is well within reason for the short drive to New Hill. You might want to follow “Today in the Quay” on facebook for a peak into life there!

    • I’m in Durham and also had never heard of New Hill. But it looks like it is near Holly Springs which is currently undergoing a construction explosion and is an easy commute to downtown Durham and Raleigh. If you are planning to buy I’d do it before Apple moves in and wreaks havoc on housing prices.

    • My Own Place :

      Anyone familiar with more rural parts of NC? We are looking for some land … not mountainous driving, and please, no hurricanes if possible? Want to grow food on a plot of land with a small house for retirement…

      • I think Albemarle is lovely, but that’s just where I’ve spent time.

      • QuayObsessed :

        It’s certainly not Wyoming but it’s a big state with tons of rural space outside of the metro areas, so if you count out the mountains and anything east of 95, you still have a large swath of real estate to consider. If schools don’t matter, you can really pick anywhere. Plenty of acreage for sale in the rural areas. If I were going sub-rural or rural, I would personally choose the greater Hickory area, the greater Southern Pines area (can be expensive, though – horse country), or Chatham County (also getting expensive).

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        If it’s for retirement, I’d look at the rural areas around the Triangle, so you still have pretty easy access to the major hospitals. There’s a lot of empty land only 30-45 minutes from Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh.

      • Anonymous :

        I’d look in the Piedmont area. Houses and land are so much cheaper in the Piedmont Triad than the Triangle. And it’s good growing – a big tobacco area.

      • Anonymous :

        So I personally know of some beautiful land for sale right outside of Chapel Hill. It’s in my SO’s family and currently on the market. If you email me at aggressiveexcitement at g mail I think I can send you more info.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with the others – you are looking at living in Apex, Cary, maybe Holly Springs. If possible, I would actually encourage you to rent for a year before you commit to living in one place. There is variation in the suburbs around Raleigh and you may benefit from giving yourself time to figure out where you want to live. Assuming you will be working (and probably not in New Hill) your commute may be brutal if you live in Apex and work in downtown Raleigh. US1 through Cary is pretty much stop and go through rush hour.

      One thing to know coming in is that Wake County (this is the county Raleigh and the surrounding subs) is a great school system. If that is a consideration you should be able to find good public schools. BUT in some areas (Holly Springs in particular) there is so much growth that the elementary schools are capped. This means if you buy a house in a great elementary school district that is capped, your kid won’t actually go there.

      The growth in the Triangle has been astounding over the past few years. This is mostly good – lots of job opportunities. But some is bad – mostly infrastructure is barely keeping up with demand. The assumption is we are getting an Apple campus and we are still in the running for Amazon’s 2nd HQ. Apple is ok, but Amazon will likely push the existing infrastructure past its breaking point.

      But in the Triangle you will be about 2 hours from the beach, 3.5 hours from the mountains. It’s lovely!

  11. Test to see why every comment I post goes into moderation…

    • Housecounsel :

      I just posted a response to the time-wasting question and cannot imagine what sent it into moderation.

      • Glad I’m not the only one. I thought it had something to do with being on my company’s wi-fi. I disconnect my phone and tried again, but same thing. After I post a comment I would expect for the page to refresh with my comment displayed. But now the page refreshes and I don’t see anything.

      • Every single one of mine has been going to moderation for days now and I can’t fathom why. What’s controversial about insulation??

    • +1 this site m o d is so annoying that it makes me not want to post. But overt s e x u a l and other s p a m comments get through regularly. *eyeroll*

    • Just commented my agreement… only to have it banned. f m l

    • test

    • Yes, everything I post these days goes into moderation. Everything.

      • I am reading your p’ost, so it is NOT in moderation! When will people learn that Kat or Kate needs to red your p’osts first to make sure they are suiteable for the website. This take’s time. But they do a good job, so YAY Kat and Kate!

    • Same here. People have been pointing this out for a while now (not to mention asking for better mod policies in general for years and years) but Kat has not responded.

  12. Anonymous :

    What bra do I wear with this dress? I’m not sure if you can tell on the model, but the back (on me) dips lower than my normal bra. The dress is stunning on my very curvy self so I don’t want to take away from it by having undergarment issues. A stick on bra is not an option for me. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      What about a low-back bra extender? I got one at Target a while back

    • Rainbow Hair :

      So pretty! Yeah there are extenders that connect to one side of your bra clasps, go aaaaall the way back around, and connect again on the other, so now your bra is fastening in basically a lower V (intersection of an X) in your back.

    • If it’s just revealing a slight peek, I tape clothing to my [email protected] with fashion tape to fix it.

  13. I feel like I should know this as an adult but I don’t. How does one defrost meat? I have some frozen chicken breasts and some ground turkey in my freezer. The only thing I have ever successfully thawed is shrimp.

    • Easiest way is in the fridge for a longer period of time. Quicker is in cold water in the sink but inside plastic (like a ziploc)

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes to both of these methods.

      • Sometimes I’ll just leave meat in a ziplock or on a plate on the counter for a few hours, which is lazier but probably less food-safe as compared to the water method that NOLA mentioned. If you defrost in the fridge you need to give your meat about a day (depending on the volume of meat your fridge temperature) to fully defrost.
        There is probably a defrost setting on your microwave which works if you’re in a real hurry, but it’s not ideal as it will start to cook the meat in spots.

    • What are you doing to defrost meat that you think is wrong? There really is no right way, short of not heating it up too fast on the outside – which would result in cooking the outside and frozen in the middle.

      I typically take my meat out of the freezer and put it in the fridge in the morning so that it is defrosted but still very cold by the time I get home from work. Alternatively if I’m short on time, I put the frozen meat in a plastic baggie in a big bowl of warm-hot water, which usually defrosts it within 30 min to an hour, depending on the size and density of the meat. I find microwave defrosting can have widely varying results.

      • I’ve tried leaving in the fridge but find it’s uneven? Other times there was just a lot of liquid in the package and I got nervous and tossed it. I think I also don’t know how long is safe to defrost so have a hard time timing it. Like if I want to make something tonight, should I take it out in the morning or last night? And if plans change and I don’t make it tonight, how long can it sit in the fridge?

        • I usually take it out the night before and leave it in the fridge. If it’s still semi-frozen when I come home, I’ll dunk it in a water bath for a little while.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I usually put it in the fridge the night before. If it’s still frozen when I come home I’ll dunk it in the water bath. I don’t usually keep defrosted meat in the fridge for more than 24-48 hours.

        • Meat keeps in the fridge for several days. You’re fine taking it out the day before or the morning of.

        • The “lot of liquid” is the ice and other liquids that were frozen to the meat product. Please don’t throw out your items because of this, it’s literally what defrosting looks like.

          For most meat, once you defrost, it is fine in the fridge for two or three days, but only if it remained cold. If you have left the item at room temperature for more than half a day, I would not trust it. Taking a frozen item out overnight is fine to eat. Just check it in the morning, if it is defrosted, put it in the fridge to be ready to cook when you get home. As long as you didn’t let it sit at room temperature all day, you should be fine.

          Defrosting overnight in the fridge for the next evening’s dinner should give your meat plenty of time to defrost completely. If not, throw it in warm water in a plastic bag for 30 minutes and the rest of the interior will be defrosted.

        • Some liquid in the package is totally normal. No need to toss. If it’s uneven, you just haven’t waited long enough. For just about everything, if you put it in the fridge the night before, you should be good to cook it that night.

          Official recommendation is that all poultry and any ground meat can be in the fridge raw (so after defrost) for 1 to 2 days. Solid meats (roast, steak, pork chop) can be in the fridge raw 3 to 4 days. I tend to live a little on the wild side and will go a few days after the official recommendation unless it looks bad/smells off. I also grew up in a house where we would take meat out of the deep freeze and leave it on the counter overnight and then refrigerate in the morning and have for lunch or dinner. (Officially probably not recommended)

        • Well obviously there will be liquid, that’s what happen when water and other fluids melt. That doesn’t mean your meat is bad. You’re wasting food!

        • Consumers being nervous about liquid is one reason why organic phosphates are often added to meats to prevent the liquid from shedding. These food additives are now now under suspicion of contributing to heart disease, so we should all be getting used to tossing some liquid from our meats.

          • It could also be that you’re buying water-chilled chicken which is very wet meat. Air-chilled chicken will release less liquid during defrosting. The meat itself is also firmer. It does tend to be more expensive though.
            I agree with the other posters, liquid is absolutely nothing to worry about.

    • I stick whatever I’m having for dinner that night in the fridge the night before. Usually this happens during dinner prep or cleanup. It also works well to do a marinade with meat like chicken while it’s defrosting in the fridge, so sometimes I’ll mix that up and throw it in a ziplock with the frozen chicken in the fridge. Next night, voila, thawed, marinated chicken ready to go in the oven or on the grill.

    • I either take the meat out of the freezer the night before and put it on a plate on the counter and sit out overnight and the put in fridge in morning to cook that night. Or I take it out in the morning before I leave work and let it sit on a plate on the counter during the day and cook that night. I prefer the first method because leaving it overnight is shorter so there’s less chance of it getting warm, but honestly, even when I leave it on the counter during the workday, it is still cool when I get home.

    • I defrost meat frozen in ziplocs (I buy bulk from Costco and then separate into smaller portions to freeze) and then defrost the night before/morning of in a bowl of water in the fridge.

    • Anonymous :

      Am I the only person who defrosts meat in the microwave with the “defrost” setting?

  14. Best traditional sangria recipe? I’m going to make it for the first time this weekend and am looking for a good recipe. I’d prefer something not overly sweet. TIA!

    • I offer no guarantees of how traditional or not this is, but my go-to recipe is 1 bottle of red wine- preferably Tempranillo, but Zinfandel if I’m in a pinch, 1 bag of mixed frozen tropical fruit, about half a liter of club soda, and a few shots of triple sec. If you want it less sweet, you can leave out the triple sec and choose a wine that’s more dry (so probably not the Zinfandel).

    • Anon in NYC :

      Bobby Flay’s Red Wine sangria recipe. Not sure if it’s traditional, but it’s delicious.

    • Anonymous :

      Really whatever fruit you have on hand, and whatever wine. I like a mild one like a rose or Torrontes, not chardonnay for sure.
      If using white wine: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, strawberries, mango, pineapple, oranges
      Red wine: strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, oranges, apples, cranberries
      Usually just let these sit together maybe 24 hours (we usually do two bottles of wine). Then getting close to serving, use a potato masher on the fruit and then add a bottle of sparkling wine. Agree with a triple sec or Grand Marnier if you want.

  15. Did anyone else see the article on legacy preferences in the WSJ earlier this week?

    It turns out, it’s not as advertised on websites (a second look for well-qualified applicants). It’s like a 5x greater likelihood of getting into Harvard if you are a legacy vs similarly-situated non-legacy. Often it’s that a legacy is 2x as likely to get in. I am sure that not all of those people are buying Harvard a new building (or even a wing of a building).

    So, the dilemma: if I get a degree from HYP, I am really buying an asset that will benefit my family for a couple of generations. [So IME, it is really, really beneficial to pay for HYP vs a similarly pricey but less-selective school — I am sure if you pay full tuition at a private school that alone probably gives you an admissions edge.]

    So bitter — I want to believe that the world is fair. That it works as advertised. But for every legacy spot, there is a hard-working non-legacy kid that won’t go (so this seems to cut against first generation white kids especially, as legacies skew white, especially from big cities (so if you are from Nebraska, you probably get a geographic diversity second look; if you are just another kid of immigrants from Eastern Europe and live outside NYC, there are ton of other kids from there and you are competing with the legacies too).


    • Nothing about the world is fair! The very fact that someone is born in a suburb outside of NYC vs a warzone is inherently unfair from the get go. And I could go on and on. What helps me is to view life in terms of trade offs. HYP are not the only schools that benefit their students. They confer an advantage, sure, but they don’t ensure happiness and there are many other ways to be happy and successful in life.

      • That’s not the comparison. I’m sure the warzone kid would be welcomed. It’s the poor first generation kids who are turned down vs the kid born a mile down the road to an alumnus/a (where that is the singular “accomplishment” that matters).

        • I think the warzone kid would happily trade problems. My point was only that the world isn’t fair and that legacy admissions is the least of it.

        • Uh, anon @11:02… I think there are some other significant downsides to being born in a warzone, which is what AIMS is getting at.

        • It’s like country clubs not admitting people who are female or Jewish or black. It was wrong. The ABA at least made a stand that you shouldn’t be in exclusive clubs (where they are excluding like this).

          Based on reactions here, I’d expect people to be all “but who cares about country clubs? those people are probably successful and don’t need our help/outrage and will be just fine. b/c #warzones.”

          It was wrong. We fixed it (maybe not all of it, but a lot of it) b/c it was the right thing to do. Let’s fix other things now.

        • lawsuited :

          Obviously anyone who was born in a warzone but is in a position to be worrying about Harvard admissions has already won the lottery many times over. I think AIMS’ point was that there is such manifold unfairness due to where/to whom you are born, that the unfairness inherent in Harvard admissions recedes into the background.

    • I agree with you about the legacy thing. I used to work in admissions at an Ivy and it’s a very common misconception that you have to buy a building to give your kid an advantage. If you have a kid with a mediocre GPA and test scores, yes, you have to buy a building. But even very small donations can be a huge advantage and help a well-qualified kid beat out the many, many other well-qualified kids.

      The Nebraska thing can work against you too. Most Ivies have geographic quotas, and they’re not large for the rural Midwestern states, so if you happen to be in the same admissions year as an Olympic athlete or future Nobel Prize winner you won’t get in. Whereas in the Northeast or California you have to beat out many more people but can also be beaten by quite a few and still get in. I would say a “typically exceptional” (meaning great grades and test scores, strong recommendations and essays but nothing jaw-dropping) actually has a better chance of getting in from the stereotypical feeder schools than from a random public school in the Midwest.

    • I’m not a fan of legacy either.

      But what I noticed from my time at Harvard and Stanford (as a lower middle class scholarship student – would never have pay cash for that) is that legacies were almost all extremely successful and smart and just as competitive as other students. You are talking about the cream of the crop. And a legacy has something additional going for it….. often when your parents do well, you do well. Genetics/environment/whatever. Universities know this too, as well as the financial benefits of course.

      But no – if you get a degree from HYP you are NOT buying an asset that will benefit your family for generations because it is still so crazy competitive to get in that there is still no guarantee your kids will get in. They still have to do crazy well, competing against all the crazy parents paying for tutors and test retakes and volunteer trips to Africa etc… THAT is what is making it unfair these days.

      And since when has the world been fair? If you think this is bad, I would encourage you to think about things that are much more cruel and unfair. Like why are PUBLIC grade schools funded by property taxes so the poorest and neediest students get the worst schools? That outrages me to no end.

      • life is unfair? :


        Agree with your last paragraph.

        And the sad thing is that we (including democrats/progressives/whatever) allow the unfairness of public education to continue. We have the power to change that through our politicians. Yet we don’t. Democrats and Republicans alike punish the poor again and again.

        So I would not focus energy on complaining about what a private university chooses to do, but instead what our public monies should be going for.

        • I’m not a big Jimmy Carter fan, but I respect him to no end b/c he sent Amy Carter to DC public schools. If more rich /powerful people did that and had real skin in the game, then the schools absolutely would change.

          I fault Clinton and the Obamas for ducking the ball on this. Their kids would have been fine no matter what and the symbolism alone was devastating.

          If Sidwell Friends is the only DC school you can send your kids to, what does that say to the people in DC public schools?!

          • I don’t know. I can’t image that a DC public school could handle the security concerns that would come with having presidential children, just based on the school that my kids go to. Sending them to a private school is safer for the kids, and less disruptive to others.

            W/r/t other public figures, I agree.

          • I really agree with you.

            Jimmy Carter is amazing. Even in his 90’s with metastatic melanoma, his hard and noble work puts the rest of our ex-presidents to shame.

            So Obama is going to be a movie producer now? Just…. wow….

          • Anonymous :

            Jimmy Carter may not have been the best president, but he really is a wonderful human being.

      • TBH, the public school funding thing is often a red herring.

        In my state and my prior state, property taxes are the start of the funding. Then the state comes in and supplements in poor areas and then Title 1 supplements beyond that. The end is that in poor areas, the per capital spending is often significantly higher than it is in wealthier areas (and teacher salaries are higher).

        In my part of my city, we are “rich” b/c we only have 25% of our kids on free/reduced lunch so we get no extra funds and have to PTA fund everything outselves and buy a lot of classroom supplies.

        The really bad thing is that you can’t fund a bad school into being on par b/c there is something intangible about having a the majority of kids coming from stable homes where reading is encouraged and learning is expected. Even if the neighborhood is blue collar, if it is stable and pro-learning, the school will be good and the kids will do fine. If it is afflicted by adults with drug problems, violence, incarceration, the sort of wretched poverty we don’t often see, you can’t fix that at school and it so permeates the school that not enough time goes to learning b/c there is so much social-work triage also going on. Your kid might have potential, but if the classroom is always erupting, your kid won’t learn.

        The HYP alumni kid likely doesn’t have the above to contend with.

        • But even when the state comes in to assist funding, the school are still much worse. More money per capita does not fix the crumbling infrastructure, closed school libraries etc… I’m in Chicago and the differences are staggering.

          The best teachers should be at those schools, not the rich suburbs.

          • I would not teach in Chicago public schools. I’m not sure that CPS cares about protecting its teachers or students from the significantly bad apples in its schools. That seems like a toxic workplace.

            I regularly volunteer in a Title I school that is orderly and where the kids are learning. CPS is a nightmare.

          • I think that CPS teachers vote with their feet.

            If you are in BigLaw, you’d understand. Jobs are hard, abuse is rampant. At least BigLaw pays you. If you are a teacher, you pay your dues for few years, perhaps when you are young. But you get tired of a bad work environment and maybe move out when you have kids and there is no way it is irrational to work in a challenging / dangerous environment that requires a commute where you could work near your home in a better work environment (no throwing chairs! no assaults! no one threatened you!) for the same $.

            Considering how bad teaching has gotten, I am shocked that anyone is still there. Administrators don’t care or won’t help. I feel so bad for the kids who want to learn but can’t b/c of the constant disruptions and mindset of defiance and not learning.

            Former math teacher now working in BigLaw finance

        • The property tax problem is a real problem, but I agree that schools are also burning through money without really benefiting. Part of it is that school can’t save kids from neglect and abuse (and the way our society handles its problems abandons so many to neglect and abuse). Part of it is that teachers have their hands tied (I know so many teachers whose students just cannot read, and I wonder what would happen if they were allowed to drop everything else and teach their students to read).

    • If the world was fair, none of us would have what we currently have

      • That isn’t the point.

        If we hadn’t lived now, half of us would have died in childbirth already or from lack of immunizations or lack of antibiotics or plague. It’s not fair that those people were born then and we were born now.

        One unfairness does not justify or excuse another.

        • Diff Anon :

          No, but if you go through life assuming and hoping it’s fair, you are pretty naive and are setting yourself up for disappointment. Don’t all parents tell their kids life isn’t fair? I thought that was in the parenting bible . . .

          • Anonymous :

            The circumstances life throws at you aren’t fair. But that doesn’t mean we can’t *try* to make the things in our control more fair (even though they might never be perfect).

        • Anonymous :

          It was in response to the op wanting to believe that the world is fair. Nothing in life is fair. What does fairness mean, anyway? It’s so subjective who should get into a university with limited spots. Does admission to HYS really even matter? I don’t think so.

    • Harvard is a hedge fund attached to a university. Let’s be clear about that. Its legacy preferences are, and have for a long time, been insane.

      Other schools – even other very elite schools – have much milder legacy preferences.

      Some only give preferences to students who apply single choice early action or binding early decision. The theory is that overall, legacy students feel more strongly about the university (and students who love being there and then become active an involved alumni are an asset to the school), but the student has to show that she really wants to go there.

      So much of college admissions is forked up that I can’t see the point about getting upset about legacy admissions. Outside of a handful of schools, it’s a rounding error.

      • Cal Tech and MIT have no legacy preferences. I totally applaud them.

        • Yep. That’s one of the reasons I chose MIT over the Ivies I was admitted to. MIT has it’s own issues, but I do feel like the admissions process is much more of a meritocracy than the Ivies. They also don’t do preference for athletes.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          I believe that CalTech has no race-based preferences either.

          • Of Counsel :

            Yes -which is why Cal Tech is so astonished non-diverse. You might applaud their lack of legacy admissions, but their lack of racial diversity is striking.

          • Of Counsel, I don’t understand your comment. Caltech is so diverse that they don’t have a Minority Student Union type of organization, since no one group is the majority. Hispanics and African Americans might be underrepresented, but still.

      • My perspective is probably skewed by having gone to a SLAC, but I feel okay about schools building community through legacy admissions. Not every community monopolizes resources and guards its privilege the way, say, Harvard does, and to me that’s a separate issue.

        It also bothers me that admissions for students is so competitive when competition over academic teaching positions is also incredibly competitive. It feels like manufactured scarcity: as far as I can tell, Harvard could easily open a new college and serve more students; extremely qualified PhDs would flock to the new jobs overnight.

        • NYU does that, but only overseas. If you are rich and foreign, they will build you a place.

          I don’t see NYU setting up shop in somewhere like East Orange or Irvington. I’d be a fan if they did.

    • I was a legacy at the Ivy I attended and I always kind of felt like people thought I got in bc a parent went there. But I was one of the top performers at my high school, graduated college with a gpa over 3.8 and attended a top 5 law school (where I had no legacy status) I realize that there were probably many many other applicants just as qualified as I was who could’ve been admitted in my place, but I don’t think that necessarily means that I wasn’t qualified to be there.

  16. How do I approach the issue of wanting a single room for a work conference? I’m in higher ed and sharing rooms is standard practice, but I do not want to share a room and I am willing to pay the difference, or pay for my own room entirely. I’m presenting at a major conference that a sizable group of coworkers attends each year and the university pays for our registration and accommodations. Typically the group divides into pairs to share rooms. I’ve heard a little grumbling about this in the past, but the general consensus is that it’s generous of the university to pay for our room so we shouldn’t complain or reject the generosity. Reservation of rooms is handled on a level about 3 tiers above me, so I can’t really approach the people in charge of it directly or privately. I haven’t been to this conference before and I’m a little worried about coming off as out of touch with my coworkers since people in my field tend to be very frugal, but I am willing to make the financial sacrifice to have the sanctity of my own room to retreat to during the conference. I just don’t know how to go about it non-awkwardly. Thanks!

    • Reach out to the person doing the booking directly and request a private room. If they refuse, offer to pay the extra cost yourself. Tell you nosy coworkers you like them but you like your privacy more.

      • I agree with this approach. Assuming that most of your co-workers will Not be presenting,, I would highlight that aspect – i.e., “Given that I need to be well rested and prepared for my presentation on X, I would like a private room. Is that possible?” If you get a no, then offer to pay yourself

        • About half of my coworkers going will also be presenting, so I don’t think I can use that argument, but I think the rest of this approach may work. It’ll just require a little investigative work on my part to figure out what individual actually does the booking.

          • It may not be an issue at all for you to book your own room (as long as you’re versed in what your uni’s travel policies are). At my uni, I book and process my own travel (SOOOO much faster than going back and forth with an admin), but hardly anyone else does, because an admin has always done it and that’s just the way it’s always been.

    • A person three levels above you probably has an admin doing this. E-mail the person and say “For conference A, I will be booking a separate room for myself; please let me know who to coordinate this with so that I’m not accidentally double-booked in the rest of the group’s reservations.” Not that hard.

      FWIW, I was pg once and had awful morning sickness and did just this to avoid inflicting this on the unsuspecting.

    • Don’t let people convince you that the university pays your hotel out of the goodness of their heart! This is a business trip and the hotel is a business expense.
      I agree with the others to reach out to who is making the arrangements. Doesn’t matter if you haven’t met that person before. First politely insist that you need a single room, period. Only offer to pay the difference as a last resort.

      • Yeah, this is bizarre to me. I work for a public university and no one would dream of sharing hotel rooms at a work conference. Universities can be cheap in some ways, but I’ve never heard of room-sharing on a business trip.

        • This issue comes up a lot on Ask A Manager and sharing is not unheard of for non-profits, maybe academia? Sounds like you’ve got a good place that recognizes adults don’t need to bunk together.

          • anonadvisor :

            I’m in academia and have never worked at an institution that doesn’t require low- to mid-level employees to share rooms. Colleagues at most other universities are the same. I only know of a handful that always get everyone private rooms.

          • I’ve worked in academia in different organizations, and sharing rooms is typically the default for more junior staffers. But: people got single rooms when they asked for it.

      • Yeah, I wouldn’t insist – I would ask. You’re going to come across as entitled. We have staff at certain levels share rooms – if someone came to me and insisted on their own room (when there wasn’t anything notable as a reason why) I would just say no and think that person was way too entitled.

        • Even if the person paid the difference? That can be a pain, administratively, but then you could just have them make their own reservation and pay (and maybe seek reimbursement for half).

        • That’s ridiculous. Making people share rooms for work is insane. If you can’t afford two hotel rooms, you can’t afford the business trip.

          • This is a bit extreme, there are many cases where sharing a room is warranted. I work for a NGO and while we technically have the money in the bank for every staff to have their own hotel room, its irresponsible as that money should be going towards out mission.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I tend to agree with this. I think that “a private place to sleep” is a pretty fundamental part of the requirement to travel for work … the same way I feel entitled to meals at the regular time of day, and access to bathing facilities.

            If some employees want to team up and share rooms to cut expenses and make something otherwise impossible happen by sharing a room, more power to ’em. But that’s like bringing a potluck for lunch or having a bakesale to raise money for blahblah or something, a team effort that should not be an expectation.

          • Kat in VA :

            I would go nuts if I had to share a hotel room. Not because I’m excessively modest or private – I’m the opposite, actually – but I grind my teeth AND hold my breath and groan and moan in my sleep (it’s called catathrenia and it sounds extremely….uh, like naughty movies, let’s say).

            I’d be mortified if a coworker had to wake up to me either going GRRT GRRRT GRRRT or “uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhUH!” over and over through the night.

            Fortunately the husband sleeps like the dead. But sharing a room would get a hard “No” from me.

        • I’d like to know more about why you think it’s entitled to ask for a private room on a business trip.

          For my perspective: You are an adult working for an employer who sees a business reason to send you on a trip. You are traveling which can be exhausting, you spend your whole day including lunches and often dinners with colleagues, you are away from your family. For academia in particular, you attend the conference, but you are working extra to continue to keep up with other project deadlines on the side.

          Giving an employee a private space at the end of the day, where they can unwind and call their loved ones is good for business, because it enables them to recharge and work effectively. Often conferences go the whole week. I’ve shared rooms with good work-friends and it was ok. I’ve also shared rooms with new team members (i.e. strangers) or mere work acquaintances, and it means that you are expected to interact/small talk from the moment you wake up till the moment you close your eyes. You are ‘on’ the whole day, that can make you miserable.

          • Simpler reason: a hotel room is a private living space, and people share private living spaces with family or friends. It’s just not part of a professional relationship.

          • Anonymous :

            My husband would want a single b/c of his noxious bathroom odors (and the noise!). I’m sure he isn’t alone.

            Also: hotels routinely run out of rooms with 2 beds.

          • Kat in VA :

            I wouldn’t know what to do with myself when the time came to use the bathroom. I can barely use the bathroom when I know someone’s in my own bedroom at home. I’m a notoriously shy p o o p e r and having to share a bathroom with a coworker (along with the grinding and groaning in sleep mentioned above), I would be a literal nervous wreck.

    • I’m in higher ed and, in my 20s and 30s, I shared rooms, but then I got to the point where I am just too old for that ish, and I don’t want to share a room with a colleague. I used to have a regular roommate (longtime friend from grad school) from across the country, but when she and I couldn’t always attend, I went out on my own. At my university, you submit a form when you get back and there’s paid by the university and paid by the employee and what is owed one way or another (either they’re reimbursing you, or you’re paying overage beyond what was agreed to). It totally depends on what kind of school and how stringent the rules are, though.

    • lawsuited :

      Also check out Ask A Manager – this issue comes up a lot on that site.

  17. What do you do when you can’t sleep? I took a sleeping pill last night, but it’s left me sluggish this morning. I know it’s stress that’s been keeping me up because there’s been a lot going on and it will wrap up soon, but in the meantime, I just want some sleep!

    • Take half a benadryl

      For when you know there are other things you can do, but you just wanna sleep.

      Other than that take a shower right before bed, have some warm milk or chamomille tea, maybe do like a headspace meditation or something, phones away and read a book instead.

      • Benadryl is not a good sleeping pill to take, as it leaves many of us sedated the next day or you wake up in the middle of the night. Also terrible for you to take regularly.

        Sunlight exposure every day. Even a brisk 10 min walk outside for lunch = sun+exercise.
        Avoid Caffeine after 2pm.
        Avoid alcohol at night.
        No screens for 2 hrs before bed.
        Get a mindfulness App on your phone, do a meditation as you fall asleep.
        If your mind is racing, go to sleep to the radio/background sounds/music.
        Decrease stress in your life (ha ha ha ha….)

        If you can’t fall asleep after 15 minutes, get out of bed, sit somewhere quietly and read/knit for several minutes until more tired and then go back to bed. No screens.

        A better sleeping aid to have in case of emergency is trazadone

        • +1 sunlight in the morning
          Re: Caffeine, I guess know your limitations because personally caffeine after 10am will give me insomnia

    • I function worse on a sleeping pill-hangover than on zero sleep, so I tend to avoid sleeping pills. If I can’t sleep I will get out of bed and read, watch TV, or journal until I am able to fall asleep. Make sure you are practicing good sleep hygeine before bed.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Crosswords put me to sleep. I started doing them before bed in college and now I’ve created the association that filling in those squares means it’s sleepytime.

    • I suffer from insomnia so I am v familiar with not being able to sleep. The most common thing for me is being too hot. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense, it will be objectively cool, but my body is just running very hot that evening and I can’t sleep- try turning the AC to 64 degrees. I see a neurologist who specializes in sleep and this is the temp he recommends. Other thing is eliminating blue light. He suggests getting out of bed and reading a dense book. I like to listen to a boring podcast, the sound of droning voices tends to make me sleepy. I’m a big fan of elaborate bed time routines. Shower, nice pajamas, fresh sheets, long skincare routine (mine is literally 12 steps), diffuse some lavender oil, drink warm milk or tea, read my kindle.

      • I like the boring podcast idea. Can you recommend some that you like for this purpose?

        • There’s one called Sleep with Me, which is just boring and meandering stories (from what I’ve heard, I listen to true crime ones before bed).

      • There’s a podcast called Sleepy that reads from old classics, some of which I’d call extremely boring like Moby Dick and The Odyssey, but, you know, some people like that stuff so YMMV.

    • +1 to chamomile tea. When I have a hard time falling asleep because my brain won’t shut off, I’ll have a Netflix tv show that I’ve seen before playing on my phone (Lots of dialogue is good, and with the screen down). The chatter from the TV show drowns out my brain and let’s it fall asleep. A podcast, music, or book on tape could also work.

    • Melatonin.

      • My sleep neurologist said melatonin is fine for moving your sleep cycle back, but the effective dose is MUCH smaller than what’s often sold in stores (higher doses can be counterproductive and can have side effects).

        (I personally take 5-HTP since I don’t care whether I get melatonin or serotonin out of it, so long as I fall asleep.)

    • Kat in VA :

      I know a lot of people think it’s placebo, but melatonin gummies are a lifesaver for me. I’m currently jobhunting which leaves me a stressed wreck, particularly on the night after (or before, or two days later or whatever) an interview because I’m replaying that I should’ve said THIS or why did I say THAT or oh jeez I didn’t think to ask about the OTHER.

      I usually take 5mg, sometimes 10mg and it works fine, no sedation. Anything more than that and I get extremely weird, extremely vivid dreams. Melatonin isn’t terribly expensive and it’s worth a shot.

      (I see as I composed this that at least two other people have mentioned melatonin, so you can skip all the verbiage and put me down as +1 Melatonin)

    • Hot yoga and then a shower afterwards. The savasana at the end of a yoga class gets me in a relaxed, sleepy mood; the heat and sweating also help with relaxation. The mental part of yoga also helps me to turn off the stress/noise from the day.

      I *need* to shower after hot yoga (I’d imagine everyone does), so I keep up the serenity by using warm water, aromatherapy soap/body wash, and really just taking my time in the shower rather than taking an efficient shower. It helps me destress and go into bedtime mode, so I put pjs on and comb out my hair and go to sleep.

    • Cookbooks :

      Looks like I’ll be getting some chamomile tea and checking out a boring podcast! Thanks, ladies!

  18. I guess I’m just looking for people’s general thoughts and advice, as I’m not one to change jobs often and don’t have much experience in this. I’m a paralegal and generally like my job (I like my practice area and my coworkers), but the comp is lacking. An opportunity has arisen at another firm where one of my former managers now works, so I feel pretty confident that if I want it, it’s mine. Since I’ve only had a very basic conversation with my former manager and not the in depth one yet, I don’t have all the details and am not sure how much of an increase in salary there might be (it may not be as much as I would like). If it were another opportunity, I might take an offer back to my current firm and see if they can match it, but I wouldn’t want to do that to my former manager.

    Additionally, one of the things I’m conflicted about is that it would mean leaving my practice area for general litigation. I looked up the areas of law this office handles, and honestly am not sure how interested I would be in them. On the other hand, litigation is litigation – perhaps I’m not being open-minded enough, and this would be an opportunity to learn new things? Also, if your main reason for leaving is related to comp, what would you say when asked in interviews why you want to leave?

    • Litigation is litigation. You’re looking for new challenges and opportunities

    • They wont entertain you unless you have an offer in hand. Go interview at the other job, weigh you options once you have an offer and then speak to your current employer.

    • Is the firm expecting you to handle an entirely different area of law as well, like litigation + corporate transactions? It could be a big learning curve, but if the comp is right, it might set you up for better movement later since you’ll have a greater skill set. That is also a really good reason to express moving, expanding your skill set and practice area.

  19. Michigan Advice :

    I’m going to visit Michigan for the weekend. I expect to have a few hours of work each day but will have several hours free during the day and/or evenings. Any recommendations for things to do near or around Dearborn, Michigan?

    • the henry ford museum is really cool! it’s a museum based mostly on the history of american industry, so rather than art, it has rooms upon rooms of antique cars, planes, trains, steam electricity machines. it sounds weird, but it’s amazing and totally unique to dearborn. you should also eat lebanese food in dearborn (but not outside of it, it won’t be nearly as good). if you have time to go to detroit, I recommend the selden standard, the apparatus room, la feria, or otus supply or voyager in ferndale. if you’re into breweries, atwater and jolly pumpkin have locations in downtown/midtown detroit.

    • Anonymous :

      Henry Ford Museum

    • Hey! I live there! Definitely go to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village if it isn’t too hot. They close at 5pm though so go as early as you can. Do the Dearborn Truck Plant tour if that interests you. Eat at Buddy’s Pizza for some Detroit style pizza. If you can make the short drive to Detroit (20 minutes), my favorite restaurant is Green Dot Stables. Also in Detroit right now is a Summer Market where local shops have stands set up in some parks in Cadillac Square and Capitol Park.

  20. Are there any plus size fashion blogs with women with real jobs? Most I’ve found are full-time bloggers and wear things that wouldn’t fly in an office.

  21. Michigan Advice :

    Recommendations for things to do near or around Dearborn, Michigan. I’ll be visiting for the weekend, have to work a few hours a day, but will have several hours free during the day and evening. I’ve never been to Michigan.

  22. Love this dress. Married ladies, do you look back fondly on your engagement? My SO is pragmatic to a fault. He wants to meet at the courthouse on our lunchbreaks and get married. I’m more…traditional. I told him I want him to propose and I want a “real”(albeit small) wedding. I picked out a ring on Brilliant Earth and sent it to him, along with my ring size. Now he’s asking me questions like, do you want your parents there when I propose, do you want my parents there, do you want me to get a photographer. The whole idea of proposing and planning a wedding (and spending on it) gives him anxiety, even though I will do the planning. We’re getting into petty arguments about it. I’m considering telling him fine don’t propose, don’t spend the money on an engagement ring (the one I picked out was ~$3K), just give me the OK to start planning a 2019 wedding and I’ll tell you where and when to show up. Is this reasonable?? Relevant: Our finances are combined, we can afford the ring and the wedding, it’s just a question of if we both prioritize those things.

    • I don’t know, I think it’s nice he wants to make you happy with a proposal (even though it isn’t something he would choose to do himself, and it sounds like you want him to arrange the proposal without your input). I wouldn’t just say “FINE, forget the ring and I’ll arrange a wedding for next year,” unless that’s really what you want to do.

      I’m not very romantic, though, for what it’s worth.

    • No stop he. He’s told you he doesn’t want to do this and yet is doing it anyway and trying to do so in a way that pleases you! You’re annoyed he has questions? Just answer them!

      • Equestrian Attorney :

        My DH is like this, and I also was a bit disappointed that he did not plan the perfect engagement all on his own, but that’s just not who he is. So we agreed to marry and picked a ring together. When the ring got there he did get down on one knee and asked me to marry him, which was still touching in a low-key way, and I decided a big proposal to-do was just not for us and got over it.
        He was similarly overwhelmed about planning the wedding and I have two bits of advice about this: (1) be aware that men are in general really inept at wedding planning. I don’t know if this is because they haven’t been groomed since childhood to dream of their perfect wedding? Anyway, mine had no idea about the costs and the decisions and the etiquette and all of that and was basically hyperventilating when we talked about it and suggested we just go to city hall. It’s not great, and I’m sure there are exceptions out there, but it’s what it is. (2) that doesn’t mean he gets to let you make all the work. Once I told my dude to step it up and help because there was no way I was doing it all on my own with a full-time job, he started making decisions and contacting vendors and doing other wedding labour. This does mean that you have to make compromises if he does not want the same type of wedding as you. It’s like a crash course in making decisions together. I had to give up some of my “vision”, but so did he, and the result was so very much us and still the best day of my life. It’s hard, but if you want to marry this person, you will find a way to work it out.

    • Horse Crazy :

      It sounds like he’s doing what you asked him to, but he has questions about it, and now you’re upset/annoyed that he has questions. That doesn’t sound fair. Why did you ask him to do something he didn’t want to do, if you were going to be bothered by him asking for help?

    • I’d use this as a chance to talk about and work out how the rest of these kinds of events will go. Because this dynamic will probably come up for holidays, parties, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, kid’s events or other “not practical events. You two will have to meet in the middle — you don’t insist that he care at the level that you care ad do things the way you would, and he doesn’t say, “I don’t care, therefore, we’re not doing it at all.” It also sounds like he genuinely doesn’t have the ability to recognize what matters to you and what doesn’t. You’re going to have to tel him plainly, and then be OK with him doing it merely because you told him, not because it matters to him or he cares about it.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree with this.

        If your expectation is, “Please surprise me with a ring while we something low-key romantic, like dinner at our favorite restaurant or a sunset hike” — say that.

        If your expectation is, “Let’s have a party and invite our families, and part of the gift I want from you is that you plan the engagement party” — say that.

        If your expectation is, “I want to be taken out to dinner at that restaurant on the top of the skyscraper with the incredible view, and then I want you to propose with a bottle of champagne, and oh there’s a photographer hiding to catch my surprise and joy” — say that.

        If your expectation is, “Buy the ring I sent you, and when it comes in the mail, give it to me and I will start planning a wedding” — say that.

        I think that particularly with wedding-adjacent things, we tend to assume that the thing we want is the ‘normal’ thing, but there are a million ways to get engaged.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I would not throw in the towel about the whole process. Tell him you will be happy with any proposal – you can’t expect a thousand yellow daisies or a spontaneous Paris trip – but that what you need is for it to come from his love for you. And then you accept that he won’t be “into” the proposal idea, but he’ll do it to the best of his ability, because he loves you. And you can’t be secretly bitter that his proposal isn’t super romantic, because you’re not signing up for a romantic guy. You’re signing up for an uber practical guy. If you’re not ok with that, step back from the wedding planning and maybe reconsider.

      I’m 100% on board with picking your own ring – you’ve got to wear that thing! You better like it! Either pay for it jointly, or offer to buy him whatever he wants of similar value as his engagement present. (I bought my SO an engagement piano.) And approach your wedding planning the way you’ll approach your marriage. Are you ok doing all the planning work for anything you care about that he doesn’t for the rest of your marriage? Some people are totally fine with it!

      Also, check out A Practical Wedding’s blog, if you haven’t already.

      • +1000 to everything. Are you usually Type A perfectionist? He’s probably terrified he won’t do it “right”.

    • It’s important that you’re both approaching this with respect for the other person’s preferences. If you want a certain type of proposal, it sounds like you’ll need to spell it out (and not be resentful about it). It sounds like he’s trying to compromise by doing the proposal and wants to make sure that he’s going about it the way that you want. Like you said, he’s not really into this stuff and is doing it to make you happy, so of course he’s going to ask you questions to make sure he’s giving you the proposal you envisioned. It sucks that he can’t read your mind, but I don’t see why any of this is a surprise. He’s the guy you want to marry, yeah? And you know what kind of person he is. So don’t resent him for not being on the same page as you.

      You also probably need to sit down and figure out who’s going to do what with the wedding planning. Sounds like it makes sense for you to take the lead but I’d probably ask him if there are particular elements he’d like to handle that aren’t too stressful (choosing the booze, music, etc.).

    • Engagement is a pretty stressful time for a lot of couples. Usually because it highlights places that they might be mismatched that wouldn’t normally come up. Sounds like that’s what’s happening here.

      You’re going to spend the rest of your life with this person. This isn’t going to be the last time you want to spend money on something that he wants to be frugal about. Throwing up your hands and saying ok I’ll just do everything is not a winning longterm strategy. You two both have to learn to compromise and be patient with each other.

    • On the one hand I can empathize – I think a lot about what would make other people happy for longer than the 2 minutes unwrapping the present plus what do they not expect and what really matches their personality. DH is… not so creative although I think he tries.
      But on the other hand, your SO is really trying, he deserves some credit. I can’t imagine spending 3K on a piece of jewelry. I had a small wedding and it cost less than that (I wanted to elope really, so I had the tinyest wedding possible). I don’t mean to judge what people spend on their weddings, rather I’m trying to say if I were your SO, I’d be really stretching out of my comfort zone right now. It sounds like you told him you want a proposal and now he is trying hard to please you.
      You didn’t tell him you also want him to read your mind/surprise you (again, I empathize). I’ve accepted the fact that out of the many great things DH is, a mind-reader and planner of romantic surprises, he is not. This will keep coming up in your relationship, so think hard about whether you can accept that as the price of admission (he might learn, but counting on that is like buying a dress while planning to lose 10 pounds). For the issue at hand, can you suggest that he consult with your BFF about the proposal?

    • Anonymous :

      One of my many theories about life is “everyone likes just a little bit of direction.” It sounds like he wants to make you happy by giving you the proposal that you want. So, if I were you, I’d tell him a little about what I want. (“yes, photographer, no to parents being there).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      To answer your first question… I look back really fondly on my engagement. It went like this: we knew were were going to get married for a while, but we decided to pull the trigger at a particular point, like to actually plan a wedding. And we decided we were going to tell one set of our parents first. They were visiting us and staying in our bedroom, so we were sleeping on our futon in the living room, whispering, “tomorrow when we go to that place, we can tell them we are going to get married!” And then, “eeee, if we’re telling people we’re getting married, does that mean we’re engaged?!” and then lots of making out. Aw thinking about it always makes me smile. <3 There are lots of great ways to do these things.

    • Thanks all! These comments are very helpful <3

    • I can empathize. The whole process of planning an engagement and getting it “right” stressed my husband out. He’s not a practical person like OP describes, but he’s not a planner. He ended up proposing spontaneously, on the couch, during a conversation about our relationship that we weren’t planning to have. Once I said yes, we went out together and bought some champagne and some groceries and made ourselves a nice dinner. I have fond memories of that because we were together and happy and doing something spontaneous and romantic, which is probably more our style than a planned proposal. Later, we went ring-shopping together to get a general idea of what I liked, and then he bought the ring on his own.

    • lawsuited :

      I don’t look back often on my proposal or engagement or even my wedding, and I’m really not overcome with any particular emotion when I do. I feel a huge amount of fondness for my husband and marriage and the life we’ve built together. Honestly, the ring, the proposal, the engagement party, the dress, it all just fades into the background once you begin the real work of making a home and family and life together.

    • I’m a little late to this thread, but I wanted to chime in to say that I really enjoyed being engaged. My now-husband and I had been together for 4.5 years when he proposed, but we had been on the same page since around year two that we were eventually planning to get married. So it wasn’t a surprise to anyone who knew us. I just found the engagement period to be such a fun, optimistic time for us.

  23. Michigan Advice :

    Looking for advice on things to do in or around Dearborn, Michigan. I’ll be there for two days over the weekend and may have several hours free during the day and night each day.

    • I’d venture into Detroit– the fine arts museum is fantastic. Otherwise eat all the Middle Eastern food.

    • Anonymous :

      Tried to respond to earlier post – but Henry Ford Museum is near Dearborn if memory serves and is pretty cool.

  24. Wish I would win the lottery :

    Any suggestions for how to deal with your job when you hate it? Overall, my job isn’t too bad and I shouldn’t complain. I generally feel this way every day, but this is probably more pronounced since I was off last week. I am not independently wealthy, so I need to work. There are just many other things I would rather be doing.

  25. Cologne, Germany :

    Thinking about a trip to Cologne, Germany in early September. Anyone have any stories or advice to share? I’ve spent a few hours in a suburb of Munich once, but have otherwise not been to Germany.

  26. Wow, did I write this in my sleep? I am in exactly the same position, right down to having had last week off. I’m afraid I don’t have any advice, but I do feel your pain.

    I’m hoping that it’s at least partly down to residual holiday feeling and I’ll settle back down more next week. In the meantime, though, every day us dragging and I keep making stupid little mistakes that make my supervisor use her faux-“concerned/disappointed” tone.

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