Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Lantern Sleeve Top

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

Ann Taylor is having one of their 50% sitewide sales, and they have a lot of nice blouses with interesting sleeves right now. I like this lantern-sleeve blouse, which comes in black, white, and chambray. There’s a very similar option with ruched sleeves that’s really nice as well. Either one will be great when you can finally stop huddling under as many cardigans and wraps as you can find, and actually just wear a blouse around the office. I think these are good options to wear with pants or pencil skirts — they’re very easy to throw on and have a nice work outfit. The sizes are 00–18 and you can get 50% off $79.50 with code GETWARM. Lantern Sleeve Top

Two plus-size options are at Macy’s and Eloquii.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Do you tip your Uber driver? I’m very big on tipping but I’ve never tipped my uber drive and now I wonder if i’ve been messing up for years. Most of the time I just don’t have any cash (or small bills). But now I’m wondering if most people tip and i’ve been the jerk who doesn’t.

    • I’m pretty sure tipping for Uber is relatively new? I know Lyft has been doing it for a while (perhaps since it first started). I honestly dont know anyone who regularly tips on Uber and I only do when its exceptional service.

    • Nope, never tipped in the old system, and I think it is totally fine. The whole point of that app was that you didn’t need to bring cash, and not having an app tip function was a big driver complaint. I do tip now in Lyft (try not to use Uber if I can), usually $2 or so, although I did $5 once for a particularly bad traffic day.

    • Anonymous :

      No, you tip through the app, not cash. Sometimes I’ll add a dollar or two if the service was really good.

    • Definitely never tipped in cash, I do now with the App. The whole Uber thing was not tipping in cash.

    • I’m not a frequent Uber user, but I didn’t start tipping until Uber added it to the app.

    • I tip in the app sometimes, definitely if I have luggage.

    • Anonymous :

      Never. Not having to have cash and knowing exactly how much to pay is one of Uber’s main selling points.

    • I always tip at least $5 via the app when I use UberX. The rates in the DC area are insanely low, and I feel like I’m exploiting the driver otherwise.

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      I usually tip a few dollars on the app – never cash.

    • I usually choose a tip on the app unless service was bad. I never tipped before the app added the option.

    • Because I feel like Uber and Lyft drivers are compensated at a level that’s far too low, I generally tip an amount that brings the cost of the trip up to a level that represents what I think would be a fair charge. I understand that they aren’t getting the full amount of what I’m billed, so it’s still less than they likely should get, but it’s my way of trying to bring what I pay and what I think I ought to pay into greater alignment.

      • Same. I also only use Lyft now because they added tipping years ago and I never carry cash, so this allowed me to pay what I felt I should be paying. Now, I don’t use Uber because the driver quality is so much worse–likely because of the prior poor compensation/lack of tipping on Uber sending the good drivers to Lyft.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, pretty much same here. I don’t use Uber for a variety of reasons and I tip in the Lyft app.

      • +1 I always tip via the app.

    • I tip 20% in the Lyft app, which is what I tip cabs. Why would it be different?

  2. vacuum storage bags :

    I started using these for off-season clothes (no closets, prior moth issues). They work, but the clothes coming out of them stunk. Just factor in cost of dry-cleaning for things like wool suits, etc. that can’t be washed (or I’d not wash)? A gallon of febreze and airing out didn’t help.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Use the vodka and water solution and a spray bottle. Don’t use febreze.

      • Tech Comm Geek :

        I second this – very cheap vodka/water in a 50-50 proportion is the most effective solution I’ve found to smells on fabric. A professional fabric conservator recommended this solution to me (we share a historically-based hobby), because it will not damage the fabric and it will evaporate rapidly without staining.

    • Did you clean the items before they went into the vacuum bag?

      • vacuum storage bags :

        Yes. For casual clothes, I wash after wearing. So anything on a hanger that gets put into a storage bag is clean (same with flannel sheets — they are washed in hot water, dried in the dryer, and then once it stops getting so cold, they get stored). Everything smells . . . unfresh coming out of the bags. Not overtly nasty. But needing a wash.

    • I use those too, but I put in several blocks of cedar, or a bunch of little cedar balls, depending on what I had hanging around. I wrap the cedar in tissue paper if I’m putting cashmere or wool in the bag, but otherwise I just chuck them in, seal it up, and don’t notice any smells one way or the other when I take clothes out of the bags the next fall.

      • vacuum storage bags :

        I wonder if scented candles (wrapped up) or even dryer sheets might help. Has anyone experimented?

    • It won’t help your already smelly clothing, but maybe for next time… I store off season clothing with a bar or two of yardley’s lavender soap, still in the box. It’s pretty intensely scented so it will lightly scent the whole box. Lavender repels moths and it’s an I expensive way to do it. And then you can just use it as soap after a couple of seasons when it’s less strongly scented and you need to buy new bars for storing.

      I learned this on a knitter’s forum I used to frequent (knitlist)

  3. Snaps to Us :

    I wanted to thank everyone for the good conversation and well-reasoned thinking yesterday in the thread about The Children Question. I’m 30 now and have been mulling the same issues in my head and with my husband and it was really nice to read other thoughts on the matter that echoed what’s happening in my head.

    • Agreed. I have a follow-up question – out of all the moms here, would you mind giving a quick breakdown of how your time was spent pre baby and post? Someone did that on the post yesterday (50% job, 20% husband, etc.) and I thought that was really helpful. I’m very curious to see if it’s possible to maintain my hobbies and “me time” after a baby and want to see what others have experienced.

      • Anonymous :

        Of course it isn’t. How is this a question? You’re obviously going to lose a ton of hobby and me time with a baby. Yeah you can squeeze some in but there’s no way it isn’t a dramatic change.

        • legal canuck :

          50% job
          10% husband
          20% Kids
          10% hobbies.

          my kids are great sleepers and go to bed around 7pm. so after that is hubby and me time.
          I Still maintain 2 dance classes a week and hubby maintains 2 curling games a week.
          It may be selfish however we need that time to be less stressed at work and home.

          • I don’t think it’s selfish at all. Honestly I think it’s healthy to see parents with interests outside of kids and each other, creates an expectation of a parent as a whole person and not just a breeder / money earner (from kid perspective – I just know too many children that are shocked at reaching 20 and thinking of their parents as people for the first time).

            Nothing but the last 70 yrs of child-focused life culture has ever said a parent has to spend literally all their time working, child-rearing, homemaking or sleeping.

          • I think it also varies SO much by kid’s age and stage. I have what feels like oodles of time now as a mom of a early school aged child as opposed to a baby/toddler. Kiddo who can feed themselves and go potty/get dressed/play independently is SUCH a huge change from a baby in arms.

        • This is really person specific. One of my best friends is a dance teacher and competitive dancer and works a regular full time job. She hasn’t scaled back dance one iota. Her husband is a very involved parent though and this lets her do that. She still event travels to competitions.

      • I lost probably 75% of my hobby/me time after kids, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Long, boozy brunches were generally replaced by a short brunch and trip to the park/zoo/childrens museum. My workouts in the gym have been mostly replaced by family walks. I spend a lot of time on the floor playing with duplos (love this part!)

        The change that I dislike the most is committing to set work hours rather than just being able to work as late as my projects demanded (not a lawyer, fwiw). Kids have to be picked up by 6pm, so days have a hard stop.

      • anon a mouse :

        I used to spend a ton of time on hobbies and exercise. It’s probably decreased 75-90% (kid is 2.5). But I can see, on the horizon, how it will start to increase again. When kid turns 3 I can put her in the child care at my gym. She’s also doing play dates now with all kids’ parents present but at some point we’ll only need one parent present. And at some point in a few years she’ll start doing sleepovers with friends.

        A big factor too is how involved your partner is. I have a friend who managed to maintain her extensive time commitment to her hobby despite having two kids. I finally realized it’s because her husband handles the kids so that she can spend many hours a week (and weekend) doing her thing.

      • It depends on age and number of kids. With my first, DH and I would trade off who slept in on which weekend day, and would trade the baby off. (I’m going to sit on the couch and read now. I’m going for a run. You’re going to a basketball game. You’re going to watch TV.) Worked out great. We had twins 19 months later, so…..with 3 kids under age 3 and under age 3 and under age 4, it was HARD to manage for long periods of time with just one parent, so for a few years, we did a lot less trade=off and me time. Evenings were ok after 8pm when all three were in bed. Hat trick was if we got all three to sleep at naptime at the same time on a Sunday. Once they are old enough to stop being permanently on the point of killing themselves (seriously, my daughter once crawled to an electrical outlet holding a metal butter knife, with the clear intent of putting the knife into the outlet!), then you get a lot more me time.

        Mine are now in middle school, and if I let them, they would disappear to various corners of the house to read or play on electronic devices and I’d have more “me” time than I know what to do with.

        Bottom line: you have about 3 years of intensive parenting, then it diminishes as they get more self sufficient. To the point where you can sit on the couch and read or cook or something and they play nicely for a bit. After about 5 years, it diminishes a lot. By late elementary, they sometimes don’t want to spend time with you. :)

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        I didn’t have any particularly time-intensive hobbies before my son so I wouldn’t say I lost that much. I like to read and exercise, which I still do – just read fewer books and go to the gym less often than I did before. I still spend lots of non-work time with my husband, it’s just that’s it more family events now, which are different but fun in their own way.

        If I were to break out a typical non-weekend day, of my awake hours, I spend about 60% on work, 10% on caretaking (either with husband or trading off), 15% on solo time with husband and the rest on me, getting ready, computer, gym, etc. On the weekends, assuming I don’t have to work, we spend most of our days as a family, I try to go to the gym for at least an hour one day and my husband and I either do our own hobbies or interests(read, video games, pedicure, haircut) while our son naps or hang out together watching a movie or TV. We try to go out at least one every two weeks or so just the two of us.

        You can absolutely maintain your hobbies and me time, and you should, but you may find that your priorities and interests change a little when you have kids. I agree that having a supportive, involved partner is best because it makes family time more fun than if you had to do all the caretaking yourself.

      • Even pre-kid, I didn’t really have a lot of official hobbies, unless you count travel (which we still do as a family) and reading. Babies and toddlers sleep 12+ hours per night, so once my kiddo started sleeping through the night as an infant, our evening routines haven’t been that different than they were pre-baby (she’s 3 now). I have lots of weekday evening time for reading, watching TV and browsing the internet as well as plenty of time to do personal/household tasks like shower, run the dishwasher, do a load of laundry, etc.
        Weekends do look pretty different – I used to sleep until noon but it was because I’d often be up browsing the internet mindlessly until 1 or 2 am, so I’ve cut that out and go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. I haven’t sacrificed sleep or other things I really enjoy like reading, I’ve just stopped wasting so much time. We still go out to one brunch and one dinner pretty much every weekend, to casual places mostly but we don’t have a lot of fine dining in our little college town any way, nor could we afford fine dining every weekend. Most weekends we do a family outing on one of the two weekend afternoons – something like story time at the public library, a family walk/playground trip, or a visit to a children’s museum. This can take anywhere from 1 to 6 hours (depending on whether we stay local or go to the big city ~1 hour away) but is usually 2-3 hours. I don’t really remember what I did on weekend afternoons before (nap? waste time on the internet?) but this is certainly more fun and fulfilling. The other weekend afternoon we usually stay closer to home and hangout with our daughter while intermittently doing household chores like meal prep and laundry. It’s pretty similar to what we did before, just a little more tiring with a preschooler in the mix, but she goes to bed early and we usually crash pretty early on Sunday nights too.
        Neither my husband nor I really cares about having “date nights” in the traditional sense (hire a babysitter, go out of the house) because we spend a lot of time alone together pretty much every evening and regularly meet up for lunch during the week, but if we wanted to have a weekly date night it would certainly be doable.
        TL;DR – maybe I’m a mom unicorn but I don’t really feel like I’ve sacrificed anything. I still work full time, still spend a lot of time with my husband and still have a good amount of ‘me time.’ And like others said on that thread yesterday, spending time with my kiddo and I feel like seeing her discover the world is a lot of fun and a better use of my time than whatever I was doing before.

        • nerfmobile :

          Maybe your baby/toddler sleeps 12+ hours a night, but mine never did! And now my 6 year old usually falls asleep between 8 and 8:30 and I need to wake up at 5:45 am, so that really doesn’t leave much if any “me” time in the evening if I am to get a reasonable amount of sleep after doing critical household tasks. I definitely feel like I have little to no personal time and I don’t really see that improving much for a while.

          • Yep, another tired mom of kids who don’t sleep well here. Neither of mine has ever been a 12-hours-a-night kid, and both have been frequent waking-in-middle-of-night kids (even past the infant/sleep training days). It’s exhausting, and severely limits my free time.

    • I continued to work full time, work out, play piano and knit with two under two. You have to have an egalitarian relationship and do a lot of trading off to make it work. I was also just much more organized after having kids. If I wanted to work out, I had to arrange my day so that I had a time slot for it.

      I’ve had less time for my hobbies and me time as My kids have gotten older but that has more to do with my job than my kids.

    • FWIW, my HHI is 170k and I feel we are living very comfortably in a MCOL area. We have money in the bank; we don’t have much debt and we live in a nice house and drive nice cars and our needs are met. And honestly we could live pretty comfortably on much less than that amount.

    • Anonattorney :

      I’ve decided it’s impossible to explain the positives of having kids to people who don’t have them. It’s pretty easy for people without kids to get the hard things–lack of sleep, loss of personal time (and personal space), strains on your other relationships, expense, etc. Because of that, when you don’t have kids and you see your friends struggling, it turns you off. I was that way for a long time, and was pretty sure that I didn’t want to upend my life. I have a great relationship with my husband; I heavily value my down time and sleep; and my income is right on that cusp where, without kids, I could have a pretty lavish lifestyle. Whereas, with kids, I’m foregoing a lot of luxuries (travel, going out to eat, nice clothes) in order to afford daycare, college savings, etc.

      BUT, having my son is–aside from meeting and marrying my husband–the most amazing and wonderful thing in my life. Watching him grow up and develop; seeing how his little mind works; holding him when he’s sad; talking to him about his day; kissing his little cheeks. It’s unbelievable. I’ve felt more joy, peace, love, contentment, and generally, happiness, in the past 2.5 years since he’s been born than ever before in my life. I can’t really describe it other than to say that my emotions have been magnified significantly. The downside to this, that some people flagged yesterday, is that I’m now more vulnerable. I have a greater capacity to feel deep sadness and hurt, and worry about my kid’s future. That sucks.

      Overall, sometimes I think there is a huge benefit to not having kids, because if I didn’t have them (my second is on the way), I would never experience or know these profound feelings, so I wouldn’t be able to mourn not having them.

      Regarding the decision to have kids – I think it’s always going to be easier to adjust to having a kid if you have enough money to afford good childcare, you have a partner who’s committed to being an equal parent, you have a good support system and family nearby to assist with care, and your job allows sufficient flexibility for you to put in roughly no more than 10 hours a day at the office.

  4. Anonymous :

    What would be your response to someone who insists that it’s necessary to make 500k/year to be “comfortable?”
    A friend recently threw this out and I thought she was kidding, but she explained that the way she sees it, no one in the US can be truly comfortable and financially stable unless they make this much money. She didn’t have facts or figures to back up this number, but it got me thinking. The best argument I could come up with is that millions of people in this country make way less than that and still lead happy and fulfilling lives. Thoughts?

    • That “comfortable” is subjective.

      For me, personally, given our HCOL area and desire to stay in the city and continue to do things we enjoy (travel with family, etc), a higher income is needed for us to be comfortable (as in, breathing room in budget and feel like we can do most of what we want). But we recognize that comfortable, for most people, involves consideration of desires, not just necessities.

    • It probably depends on your family situation, but 500k still sounds very high. I make a little less than 20% of that, am single with no kids, and could depend on my immediate family for help if needed and I feel 100% comfortable.

    • I make far less than this and we only spend ~$50k/year. I’m not very sympathetic to the people who claim poverty while making well into the six figures. However, I totally get why you’d claim that you can’t be completely comfortable and feel stable without making ridiculous amount of money, and the main reason is our terrible health care system and lack of a social safety net. Even if you make ~$500k, all it takes is one bad accident or illness to leave you unemployable, without health insurance, and owing crazy amounts for medical expenses.

      • This person is stating why Dad wants me to work and work and work and work, b/c I need health insurance and some cushion (other then my tuchus) to lean on in case I loose my job as a partner. I do NOT consider myself well off, b/c I have to bill 7900 hours this year to keep my job, and even tho my name is going on to the firm letterhead, they are bringing in a new female partner (2 years older then me) to be a rainmaker in the disability defense subpractice, something I said I could do, but the manageing partner said I needed to keep my client’s happy. FOOEY! I am afraid that I could be nuzzeled out by this new female, who will probably be cuter then me once the manageing partner has her loose 30 pound’s. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      • I’d add that income isn’t really the relevant number here, it’s wealth and how well you could support yourself without being able to work,. As far as I’m concerned, this is an excellent argument for increasing taxes on the wealthy to provide good health care for everyone and decent disability programs. The utility of knowing you can’t be destroyed by health problems is far greater than what you’d buy or save for with that money. I”m sure my feelings about this are shaped by having a chronic health condition that threatens my ability to hold a good job, but even the healthiest person could suddenly find themselves unable to keep their well paying job.

      • Anono Non :

        +1

      • +2. It depends on what she’s including in “comfortable”. You can (and I do) live happily on a lot less, but there’s always an underlying current of worry about unemployment, health insurance, childcare, college, and retirement. I imagine somewhere around that number, you could start to have meaningful savings that might help mitigate some of that worry.

        • vacuum storage bags :

          In my family, we live into our 90s. The math of that is daunting. Avoiding nursing homes saves some $, but aging in place ain’t cheap, even in a LCOL area. Once you age past your mind / body (like you can’t get out of bed or if you fall, your spouse can’t pick you back up, or you start leaving burners on), care makes a NYC apartment look inexpensive. Nevermind the child that has to give up working to help manage your care.

          I know my $ is my $, but having aging relatives not living with me has a cost to me (and my parents). And I think that with smaller families these days, I will be fending for myself for 30+ years once my working life ends (assuming I don’t have to exit early to help my parents or my inlaws).

          You never know the future, so I live frugally now b/c I feel like the $, no matter how much, will run out too soon.

    • Anonymous :

      I would say she’s being a snob.

    • Is there a need for a response? I’d just be like “cool story bro” and change the subject. Since she has no facts this just seems like a no-win discussion unless it was affecting someone’s position on a public policy decision or something.

      • Agreed. Someone who thinks this way and also doesn’t provide any evidence to back it up is not worth arguing with imo.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here. I guess there’s not really a need for a response, as I’m not going to go back to her after posting here and continue the discussion, but it made me wonder what others had to say about this idea.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Nothing. She’s just saying her subjective view of “comfortable” is much beyond what many people in the U.S. can ever hope to afford. Doesn’t seem like she say anything about whether people are leading happy and fulfilling lives. Is she really just saying she would only feel financially secure given the state of our social safety net if she was making a 500k a year salary? Because if so, I get it.

      If she didn’t say anything dereogatory about people who make less I don’t think you need to debate this with her.

      • Anonymous :

        I think that there is a lot of anxiety about the unknown. And a lot of us here worked in finance / BigLaw during the recession where you actually saw that if your 100K+ job goes away, you don’t quickly replace it (and then, it may be with nothing but a $10/hour job). Sometimes the golden goose dies.

        FWIW, my spouse and I have had heated discussions about what we would do if we won $X in the lottery (so stupid, I know). The TL;DR is that I would pay off the house if I won less than $10M. Even then, I’d worry about family longevity + foolishness that comes from sudden $ still leaving me broke and full of regrets in my old age.

        • Anonymous :

          Typed too fast: I’d pay off the house if I won less then $1M (and change nothing); I’d check out if I won >$10M, but would still worry about the $ not lasting.

          So: I can live on less, but I am the sort who sees $ as finite and bills and potential bills as infinite

        • Funny, DH and I have the same conversations and we don’t even play the lottery. But I insist we should both work regardless, even if it’s a scaled down, part time role, and even if we have to hold out or hop around to find something we enjoy. We should pay off our house, fund our retirement, establish a fund for kids’ college, and pay off parents/siblings houses, in that order depending on the amount.

          He’s way less practical and would stop working for anything over $10M payout, and use it to immediately pay off the houses of us and all our families. I don’t think he realizes how quickly $5M goes in retirement, esp once we get that old.

          • I’m the typed-too-fast anon and you’re right — we don’t actively play the lottery (may 1 or 2 office pools a year). At most, we’d stand to inherit 100K or so if a parent went off-script (based on family history and died early) via a portion of a paid-off house (but parents with paid-off houses are a luxury).

            I pointed out that the 500K life insurance we have on DH would likely just help fund the on-the-books nanny I’d need if anything ever happened to him. I wouldn’t get to live large on it, it would at best maintain the status quo (since I’d need to stay working, but the juggle would get worse).

          • My spouse and I had this discussion over the weekend, asking ourselves, “how would getting $1,000,000 change our lives?” (assuming completely tax free). We determined that we’d pay off our student loans, our cars, and maybe do the kitchen renovation we’ve been thinking would be 10 years down the road and then give the rest to our college. But, nothing else would really change. We’re not quitting our jobs, we’re not moving to a different city or house. $10 million is a different story.

    • I think that number is high, but not THAT far off the mark for household income for a family, depending on where you live (my perspective is obviously skewed living in the NY metro area).
      But also remember that millions of people in this country make way less than that and lead fulfilling lives, but about half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, so I don’t think I would call that “comfortable”.
      I would say that I will feel “comfortable” when I can afford my own apartment (can’t do that at the moment — roommates), pay off my student loans, and start saving money for retirement at a better rate (I max out my 401(k) match, but that’s all I can afford at the moment. I think as a single person, I would be “comfortable” at around double my $75K salary, so $150K, then $250-300K for a couple, and add some more on for each kid, and you’re not too far from $500K.

      • Here's me :

        It’s all relative. I grew up in the Bay Area, one of the highest HCOL areas in the country on a family income ranging from 30 – 60K most years. We made it work by going out to eat like twice a year (I remember thinking Olive Garden and Edys were high class restaurants), shopping at Goodwill/Kmart, packing lunch, having bday parties at home, and going on vacation to places within driving distance (never flying). To be sure though, we had wealthy relatives who helped us out and that certainly helped. You can make it work even in really HCOL areas with low income, but of course there are a lot of sacrifices. But I always had a lot of food at home (my mom is an AMAZING cook) and a roof over my head and a great family, so I never felt that I missed out at all. Until I went to an Ivy league undergrad and was blown away by the resources some other had.

        • Anonymous :

          Are you me? I have a similar story. I grew up in the Bay Area. My dad was a minister and my mom was a stay at home mom. I don’t know what our HHI was, but I guess it was something in the 30k range. There are four kids. We also never went out to eat (and when we did, we drank water!). We shopped at Mervyns. We packed lunch, went to free public school, had birthday parties at home, had camping or driving vacations. But we also saw a lot of theater (community and regional, usually from the balcony), and had piano lessons and participated in theater classes. And I always, always felt safe and financially comfortable and privileged. Then I went to an Ivy undergrad. OMG THE SHOCK! I had no idea people possibly had that much money. The girl across the hall was the child of a NY investment banker (the kind that has his name on the firm) and it floored me. I still remember that when she finished first-year, she just walked out of her dorm room — leaving a disaster in the room for dorm crew to clean up, even though it meant that she would be billed an additional $300. I was freaking out about scrubbing my floors so I wouldn’t be charged!

          I honestly do not know how my parents did it. I do think that one major difference was that housing was cheaper in those days, even adjusted for inflation.

          • Any chance you grew up in Oakland? If so, you might be my childhood friend. That would be awesome if it were the case, since I haven’t talked to this person in 20+ years!

          • Yes, a dollar went so much farther even in the 90s. Housing, gas, groceries, etc have all grown at exponentially higher rates than salaries. According to one article, the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.20 in 1994, or $1.93 in 2014. It was actually $3.69 in 2014. Salaries have not doubled since the 1990s, so gas is a much larger percent of your budget than it would have been for your parents.

            Housing is similar – it’s about 150% higher than inflation would suggest. And that’s vs the 90s, it’s even more pronounced when you compare to the 70s.

        • THIS! Grew up in Honolulu (apparently highest COL in the USA), with family income under $100k/year + string instrument lessons + sports = Costco pizza was a treat and we took no family vacations, but the flipside was that we had delicious home food and well, we were in Honolulu–vacation could be spent down the street at the beach. Super grateful for my parents sacrifices though. Sibling and I ended up at Ivies because they gave us the most financial aid and both enjoy our jobs now.

          • This is interesting. It seems almost like you *have* to be poor (or have low household income) to go to the ivies via aid. But I see most of the poor people in our district as the ones who struggle with time and money and don’t get the extras for their kids that would make them ivy-noticeable (so no enrichment, no lessons, etc.). Kids have to take the bus both ways, so hard to do any clubs or sports or school plays. I feel like it is such a stacked deck (and I work, so I struggle even though I can afford things I struggle with the logistics and of feeling like the field is tilted in favor of kids with a SAH mom and dad works, vs two working parents with the same income who are lacking in time and seriously stressedout). And I had kids really, really late (like I could retire when they are in college and my spouse could retire before). At that point, our HHI would be a fraction of what it is now (but our expenses would be at all time highs). The math and the money just look daunting.

          • Being poor helps make you ivy-noticeable.

          • “Poor” has changed. Stanford and some of the Ivies offer full tuition paid for families earning less than $125K. That’s not poor by any means. Not to say it wouldn’t be a struggle to pay private school tuition at that income (it would be big struggle I’m sure) but it’s also not the same as making 30K.

            With my parents’ income, I went to Stanford 90% free.

      • It’s all relative. :

        All relative. I live in a very HCOL Boston suburbs. Our house is worth $900k. We have $450k left on the mortgage. We have 3 kids <6 and plan to pay for undergrad. We have $100k in savings for that so far and are on track to have $500k by the time #1 needs Tuition; the rest we can Fund through income, or dip into other nonretirement savings as needed. We have a combined 600k in retirement savings at ge 34. We own three cars outright. We are $1200 away from laying off the last of the student loans (party next month!). We have $200k in nonretirement savings, large life insurance policies, and no major health issues.

        Our HHI has been 300k +/- 50k for the past 5 years. We do not need more money. We are very comfortable. If we stayed at 300k for the next 20 years, we’d have way more money than we need.

        Are we dropping $30k on vacations every year? No. But we both drive luxury cars, and have a 3rd car (old truck) for hauling junk/bikes/misc. we spend ~5k/year on family vacations, more some years. Do we eat out a lot? No way, but that’s because we have young kids, not because we can’t afford it.

        $500k a year adds up fast. We’d have a big vacation house, a larger boat, and I’d hire a full time live in housekeeper if we had an extra $200k (figure $100k take home) every year. That to me isn’t “comfortable,” but “living in extreme comfort.”

    • What? I thought that people are happy at $70,000 a year? I wonder if this is generational insecurity? My husband and I, while acknowledging our enormous privilege, were bemoaning the fact that despite good jobs in academia and the civil service and decent salaries, we can’t afford a small house in a good school catchment. Despite more education, our material quality of life won’t be greater than that of our parents, unless we win Euromillions. And we don’t have concerns about health care costs layered on top of that (live in Scotland).

      • Paging cbackson! :

        Cb, I definitely notice a very big difference in perspective for those of us who come from countries with access to government healthcare.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        The COL is so high in Seattle that a family of 4 needs to make $75K just to make ends meet. Nothing above the basics of food/shelter/childcare/public transportation. So, that’s a huge problem for many families, especially single-income families or dual-public sector families. I can definitely see how that impacts happiness; I make significantly less than that and definitely would not call myself comfortable at the moment. However, I think it’s pretty relative. I work with very low income people- like, survive on $200 a month. To them, $35K a year would create so much more happiness and stability.

    • Anonymous :

      She must think “comfortable” means “owning a decent home in NYC or San Francisco, paying for child care for 2.5 kids, paying off two sets of hefty student loans, maxing retirement savings, keeping a year’s worth of living expenses in the bank, taking two vacations a year, and being able to renovate the kitchen whenever you feel like it.”

      • I thought you were serious until you got to renovating the kitchen. Sorry if some of us live in expensive areas and have children.

    • Anonymous :

      There’s literally research that shows that happines does not increase if you make more than 75K so she’s provably wrong. I wouldn’t bother arguing with her. Some people either (1) didn’t grow up with a lot and constantly fear being poor again so they need more to feel ‘safe’ (my dad), and others grew up spoiled and don’t believe that you can be happy living in a 2000 sq ft 3 bedroom house and not driving new cars.

      • That research is not the end of the story; there is also significant research showing that no matter where you are in the world (on a country basis), happiness levels increase with income increases.

      • In my view, there’s happiness, and then there’s contingency planning: paying debt, preparing for retirement, hoarding money for unanticipated and incalculable medical costs. For me, the second part is what makes me feel I need more to be “happy” (ie, comfortable and secure).

        If we had universal healthcare in this country and I wasn’t worried about being bankrupted by an illness or long term care, I wouldn’t be nearly as worried about hoarding money like a squirrel on adderall for retirement and would be far less concerned about my income. How can you possibly feel secure when you fear you’ll be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care- either for you or a family member?

        • Because I’ll spend down my assets and go on Medicaid like the rest of the country.

          • This. I understand the concern, but literally 99% of the people in the USA make less than $500K/year. And they are not dying in the streets. Medicaid/Medicare may not provide absolute top-notch care, but trying to save enough to keep your parents, in-laws, yourself and your spouse in private-pay care to age 90+ is a fool’s errand.

            And while I am a big advocate of universal health care, even that is no guarantee. Many countries with universal care don’t offer long-term care coverage that is better than Medicaid.

            I can understand the anxiety of not knowing what might happen – but it helps me to remember that I am incredibly lucky (not top 1%, but top 10) even in comparison to other people in the USA and phenomenally lucky compared to much of the world.

    • I would say comfortable is relative to the lifestyle you want. I make $62k in the southeast and was a little floored by the salary responses to the clothes spending/income post. Do I live a life of luxury? No, but I’m comfortable at my salary and my SO makes slightly less than I do and we are fine. We save, cook meals at home, go on domestic vacations once or twice a year, etc. Shrug.

    • Anonymous :

      That I’m not interested in being friends with someone so horrifically out of touch with reality.

    • Comfortable depends on your risk tolerance and projections for the future. I’m on track to support aging parents, an aging aunt, my husband’s aging mother, and my husband’s aging (completely disabled) sister. Not all of these people will need complete support, but they all need at least some. I could blow through 500K REALLLLL quick on a nursing home or in-home care.

      • It’s all relative. :

        Yes but 500k/year? For the rest of your career? Not needed. Nursing care for the time your parents need it is $100-150k/year, worst case. And “living comfortably” doesn’t mean “having enough money so my parents can live comfortably too.” Thats a different benchmark.

        • And you should NEVER be paying $100-150k out of pocket for nursing care for your parents. They should be on Medicaid, spending down all of their assets, and then using resources that they are financially eligible for.

          Let’s be real here.

          • THANK YOU! I just posted about spend down and Medicaid above. That’s my worst case scenario contingency planning for end of life long term care. I don’t expect to leave some big inheritance.

          • My husband’s family members are not located in the U.S. and are not eligible for Medicaid. I also don’t plan to bank on Medicaid being around forever.

    • I think that’s probably close to right if you have children you want to educate, parents who are likely to live a long time in a pretty feeble state, and want to maintain a “reasonable” lifestyle in retirement (whatever that means: I see it as keeping your home, not struggling to pay your Rxs/groceries/electric/car, and a modest annual vacation).

      Yes lots of people live on a lot less. Lots of people get lucky – they don’t have a major medical issue or a disabled sibling or their parents are able to pay for their own care. And lots of people go into massive amounts of debt if they’re unlucky. People just don’t talk about how much debt they’re in.

      But also… what we grew up viewing as a middle class lifestyle is no longer attainable on even low six figures. You can’t own a home reasonably close to your work, pay transit costs, day care, pay off your own student loans, pay for your kid to go to college, take care of elderly parents, and have enough saved in retirement to cover all your Rxs, save for your own end of life care, and still spend a week at the beach once a year. Cost of living has outpaced salaries. It would not surprise me at all that what my grandparents could afford on less than $50k/year now requires a $500k/year salary.

      • Anon Lawyer :

        This is ridiculous. You are way skewed.

      • You are insane. Get out more.

        • What a constructive contribution to this conversation! Let’s all name call instead of actually talking about the issues. I mean that’s the example that’s been set for us right? Bad guy! Sad!

          • Seriously! Way to respond to a perfectly reasonable comment. I completely understand where Tribble is coming from.

      • I think you’re out of touch. I think it really, really depends on where you live. If you don’t live in NYC I promise you do not need 500k to live comfortably. That’s just a ridiculous amount of wealth that is unattainable for 99% of the country.

      • Yes

        My inlaws were govt workers who owned a 4BR home on a transit line (walkable!) in a good school district. 3 kids. All went to college (state U), one studied abroad, one took 6 years to graduate. And they had pensions and retiree medical benefits.

        That hasn’t proved possible for their kids at all.

      • It’s all relative. :

        You really are off. If you make – HHI of $300k throughout your career (30-60, day), all of what you list is plenty feasible. Easily. I say that as someone living in a ~million dollar house with 3 kids under 6.

        Make $50k until 30, then $500k until 38, then $50k til you retire? Sure. But loans will pay off super fast, savings will pile up, etc at $500/hyr

      • I worry about being able to afford caring for my mother in the (likely) event she runs out of money and then falls ill. At the moment I probably can’t.

        The only way I might agree with someone saying you need $500k to be comfortable is if by “comfortable” she meant “financially secure in case of emergency for me and me and my current and future potential dependents” and she was actually saving a huge chunk of money every year. You definitely don’t need half a million freaking dollars to live comfortably! That would be insane! But I could see someone wanting a high salary (maybe not half a million, but high) in order to save money against emergencies and expensive end of life care for their parents in the near future and themselves in the distant future.

      • Anon, come on. :

        I agree with you. There’s a lot of virtue signalling in the responses to your comment.

        Just like the commenter above – it is fine if “comfortable” to her means “owning a decent home in NYC or San Francisco, paying for child care for 2.5 kids, paying off two sets of hefty student loans, maxing retirement savings, keeping a year’s worth of living expenses in the bank, taking two vacations a year, and being able to renovate the kitchen whenever you feel like it.”

        She didn’t say anything bad or judgy about people who make less, she simply stated her opinion that to live comfortably in the US you need 500k a year. It’d fine. Everyone is making a huge deal about this, OP, you don’t even have to respond to her about this.

      • That may not be possible where you live; but I would suggest that it is entirely possible to live a middle class lifestyle on low six-figures. I do it in a MCOL city while saving for retirement, college, and a “big” vacation every other year (and smaller trips at other times). My house is 30 minutes from my office. I am not counting on supporting my parents since I presume that if they need long-term care that exceeds their insurance (which they have) they will spend down their assets.

        And my lifestyle pales in comparison to my sister’s family. She has three kids, stayed home until the youngest started kindergarten and now works as a teacher, lives in a huge house on a half acre and takes one big vacation a year. She also lives in Middle of Nowheresville, N.C. – but that is the lifestyle trade-off she made.

        We all make trade-offs, but if you are anxious about your financial future on six figures, you might want to take a look at where and how you live. Also, frankly I suspect your grandparents spent way less on stuff (because there was less stuff to spend on). My grandparents had what passed as a great, middle class lifestyle on (adjusted for inflation) much less than I make with four children, but a middle class lifestyle back then did not include two cars, more than one TV, computers, multiple telephone lines (much less mobile phones), or everyone having their own room.

        Making $500K/year LITERALLY puts you in the top 1% in the US.

    • An ex said something like that to me and I broke up with him. His basic point was that you need at least that before you can even consider having a kid and that you need to have a brownstone (several million+ in NYC) to have either a kid or a dog… so we were definitely not on the same page and I didn’t intend to stick around if he would ever get the brownstone so we could get a dog.

      If it was a friend I would just say that we can agree to disagree and maybe point out where 500k puts you on the income distribution. I do think it’s subjective to some degree depending on where you live and what you consider necessities.

    • I will never forget a conversation I had once with someone who said she needed to make at least $150k/year to live comfortably in southern Mississippi. Southern Mississippi! I clarified – twice – that she did in fact mean “comfortably” and not “well off.” The median home price there is about $125k and you’re living very well on $75k. She was not my favorite person, and I walked away from the conversation pretty disgusted with how out of touch she was with the realities of others.

    • anon a mouse :

      She’s deeply out of touch with reality.

      The top 1% make just under 500K a year. Does she really believe that 99% of Americans are uncomfortable? If yes, I’d start pressing her on how she’s helping those less fortunate.

    • +1 to deeply out of touch. I do not know anyone making that kind of money. I make $75K and am comfortable in my MCOL suburb of a HCOL East Coast city. I save up and am able to afford an international vacation every 5 years or so. I feel privileged to have over double the average household income in my city.

      • Yeah, I feel not only “comfortable” but positively wealthy on a HHI of $150k in a MCOL area. We have no debt, travel all the time, hire all the household help we want and put what seems like oodles of money in the bank. $550k as a threshold for “comfort” seems mind-boggingly high to me.

    • I would want to slap this person in the face. Hard.

      • You have real problems.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Let’s realize that Solo may be coming from a place where she’s earning a tenth of that or less, so this sort of privilege is just very, very aggravating. I don’t want to hit the original person, but I’m not sure we would be able to get on the same page our views are so different.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ll slap her when you’re done.

        I make a tenth of that and am comfortable. And have kids. And a single income household. That is not to suggest that people in HCOL areas would be able to live well on my income, but her perspective is so classist and out of touch with reality that, honestly, I would not continue the friendship after a comment like that. And probably it would be mutual after the slapping, so.

    • We make very close to this — about $480K after bonus in Manhattan, and it is very luxurious, to be honest, especially now that we have no debt. I think we would be perfectly comfortable with half this much money, but we don’t have kids.

    • sheep jump death match :

      Laughter. Gales of it. Interspersed with incredulous sentence fragments like, “You really-” and “Are you-?” and “Holy-“, before devolving into laughter again. For a long time. Like until this person stopped being friends with me, probably.

  5. How do you guys deal with really bad bosses? I was about to go into detail about something I’m going through but its too identifying and I’m paranoid she reads this blog (although I highly doubt it). Basically shes horrible at communicating, not respectful of my time, and just rude. Its gotten worse over the past two months and thankfully I’m leaving soon but in the meantime, how do I deal?

    • Yay! Fruegel Friday! I love Frugal Friday and the lantern look with blouses!

      As for the OP, Hugs, we have all had bad bosses; the trick is to know how to deal with them! If the boss is male, you can use your femaleness, but, as in this case, if your boss is a woman, you will get no points for having a vajayjay, as Ellen Degeneris says. But…..if your boss DOES read this blog, she can’t be quite as much of a battle axe as you think, even if she is a looser.

      I think the best way to get her to calm down is to get her a man, or at the very least something to molify her need to skewer you. I recomend that you buy her a GROUPON her a dinner for two at a half-way decent chicken place, and also offer to find a decent man to go with her if she does NOT already have a date. Then bribe some unsuspecting schmoe into taking her to dinner, knowing he will NOT have to pay for it. Unless the guy is a complete douche, you will have accomplished what you set out to do. YAY!!!!

    • CYA any way you can. After a conversation, send an email summarizing and next steps you’ve both agreed upon in case she forgets/denies it happened/doesn’t follow through etc.

      In terms of not respecting your time, make sure any appointments, hard stops, days off, etc are in your calendar and email her the day before to remind her.

    • my situation was really bad. I made myself crazy tryin to deal rationally with someone who was not. I wound up getting HR involved. Bad boss left but I ultimately resigned. The situation had gone too far and I did not that my professional interests aligned with an organization that let it get that far. In the intervening time, I sought advice where I could and vented to friends. A LOT.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Keep in the front of your mind that she is not professional. It is not your fault.

      Sometimes I can manage myself and my emotions by turning it into a “I can be more professional than you” contest in my own head. When I need to feel like I’m pushing back somehow, this keeps me feeling fierce and functional.

      • Eeertmeert :

        This. And I make it into a game. Every time I have to deal with BB (Bad Boss) – or for that matter OC (Obnoxious Coworkers) – issues, I get a point. If it’s a particularly egregious situation and I behaved particularly well, I get bonus points. Once I earn a certain amount of points, I get a treat.

        This really helps me, because I tend towards a reactive personality type. When I am playing for points, it keeps me in check, generally.

        There have been times where I am near my point goal when I’ve thought, “bring it on BB, mama needs a pedicure”

        :) good luck! It’s a lifetime skill.

  6. Anonymous :

    No. That’s ridiculous. You do not need to make 500k to have a family.

  7. Anon-omenon :

    Jeans PSA for those who like Loft Julie:

    I saw a number of women commenting that the Loft Julie were their perfect work pants and why don’t they make jeans? I just bout the Kut from the Kloth Kurvy Diana skinnys and they fit me perfectly! Very, very similar to the Julies, I would say. And they just went in extra sale at Nordstrom!

    • Anon-omenon :

      https://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/kut-from-the-kloth-diana-curvy-fit-skinny-jeans-saintly-regular-petite/4662997?origin=productBrandLink&top=24&sort=PriceLowToHigh&flexi=8000786_8000819

    • How do Kut from the Kluth jeans feel in terms of material? Are they more classic-denim or closer to jegging style? I like a heavier weight denim and more and more I’m finding jeans that feel more like leggings than denim.

      • Seconding this. I honestly do not want my jeans to feel like pajamas.

      • Both of my pairs of Kut jeans are heavy and substantial. I love them.

      • substantial denim :

        Can’t comment on Kut from the Kloth but can report that I just got a pair of Madewell jeans (the slim straight) and they’re satisfyingly on the “actual denim” end of the spectrum vs the “very thin very stretchy dark blue pants with a denim-esque texture” end of the spectrum. I’m a short and short-waisted (I’m 5’3″ and wear petites at Boden) pear, so I do wish the rise was a little shorter–a high rise makes me look ALL HIPS OMG HIPSHIPSHIPS from my knees to my ribs–but that’s the case with basically all jeans I can find right now, and this particular pair is by far the best I’ve found.

  8. Anonymous :

    Wanting to transition from in-house transactional work to a government job. 8 years practicing. Mom of an infant and toddler. Looking for steady work but without the long hours. How does one go about landing one of these government jobs I keep hearing about on this board? I know you can apply online but from what I’ve heard, they receive a ton of applicants. Do you need to have a connection?

    • I got my federal job via USA jobs.

      Having said that – be careful what you wish for – I’ve been trying for over a year to transition out of federal service with no success. For me at least, it is not all that was promised and I much prefer my previous job.

    • You are best off with a connection but a solid resume could work. You’ll have the most promise looking at agencies where you have directly relevant experience. Federal resumes are really different than corporate resumes so read up on the differences and tailor your resume to each opening. Stalk job sites because many openings will close once they get a number of applications.

  9. Was tickled to see that Meghan Markle chose the Theory blazer that was featured here awhile back. I loved the look then and now, but seeing it on a real person confirms that I really couldn’t have worn it to work — a layer underneath would ruin the effect, but I’m not about to wear anything that requires a strapless bra to work!

    • Anonymous :

      I noticed that too! It’s a gorgeous piece.

      I love her clothes so much in general. So chic and modern. It’s such a contrast to Kate in her series of boring coats and pumps.

      • Kate also has a different role though. As wife of the future King, she’s expected to maintain a more traditional appearance and standard. She’s been remarkably progressive in many areas – sporting attire for events like dragon boating etc.

        Meaghan is the fiancee of the person who is 5th in line for the throne. The further away from being King, the more lax the rules – hence the no pantyhose at the engagement announcement.

        • Also maybe Kate genuinely likes her style? I sure do! I think her coat collection is stunning and her shoes are functional and I love it all

          • I love Kate’s style too but I do see her getting dragged a bit for being more traditional/conservative than Meaghan and I don’t think it’s a fair comparison of their roles/circumstances.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        This makes me sad. I walked by a window last night and thought to myself “I look like Princess Kate. This is such a great outfit!” I love her style.

        • She has wonderful style! It’s different than Meghan’s, but the world would be pretty boring if all stylish people dressed the same.

    • Link? I want to see!

  10. If you needed a job/cash immediately (as an educated person who has been in the weeds of starting a business and has made some bad personal relationship decisions which have very suddenly become apparent), what would you do?

    Is Uber driving safe? Waitressing? Caregiving? Thank you for any thoughts…

    • Anonymous :

      Personally I’d do caregiving for kids because that’s where I’m most comfortable. Or tutoring. When I was in law school, I had good luck on care.com

    • new job who dis :

      as someone who worked in restaurants as a teen and in law school – I always default to restaurant or bartending work.

      Throw together a quick resume with simplified work history and go into every restaurant within walking range or a short commuting distance (because you don’t want to throw away money on driving) to ask for a job. obviously, don’t go during the lunch or dinner rush. late afternoon or morning.

      bonus spots were always the fancy restaurants because bigger bills = more tips, better money.

      go get ’em tiger!

      • What if you have zero experience? Can you still get a waitressing/bartending job? I think bartending requires a certification.

        • new job who dis :

          meh
          Presentation of yourself (clean, put-together) is important. Otherwise, literally everyone can (and probably should!) work in a restaurant and pick up skills along the way. Maybe not extensive bartending, you are correct. But I’ve worked at beer and wine bars with no liquor cocktails to memorize. Nowhere is there a “bartending license” — Some states (MA) require certification to serve liquor, but most will provide the training to you. Don’t let that stop you.

          ideas:
          “Good with dealing with stress, working under pressure, capable of multi-tasking, able to communicate with guests/customers, problem solving with others’ comfort in mind, physical stamina & strength for shift work, etc.”

          • Anonymous :

            I am in MA. Good tips. I’ve been thinking of picking up a side gig, and several friends have suggested bartending/waitressing, but I haven’t ever worked in the food service industry, not even in HS.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yes, get your foot in the door at a restaurant. Hostessing requires organization and good customer service in sometimes stressful situations, and the waiters share a portion of their tips with you. And then maybe you can get trained to wait tables/work at the bar/whatever.

    • +1 for tutoring, if you went to law school and can LSAT tutor, you can make like $40+ an hour, probably over $20 for SAT tutoring.

      • Depending where you’re located, you can contact private schools about tutoring. When I quit a my first job at a toxic workplace, I tutored for a Bethesda private school to the tune of $75/hour for gifted students. More tenured tutors charged up to $125/hour and it was during school hours.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d look for childcare work because it’s cash under the table and I’m good at it.

      And good luck! Sorry.

    • If you need money quick, I would do waitressing or bartending while also trying to find tutoring or caregiving jobs (I would consider both child care and elder care.) What I liked about waiting tables was I always left with a stack of cash, which if you are really struggling helps to buy necessities immediately.

      • + 1 waiting tables. my mom was adamant on me waiting tables as a teenager because she always said you could fall back on it in a pinch. She grew up poor and married “comfortably” very young; she rarely had great career advice but she was right on this.

        • This is such great advice and it’s what I wish I had done in high school instead of working at the mall. In college and when I just started working, there were a few times I needed money and applied for waitressing jobs and actually got laughed at when I applied (at Longhorn) because I had no experience. (In case you’re wondering, working at a call center is horrific, even if it is the next best paying job in town.)

        • That’s great advice. Does it not translate to retail? I guess you’d make more being a server.

          • Retail pays minimum wage in many places. After taxes and with part-time hours, it often can’t really help if you need real funds. You’ll do much better than $7 or $10 per hour waitressing in most places.

          • Source: I worked in retail and worked my way up to region manager; I have also worked as a waitress.

            Retail is not a good option for quick cash. She won’t get paid for at least two weeks (if not three) and unless she finds a place offering serious commission on sales (increasingly rare) she won’t make that much money – in my MCOL city, retail jobs pay less per-hour than fast food. Retail is “cleaner” than waitressing or bartending (i.e., not having to deal with food/beverage and drunk customers) but you don’t get paid immediately. If she starts waitressing or bartending, she could get a job and go home with cash in her pocket that night, if she finds a place that doesn’t do tip pooling. In my younger years, that was REALLY helpful and kept us from getting evicted more than once. I paid off an electric bill one time with a nice tip from an older couple I chatted up during my shift.

            The other thing she could do that I haven’t seen mentioned here is sell stuff. If she has old phones, electronics, jewelry, or even designer clothes/shoes/handbags around, that can all be converted into cash relatively quickly. Heck, I did that a couple of years ago to raise some extra mad money for a girls’ trip I was going on. It was stuff I wasn’t using anyway.

            Hey OP – don’t beat yourself up; these things happen. Happened to me more than once in my life. Better times are ahead.

      • legal canuck :

        yes. I came out of university with a very small loan to pay back because of waitressing. Lots of nights I would come home with $300 in my pocket!
        But you do need to deal with a lot of crap so be prepared for that.

      • As someone whose family hires caregivers for both elders and for children, I would advise you to stick with kids. Eldercare is demanding and stressful and doesn’t typically pay as well as child care. We pay a ton for eldercare, but the actual caregivers don’t see nearly as much of it as the child care providers do.

        • Yeah, sad but true. Eldercargivers get paid terribly, and to do it right/well and be trained enough to help with the medical as well as transferring/safety issues as well as the companionship/dementia/psychiatric issues so common in the elderly, it is actually much harder than child care. Often you need to do some cooking/cleaning as well.

    • Tutoring. Put a resume in at your local high school. In nice suburbs, it pays between $70/hour and $90/hour (for math and science). Writing is $40/hour. Schedule is flexible.

      I would also suggest waitressing or even a temp agency.

      • Holy WHAT? Where do you live, or did you just accidentally add extra zeros? I thought I lived in a pretty well-off suburb but even premium high school tutoring rates are closer to $25/hour around here, esp if you don’t have an academic teaching background. I can’t imagine $90/hour for high school math tutoring unless a Harvard professor is personally teaching your kid 1:1 and will give you an “in” to the college afterwards.

        • Boston suburbs, do it independently, undergrad STEM degree.

          I have tutored in, or talked to tutors in, Andover, Sudbury, Marblehead, Weston. People thought I was crazy to only charge $65/hour.

          • To be fair, I did it for several years and developed a crazy good reputation (my students usually improved by about 15 points).

      • MCOL city in the SEUS and I pay $40/hour to the math tutoring co. Not sure what the tutors get paid out of that.

        • In San Diego, math tutoring in an upscale neighborhood runs at $40-50/hour for math and $50-70 for hard sciences. (And this is not one of the super-pricey coastal communities where I assume rates are higher and not through an agency).

      • This seems ridiculously high to me. I have an advanced degree in STEM and worked as a high school math tutor (through AP calculus) in a super affluent and educated area (Palo Alto) and made $30/hour. Plus you’re an independent contractor not a W-2 employee so taxes are higher. It’s definitely a good way to earn some money on the side, but it’s no $90/hour.

        • You’re massively underpaid for palo alto. I’m also PhD STEM in Berkeley Alameda and I charge 75+ per hour.

          • This was more than 5 years ago and I don’t have a PhD, just a master’s. I also worked for an agency, so I assume the clients had to pay quite a bit more than $30. I’m sure you’re paid more/hour if you work independently but then don’t you have to put in a lot of unpaid hours finding and developing business? I liked the agency because they would just tell me when and where to show up and I would do that and get paid.

      • I’ve paid $60/hr for math tutoring in NYC suburbs

      • I charged 70 an hour for math/science tutoring when I was a grad student, and that was almost a decade ago. I worked independently, so I kept all the cash. Los Angeles.

      • I’m the Anon tutor above who charges a lot.

        I love tutoring, enjoy getting to know my students, and some end up becoming almost like family. But it’s a business and I run it like one.

        I charge what is approximately the going rate in my area, and I don’t try to justify it. My work is good, the students improve a lot, and everyone else charges that. Some of my families of many years get charged a lower rate. Rather than increasing everything across the board (which I could do, but choose not to, for reasons), I just say:

        “My rate for the 2017/2018 academic year for new families is $75/hour.”

        That way, it’s not an issue about the $65/hour I charge to families I’ve been working with for five years, and it leaves it open that I might charge more in upcoming years.

    • It’s all relative. :

      I pay $15-20/hr for childcare. Babysit 6-12 one or two weekend nights and that’s a lot of cash under the table while not all that taxing (vs waitressing, where if you work 6-12 you are *beat*).

      • This is what I was going to suggest. I pay around $15/hour cash to babysit my two kids, and they’re eating or sleeping for most of the time I’m gone. You could do that, and then do some kind of online data entry job while they sleep to get paid double for your time. Maybe resume writing or medical transcription or something?

    • Linda from HR :

      I’d probably apply to some stores I like, have my guy put in a good word at a local ice cream chain he used to work at when he was between jobs, see if any movie theaters are hiring.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Waitressing! Busy restaurants make the shift fly by, you’re paid immediately, and the effort you put into it will actually yield better income (as opposed to retail or something like that where you’re paid a flat rate).

    • Based on past experience, I would look for telefundraising or telemarketing jobs….In my experience. literally anyone can walk in and be hired at one of those places and start making money after a short training.

      • Based on past experience, I would look for tele-fundraising or telemarketing jobs….In my experience. literally anyone can walk in and be hired at one of those places and start making money after a short training.

        EDITED TO ADD: I agree with everyone above that waiting tables in a decent restaurant will prob make you more money than retail (based on my own experience in both). HOWEVER note that restaurants often have little cultural hierarchies and if you get hired as bartender with no experience while someone with more experience is still waiting tables, you may be setting yourself up to be resented by other staff members.

        Also yes: working in a call center is seriously awful but if you really need cash and want it ASAP, they will hire basically anyone due to constant turnover (so no need to coordinate interviews/wait to hear if you were selected) and you can get commissions. And, at least you are probably indoors and seated…

    • I personally would tutor. I did it after law school before bar results and made about $25-35/hr for SAT and GRE.

      I don’t think anyone responded about Uber. I have two friends that drive Uber and love the flexibility. Both are male however. One one reports being propositioned multiple times. Not to say it’s not safe, but there may be awkward situations. One friend makes ok money doing it by know when to drive. Basically bar rush times.

    • sheep jump death match :

      I have a college degree and work in a non-profit. I’ve done babysitting, elder care/”household management” and rideshare driving as side hustles. The first two pay the most per hour but driving has the most hours available and is more steady. I suspect that once you have regular clients, babysitting and tutoring are more lucrative, but ridesharing lets you start making money right away. Lyft pays out once a week and also has an “Express Pay” option that usually hits your bank account the next day. You do have to set aside your taxes and make quarterly tax payments. Some people on the Internet claim that if you itemize + deduct mileage, driving is “tax neutral” but I’ll believe that when they post their tax returns. Moneywise, it’s a good side hustle but would make a lousy living. If you could combine it with some of the other suggestions here, you would probably be in pretty good shape.

      Nobody has ever hit on me, but I’m not very conventionally attractive and I think I give off kind of a “hippie lesbian” vibe, so ladies who are thinner, prettier, more feminine, etc, might have a different experience. Time of day matters too, picking people up from bars is going to be a little hairy sometimes, taking them out to bars is usually fine/easy. I’ve never felt threatened or scared, occasionally annoyed at someone drunk or oblivious.

      If you do it, google around for a referral code before signing up. Some of them are a few hundred dollars.

    • I worked at a market research company once between jobs. Phone banked and was quickly moved up to data analysis because I had basic Excel skills. It was somewhere between $11-15 an hour in an HCOL several years ago, but physically nondemanding.

    • Tutoring. You can even do it online, at companies like Yup. So you can do it from the comfort of your own home, with flexible hours, and you don’t have to go look for students.

  11. Clothing Expenditures 2017 :

    Reposting this because we tend to get a lot more responses in the morning.

    Can we do an annual clothing budget round-up?

    2017 clothing spending:
    2017 income:
    Best purchase of 2017:
    Worst purchase of 2017:
    2018 clothing budget:

    • Here's me :

      2017 clothing spending: ~ $3657

      2017 income: $160K individually, household income $450 K

      Best purchase of 2017: Zella lounge pants for sleeping ($70), Spanx high power shorts ($40), Jcrew skirt suit ($200) – finally a suit that I like!!!

      Worst purchase of 2017: Rothys flats ($145) – so cute but so stinky

      2018 clothing budget: $3000. I track my expenses most years and find that my usual range is $2 – 4K a year.
      On my wish list is a beautiful wool coat in a fun color and upgraded shoes for work (I’m still wearing old Calvin Kleins that should have been tossed a while ago)

      • My Rothys were also probably my worst purchase. Really cute and get a ton of compliments, but I think I may have gotten a half size too small. Not sure about that though. What threw me was that it’s very stretchy and feels loose when you put them on, but then you walk for a while and realize it’s just stretchy and not actually roomy. Mine hit the top of my big toes, but it may also be the design where the shoe is just really “flat” at the top so maybe my toe sticks up too much?

        • I had all the same problems with my Rothys and they were by far my worst purchase of 2017. I thought they would be perfect commuting shoes, but after trying them for a week I gave up, and am kicking myself for getting sucked in by the social media marketing. They run SO small, and you can only exchange once – I thought going up half a size from my normal 9 would solve it, but the 9.5 didn’t feel much better, and I would have liked to try the 10, but I thought they’d eventually stretch out so it might be worth keeping them. I got the pointed version, and the mildly stretchy fabric shows the shape of your foot in the shoe – not a great look. Plus they are SO stinky, I’d have to wash them every day to not feel self conscious about wearing them. And the toe box is so small/short I got blisters on the top of my big toe, which has never happened to me before. And on top of all that, they aren’t even very cushioned, and have zero arch support, and so aren’t very suitable for commuting/walking shoes anyway! Sorry for the rant, I’m just still pretty salty at myself for spending $145 on shoes that suck.

          • Glad I’m not the only one. :) My husband thought they were the most stylish flats I have, and they probably are. But not wearable so what’s the point.

          • Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one! And mine didn’t feel “small” until I wore them outside, so I couldn’t exchange them :( It’s too bad because I loved the idea and the style!

        • Anonymous :

          Oh man, I love my Rothys – I have a two-mile-each-way commute and reach for them constantly. They’re the most comfortable shoes in my closet and the odor is way less than my other shoes (I don’t wear leather, though, so it may be I’m used to more smell than others). People’s feet are so different it’s tough, I think, to know what will work for you based on what works for your friends.

          • Triangle Pose :

            Same, they would be my best purchase of 2017 – 3 pairs of the pointed toe ones and I get compliments constantly. I walk-commute a mile to work and a mile back. They are my favorite walking shoe.

          • Same. I bought 3 pointy toe pair in 2017. They are my ‘office’ shoes so I don’t commute in them but they’re fairly polished looking and comfy. The STINK is an issue…even after washing they can be kinda gross. I saw on the Rothy’s website you can buy replacement liners – maybe that’s an option…

          • Anon, come on. :

            anonish, they stink AFTER you wash them in the washing machine? That’s so odd, I feel like they come out of the wash brand new. I also just through the liners in the washing machine with the shoes in a lingerie bag.

    • Diana Barry :

      Spending $3600 (this may include DH clothes and some kids’ clothes)
      Income $400K (family)

      Best purchase: Reiss asymmetrical black dress, knit, feels like PJs and looks super polished, can wear in winter with a shirt underneath or in summer.
      Worst purchase: Born flat booties to replace other flat booties, I have just been wearing the old ones regardless. I should look if I can return the new ones!
      Budget for 2018: no budget, but I am doing a buy nothing Q1.

    • 2017 clothing spending: £250? I was pregnant until August and on mat leave until last week so didn’t buy much over the course of the year.
      2017 income: £25,000 individual, £60,000 HH
      Best purchase of 2017: Sperry duck boots – I’ve worn those things all winter. Also gap denim maternity shorts, I only wore them 5-6 times but I felt so darn cute with my bump and my cutoff shorts.
      Worst purchase of 2017: Nothing stands out
      2018 clothing budget: £1000, I’m nursing and pumping at work so making do with my current wardrobe (5 dresses, a few skirts, and some tops) for the time being but will need to upgrade at some point when things start to fall apart. I found that I really like having a small wardrobe.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s nice to see someone else on here who isn’t making six figures and spending $$$ on clothes!

        • If you actually track what you spend on clothes you might be surprised. Other than increased rent, my husband and I basically live exactly like we did when we were making a combined $80k starting out. I felt like I spent hardly anything on clothes, and yet it added up to a little over $1,000 for the year.

    • 2017 clothing spending: ~$1500 for the household, mostly me and mostly due to needing maternity clothes for my first pregnancy
      2017 income: $150k (household)
      Best purchase: A Seraphine maternity dress I’ve worn at least once a week and I swear I get compliments on it every time
      Worst purchase: Nothing terrible, all my clothes this year were necessary because of the pregnancy but I got a couple of maternity dresses at Target that are too form-fitting and I haven’t really worn them, first because I was self conscious about how I looked in them and now because they’re too tight and uncomfortable.
      2018 budget: Maybe $1500 for the household again? I haven’t really bought clothes in a long time and will probably need some new pieces before I head back to work. And baby will need new outfits every couple of months, each outfit is cheap but it adds up.

      • Legally Brunette :

        Is your Seraphine dress a boat neck sheath? If so, I had that dress in three different colors and I swear I’ve never gotten more compliments ever (including when I wasn’t pregnant)! I loved those dresses so much.

        • I’m not sure about boatneck, but it’s a sheath. It’s this one — currently on sale at Macy’s! https://www.macys.com/shop/product/seraphine-maternity-printed-sheath-dress?ID=4379319
          (It looks kind of short on the model, but is fine on me and I’m 5’10”)

    • 2017 clothing spending: ~$1,400
      2017 income: $80,000
      Best purchase of 2017: Cole Haan Zerogrand oxfords, so comfy and can wear to work or on the weekends. Also finally bought some new jeans for the first time in years!
      Worst purchase of 2017: too many cheap quality shirts
      2018 clothing budget: ~1,200

    • 2017 clothing spending: $1,942
      2017 income: HHI of $165k
      Best purchase of 2017: I did a lot of thoughtful wardrobe refreshing this year, so I’m overall very happy with my purchases (and yes, I do have a detailed spreadsheet of all my purchases in 2017, because I’m a giant nerd and excel is my life). For work, my best purchases were a bunch of CK pencil skirts, for fun, a hot pink sequined mini dress that I wore to get vow renewed in Vegas by Elvis, and for at home flannel bird pjs.
      Worst purchase of 2017: A wool blend Ann Taylor shell. I KNOW I can’t wear wool. WHYYYYY do I think I can? I cant. Never again, CPA Lady. Never again. Y’all slap my hand if you see me reaching for wool.
      2018 clothing budget: I don’t need many more clothes. I don’t have a set in stone budget, but I do have goals. I want to get a couple pairs of supportive flats, and a few more work shells and cardigans. It would be great if I could keep it under $1,000. I’m making it a priority to see if I can get things on thred up or goodwill before I pay retail.

    • 2017 spending: almost exactly $1500, and a sizeable chunk of that went to a few pair of quality shoes.
      HH income: around 100,000
      Best purchase: Leather sperry boots with tweed cuffs
      Worst purchase: Woolovers sweater dress that I can’t figure out how to style because it’s a little to short

    • Thanks for posting. It forced me to go look, and I’m shocked at how much I spent.

      2017 clothing spending: $4,800
      2017 income: $390K (single, biglaw)
      Best purchase of 2017: some lands end dresses (they even have pockets!!!), a purse I use every weekend, and some causal pants I got for a vacation and love
      Worst purchase of 2017: some bras that never fit right and some work dresses I never wear (missed the return date), I also regret the dress I purchased from MM lafleur (it doesn’t fit right, and is way more than I normally spend)
      2018 clothing budget: I normally don’t set a budget, but now I’m thinking I will. maybe $2,000

    • I have a hard time understanding some of these totals, unless people never buy underwear, [email protected], PJs, socks, workout clothes, etc. I do not buy fancy [email protected] and always try to get them on sale, but I still spend at least $600/year just on sports [email protected], regular [email protected], and sleep [email protected] They never last more than a year before the spandex wears out and/or the underwires start poking me. Or do people just own one or two and wear them several days before washing? And what about shoes? Running shoes cost at least $100/pair and have to be replaced at least a couple of times a year. I honestly don’t get how people can spend so little and still be covering the very basics. Maybe if you only buy work clothes and don’t have weekend clothes, workout clothes, or PJs?

      • You replace your running shoes multiple times a year? Are you a marathon runner?

        • Anonymous :

          I only run about 10-12 miles a week (I usually do 3 miles each run, and run 3-4 times per week), and I like to replace my running shoes when they reach around 350 miles on them. So I go through at least 2 pairs a year. My husband runs more like 40 miles per week and goes through shoes even faster.

      • I posted my stuff yesterday (around $1100), but I didn’t need to buy underwear/PJs/socks/bras this year. I did buy three workout tanks, but that was maybe $60-$75 of the total? I can see where running shoes are different but I just don’t actually need to “replace” most items that often.

        I’m surprised at your bra totals – my bras are expensive (in the $50-$75 range) and I have 4 “nicer” bras that I’ve had for 2 1/2-3 years, with no signs of wearing out, along with a couple that I normally save for the weekends/hanging around home. I alternate them, wear them a few times, and then wash on the handwash cycle in my washing machine and hang to dry. In 25 years of bra wearing, I’ve only had the underwire poke out once or twice, so maybe try some new brands? I’m pregnant so I’m going to need to size up pretty soon, but otherwise needing to replace bras every year seems crazy to me.

        • + 1 Very surprised to see so much money spent on [email protected] I don’t wear them to sleep, I probably buy 2 or 3 a year (each about $40) and I do more strength training than cardio so don’t have a need for a lot of sport [email protected] because I don’t get sweaty.

        • Anonymous at 12:29 :

          My regular [email protected] are about $45 full-price, 20% off if I can get a sale. I have tried multiple brands and the wires always, always poke through after 9 months or so. I put up with it for a while but have to replace them around the one-year mark. I wear them only once before washing because otherwise they itch. This means I have to have at least eight to get through the week and have one left to wear while washing. I machine wash on delicate in a cylindrical net bag to preserve the shape, then line dry. I also have the soft kind with no wires (whose name will get me into mod) for wearing at night, and these are flimsy and cheap so they get shabby after six months of wear but I make them go a year. And then sports [email protected] are supposed to be replaced once a year too. I think I am keeping the lycra industry in business.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 on only wearing once. I can’t imagine how bad I would smell if I didn’t change my underwear every day. Not necessarily accusing other people, but I’m sweaty and that would NOT be an option.

      • The answer for me is that I have very small b00bs. I don’t wear my bras out easily, so I keep them for ~5 years or more. Also I wear the same exercise clothes I had in college 10 years ago… I’m just cheap, really.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m totally with you about bras. I posted above that I spent $1500 in 2017, but I was honeatly surprised it was so low. I think partly that’s because I stocked up on bras in 2016 when I my unemployment ended (I kind of had to). Now they are all wearing out at the same time, and and soon as my budget rolled over into 2018 I spent several hundred dollars on new ones.

        I suspect part of the cumulative spending difference might be due to size. I’m a DD, and I see A sizes sold for 1/3 of what I pay, in the same mid-to-high quality brands. Also, I bet mine wear out faster because of the extra …stress… on the hardware.

      • I buy 3 or 4 bras a year from target, at max $20 each. Workout clothes – really only wear any old tee and have one pair of exercise pants and I use them twice a week with a wash in between. Workout bra – have one sports bra but very small boobs and I mostly use my regular non padded target bras for workouts also. On average I have about 6 bras at any given time all included and I do laundry twice a week, wear each only one day before washing.

    • Amberwitch :

      2017 clothing spending: $1500 – including received gifts
      2017 income: HHI $350k
      Best purchase of 2017:
      A secondhand Ivan Grundahl jacket that matches a favorite skirt I bought years ago, creating a skirt suit – $37
      A pair of teal wool blend dress pants from Bitte Kai Rand $50
      Worst purchase of 2017: Brown-orange boucle skirt suit, never work
      2018 clothing budget: About the same – although I am lacking for nothing

    • 2017 clothing spending: $1,200 or so (including 2 pairs of running sneakers).

      2017 income: $85k

      Best purchase of 2017: I like a lot of my 2017 purchases. There was a dress suit from Classiques, a few Brooks Brothers dresses, and a Maggy London wrap. All were at least half off.

      Worst purchase of 2017: tweed skirt from Ann Taylor. It just doesn’t work on me.

      2018 clothing budget: $500 plus athletic footwear. I built up my wardrobe over several years, so high spending is leveling off.

  12. Anonymous :

    Does amtrak have a map of station locations? I can’t seem to find one on the website.

    • Anonymous :

      G00gle-mapping “amtrak” seemed to work, but you don’t see all the stations unless you’re zoomed far enough in

  13. Skincare Recs :

    I cannot use Retin-A anymore because of an allergic reaction, which really depresses me because of how smooth and poreless it made my skin. Does anyone have any recommendations for similar products that doesn’t have retinol as an ingredient? Thanks!

    • There are a lot of other acids that can also help with skin turnover and pore size. If you didn’t have dryness with Retin A I think you’d be fine with a higher % once a week peel, or a daily acid in a 1-3% range. Stridex is cheap and easy for the once a day usage, there are lots of options for a higher % weekly peel but I find Paula’s choice Resist a good one and it has lots of good review.
      http://www.paulaschoice.com/resist-weekly-resurfacing-treatment-with-10pct-aha/765.html?cgid=category-aha-bha-exfoliants#sz=12&start=13
      The ordinary also makes a peel as does drunk elephant (baby facial) but I’d start off with the less expensive products first and see if they make a difference. You may also want to experiment with acids – lactic acid doesn’t work as well for me as glycolic and salicylic, lots of ppl also suggest mandelic.

    • I’d really just go see my dermatologist on this. If you’re having a new allergic reaction you should make sure there isn’t something more to understand about your skin and your dermatologist will have a great recommendation (or should. If she doesn’t, find a new derm).

    • I’m reallg liking Finacea, which is azaleic acid. Has your derm made alternative suggestions for you?

      I switched to finacea from retin-a because it also helps with rosacea and i have a maybe it is maybe it’s not light case on the top of my nose.

      • Same here. Depending on your allergies, try the one from The Ordinary. I also like The Ordinary lactic acid.

    • The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid! I was amazed by the smoothness and glow – it’s the only product I’ve used that gives me similar results (at least surface level) as regular retinoid use.

    • Are you allergic to the tretinoin itself (the active ingredient) or to the fillers in the cream? I can’t use many of the formulations of tretinoin, including the brand name Retin-A, but I can use a derivative called tazarotene (brand name: Tazorac). Ask your dermatologist about other options. I had to experiment a bit before finding one that I could use.

      As others have mentioned, azelaic acid is another option which should give similar results.

  14. We bought a new house a few months ago and got carpet installed on the upper floors. It is SO STATICKY, especially the rooms we don’t use as much (office and third floor game room). I think it just killed our hard drive, as my 11 year old doesn’t always remember to discharge. Any suggestions? I tried googling and didn’t see a lot of solutions. We run humidifiers in the baby’s room and that helps in there, but I don’t want to have five different humidifiers running all around the house. Also hoping for something not too toxic as my son is only 18 months and therefore close to the floor.

    • Have you looked into a Venta airwasher/humidifier? They are $$$ but they last forever, are easy to maintain, and the one we have covers 400 sq ft.

    • Flats Only :

      This would be tedious, but how about lightly rubbing a dryer sheet over it. Maybe you could put the dryer sheet on a swiffer and just swiff back and forth. One of the points of fabric softener/dryer sheets is to prevent static. Or try spraying with Static Guard? I think that stuff smells weird, but it might be quicker.

    • Overly sensitive :

      Static Guard and a humidifier?

    • How big is your place?

      Try one larger humidifier that you keep on the main floor (but possibly keep the small one in the baby’s room). It’s big enough that it is essentially like a piece of furniture, but you can find them designed simply, in colors that can blend in with your decor. You just keep it in a corner. We have one that fills to 2.5-3 gallons. We refill it a couple times a day. This is for a relatively small 2 floor house (3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths) about 1600 sq feet.

      • It’s about 2100 sq feet. It’s 115 years old, so not a very “open” floor plan. The second floor has a narrow hallway so I am not sure how much good it would do in the other rooms. Maybe if we left the door open? The third floor does have a wide hallway, and I am thinking one of those humidifiers like you suggest might work well.

        I wonder if there is a “natural”-ish Static Guard? I’m not normally super crunchy as a parent, but I am leery of spraying stuff that he’ll be breathing in so much.

        • How are the windows, insulation, weather stripping, caulking, etc? You can put all the humidity you want into the house, but if it’s leaking cold air that makes things worse. Maybe look at an energy audit and see if there are little fixes to be made.

          • I had no idea that could affect it – thank you for the recommendation! I definitely want to do that. (old house + not very good maintenance from previous owners)

        • It is amazing, but our large humidifier on the first floor keeps the upstairs bedrooms comfortable. Ours is also a very old house, long hallway with small bedrooms off hallway. I would keep the doors open. If you want to close baby’s door, then smaller humidifier there should do the trick. I would keep that running all day as well, and may help cover the upstairs if you keep the doors open and keep the downstairs one full.

    • Get a whole house humidifier. It is installed next to your furnace/central air and humidifies at the beginning. Not sure about installation costs, but roughly $150-$200 for the unit. Probably about the same cost as buying either a giant humidifier or separate humidifiers for each room.

  15. Anonymous :

    Best way to get from NYC to Poughkeepsie?

  16. Paging cbackson! :

    Never too many shoes here.

    Further to yesterday’s thread on children, I just want to thank you for giving up your time to volunteer for kids with special needs.

    Your time and effort is *so*, so appreciated, and I wanted you to know that.

    • And I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your post about your autistic son. I’m pregnant with #1 now and have had some anxiety about the possibility of having a child with special needs, and your post made me a lot more optimistic that everything will be ok no matter what.

  17. Overly sensitive :

    Can we talk skincare for the super sensitive? My reactive, rosacea-prone skin is a mess right now. Between cold weather, dry office air, and exercise, it’s itchy and blotchy on my cheeks. I can keep the redness under control most of the time, but the bumpy texture is still an issue. Has anyone successfully solved this issue?

    1) Even at age 37, I don’t have an anti-aging regimen beyond eye cream because exfoliants, serums, acids, toners, etc. cause bad reactions. My derm has urged me to stick with the basics: cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen. I wish I had a holy grail product to make me look brighter and fresher.

    2) During the winter, the texture part of my rosacea comes out. This is my least favorite part because my foundation doesn’t go on smoothly over these areas, so it looks chalky and just all-around terrible. Would a primer help this situation? I’m thinking it might fill in the texture a bit so I have a smoother surface to work with. Or maybe I need a different application technique altogether. I’ve tried a beauty blender, a flat brush, and my fingers.

    I’m running a humidifier at night and piling on the moisturizer and rosehip oil. I have cut out hot showers, hot drinks, and alcohol … all things that make me happy but cause my skin to flare up.

    • A hydrating serum will do wonders for calming and actually adding hydration under your moisturizer. Think of moisturizer as the coat on top of your other steps. K Beauty has great lists, including lists for people who are sensitive/reactive.

      Also, pure aloe gel will calm before hydrating. I damaged my moisture barrier and solved it with a combination of Aloe gel, Hada Labo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist (hydrating serum), Stratia Liquid gold (cross between serum and moisturizer), and Skinfood Royal Honey Good Moisturizing Cream (no fragrance or alcohol, super gentle).

      Also, check your cleanser. If it has alcohol or foams, it is probably drying your skin out. I recommend oil or cream cleansers.

      For makeup, yes a pore filling/smoothing primer will help a bit, but hydration will help your actual skin more.

      • Overly sensitive :

        Thanks, I’ll check out the serum option. I have to admit that I’m very unclear on how moisturizer is different from a hydrating product, though! (Not criticizing your description at all; more that skincare is confusing!)

        • It’s so confusing! Basically hydrating means drawing water into the skin, and moisturizing is more sealing that water in (and adding a little itself)

          Check out steps 3 and 4 here for a more scientific explanation if you want a read :)

          https://www.reddit.com/r/AsianBeauty/wiki/theabroutine

    • I have but have not solved this issue. But here’s my most successful attempt: I use a green tinted primer below my foundation. Then, I spritz my foundation brush with setting spray before I use it to apply foundation. I put more setting spray on in lieu of powder at the end of my routine. I also keep a cool mist humidifier on my desk. (And, on longer car trips, in my car’s cup holder.)

    • Perhaps a silly question – but do you use a Low-Ph cleanser (Cerave is) – my cleanser was soo harsh and really irritating my skin and causing acne. I know your derm said only a moisturizer – but perhaps a hyrdating toner that you can apply in layers, or an essence before a thicker moisturizer might help? Snail mucin is pretty hydrating (but won’t resolve textural issues). Is a mild acid really off the table? I’d assume that would be about the one way (aside from lasers) that would probably resolve skin texture issues. Reddit has some amazing AB (asian beauty) threads you may want to look into.

    • Try finacea! I posted about it above. It’s specifically recommended for rosacea. Talk to your derm about it. M
      If you have one of those derms who will not discuss anything having to do with looking better with you (I’ve had one too) you may need to see a different one.

      • Also have you tried cold cream cleansing? It comes up on here a lot but it has changed my life. I have not bad flaky skin even one time this winter, and it plagued me every other winter.

        I just use Ponds, and wipe off with a washcloth.

      • Overly sensitive :

        I used Finacea several years ago and it was super irritating. For whatever reason, a lot of the traditional rosacea treatments haven’t worked well for me. Until now, I’ve had better luck using the right skincare products.

    • What has helped me:
      1. Paying attention to drinking water in winter
      2. Anti-bacterial cloth to thoroughly clean my face
      3. CereVe Hydrating Cleanser
      4. Clarins SOS Beauty Repair Concentrate serum – wonder product.

    • I struggled with rosacea for over a decade and spent thousands trying to rid my skin of bumps and blotchy redness. I tried every rosacea medication including topicals and oral antibiotics, various lasers (IPL, V-beam, and hydrafacials), quarterly facials, satin pillowcases, you name it.

      I was finally successful with a combo of Soolantra (bumps) and Mirvaso (redness). After many frustrations and a food diary with no clear connections I went to an allergist for testing. He found no allergies other than dust mites. I took this info back to my derm (please, please, work with a derm on this) who looked as though a lightbulb went off in his head. He immediately prescribed Soolantra which kills demodex mites (I call them face spiders). Apparently some believe they play a role in rosacea.

      For me, the Soolantra got ride of a lot of the bumps but Mirvaso shuts down my blood vessels for zero redness. I still would get flare ups from heat (like one cheek would be bright red and blotchy and hot) so I went to an acupuncturist. I rarely get red at all anymore unless it’s been a while since I used the Mirvaso. I’m now also using retinol which has helped the texture of my skin immensely.

      The weird thing about rosacea is that it happens to different people for different reasons. And, nobody even seems to be 100% sure about any of it but this combo has been life-changing for me. Work with your derm and get their opinion on allergy testing.

      GOOD LUCK. It’s a b*tch, I know. People were always asking me if I was sick or upset or crying or had been drinking. No, dude, I’m just red.

      • Also, once I started using the Soolantra and seeing a difference I tossed ALL my old makeup and brushes.

      • Yuuuuuck! Face spiders! I have total heebie jeebies now! (But I’m glad you figured out what works for you)

    • I have similar skin and found Josie Maran “Milk” to be my holy grail product. It’s argan oil based but in a form that my skin absorbs better than the regular argan oil. I slather it on at least a couple of times per day during the winter, less so during the summer. Otherwise, just cleanser (CeraVe hydrating) and sunscreen (the Biore water stuff I found recommended here).

    • I also have sensitive skin with rosacea. My holy grail product (t0 the extent one exists for rosacea) is tea tree oil – I get it at target. I put it on at night between washing and moisturizing. There’s some fairly interesting articles on the connection between rosacea, dermites, and tea tree oil if you do a google search.

  18. How to make opportunities? :

    How do you balance finding/making professional development opportunities for yourself with being a “team player” and just putting your head down to get work done? I’m a big law midlevel, getting pushback from a billable case team about joining a pro bono case that would give me incredible professional development and serve a great cause. I basically just said “okay, I understand” in the moment but the more I think about it, the more I feel like I’m in a bind. My billable cases will always be busy because I work in a busy practice. But my best opportunities to get hands-on litigation experience are likely to be pro bono or smaller cases that my big case teams are probably going to resent giving up some of my time for. When I look at my role models, all of them to some degree have leveraged their pro bono to make a systemic difference and/or build their own skills. How does one carve out space for that kind of opportunity? (And before you ask– yes, I am billing above our hours expectation and said I would continue to do so; and yes, I am required to get approval from my case team so I can’t just go do it anyway.)

    • You go back with a pointed question to the partner saying that joining the pro bono case will give you x opportunity that you need to have to develop into a successful senior associate and ask if you can’t do the pro bono case how you will get the same opportunity on the billable case. It doesn’t help you with making a systemic difference but it does help with the skills part.

    • Do you have a mentor at the firm who is committed to your long-term future there? Are you a future partner?

      At my firm, you cannot make partner without having checked off some boxes with respect to trial. If this pro bono case is going to give you trial boxes, then I think you have a strong case that you need to do this for your longevity at the firm. But many amazing pro bono cases are also very, very time intensive, and never result in that trial — just like regular billing cases. If you’re a future partner, I think it’s worth it to make the case to your mentor that you need to do the pro bono trial. Your mentor can work with the supervising partner on the pro bono case to make sure you get the carved out trial experience, without having to review hundreds of thousands of documents. It’s not easy to thread this needle but it can be done.

      • How to make opportunities? :

        Yes and hopefully yes. This case would check boxes that I need. Mentor partner is not the same person who told me no but is involved in my billable cases– sounds like I need to gather some more specific info and go talk to him. I’m willing to add more to my plate to get this opportunity.

    • Even if you need permission, I would just do it anyway. It’s pretty hard in reality for a group of people to take you off a matter if you’re pulling your weight on your team. The most effective thing I’ve done for my own career is to have a general mantra of “get forgiveness not permission” and “mind my own career.” I’d really encourage you to rethink your presumption that you need permission here.

  19. Women's March :

    Are you going to any Women’s Marches? I went last year at my county courthouse. It was fun because it was new and fresh, and you felt like you were part of something. However, they didn’t have any speakers so it didn’t have a lot of cohesion other than walking around the courthouse and chanting a bit and a moment of silence. So I kind of feel like I should, only to show solidarity. What are y’all doing, or have you found new channels to show support?

    • Yes! Went last year, had a great time and was inspired by the experience. Looking for funny sign ideas – just did ‘Love Trumps Hate’ last year.

    • I live in DC and I’m still trying to figure out if there even is one here… I saw something on facebook which implies there’s one at the Lincoln memorial, but the official Women’s March page only has a sister march in Alexandria.

      • Same here and I think they just put all their effort into the national one in Vegas. I’m pretty disappointed.

      • I’m going and offhand know about 10 women who are as well!

        https://www.facebook.com/events/2033775260281286/

    • I’m planning to go to a smallish local one. It’ll be my first time! Question: is it OK to show up without a sign? I’m slammed at work and I don’t think I’ll have time to make one.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        Totally OK! I went last year and lots of people had signs and lots of people didn’t. Just be there.

        I’m going this year – partly because I loved being a part of it last year, and partly because I feel like people are getting used to and normalizing Trump, and I refuse to let that happen at least for myself. I think it’s even more important to do it this year than last year. The media will publish all these articles saying, “Lower Crowds At Women’s March Show That Women Are Embracing Trump — Or At Least the Trump Economy” and I just feel sick at that thought, so off I go.

  20. Any recommendations for men’s gloves that come in very small sizes? My so has tiny hands. He tried the Elma ones from amazon, but they were too large in the smallest men’s size. I will prob just order him women’s gloves but figured I’d check to see if anyone knew of a place I could look with comparably priced leather gloves to the Elmas that come in small sizes. Thanks!

  21. Does anyone use Norwex laundry soap? Interested in reviews from real people. I have several cousins who are over the moon about everything Norwex, and I wouldn’t mind hearing from a few less eager fans haha.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I think Norwex is an MLM scheme, so they might have a vested interest in being “thrilled” about it.

  22. Perhaps a silly question – but do you use a Low-Ph cleanser (Cerave is) – my cleanser was soo harsh and really irritating my skin and causing acne. I know your derm said only a moisturizer – but perhaps a hyrdating toner that you can apply in layers, or an essence before a thicker moisturizer might help? Snail mucin is pretty hydrating (but won’t resolve textural issues). Is a mild acid really off the table? I’d assume that would be about the one way (aside from lasers) that would probably resolve skin texture issues. Reddit has some amazing AB (asian beauty) threads you may want to look into.

  23. 5 days in L.A. :

    Flying to L.A. tonight for a few days with a friend. Both of us are 30ish and looking to explore the city a bit, maybe do a little shopping, do a hike or walk the beach a little, but no theme parks or Hollywood stuff. A little museum time is good, but we aren’t trying to check off all the biggest tourist stuff. Any must-do ideas? Excellent brunch, coffee, cocktail spots? Some place we can go dancing that’s not really clubby? Looking for fun recs from the always-reliable commentariat here…

    • Do the Getty for sure.

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        I hate museums, and this was a win for me. They have an excellent (free?) guided tour that went into the history of the museum.

    • LA is big. Where are you staying exactly?

      I’d for sure spend some time in Santa Monica or one of the beach cities like Manhattan Beach. Lots of restaurants and things to do in easy walking distance once you manage to park.

      I live in the Bay Area but do a lot of one or two night trips to LA for work. I always stay downtown. I wouldn’t recommend downtown for vacation travel. I know they’re trying to make it more interesting but it really does clear out when everyone goes home from work, and it’s not all that fun/interesting. (But do see the old library)

      • 5 days in L.A. :

        We got an Airbnb that’s near La Brea.

        • Go to Republique for brunch – it’s one of my favorite spots in that area (and their oatmeal cookie, even if you loathe oatmeal cookies, is fantastic). You’re close to the LACMA – personally I like it better than the Getty (blasphemy, I know, but it’s crowded and takes up too much time, IMHO). I’d suggest a day in Venice Beach and dinner at Gjleina there.

          • Oh I think there’s a Sugarfish location close-ish to where you are that’s good for sushi.

          • For views, this place has been on my list for years (I’ve never been sufficiently organized to get tickets in time) and I’d consider this in lieu of the Getty – http://stahlhouse.com

      • Definitely spend a day in Santa Monica, and a day in Manhattan Beach (or at least an afternoon/evening in each). Neither is particularly close to La Brea, but both are really nice. I presume you rented a car? It will be a struggle in LA without one.

        Manhattan Beach has lots of great restaurants on Manhattan Beach Blvd and Manhattan Avenue (right down by the beach). MB Post and Arthur J are two of my favorites, though there are many good options. There are cute shops along those streets too. You can walk along the beach (there is a path) down to Hermosa Beach – it is about 2 miles one way from pier to pier.

        In Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade is fun to check out. I personally prefer Montana Avenue for browsing, but for an out of towner, Third Street Promenade and the SM pier are worth seeing. I love True Food Kitchen that is near the Promenade.

        Definitely go to the Getty!

        Venice Beach is entertaining, though not necessarily my cup of tea overall. Gjelina and Tasting Kitchen are both good.

        Favorite hikes are in Temescal Canyon and Mandeville Canyon. Griffith Park also has a nice hike.

        Enjoy LA!

    • 5 days in L.A. :

      Thanks all! Republique will be a great first stop tomorrow morning…

  24. How do people wear heels all day? I really struggle with numbness in the ball of my foot and swelling. Walking in heels is fine. The challenge is wearing them longer than a few hours.

    I actually danced in 3″ heels when I did ballroom dance in college, and it was the same thing. I could wear them for maybe 4 hours max, and after that, the ball of my foot would burn and feel numb well into the next day.

    I’ve tried soaking my feet in epsom salts and Tiger Balm. I’ve added those ball of foot pads and three quarter high heel inserts. Meanwhile, I see people wearing heels for a full work day and then evening, or I even see people like Megan Markle/Kate Middleton (mentioned above) wearing heels all over the place. What am I missing?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Well, I usually take Tylenol on days when I have to wear heels all day long. Also, I’ve found that certain makers’ shoes are more comfortable for me. Nine West happens to work for me. Not sure if it’s cut or what, but definitely try a new brand. But I’ve never had the numbness issue – do you need a different width or a half size bigger? That sounds mildly concerning to me.

    • Women's March :

      Could you maybe need a ball of foot pad, or maybe even go to wide shoes? I think you have to try a lot. Maybe try tome of the comfort brands? Rockport gets mentioned a lot here.

    • I have no idea, but I can’t do it either. I don’t even own heels other than my interview pumps. They just aren’t compatible with me.

    • I just learned all about this due to an injury I have!

      In non-doctor terms (and I have no credential): there are muscles on the front of your shin and muscles behind, in your calf. When your foot is flexed, the shin-area muscle shortens but works a bit harder. When you’re on the ball of your foot (as in dance and while wearing heels), the shin muscle stretches out longer and works less hard. People become comfortable in heels, or even depend on them for comfort, when that position becomes the norm for the shin muscle. It has overall stretched out and weakened. It isn’t healthy long-term, and is the reason that many older people shuffle when they walk–they can’t fully lift and flex their foot anymore to take a step.

      Not the answer you want, probably, but your lower leg is healthy and showing a healthy reaction to wearing heels for extended periods. You don’t really want to get to the point (where I am) where you’ve done that damage, though I am recommended to do shin muscle exercises to try to recover. I wear heels to work but am sitting almost the whole time, and am trying to quit them completely over time.

    • I can wear them all day because 90% of my day is sitting at my desk. If I had to stand more, I’d wear flats. I drive, but if I took public transportation or walked, I’d wear sneakers for that and change at the office.

    • I don’t know other people do, but I just don’t. I’m a marathon runner and not willing to F up my feet because I care that some fussy people think only heels are professional footwear. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • +1

        I just don’t. I quit wearing them a few years ago and have not looked back. If they hurt this bad, why are you wearing them?

    • If it doesn’t work for you, feel free not to wear them! But I have found that upgrading my heels makes a huge difference–I am significantly more comfortable in shoes that are built better. I particularly like Cole Haan, LK Bennett, and Aquatalia; M. Gemi is pretty good too. And I’ve been taking advantage of the block heel/lower heel/loafers etc. trends to stock up on nice work shoes that are comfortable.

      • biglawanon :

        All of this. I wear 3″+ heels every day all day for work, and am just not a fan of block heels except on sandals (even though I know they are on trend). Upgrading really helps. I particularly like Jimmy Choo, Manolo, Bally, Miu Miu.

    • No Problem :

      Do you have small feet? I wear a size 6 and can never wear heels for long without foot pain. Two pairs of the same 3″ heels will have a different angle on the sole of the shoe because they’re different sizes. Small feet means more of your weight is on your toes/ball of foot instead of mid foot and heel like bigger feet experience.

      • Interesting; not the OP but I have never ever thought about this. I wear a size 6 in most brands and usually think heels are pretty uncomfortable, even better built ones. And yes, it’s the balls of my feet hurt. The women I know who wear heals all the time and actually prefer heels do wear a larger size.

    • I can’t and generally speaking won’t. We lose the padding in our feet as we get older (and I don’t mean 50, I started having trouble with it in my 30s) and it’s just not the same. I wear low heels and do fine.

      At this point my eye has adjusted and I notice women teetering around in uncomfortable looking high heels and think they look stupid.

    • – I broke down and paid a lot of money for Earth Shoes pumps – $110 a pair – for the times I absolutely have to wear heels (which is rare). The Earths feel amazing. They also still feel like heels.

      – I just don’t wear heels these days. I don’t wear many short skirts or dresses either, so for me it’s not a problem. As someone else said, I use my feet for lots of things, including hiking with my family, and I’m not willing to cripple myself for fashion. I really think we as a society should be over that now, but to my chagrin, there are still so many people out there who think you’re not “dressed up” without heels.

  25. Elegant Giraffe :

    Any great ideas for a brief (3 – 4 day) trip in the next month or so? My SO and I are in need of a quick getaway but feeling uninspired. We’d be departing from a major city in Texas. Open to all sorts of vacations- city, active, relaxation, whatever. No particular budget. We don’t want to go to Mardi Gras :)

    • Cancun is super easy to get to from Texas — I would just go lie on the beach for a few days.

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Ahhh – I always forget about Mexico when I’m thinking of quick trips. Technically international, but super easy when you’re starting in Texas. Thanks!

      • And if you want to get away from the touristy feel of Cancun, check out Puerto Morelos. It is about 30 minutes south of Cancun. Much more laid back vibe, super nice locals and amazing food- the pier is right in the middle of the town square and whatever comes off the fishing boats that day is what is for sale at the restaurants that night. Oo and the Mesoamerican reef is only about 300yds offshore, great snorkeling.

    • Cartagena, Colombia

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Go to New York and see theater, go to museums, eat delicious food. It’s not relaxing, but I always find those vacations to be totally inspiring and rejuvenating. Fill up the creative well!

    • There are non-stop flights from Houston to Belize and that is a fun trip.

    • Anonymous :

      Mexico City! Super easy from any city in Texas. If you fly Southwest, customs at Hobby is soooo easy.

    • Late, but chiming in. I am in Houston and my favorite quick vacaction spots are Playa Del Carmen area (fly to Cancun, rent a car or do a hotel shuttle), Roatan, and Belize (Ambergis Caye). Our abolute favorite is Akumal near Playa Del Carmen. Swim with the sea turtles, eat homemade ice cream, do some yoga, eat some fresh ceviche, sleep in a hammock by the beach. It’s dreamy.

  26. Any experienced Scottish travelers here? We’re honeymooning in the Highlands this May (we’re using a cottage near Fort William as our base for exploring). We had thought to start our trip with 2 days in Edinburgh, but flights to there have consistently been $700 pp for months. Glasgow is $550 pp. We’ll have a car anyways…would it be worth the $150 pp/$300 total savings to drive the 90 minutes from Glasgow to Edinburgh for the 2 days of exploring, then up to Fort William, then depart out of Glasgow at the end?

    • I’ve never been… but can you see what the drive would be like? It might actually be amazing to get to see the countryside. Or it could suck? Not actually helpful advice, sorry!

    • I don’t think the drive is bad but parking is tough in Edinburgh and I suspect hotels charge a fortune to park. Could you fly into Glasgow and take the airport bus or train, hiring a car at the end of your stay?

      That sounds like a wonderful honeymoon. I am based in Edinburgh but haven’t been that far north.

    • No experience driving in Scotland, but I took a trip that included Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Fort William (as part of the West Highland Way) about five years ago, and I recall that the train between Glasgow and Edinburgh was less than an hour, if you’d prefer to pick up a car later during the trip.

    • Oooh Scotland, my favourite topic.

      If you have a car there, I would drive. It is less hassle than waiting for boarding and than for baggage and then for car rental. It will be faster with a straight drive.
      Two days for Edinburgh are ok You could spend even 3, but I would recommend to see the highlights, enjoy the atmosphere, local dishes and drinks and then move on – the outdoor in Scotland is amazing and much, much more worth it. And I love Edinburgh – I could easily relocate there. But the nature on your route will be much better.

      Few tips:
      for Edinburgh – try bar 56 North – they had great food and they also served Harris Gin (well worth it)
      for hiking – my favourite location is Glen Coe, it is eerily beautiful
      for whisky – stop at Royal Lochnagar distillery, they use old-school equipment and have the most enthusiastic guides!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I second the train from Glasgow to Edinburgh. It is not the most scenic drive between those two points at all.

      Fort William is a very cute little town and you are near Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in Scotland) if you are into the outdoors it is worth a trip up, even if it is more like a large hill if you are used to “real” mountains. Although the town itself s full of tourist stuff, Lock Ness itself is *gorgeous*.

      And I know that everyone loves and gushes about Edinburgh and how beautiful it is, but, for me, Glasgow is also so beautiful and filled with stannic gothic architecture and has always felt more “Scottish”.

      As you are driving from Edinburgh to Fort William, I would definitely recommend the slight detour up to St. Andrews on the way. It is just the loveliest and filled with history.

    • I am not at all an experienced Scottish traveler, but we also had our honeymoon there and it was awesome! We drove (we’re Americans and had to adjust to the other side).

  27. Well looks like we may headed for a shut down. Makes perfect sense to screw over 850k government employees who will be furloughed with no guarantee of backpay in favor of 800k dreamers. I mean illegals – which is what they are regardless of how or why they came – are certainly more important than US citizens. You all must be dancing the jig today.

    • Trump can drop his demands for a wall and agree to what he’s agreed to in the past re: the Dreamers. That’d be an easy way to fix this. {shrug}

    • Lol, ok keep drinking the red kool-aid. There were two deals on the table that could have gotten majority votes and the repubs don’t want to take them to a vote, so I’d be blaming them for that. I do know people personally affected by the impending shutdown and I’m sad about the loss of income. That doesn’t mean I’m blaming everyone in sight. I know exactly who is to blame and it isn’t the dreamers.

    • It’s not just “illegals” — Republicans are also holding healthcare for 10 million kids hostage.

    • I certainly feel screwed over– and feel the people I serve will be screwed over when I’m laid off on Monday– but I don’t blame the Dreamers or children who need health insurance.

      I blame the people who voted for this.

      • I’m a Fed that was in service during the 2013 shutdown (which happened before my financial house was in order and was actually personally very scary for my family) and I don’t see it as putting illegals before Americans. It’s part of the two party process, trying to advance the desires of your side for what you think is the good of the country. Although I do wish they didn’t have to use keeping the lights on as a bargaining chip. And at least the reason the Dems are considering pushing this (at least nominally-I know there are many political reasons for this) has a shot in h*ll of being successful. Not like last time when it was just a bunch of waste that never had any chance of working cause Ted expletive Cruz wanted something to fundraise off of. I also think that the scheduled State of the Union will make it so that this one isn’t crazy long, though that may be famous last words.

        • Anonymous :

          The only reason they’re “illegal” is because Trump wants to kick out immigrants with DACA and TPS who “got in line”. I completely support them.

    • nasty woman :

      you mad, troll?

    • Go away troll.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree. Our politicians have gotten their priorities wrong by elevating a niche issue of adult illegal immigrants who came here as children over citizens and children’s health. It will take Democratic votes to fund CHIP and the government for a short time, but the Democrats are choosing illegal aliens again.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Please stop talking.

      • Anonymous :

        Ok then any opinion or view that doesn’t agree with Sloan shouldn’t be voiced! We sure wouldn’t want anyone to even have to consider there are different opinions in this world!

    • Wait, you’re defending federal government workers? I thought we didn’t want our taxes going toward bloated federal bureaucracies.

      /s

    • My husband and I are both feds, and I find your viewpoint disgusting. I support Dreamers, and I support CHIP. Don’t presume to speak for me or pit me against vulnerable people.

  28. Moisturizers :

    This winter has left my already dry and sensitive skin red and flaky and drier than usual. My current moisturizer is Bioderma Sensibio AR, but apparently it’s not enough. My mom suggested coconut oil, which has worked, but I hate slathering oil on my face. My pillowcase is also not a fan.

    Any suggestions for a rich, gentle, fragrance-free facial moisturizer for sensitive skin? Just looking at the wrong detergent has me breaking out in hives.

    • Have you tried putting the oil on at different times instead of right before bed? I use mineral oil, and put it on right after I shower in the morning, including on my face. I don’t have trouble with an oily pillowcase.

      • Moisturizers :

        I use it in the morning, but I also use it at night after a shower. It’s mostly absorbed, but it could also be that I’m using too heavy a hand.

        • I think coconut oil is on the thick side as well, which might make it harder to absorb. You might try different oils too. They sell mineral oil as “baby oil” in most grocery stores and it’s very inexpensive.

    • I would switch moisturizing cream for a good nourishing cream (with lipids). When a moisturizer is not enough, I reach for Shiseido Benefiance Nourishing cream. My super reactive skin tolerates it just fine. I also love Isis Sensylia, but it is getting difficult to get it in stores.
      I would stay away from oils in your case. Oils are good to lock in moisture, but the problem is that your skin does not have any moisture to lock in. Some oils may even be drying. And it sounds like your skin does not need any further testing. Having said that, I am very happy with a blend of lavender and starflower/ borage oil, which soothes the skin, but I like to follow with a good cream.

    • Anonymous :

      I really like Trader Joe’s serum. Fragrance free and suits my sensitive skin. Plus, cheap!

  29. I work from home. My company-issued equipment includes a printer/scanner/fax that is huge and very heavy (45-50 lbs). Any recommendations for an sturdy, inexpensive table/cabinet that can support this behemoth? Something with storage would be nice but not required. Thanks!

    • Flats Only :

      I bought a little wood filing cabinet from Wayfair which we keep our printer on. It’s quite sturdy, and they had a lot of choices to match your existing office decor.

    • Try an Ikea cabinet with some drawers.

  30. Mardi Gras :

    I have a conference in NOLA right after Mardi Gras and am planning to go a few days early. But I’m not interested in the crazy drinking/partying parts. Any suggestions for enjoying a tame Mardi Gras? Am I okay as long as I avoid the French Quarter? I read that St. Charles is more family friendly, is that right?

    • The French Quarter is definitely the craziest part, but the whole city is so insanely expensive during Mardi Gras that if you’re not going for the festivities it seems like a giant waste of money. Can you extend your trip after your conference?

      • Yeah, I always tell people that unless you really want to experience Mardi Gras, don’t come here during Mardi Gras. The other issue is that the city is absolutely dead right after Mardi Gras. Kind of a Mardi Gras hangover.

      • Mardi Gras :

        I somehow ended up in mod, but I do want to see Mardi Gras. I worded it badly in my original post. I’m not trying to opt out of Mardi Gras, just hoping to avoid areas that are too crazy (fine with drunk people, less tolerance for frat party vibe).

    • When will you be here? The biggest stuff, other than Fat Tuesday itself, is on the weekend before. There are parades on Monday night (Lundi Gras) and there are some fun events downtown in Spanish Plaza (arrival of Rex and Zulu on a river boat). On Mardi Gras day, stay out of the Quarter. Even St. Charles will be packed. There are only two main parades on Fat Tuesday and they are both early, then it’s trucks, trucks, trucks. A lot of people costume on Tuesday and just walk around the streets. Yes, you’ll see a lot of families out on St. Charles.

      • Mardi Gras :

        My conference starts on Wednesday so I was planning to come on Sunday and stay through the following Sunday. I should clarify that I’m not opposed to drinking or being around drunk people or crowds, but I think French Quarter sounds like a bit much (I’d like to avoid anything that reminds me of a frat party). I would like to see Mardi Gras festivities and then thought I’d see more of the sights in New Orleans after Mardi Gras.

      • If you’re getting in on Sunday, then you may miss the most fun day (Bacchus Sunday). The crowds really change Uptown (St. Charles Ave) at night and it gets drunker and rowdier, but the day parades on that Sunday are the best. Monday during the day is pretty quiet. Most people are off, but just doing their thing that day. Like I said, you’d probably enjoy going to Spanish Plaza on Monday (it’s down on the river by the Hilton). Then you could always come uptown for parades that evening. I think they start with a couple small ones early evening, then Orpheus, which is a big super krewe (founded by Harry Connick, Jr). Then Tuesday is just different from any other day. I’ve only gone to the Quarter on Fat Tuesday once and it was hot and crowded. The St. Ann costume contest is pretty wild. Or you could just walk up St. Charles and see all of the people costumed. The problem is that it’s packed and public transportation shuts down, so it’s pretty much walking. I haven’t gone out on Mardi Gras day in years!

        • btw, if you are around on that Sunday, message me at nolar e t t e @ gmail. I’ll be at 3900 St. Charles all day, starting at about 9:30 am.

      • LOVE Sunday morning parades. Thoth is an awesome and very underrrated parade. If you want a lower key Mardi Gras, the parades in Metarie on Tuesday are really low key–you can roll up with a lawn chair and sit on the median. We’ll be on Severn all day, starting around probably 10 AM. Feel free to message me as well at anonor e t t e at the mail of google.

      • Mardi Gras :

        Thank you for all of the suggestions!! I’m going to look into arriving on Saturday so I can see the Sunday morning parades.

  31. I applied for my dream job in December, the thing I want most in the world–only submitted CV, no interview (yet!). They told me they would let me know in January, whatever happened. I haven’t heard back yet. Should I email? If yes, what to say?

    • Nope. It’s barely halfway through the month. You can email at the end of next week, maybe.

      • At the earliest, i would email the first full week of February. But, kindly, if you have not had an interview, I think you need to mentally write this off. If they want you, they will contact you. Until then (if it happens), you will likely be a lot happier if you just try to put it out of mind

        • Thanks. I’ve been focusing on sending good vibes. Hopefully it comes through, in the meantime I’ll put it out of my mind.

  32. Meg March :

    My ConLaw prof totally quoted Senior Attorney today. “A uhhh friend of mine always says that the only way out is through.” I really hope the uhhh before friend was because she was trying not to say “commentator on a blog I follow.” Probably not, but it made me grin.

    • Haha!

      I saw a headline this morning about some new study that says gardening is good for you…and I had to remember that they meant ACTUAL gardening haha!

    • https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7308422-the-only-way-out-is-through

    • its not really her original saying right? I think it was an alanis morisette song. She has made it her own though!

  33. Sloan Sabbith :

    Trying to move from my first job (attorney at a nonprofit) into a local government position that’s JD-preferred. I’ll be two years from graduation this spring. I know it’s soon, but my job is untenably awful.

    I’ve applied for 6 jobs now; unfortunately, there are either jobs below my skillset that don’t match my experience or stretch jobs where my experience is applicable but I don’t quite hit all of the requirements, so I’ve applied for the stretch positions and made sure my apps included keywords and really talked up any experience I have that goes above and beyond what they’re asking for. I’ve had people review my cover letters and resume, spent time making sure the applications were great, etc. But I haven’t gotten any interviews. I feel so dejected.

    How many jobs did you apply to after your first job? Any advice? I’m planning to just keep applying because I don’t really have another option.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Well, that was supposed to be anon…

    • Triangle Pose :

      Network, network, network. Are you part of affinity groups, industry organizations, bar associations, attending CLEs, young lawyers networks (you’re 2 years out of law school right?), pro bono organizations, non-profit boards. It’s great to have people review your cover letters and resume and double checking your applications and all but if you’re job searching, put yourself out there and make those personal connections so that when position opens up these people think of you.

    • How many jobs did I apply to after my first job: several dozen. 6 is … nothing.

      Looking for a job sucks. It sucks a lot. My only advice is to keep after it and try not to let it get you down.

      • I agree. Six is not a lot especially if they aren’t an obvious fit for you (below your level or a stretch). Don’t take it personally. Keep trying. Think like a sales person and grow a thick skin. Sometimes people get lucky early on, but sometimes you really have to work for it.

    • Hang in there! Job hunting is a tough gig. I don’t know if it was after my first job, might have been my second, but I know I applied to at least 70 and then stopped tracking because it was too depressing. I have tracked and it took me about 7 months to find each new job in the early years. And it seems to take longer the higher up you go. Network network network. My first job out of law school was through OCI where I was a law clerk and then got hired on as an attorney. The next two jobs were through connections. And then next two after that were jobs where I applied online, but I think a big factor in both was that in the interviews I found out people I knew worked ther (with both jobs I had no ide) but I think that’s why my resume got picked from the hundreds.

  34. Woolf Jardigan dupe? :

    Hi Ladies, Perhaps this has been covered before, but I love the look of MM Lafleur’s Woolf jardigan and want one in every color! I can’t spend that type of money right now, so have been hunting on ebay, poshmark and the B/S/T MM site on facebook for used ones. Any other places I should look? Or does anyone have leads on more affordable alternatives that look as sleek? TIA!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Agree! No alternatives that look as sleek, IMO. I’ve had good luck on ebay for the Sant Ambroseus jardigan, which fits my frame better. The BST MM B/S/T fb site makes me laugh sometimes, lately it’s been a lot of selfie posts asking for compliments or yes/no. Which is fine but I don’t know that many B/S/T actually goes on.

      • I actually like that people are showing their outfits! It helps me to see them on real people (real r e t t e s!) to determine whether I’m interested in a piece. I like it a lot.

        Please don’t shame people into stopping. You can always unfollow the group.

        • Triangle Pose :

          I’m not shaming anyone, goodness. I’m just laughing because it is purportedly a buy sell trade group but the “here is my MM LaFleur haul” selfie photo album outnumebrs any buy sell trade. There is literally zero shaming in my post.

          There is so much projecting going on lately.

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