Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Leo Neckline-Trim T-Shirt

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

We’re picturing the lighter blue here to show the details, but this shirt is also available in navy. I love the sort of wispy trim to it — it’s a really classy way of upping the way a t-shirt looks. It’s a very simple but cool way of making a t-shirt more wearable for the office. This viscose top is on sale at Reiss for $35 from $70, and hopefully you can find your size in either the navy or lighter blue (XS-L). Leo Neckline-Trim T-Shirt

Here’s a plus-size option.

Update: Unfortunately, this has now sold out — but Reiss still has a bunch of cute, nice t-shirts on sale: this gorgeous pink silky stripey one is down $50, this one is black, textured, and down to $45; this black velvet $35 tee is nice as well.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. Anonymous :

    Any advice on out of state job searches?

    • Check out Ask a Manager. I’ve seen posts there about this topic. There is also an Open Thread going up later this morning if you want to post the question there also.

    • From the hiring side, send a cover letter explaining key things – why the move to my area (I usually am looking to hire someone who will be around for a while unless it’s a temporary job – doesn’t so much matter if you’re from somewhere else if you’re permanently moving to my area), how soon are you available (if it’s going to take much longer to get you than someone local, I’m probably passing you up), are you licensed in my area (for lawyers and jobs where this matters), and while you won’t always be taken up on this, if you’re going to be in my area the dates you’re here to possibly meet in person, whether formally for an interview or informally for a coffee.

    • They’re very hard. Expect it to take much longer than a local job search. Explain in your cover letter why and when you’re moving.

    • Jitterbug :

      If you’re looking to move somewhere specific for a reason, like because a spouse got a job in that area or you want to be closer to family, acknowledge that reason in the cover letter. If you’re willing to move on your own dime, say that as well. It may not seem fair, but a lot of recruiters and hiring managers won’t bother with non-local candidates when they have plenty of perfectly good local ones who won’t need to travel for the interview, won’t need to deal with typical moving hassles, and won’t expect relocation money. Even if they are willing to relocate people on the company’s dime, they still want someone who’s likely to be happy in the area and stay a long time.

  2. MIRENA question :

    So I have been diagnosed with endometriosis though I have no symptoms. second scan today revealed that my cysts have doubled in size, and so I will go for laparoscopic surgery.

    But my doctor ecommended Mirena insertion during the surgery and I historically have done badly with hormonal BC. Bloating, puffy b o o b s, feeling down in the dumps etc and I fear this will all come back with the Mirena. Not to mention so many horror stories of women for whom it did nothing and then they took it out.

    Can you guys share your Mirena experiences? I have zero pain and symptoms so for me, The only reason to get Mirena would be to lower the risk of recurrence of the endo.

    • Anonymous :

      I had horrible side effects on the pill–almost 20 lbs weight gain that melted off when I quit taking it, mood effects, etc. I am on my third Mirena and love it. It sounds as if you will be spared the pain of insertion, so you have very little to lose if you try it. If it doesn’t work out, removal is painless. I would give it at least two months for any potential side effects to stabilize before giving up.

    • The hormones in Mirena don’t seem to cause as many moods swings for me as the pill did.

      • For me the Mirena is worse for my moods than the pill ever was. I miss the pill.

        • This is how it was for me too. I have almost no side effects on the pill but I was a mess on Mirena. Plus the constant spotting. However, you won’t have the insertion pain, so it might be worth a try to see if it helps.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I am on my second Mirena and am jealous that you get to skip insertion – it’s quick but definitely painful.

      I experience [email protected] tenderness nearly every cycle, but my periods are incredibly light and actually starting to drop off. Maybe a day of mild cramps.

      There have been a couple of threads on this over the last few months if you want to dig around.

      • I agree with this. I’ve had mine for 2 years now and love it. My periods are almost gone, and this is from someone that was going through super heavy [email protected] I get a little tenderness, but other than that, this has been wonderful.

      • I’m on my third Mirena and can’t imagine life without it. I have hormonal migraines, and before Mirena had terrible periods (heavy, heavy bleeding and cramping). I have PCOS, and I went through probably eight different BCPs trying to find one that worked to help my symptoms; none ever really did. After I had my son, I was done messing around with all this and asked for a Mirena.

        The hormones in Mirena are very, very mild. Ask your doc to show you a sample device – you’ll see how small it is. Then realize that those hormones impregnated in the device are released slowly over five years. It’s a way lower dose than any BCP. I quit having periods about the second year I had mine and now just have very light spotting every other month. I don’t even buy tampons or pads any more because a liner handles whatever happens. It totally changed my life for the better.

        Not everyone has a similar story. A friend of mine got a Mirena, and then got it removed six months later as she felt terrible with it in. Nothing specific, just didn’t like the way she felt. There are risks involved, that are outlined in the product literature. But, I would give it a shot, especially if you don’t have to go through the insertion process (which is not bad, but not fun). Getting one taken out is nothing, at least it wasn’t for me. If you don’t get relief/don’t feel good on it, you can get it removed. If it helps your endometriosis, it will be worth it.

    • I had Mirena twice but for 10 years total and never had a single issue. Insertion was uncomfortable but for me it was a dream.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here:

        Thanks. So I am more worried about acne (I have perfectly clear skin) and weight gain/ bloating and migraines. Breasts get tender each month so less of an issue.

        What did you guys like or not like about Mirena? And is removal really painless?

        • I have Skyla (recommended because I’ve never had kids — it’s just slightly smaller). I’ve had it for about six months now, so I haven’t had it removed. Here’s my experience:

          Like you, I have clear skin on my own, and BCP made me break out. I have no problems with my IUD. I also gained weight on the pill and it’s come off now that I’m not on it. I had a VERY heavy and long period before the IUD (and pills only controlled it somewhat). It’s now super light and short, and keeps getting lighter and shorter.

          For me, the only things I didn’t like about my IUD were early on — I had cramping for the first few weeks intermittently after insertion. Other than the adjustment period and insertion itself, I’m a huge fan.

        • MirenaExperience :

          I’ve had a Mirena for about two years now. I used accutane in my mid 20s for horrible acne, and I did experience a slight increase in acne with the Mirena. I went from near flawless skin to almost always having one hormonal-like cyst (you know, the under the skin bump kind, not a white head). However, since I had previously had horrible acne, one cyst at a time didn’t really seem that bad.

          I’ve always been overweight, even after dropping about 40lbs about five years ago. I’ve gained back about five of those lost pounds since I got a Mirena and can’t seem to shake it off.

          I had to have my first Mirena replaced after about five months, and removal was almost totally painless. Insertion is not fun, but removal is nothing.

          So yes, I did experience acne and weight gain. But neither to a degree that bothered me sufficiently to have it removed.

        • I have migraines and Mirena. I did not get any increase in migraines after insertion and my period-related migraines are shorter (I get light spotting about every three months with the IUD, but can tell when it’s that time of the month even without spotting. My “period” lasts only a day or so and since I used to get migraines that would last the full week of my period, this is a big improvement). I do get hormonal acne on my chin now, which is annoying and new for me. I’ve been trying different things to control it and haven’t found a cure, but it’s manageable. I’m happy with Mirena and would recommend it.

        • I hate to be the downer, but I feel like it’s worthwhile for you to have all perspectives. My periods never stopped with Mirena – in fact, I had near-constant spotting (heavy enough to need a pad), hair loss, and acne issues. I had it for over a year and it never improved. I also had problems with the removal (such that they thought they might have to remove it surgically), although that is unusual, and removal was better than insertion for sure.

        • Tech Comm Geek :

          My skin improved significantly with Mirena. I was moved to Mirena to address weight that wouldn’t come off (I’m diabetic). My symptoms declined significantly with Mirena.

      • Removal was NOT painless, but compared to taking the pill or another kind of bc f0r 5 years each time I’ll take it.

        The acne/weight gain/bloating really didn’t happen to me, I stopped menstruating so it was just smooth sailing between kids.

        • Same here – although the string was not easily accessible for removal, so that was why it was more painful than for most. Even with that, it was a few minutes of discomfort, and nothing tylenol couldn’t handle. I haven’t had had a period in five-plus years, or any period related symptoms, so I consider that a fabulous trade off for a few minutes of discomfort.

    • Anonymous :

      I had Mirena for 5 years and I loved it. I would have gotten another one but my husband got a vasectomy. I kind of miss not having periods! As far as weight gain, I was at my heaviest when I had Mirena inserted as I had just had 3 children. Through diet and exercise I lost 40 pounds, so I don’t think it had any effect on that. Removal was no big deal at all. The most uncomfortable part was the speculum.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I had Mirena for about a year before I had it removed. The acne was devastating (that took a year to clear up with medication) and the mood swings were terrible. I now have a Paraguard. I’m happy enough with it. I’ve had zero side effects but wish the period was lighter and shorter.

      • Anonymous :

        We are opposites! I had a terrible experience on Paragard. I had horribly painful, heavy periods. I got it removed after 18 months. Removal was NBD. I was told that it might have been more painful because I am fairly small. When they checked to see if it would fit, i was barely big enough.

        I have Mirena now (after having a kid). I love it. I have basically no period and have lost a bunch of baby weight while on it so it doesn’t seem to cause weight gain for me.

    • I am into my fourth month with Mirena, and I worried about acne as well (I was previously on NuvaRing) – no problems there at all for me. It may have even improved. I do feel as though I have [email protected] tenderness and swelling, but no noticeable weight gain.

      However (and I complained about this before on the s!te) I do have cramps way more often than I did on the ring or before HBC, even when I’m not on my period, and I’m having spotting issues. My periods are very light but I preferred the regularity of the ring periods and being cramp-free 100% of the time. The advice was mostly to wait it out and see how it is in 2-3 more months. As BC I’m very happy with it, fuss-free and LGPs are more comfortable.

    • I have endometriosis and got a Merina at the suggestion of my GYN. I was on various types of bcp for about a decade before I switched & wish I had done so sooner.

      I have had a bit of acne, but not enough to where I can say it’s from the IUD. I’ve actually lost weight/feel less bloated than I ever did on the pill. My symptoms have been so much better – I don’t actually have a period each month, just a bit of spotting so I don’t have the horrible cramps/pains that I was having even on the pill. For every one good review of the Mirena, there are four bad ones – not because there are more bad experiences, IMO, but because people who have had bad experiences are more likely to speak out about it/leave negative reviews than people who had fine/normal/good experiences – my GYN also backed this up. She told me most of her patients who get one love it and has only removed them due to complications a small number of times.

      It’s definitely been a huge improvement in my quality of life and I’ve had mine for 3 years. Yes, insertion was painful but it was short and I’d take that in a heartbeat over being in crippling pain/unable to function normally for 7-10 days each month. My cycle was a bit wonky for the first 5 months, with the first two being the worst (spotting, random periods & cramps) but after about the 5th month it was all good. I’ll only be without it when I’m TTC in the future. Obviously, every body reacts differently to hormones but the levels are so low that I haven’t had the mood swings/bloating/cravings that came with the pill, even the low dose ones.

    • full of ideas :

      I got the Mirena for essentially the same reasons, and had it inserted during a lap. I lasted 5 months, bleeding almost the whole time with terrible pain. Removal was easy compared to what I was going through on the daily.
      That said, every women is different.
      One thing to note, surgery and scar tissue can make endo worse. It helps to have the right expectations. I thought surgery was going to solve most of my pain issues, and when I got no relief from surgery, I was terribly disappointed. I suggest you talk to your Dr. about making the most of your lap, including excision of all lesions (don’t let them laser them off!!). Also, during recovery work with a PT to massage the incisions and reduce scar tissue. I didn’t do this and now I feel like my side entrance scar is somehow directly attached to my uterus…
      Good luck!

      • Out of curiosity, why would surgery be recommended if OP has no symptoms?

        • OP here

          Apparently you can have no symptoms even if you have severe endo. And my ovarian cysts have doubled in size in the past three months. That’s why my gynaecologist recommended laparoscopy.

        • full of ideas :

          No way!! I could see how large cysts would be concerning (issues if they rupture, see if other things are going on), but if you don’t have symptoms, why potentially make things worse??

      • Endometriosis :

        Yeah, that’s why I’m holding off on surgery. Evaluating hormonal birth control options even though I don’t really want to take hormones. My pain is severe, apparently have Stage 4 endo, with cysts on both ovaries. It’s unclear if my fertility is affected but I honestly don’t want a surgeon in there. Right now, I’m melting my kidneys via nSAIDs and am going to try progesterone only bcp.

        • full of ideas :

          progesterone only pills helped me. also, don’t be afraid to talk to a pain management dr or pelvic pain specialist, there might be other options for you (nerve ablation, non-opiod drugs). good luck!

      • Oh so anon :

        My experience with Mirena lasted for five days. I had it inserted for severe endo, but the pain from the Mirena was so bad I was vomiting and even fainted. I could not recommend it. Honestly, after trying ALL THE THINGS for my endo, the only solution I could recommend would be a full hysterectomy. It improved my quality of life x10000!

        • hysterectomy does not cure endo, unless the only endo in that body happens to be on the organ(s) removed. this is a myth that causes many to have unnecessary hysterectomies. That said, only an expert can tell whether this is a patient’s case or whether this is a myth that docs don’t know isn’t universal. it is a million percent worth it to see one of those experts, even if it means traveling to do so, center for endo care is the absolute top in the country and so so worth the trip.

          • Oh so anon :

            I concur. I travelled to see multiple specialists. Could I have gotten by with a less “radical” procedure? Maybe. But my hysterectomy gave me back my quality of life.

            I have never understood the concern about “unnecessary” hysterectomies. If it takes away the pain for a long time (hopefully permanently – fingers crossed!), does it matter if other options exist?

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’m on my second Mirena. It has changed my life for the better. I have fibroids and likely andometriosis (the lesions are within the uterine wall). My first insertion, I had reduction in menstrual symptoms within 2 hours. I’ve had much easier periods.

      Several friends who have struggled with hormonal birth control have had very good luck with Mirena. My ob/gyn says this is because it provides much lower hormone levels, delivered directly where needed.

      It’s a tough decision. Good luck.

    • MargaretO :

      I’m on my second mirena, about 7 years now, its been life saving. I had horrible periods before and it’s really increased my quality of life. It has way less hormones in it than taking the pill – side effects are definitely possible but far less likely. If your doctor thinks it’s a good idea I highly recommend trying it, removal was totally painless for me.

    • Not sure if you will see this but PLEASE go to a specialist. The ONLY way to remove it is through excision and most do not know how to do this properly. Burning them down doesn’t do anything but make it tougher for excision later. Contact the center for endometriosis care and/or read their website. I battled this for 18+ yrs and had 3 surgeries because the first 2 claimed to be experts and actually didn’t know what they were doing. Also, when you have surgery, insist on photos so you have the records to show future surgeons, make sure to get a stomach brace for after, take charcoal pills, and use st00l softeners to deal with narcotic constipation. Also, never ever ever ever use lupron even if they try to push it on you, the effects are permanently devastating to the body. I hope you see this and that this info helps you!

      • full of ideas :

        +100 (with exception to the lupron comment, i know people who swear it saved their life/marriage…) but YES to specialist!!! Also, if you have urilogical or rectal symptoms, have specialists in the room during the surgery – you don’t want to have to be opened up again if they find lesions on your bladder or colon (ask me how i know…)

  3. Does anyone have apartment suggestions in DC? I’m looking for a studio or 1 bedroom (flexible on neighborhood). Ideally, I’d be spending around $1500 monthly.

    • Sadly, I think you need to up your budget to around $2200-2500 if you want a managed building, otherwise I think you’ll need to hunt on craigslist for independently owned and rented apartments.

      • I found one building with studios around $1700

        And equity has a lot of apartments in the area generally.

        • And one more option, under $1500

      • I might try the independent option, thanks!

    • Bernstein Management has some properties in that price range throughout the city. I’ve lived in one of their buildings for about a year and I’ve had a good experience so far.


      • But you’ll be better off upping your budget to $2000 or so – that was my budget last year and I was able to find multiple decent 1-bedrooms in managed buildings in that range.

      • They have some nice buildings! Thank you for the suggestion. If I go up to 2000, I’d be able to walk to work in downtown DC. I’m starting a new job and it’s hard to estimate some expenses, like health care premiums, and I’m trying to be conservative on housing for that reason.

        • No Problem :

          If you already have a job offer, they should be able to provide you with information on their health care premiums. Ask for it if they didn’t give it to you.

        • BabyAssociate :

          That’s what I did, upped my budget a bit to be able to walk to work. If it’s doable for you, I would highly recommend it.

          I will say though, I got rid of my car. If you end up living closer to work downtown, I think most buildings won’t have parking. And if they do, it’s very expensive.

          • lawsuited :

            +1 I also did this. The extra rent is definitely offset by saving the cost and time of commuting.

          • Love the idea of going carless. I’m planning to sell mine after I move into DC. I don’t think I’ll be using it much but want to be ensured this is the case. Walking to my office (next to a metro station) would be wonderful. However, I’m in consulting and may not be visiting my office often. I’m planning to live in walking distance from a metro station, for easy commuting to our office/airport/most local clients.

          • I would definitely wait and see where your client is before you sell your car. My last client site was DC area but not accessible by metro (unless you consider accessible a 30 minute bus ride from the red line in Maryland), and sadly clients change.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Do you have a car? Is being close to the metro important?

      You’ll need to be VERY flexible on neighborhoods with a budget of $1500. I recently moved and a nice studio/kind of crappy one bedroom was more like $1850-2000/month (granted, I was only looking at particular neighborhoods, that’s definitely not the low end).

      • I need metro for work and do have a car (although I may sell it in the next year).

        • BabyAssociate :

          Budget an extra ~$150/month if you need parking.

        • anon a mouse :

          Get rid of the car. You’ll save on parking and insurance, and even if you spend a ton on taxis/lyft/bikeshare/whatever, you’ll still come out way ahead. Put the extra $100-200 toward your apartment and be pickier about neighborhoods, as others have mentioned.

          • I agree. I just switched my tags to DC (got one of those notices that my out of state tags were noticed 2 within a 180 day period….) and got a 1 year parking pass and not only was it a huge hassle (took 2 months with a lot of back and forth and running around) and it cost about $400. Of course now I walk everywhere or take public transportation.

    • DC Denizen :

      Honestly, if you have the job I would be more picky about neighborhoods and look for something with an easy commute – either in walking/biking distance, on the metro line with the closest stop to your office, or with good bus options. If you can tell us where your jobis, we might be able to offer more concrete suggestions.

    • Check out some of the older buildings in Mount Pleasant – much of it is walkable to the Columbia Heights metro, and the 16th st buses are a dream.

    • You might consider Pentagon City and Crystal City. Very easy to get to the airport, since you said you’d be traveling a lot, and a quick trip into downtown DC. Crystal City especially might be a little more affordable. Otherwise, you can sometimes find good basement apartments on craigslist. Coincidentally, a friend of mine from HS is renting this place out right now in Petworth, if you’re interested in that area:

      • Studios in Crystal City and Pentagon City run closer to the $1500 price range. I live on Columbia Pike, off metro, and pay $1300 (bus/shuttle to metro). I love Arlington, lower taxes, great young person community, but YMMV.

      • Yep, early 30-something who has lived in this neighborhood for about six years now. Love it, and it’s only getting nicer (new Whole Foods, fancy coffee shop, new fitness options like huge rock climbing gym, Core Power, Orange Theory, Crossfit). Super fast metro downtown via two lines (although SafeTrack has been a tough hit) and literally a 10 minute cab ride door to door to DCA.

    • You should check out FOGGY Bottom, where I went to school There is a METRO stop there at 23rd and M that can get you anywhere you want, and if you are takeing classes at GW, it is right there. I had great memories there. You could also try Georgetown, but the METRO does NOT stop there. If you want to live nearby, you could live in Arlington, VA, but I would NOT recommend anyplace else b/c when you work in DC, you do NOT want to waste alot of time commuting. I met a guy named Vinny on the Metro when I first when to DC, and he still calls me b/c he thought I was special. I did NOT want to date him, but he still has a flame for me. Why can’t I find a guy that I like that treats me like Vinny? FOOEY!

  4. Going off yesterday’s discussion. Does the conversation about what you can “afford” change in Europe? I know my friends certainly don’t have medical debt (socialized medicine), I also know roughly what their rent is (rent control), I also know things like taxes and witholdings which are standardized. So it’s pretty easy to figure out someone’s financial picture here. It usually leaves the conclusion that someone is piddling away their money buying things. We are also not an “at will” country so people can’t be fired willy nilly like they can in the states so big emergency funds aren’t logical either. I find because the picture is so clear here I do end up judging a bit.

    • Why judge? Just let people be.

      Maybe they can’t afford to go out for drinks because they made the decision to donate 10% of their income to charities and that’s important to them so they budget for it. Stop making assumptions!!!

      • I am in that situation. Living in Europe but still active with my social work in Morocco, also paying rent and fully supporting a relative and my cats in my home country, and trying to save for an emergency.
        You quickly realise that Friday drinks are not a must and it’s OK to have a sandwich for lunch instead of a fancy salad.

    • nasty woman :

      Good lord. The picture is “so clear”? There are more than 3-4 variables that affect someone’s financial picture. Even in Europe. Consider that your friends are probably lying to you because you seem like a busy body who is hell-bent on judging them.

      • Anonymous :

        Yasssss. This.

      • +1 Like their income, for example.

        • I do know what most of my colleagues earn (in Europe) because the pay scale is public and I was involved in hiring them. All that means is that I know what they earn. I know nothing about what financial position this puts them in. Even if I did, why would I waste my energy pondering how they spend their money? My own finances give me enough to worry about.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            +1. I mean, I may think about it in passing, but this is a lot of mental energy.

      • Right??? Good grief.

    • I think you should concern yourself with your own life and stop thinking about how other people spend their money. I would probably be a little judgy if someone was always pushing me to spend more money and being a jerk about it, but in that case the real issue is a jerk friend, not their money.

    • Anonymous :

      Where in Europe are you? This will vary so so much by country. My DH is German and I find people are much more open about stating specifically what they make, especially within families. Many fields often pay significantly less than in the USA – think doctor that makes about the same as a high school teacher. Rent control isn’t everywhere and the cost of housing, especially for families, can still be quite high in or near major cities. Some countries have free or low cost tuition so educational debt is less of an issue, other countries it can be expensive to attend good schools (UK). While there is less at will employment, there are also significant issues with employers cycling temporary contracts to avoid getting locked into permanent employees. Someone with a temporary position is going to be more financially cautious than someone with a permanent position. Ny Times recently had a good article about the problem:

      I judge only when people don’t own the choices they make. I had one set of friends in particular who constantly commented when DH took a year off work to spend with the kids – how we were lucky to afford it etc – meanwhile they are doing vacations/new cars/home renos to a newish house – no right or wrong choice there but I was annoyed that they kept making the comments vs. leaving it alone or acknowledging that they had made different choices.

    • lawsuited :

      I think the point is that, although you can make various assumptions about another’s financial situation you don’t actually know. We all see the world through our own lens, so making even well-reasoned assumptions about others is almost always a fool’s errand because circumstances we would never guess at might be at play – paying off a struggling sibling’s student loan, paying for private care for an ailing parent because wait lists for public care are too long, etc.

      Ultimately, I’m not sure where judging another’s financial situation gets you anyway. So what if other people are “piddling” their money away buying cashmere sweaters for themselves or custom lightsabers for their kids or travelling to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Why on earth do you care?

    • Anonymous :

      Dude. Just stop. The picture is not clear. You have no idea how they spend and save their money. The only problem here is you. Stop being arrogant (assuming you know things you don’t) and judgmental and this isn’t an issue.

      • Honest question: Do you think that a low-income person, who’s living at or near the poverty line, is arrogant and judgmental for assuming that someone who bring in 6 figures is able to (or should be able to) afford to go out to dinner?

        • My family lived at or near the poverty line for most of my childhood, and I promise you we were not spending any of our time thinking about whether someone who earned 6 figures (how do you even know what other people earn?) could afford to go out to dinner.

        • Honest question: Do you really think that’s what we are talking about here? Because it’s obviously not.

          No, no I don’t. And that has nothing to do with this discussion.

        • Not Anon at 9:45, but yes, I think it’s generally arrogant and judgmental to assume anything about anyone’s finances regardless of the respective wealth of the people involved. I mean, if you’re talking really extreme situations, like assuming a person who earns multi-millions can afford a $30 dinner, then sure. But “six figures” – even though it’s thrown around a lot as a metric of wealth – really doesn’t go that far in many US cities, especially for people who have educational debt and are saving to eventually purchase a home. I wouldn’t make any assumptions about what a person earning $100k can afford, because it’s impossible to know without knowing what they’re trying to save and what financial obligations they have.

        • nasty woman :

          Sure. Being low-income doesn’t make you stupid and/or incapable of critical thinking.

          Are we to assume OP is living at or near the poverty line?

      • I’m in Europe. I have a sister with mental illness and two lovely parents made essentially bankrupt by medical expenses and job loss. (They’re not in Europe.) So when I say I can’t afford something, I mean it. *But* I will certainly not tell this to someone I don’t know well, and I shouldn’t have to present proof of my incoming and outgoings for my financial decisions to be treated with respect. Unless someone’s asking you to pay for their caviar and champagne while boasting about their lack of cash due to a recent luxury vacation in the Maldives – and even then the problem’s less the money than the rubbish manners – it’s not on you to judge. I’ve been pushed into spending because someone like you wouldn’t respect my response, and it’s awful.

    • anon a mouse :

      They may be “piddling” away their money or they may be saving it. You just NEVER know.

      I’ve found the discussions over the last couple of days fascinating. I think one aspect that was hinted at is how much society correlates money with inherent personal goodness. In America we seem to assume that if a person is wealthy than they are smart and good (see: a key reason 45 won) and that if they make a lower income they are somehow inferior. I work in financial literacy and see this all the time — people think that they are a failure because they can’t afford a fancy house, when in reality they are making enough to pay off their student loans ahead of schedule and clothe their kids and take a vacation once a year. Why do we assume that if someone pays attention to their spending and budgets their money, that somehow they are inferior?

      • OMG yes to conflating personal worth (goodness, industriousness, intelligence, etc.) with income.

        • MargaretO :

          This conversation is so weird and I think its a bizarre combination of this cultural attitude + what money is describing below about pressure to spend more on stuff which I think is related to people wanting validation of their own spending habits? But its honestly so outrageous to me that I don’t know, I cannot for the life of me understand why a person would care if someone is spending less than they might be able to.

    • Why though? Is there something you want people to spend money on they keep saying they can’t afford it? Do you wish people were more generous? Are people complaining about not being able to afford what they want and you’re sick of the negativity? Or are you just frustrated that people have different spending habits and financial priorities than you?

      • I’ve also found this topic really interesting. My husband and I are both lawyers. I have worked in big law for a few years and he recently moved to big law after working in a much much lower paying position. We combined had about $250k in student debt. For the past year we stuck to a strict monthly budget, tracked all of our expenses and threw all extra money at the debt. We were able to pay it off in a year. I recognize how fortunate we are that we were able to do that and I am really grateful. The process really changed how I think about money and how I spend it. We get SO SO many comments about everything we spend our money on now that he is also working in biglaw and its really strange and makes me really uncomfortable. People often tell me what I can afford. Even though of course I know I can “afford” lots of things, we budget every month to prioritize the goals we have made together as a family and if something isn’t in the budget I don’t get it.
        For example we just bought a car for the first time and decided together that we wanted to get a decent used car that we could buy with cash and not spend a lot of our savings on a new one. The amount of slack we got about the kind of car we got from all kinds of people (family, colleagues, etc) was really remarkable. People cannot get that yes we are lawyers and yes we have x income, but that doesn’t mean we want to spend our hard earned money on a fancy new car when cars are not important to either of us at all. That being said, I wouldn’t judge someone at all for buying an expensive car if that’s what he wanted to spend his money on. People should just not comment on other people’s financial decisions or assume that they know the full picture.

  5. Patricia Gardiner :

    I want to thank the person who has posted on here about salsa chicken in the slow cooker- it has become a staple in our house (so easy and good!). Any ideas for equally simple (dump and forget) recipes for chicken breasts in the slow cooker with other flavors? I want to try one with a soy/ginger combination flavor but have not had good results with things containing soy in the slow cooker in the past…

    • I have better luck cooking the chicken breasts in their own in the slow cooker and then adding a sauce at the end for 20-30 min (after draining excess liquid). I like a lot of the trader joes sauces.

    • Anonymous :

      BBQ spice rub + BBQ sauce for easy pulled chicken or pork.

      • My SO is the slow cooker chicken king. His standard rotation is salsa chicken, BBQ chicken, Italian-ish chicken (can of crushed tomatoes + basil + oregano), and chicken with this really delicious Spanish-style rub ( He uses bone-in thighs on low for 8 hours.

        The good news is that it seems to be really hard to mess up.

    • marketingchic :

      I make this either as burritos or rice bowls, and saute some greens to go with it:

    • I’d like more info about this, what setting do you use? I once made us very sick with frozen chicken in the slow cooker and a coworker did too. I imagine I did it for too long but it’s been a few years so I’m willing to try again.

      • marketingchic :

        I have used frozen boneless thighs, cooked on low for 8-9 hours, several times. If using frozen meat I stick to smaller pieces and extend the cooking time 1-2 hours.

      • (Former) Clueless Summer :

        Frozen chicken: Debates about this are all over the internet, but generally I think the official recommendations are no frozen meat in the slow cooker. Especially with chicken where you are using a low setting, I understand it doesn’t heat up quickly enough to stop bacterial growth. Use fresh chicken or chicken you thaw in the fridge overnight.

        As to the recipe, I do any jar of salsa, chicken breasts (or thighs, I prefer thighs as they don’t dry out), low heat for 6 hours (then I have an automatic slowcooker than turns itself to warm for the rest of the time we’re gone). I especially like it with salsa verde!

        • Yes – the problem is that the frozen chicken in a low slow cooker will stay in the “danger zone” for temperature to permit bacteria growth.

        • + a million. I know people love the convenience but generally you should not put frozen chicken in the slow cooker. Defrost it the night before + overnight in the fridge.

        • anon a mouse :

          But you can put frozen meat in the instant pot for pressure cooking, which was one of the selling factors for me.

      • How would too long make you sick???
        Here is a basic salsa chicken recipe:

        • The amount of time in the danger zone matters because bacteria and microbes quickly divide to make more bacteria and microbes (if I remember right, bacteria doubles approx. every 20 minutes under optimal conditions).

          The more bacteria and microbes in your food, the more likely you are to get sick. People without compromised immune systems can eat a surprising amount of contaminated food without getting sick. But once there are enough bacteria in the food, the bacteria overpower the immune system and food poisoning ensues.

    • I cover chicken breasts in half a bottle of barbecue sauce, flip to coat both sides, and set it on high for 3-4 hours. It’s the easiest dinner ever.

      I also salt & pepper chicken breasts, put in a small amount of chicken broth (just cover the bottom, and flip) then set it on high for 3-4 hours. Great for fast lunches.

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      Thanks for all the ideas. I also stick to fresh chicken, sometimes with extra broth or water, and cook it with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup salsa on low for 7-8 hours. Makes a nice shreddable chicken to add to salads, grain bowls, burritos etc.

    • That was me – you are very welcome!! I saw the idea somewhere else on the Internet and I thank whoever originally posted it too. Sometimes it’s just so nice to have a zero-prep healthy meal.

    • I make chicken like this with either BBQ sauce and then serve on the little King’s Hawaiian slider buns with coleslaw or I mix up a quick teriyaki sauce and serve the chicken on top of brown rice with stirfry veggies on the side. For the teriyaki sauce, I usually just mix up some soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, minced ginger and garlic, and chopped onion. If it looks like it needs more liquid I add pineapple juice, water, or some broth (really just depends what I have on hand.) If I have canned pineapple I will add some juice and then add the pineapple chunks at the end when serving.

    • No recipes, but just chiming in to suggest that you use thighs instead of breasts in the slow cooker. Lean cuts of meat like chicken breasts tend to get really dry when they are cooked “low and slow”. Lean meat tends to be tastier when it’s quickly cooked on high heat. The slow cooker is a good way to make tougher / cheaper cuts of meat very tasty – short ribs, brisket, chicken legs and thighs, etc.

      • Yes to boneless skinless chicken thighs. 6 hours on low and they will be tender enough to break up with a spoon.

      • Anonattorney :

        Eh, I always use boneless skinless chicken breasts, and if you cook them with sauce or other liquid, and then shred them, it turns out very moist.

        • Well sure, if you shred them and mix them with sauce, it will wind up moist.

          It takes <10 min to cook chicken breasts on the stovetop; there is very little point in using a slow cooker to make them.

          The unwavering commitment of people to boneless skinless breasts is so strange to me. Yes, they have a slightly lower fat content, but removing the skin and trimming the fat from the thighs makes the difference negligible.

          • MargaretO :

            I don’t get it either! You can buy boneless skinless chicken thighs and they are just as easy and so much tastier and cheaper. White meat is gross!

          • I buy thighs more often for this reason, and that they’re simply cheaper. I do like chicken breast better in some things that I make in the slow cooker (see: soups, etc). In that case, my justification for cooking them in the slow cooker is I don’t want to dirty more than one pot/pan and have to do more cleanup.

          • Many (most?) Americans grew up eating white meat chicken, which is still the inexpensive choice in most affordable places to eat out as well. You tend to continue to eat what we were exposed to early. White meat is a different texture and flavor to dark meat, which becomes an acquired taste for some.

            In addition, many grew up with Mom overcooking chicken, as the fear of Salmonella was greater in the past, so many are also used to “dry” tasting chicken, and “moist” chicken texture actually causes a reflex concern that it is undercooked. I kid you not, but I have heard many people express this.

            It amuses me how annoyed people get when others don’t share their food preferences, often with a touch of foodie arrogance.

          • Anonattorney :

            Discussion was slow-cooker chicken recipes, similar to making shredded chicken with salsa. Question posed above was substitute thighs in slow cooker bc breasts are too dry. My point was breasts are fine for slow cooker shredded chicken recipes bc sauce makes them moist. Your response makes no sense in this context.

      • yeah, I totally don’t understand the obsession with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They taste like nothing to me, and no, the sauce does not make them moist. It’s dry meat in a sauce. Thighs are so much better. And cheaper! The markup on boneless, skinless chicken breasts is absurd.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Here are a few of our staples:
      (also good with biscuits, or substituting cream of mushroom soup, we usually add extra veggies)
      (add about 1/2 cup dr. pepper or Mexican Coca-Cola if you want extra yum)

    • Buffalo ranch chicken sandwiches. Chicken breasts + a packet of dry ranch seasoning + 1/2 big bottle (give or take, use your judgement) of franks red hot buffalo sauce. Cook on low for about 6 hours, depending on your crockpot. Take out the chicken and shred with 2 forks, dump the liquid, and then mix together with the remaining red hot sauce. Serve on kings Hawaiian rolls or potato rolls with ranch dressing as a topping. This is a staple in a house and a crowd-pleaser at parties. And there’s only three ingredients!!!

    • Anonattorney :

      I’ve done curry before in the slow cooker – get curry paste, onions, chicken, potatoes, chicken broth, red peppers, (some other stuff that I can’t remember), and let it go for 8 hours. When you get home, add the coconut milk and cook on high for 20-30 minutes. It turns out great!

    • Someone on here recommended chicken tikka masala in the crockpot and it’s a family fave. I don’t remember the exact portions, you may be able to search the site for it. Same idea as the curry above. The chicken cooks in a spicy tomato and onion sauce all day, then when you come home, you turn up the heat and add coconut milk. A side of rice or naan and you’re all set. (Because of this recipe I learned how to make naan and it’s good! but not a weeknight thing because of the yeast/rise time)

    • I recently had shredded chicken mixed with caesar dressing served on croissants and it was really delicious.

  6. I keep seeing ads for these at home “permanent” hair removal gadgets like the Remington iLight. Has anyone successfully used them for facial hair (eyebrows, lip area)? Is it even safe to use for those areas? Any chance they will leave scars or discolorations?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I have zero experience with permanent at home removal gadgets. But I have a rule…don’t screw with your face at home. Leave that to the professionals. If there’s a risk of scaring, discoloration, etc that’s not something I’m comfortable with.

      I have had great success with professional laser hair removal at a Med-Spa.

    • I agree with BeenThatGuy. Be very very careful with the face.

      My face has also been damaged by professionals, so I have moved to the best “device” that I learned from on here… Tinkle face/eyebrow razors. Fantastic.

      Quick, painless, easy, cheap. Even though it isn’t permanent, I can live with it. My skin also feels nice after I’m done. Watch a video so you do it correctly.

      It is so wonderful for the lip area. Be very very careful if you use it around brows, as one slip up…. oops! I still mostly use plucking for my brows. But I use the Tinkle razors for the rest of my face.

    • I don’t use the gadget on my face because it’s difficult to aim in those small defined areas. It works okay for underarms, tedious to use for larger areas like legs. Overall I just recommend going to a professional service. I’m going to one through Groupon for my legs. Results are so much faster.

  7. My husband and I live in the Bay Area, but it’s too crowded and congested for our taste (the traffic is HORRIBLE). I like the outdoorsy options and I have family nearby, but we plan to move when my two-year stint at a job is up. We have our eye on Denver because there are good tech jobs, the outdoors, and a little more affordable, but I was wondering if anyone could comment on the quality of life there re: crowds and congestion and traffic. Are there nice areas to live where you could still commute to work, but not have such a “city feel”?

    • Hi! We just moved from Denver after living there for two years. Quality of life is great. I was raving about the weather yesterday. People complain about the traffic there, but honestly it’s really milld compared to most cities I’ve lived in with a car. The most I was ever delayed because of traffic was maybe 25-30m. We lived (and worked) downtown so we didn’t drive a ton to the residential suburbs, but the ones I have been to are: Littleton (25m drive SW of downtown), Stapleton (15m-20m drive E of downtown, a newer development), Arvada (15-20m drive NW of downtown, has it’s own downtown area that’s really great, this is where we would have moved for a residential feel). I know you don’t want a city feel, but if you changed your mind one of my future dream neighborhoods is the Highlands, the area just west (and across the river) from downtown.

    • columbus, ohio… LCOL, large city, super short commutes to anywhere!

    • I’d second all of COtoNY’s recommendations above. Because Denver is (slooowly) adding light rail, Littleton and Stapleton are nicely commutable to downtown without a car. While Highlands is great, I would say it’s way overpriced for what you’d get, housing-wise. I’d add Park Hill and the neighborhoods right around City Park–just 3 miles east of downtown, so an easy bike ride or drive, and they’re all neighborhood-y.

  8. Partner lifestyle / help with kids and household stuff :

    Following up on the post earlier about how much help is typical for working law parents with kids . . .

    I am at the point where I think I could easily justify more help (PT helper for 4-7 weekdays) for a life where I am in BigLaw (regional office though) and have two school-aged children. Husband has a basic midlevel management job (so for him, the expectation is in your seat until 6 but rare night / weekend work but some week-long travel).

    What I’ve decided that I want is actually to hire another person at work (so on work’s dime, not mine) to help with the work and that that should relieve some of the OMG ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL that I feel at home. I’d rather build my work team now (even though I may need more of a home team eventually) b/c me doing more work at work is only going to get me stuck with more work permanently. Until we get that person (I want to think that midlevel legal help is easier to find than a good PT nanny, but we’ll see), I’m pushing hard on WFH a morning or so a week just to decompress a bit (I think I get a good chunk of thinking work done this way b/c I’m not already super tired but I can hide from things a bit while I’m on task).

    [FWIW, I’m a partner, but if all I do is bill more hours at this point, my concern is that I either burn myself out or never develop into an equity partner at which point I might be pushed out.]

    So: it’s go big or go home. Wish me luck!

    • Good luck! You seem to have thought this through and come to an original and logical conclusion. I bet it will work out great for you :)

    • This is smart thinking! You got this!

    • Great plan but I don’t think it’s an either/or – you can also hire the at home help to make your life easier on that front too.

      • Yea, I’d still focus on getting more help at home. Unless it’s your own firm, which it doesn’t sound like, the Firm will probably just expect you to do more partner things (manage more cases, rainmake, etc.) if they hire a mid-level in your area. I wouldn’t count on a new body to actually lessen your workload.

    • Senior Attorney :

      So smart! Good luck!

      And yeah, do that AND get more help at home!

  9. cake batter :

    If your friends invite you to sales parties, how do y’all respond? This is perhaps more of a vent than a question, but I get so frustrated when my friends take zero initiative to plan get-togethers, even simple ones like a quick coffee date, but they seem to have endless time to plan a “ladies wine night with Lularoe!” Obviously I’m the planner in my group, and that’s fine, but it’d be nice to be invited to something (anything!) without an expectation to buy something. I’m not expecting them to throw parties on the regular, I just wonder why no one thinks to plan a casual wine night unless they’re shilling product. /endvent

    • It bugged the heck out of me and seemed like a cash grab for a long time, but then I realized that I want more friends and a bigger social network so I just started going. I always buy something (2 henleys at different Lularoe parties because I am NOT a pattern leggings person) but recently its let me branch out to being added to a book club and a fun girls night out.

      • cake batter :

        I went to a Lularoe party recently for that reason – to try and play up the social aspect of it – but folks literally only wanted to talk about the clothes. I couldn’t get people to engage in a conversation that wasn’t related to the leggings or how cute this pattern was.

        • Ugh, that’s horrible. The last one I went to, I might have been making fun of the clothes too much, there was a creepy clown shirt that I thought was hilarious. Oops.

    • “No thanks” or “I can’t make it.”

      I hate them, so I refuse to engage at all. And I try hard to make better friends when I can. I expect hospitality to be reciprocated in some way, and a sales pitch doesn’t count.

    • I say no. I have no desire to go to any parties like that and actually have a policy against buying anything from MLMs, even though I’ve heard great things about Arbonne and the protein boost, for instance.

    • I ignore them or say no, depending on the relationship and method of invitation. My RL/non-FB acquaintance friends with whom I socialize regularly aren’t involved in MLM crap and I wouldn’t participate even if they were.

    • I don’t go to sales parties. I like to entertain and don’t mind planning, but I get where you are coming from about wishing that someone else would do the inviting. But, I figure that some of my friends just aren’t the type to host. As guests, they are great though, happy to attend, happy to bring something. They just don’t want to plan/host. So I accept that and appreciate their other attributes. Example- we’ve got some friends who aren’t the type to reciprocate dinner invites and the like. But, they are very generous when it comes to carpool, kids events, network introductions, etc.

      • cake batter :

        Totally agree – I love entertaining and don’t mind at all that most events either are planned by me or take place in my home. But, if these friends aren’t the “type to host” then how can they manage to host MLM parties?! I think that’s what I struggle with. How does a sales pitch make it EASIER for people to host?!

        • Because they think they are making money and they are part of a group which has a lot of social media presence. They now feel like they belong. These parties are attempted money grabs – not real friend get togethers. It’s a totally different category of both friend and social event.

          • I should have said IMO at the end of the last sentence, although I imagine a good number of people will agree with me.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I completely agree with this.

            Also, I feel like it’s easier to have an event where the “entertainment” is pre-set (looking at the clothes, candles, whatever) rather than just putting yourself out there as a host without that crutch.

          • cake batter :

            I guess I’m easily amused because I’d be delighted at an invitation where the only “entertainment” was wine and something silly on TV that we’re only half watching. I had a movie watching “party” recently where we drank wine on a Sunday afternoon and watched Christmas movies.

    • I’d respond with “I’m not looking to purchase any Lularoe clothing right now, but I would love to grab a coffee sometime soon to catch up! How does the next month look for you?” Then see how your friend responds. You’ll pretty quickly get a feel for whether this person views you as a friend or a dollar sign.

    • Why don’t you start a book club that rotates to different people’s houses? You know it’s not about the book…

  10. Running Shoes? :

    Happy Friday Hive!

    Husband & I are trying to get into a healthier lifestyle and a big part of that is that we have both taken up running. Now that we have been consistently running for a few weeks we are both starting to notice that our regular Nike’s arent cutting it. I’m getting ankle pain (could be related to other issues) and he’s having terrible shin splits. A quick search of The Google says good running shoes could be our solution. SO, runners of the hive, where is the best place to get quality running shoes that will last? Since we don’t know exactly what we want yet, we’d like to keep it as cheap as possible, less than $100 per pair would be awesome. I need a minimalist shoe and he needs something with a bit more cushion.

    Right now we are just running on the treadmill (not ready for inclines yet LOL) but will likely do road & trail running once we are better at it. Does this require different shoes??

    • Get thee to a true running shoe store where they do an analysis of your gait and can show you shoes that work best for your foot, running style, and preferred terrain.

    • Check out REI. They normally have good shoes (I got my Hokas there and love them) and good sales. Also you can’t beat the return policy. My SO is an ultra runner and took back a pair of shoes with 100+ miles on them because a lug fell off (one lug, mind you). They took them and found him a similar pair in a local store near by (the model he had was no longer available) and he paid nothing extra.

    • givemyregards :

      I agree with the other commenters that a running store that does gait analysis on a treadmill is going to be your best bet here. The downside is that these are generally small, locally owned business so the shoes are going to be full price and probably over your $100 budget. I usually buy a pair from a store like this once, and then order future pairs for a lower price online. But honestly, the people who work in these running stores are usually so friendly that if you both went in and did the analysis and only one bought a pair (or just like, some running shorts) they’re not going to make you feel bad. And you don’t really need different shoes for treadmill vs. road running, but trail running shoes are a little different – they have more tread to keep you from slipping around in the mud. But if you’re running on groomed running paths or in a park, your normal shoes will probably be fine. Also, doing some cross training on your non-running days (yoga, swimming, whatever) will help you stretch and build your muscles, which will cut down on some of the aches and pains.

      Good luck and welcome to the running club!

    • Long-time runner here. As much as I love Nike running clothing, I cannot wear their running shoes. They do not seem to fit my feet, provide arch support and cushioning. I donated my 2 pairs after 2 test runs. I was lucky with Asics running shoes. I have a slight pronation and I was getting shin pain before. Then I seitched to Asics Gel Kayano and uppedmy calcium intake and I the pain was gone. I have then switched to Asics GT 2000 line and I am happy as well. Sidenote: as a begonner, allow plenty time for sour muscles, ligaments and bones to adapt to the sudden increase of activity and pressure. Some soreness is to be expected, but I would advise to take it easy and only run every other day (max) and not to icrease mileage or speed or frequency too soon. And – even though I am usually sceptic – yoga really helps! I wold recommend adding yoga to your running routine

  11. Charitable contributions :

    I would like to increase my charitable contributions. I think I would like to target smaller organizations for my donations, but am unsure how to evaluate potential organizations. Right now, I give to organizations I have heard about from friends or family. Ideas on how to identify future organizations? How do others do it?

    • I would love to help you answer this question in any way I can – I’m in the nonprofit field on the fundraising side. So it’s close to my heart. Does smaller to you mean local? (Usually it does, unless you are thinking a very niche cause that might have a small national organization.)

      A good first step would be to identify the causes that mean the most to you – women’s healthcare? Food insecurity? Animals? Environmental preservation? Cancer research? Then you can drill down to local organizations. I am not a huge fan of just looking up places on s!tes like Charity Navigator, because it can be misleading – especially for smaller organizations. I would instead spend a bit of time researching organizations that have events (maybe check one out and see how you like it) or have gotten some news coverage.

      You can also use national sources for finding local affiliates – for example, at Feeding America’s website, you can plug in your zip and find your local food bank. Depending on how savvy your local food bank is, you can go even further by plugging in your zip code there and seeing what food pantry serves your neighborhood and can support them directly.

      Friends and family are really good sources, too!

      • And I should have added that I am really, really glad you are thinking this way – smaller organizations often need more help but have less staff to help them get it (few or no fundraising staff, for example). Your dollar can really do a lot.

        And beware giving through PayPal – I don’t know if you are following that lawsuit but there was an article in the NYT yesterday.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been giving to organizations that have a mission that I’m passionate about. Right now that is the New York Abortion Access Fund and the New York Public Library. I didn’t do much evaluation beyond whether I think they do good work, but I’m not giving a large amount of money.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Since I think you’ve mentioned you live in Queens–did you know that even though you can get privileges that are good for all three, the Queens, Brooklyn, and NYPL libraries are all actually separate entities (NYPL covers manhattan, bronx, SI)? So donating to NYPL doesn’t go to Queens or Brooklyn libraries and vice versa. So if you use the Queens libraries, you may want to also donate directly to them.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Yes and I’m donating to them this month! I had to spread it out and wanted to help NYPL meet its membership goal for the year so I donated to them first.

    • There are a bunch of websities that give charities a score:

      Many let you search by either rating, do you donate to the most effective or by cause and then you can find one with a high rating that is a cause you support

    • Anon in NYC :

      Use Charity Navigator. It will give you breakdowns of their financials (how much of their money actually goes to the charity versus administrative expenses), and you can also search for charities by topic (animals, religion, human rights, etc.).

      • This may be too late in the day, but as another non-profit employee, I’d like to push back on this. For many direct-service organizations, administrative expenses–aka payroll–make up a huge percentage of the budget because hiring teachers/nurses/social workers/farmers/clergy is what makes the service happen. Those people deserve to be paid fairly and get health benefits, and so do the people–like fundraisers and secretaries–who make their work possible.

        A small non-profit will be overjoyed to receive unrestricted, regular giving–that will help them do everything from feeding hungry children to keeping the office lights on, hosting free community lessons to growing their funder base (which in turn feeds more hungry children and hosts more free lessons).

    • If you’d like to donate locally, check to see if your city has a community foundation. My local one is really active and will help you find organizations that match your giving priorities. They will also set up meet & greets or work with the organizations to get answers to specific questions.

    • You could also look at either donating to your local community foundation, or ideally, look through their grant recipients and donate to one or more of the nonprofits they support directly if their work speaks to you. They will have been vetted by the community foundation in order to get grant funding by them.

      Similarly, you could look at which nonprofits in your area are getting public funding from a federal, state, or local source – public agencies often list their grants on their websites. For example, the New York State Council on the Arts lists all of its grant recipients each year, and you can search by discipline, city, etc. To get grants like these you have to go through a fair amount of review and meet minimum standards of professionalism. (This is not necessarily true for money awarded by local elected officials, who are notorious for giving grants to their brother in laws. But that kind of money is not typically awarded through a competitive grant application process).

      The Better Business Bureau also certifies charities, but it is a rather onerous, intrusive process and not all decent charities would submit to it.

      I worked for a nonprofit that tried to get Charity Navigator to review us and they would not – they don’t have the capacity to review all charities that want to be certified by them, so don’t assume a lack of their stamp of approval means an organization is bad. Their value of their ratings are also somewhat controversial within the nonprofit field. The definition of administrative expenses is murky at best – a lot of it is related to staff time, and deciding what percentage of someone’s time is spent on “program services” vs. fundraising or administration, etc. That is really hard to parse or police, particularly for the highest paid staff such as CEOs. They should weed out really terrible organizations, but beyond that the rankings are somewhat suspect.

    • I give to Royal Family Productions that provides theater classes to kids who otherwise couldn’t afford them (the payment is “pay what you can”), I give to Animal Tracks, Inc that takes in injured wildlife and teaches the public about them, and I give using the kiva website and through personal family/friends gofundme or other fundraisers, either to help them in a crisis or when their kids sell cookies for school or whatnot. Also, if a personal family/friend uses gofundme, I often ask if I can just mail them a check so that they get the full amount rather than losing a percentage to the website host!

  12. Sydney Bristow :

    Can anyone recommend an attorney in NYC who does estate planning? We should be fairly simple. Married with no kids (or plans to have kids). Need a will, advance healthcare directives, etc.

  13. Hello Hive
    I was just prescribed an antibiotic cream for my hormonal acne flare up.
    It needs to be refrigerated, and I should apply it every night.
    Complication: I travel 3 days per week so need to find a solution for storing my cream when I am on the go. Any ideas besides ice cubes?
    Also, we carpool straight to the client site and I can only go to my hotel at night (I have a mini fridge there for the second night).
    How would you handle this?
    I thought of putting a little bit of cream in contact lenses case around an ice cube in a Ziploc and keep it all day.

    • I’d put the cream in its tube inside two plastic baggies and put those baggies inside an insulated water bottle full of ice water.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Would a packit (an insulated lunch box) work? You can put the bag in the freezer overnight and then it keeps things cold for 8-12 hours (depending on how warm the ambient temperature is). They have some smaller sizes too (like the mini lunch bag or the baby bottle bag).

    • Find an insulated lunch box or a small bag that nursing moms use to pump. Use a freezer pack in the lunch box and you should be all set on the way there. Ask you hotel for a min-fridge with a freezer portion to refreeze the freeze the ice pack for the trip home.

    • I would buy a benzoyl peroxide cream over the counter, and use that on the days you are traveling.

      And next time, ask your doctor to write a script for an antibiotic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. There are tons of options. And also ask if adding retin-A might be beneficial.

    • Can you ask the Dr if there is a prescription that doesn’t need to be refrigerated?

      • +1 I have started using erythromiacin (sp?), which seems to be doing the job and does not need to be refrigerated.

    • Anonymous :

      Call your pharmacy and doctor’s office for recommendations to keep the RX cool for a few days? I’m sure they have other patients with similar needs.

  14. PSA - Super Sale at Garnet Hill :


    Garnet Hill is having a great sale–really lovely cashmere and many other super-cute things, including coats, boots, drapy tops. I love all of their stuff, and the prices are seriously amazing. Get over there!


    • Delta Dawn :

      Thanks for the tip! I’m considering the Cashmere Draped-Front Cardigan. Do you have that one? Any thoughts on it?

      • haha I just bought that for my mom (today), the reviews on the GH website seem pretty up front, for a retailer anyway

    • Thanks for the alert. Their cashmere throws are really lovely, and the best quality I have found so far.

    • Does anyone know how sizes run at Garnet hill? Are sweaters generously cut / should I size down?

      • TTS generally, except their XL is on the small side, in my experience.

      • Anonymous :

        I find the sizing to run enormous and curvy. I am normally an S and take an XS at Garnet Hill, and half the time the bust is still too big. The pants are very big in the hips and tiny in the waist.

  15. Those freezer gel packs, in an insulated travel lunchbox/cooler. Maybe look into what mins use to transport breast milk they pump on trips.

    Did you ask your doctor for ideas? I bet there is a medical device just for this problem.

    • I think there are small insulated bags made for insulin that might work.

    • S in Chicago :

      My husband takes Humira and it arrives with a special ice pack. The packs stay colder longer than typical ice things you get at the store. Definitely should get one of those.

  16. I’ve just joined a new firm and I’m writing my bio for the firm website. I cannot for the life of me find an elegant way to talk about the fluffy things they want us to include to make us sound more human haha. Mine are that I’m on the board at church and that I’m an active alum/mentor/frequent speaker at school events. Any wordsmiths out there? I’d be so grateful!

    • This is so hard to do without any other context/know any info about you personally! I tried to swiss cheese it a little below…. maybe this helps?

      “Outside the office, Anon puts her organizational/(or analytical, or strength of yours related to your field) skills to work helping organize community events (or whatever you do) via her position on the board at her church in her town/neighborhood of Wherever (optional: where she lives with her husband/wife/two children/two cats).

      She is also an active mentor with students at her alma mater, School Name, through the alumni association and School of Law, and enjoys sharing her career experience and insight speaking at their academic events.”

  17. How long does your mascara last before it dries out/gets clumpy and you SHOULD buy another one?

    How long until you DO buy another one….?

    What do you use?

    And any tips for achieving nice separated lashes? I have very long lashes, but I am just trying to even out / separate. Going for a more natural look.

    • 2 months or so? I use drugstore mascara, so I’m not tracking it closely. I generally buy another one within 10 days or so of noticing, “Hm, my lashes look a little skimpy today, maybe I should buy another tube.”

      I’ve been loving L’Oreal Voluminous Feline Noir lately – I’ve bought tubes back-to-back instead of hunting for something new when I finish a tube. I have the world’s skimpiest lashes, so I start with the Voluminous primer before I do a color coat.

    • I use a tube mascara ( tr ish mce voy ) and it lets you know when it’s done. It gets very dry and hard to apply.

      Mascara lasts a long time when unopened. This brand does a 3-for-2 deal a couple of times a year. I’m on the email list for one of the brand reps (she goes around to different stores and demos the product) so when she emails about the mascara deal, I stock up.

      Because I have it right there in the cupboard, it’s no effort to change to a new tube when I find my current tube getting a little dry.

    • You’re supposed to get rid of mascara every 2-3 months regardless of whether it’s dried out; as a practical matter, I keep using my mascara until the smell changes or it dries out, whichever is first.

      If you’re looking for separation and definition, you’ll probably like the mascaras that have a hard plastic wand (rather than a fibre wand) – Lancome Volume a Porter is a good one.

    • I think it lasts about 6 months so way longer than they recommend keeping mascara, but I’ve never had problems. I use L’Oréal voluminous (I try the various options, love the original but am happy with the fancier (butterfly?) version I’m currently using) and buy a few tubes whenever it’s on sale for a good price. I switch to a new tube whenever it occurs to me that it has been a while. I’ve never had mascara dry out on me.

    • I’ve always heard you should replace every 3-4 months. That’s about when mine starts getting clumpy and dry (I wear it every day that I leave the house because blonde lashes).

      I typically buy a new tube around that time. The old tube sometimes gets thrown in my bag (like this last time) for emergency touch-ups, after the gym, etc.

      I use Too Faced Better than S*x, but my lashes are the exact opposite of yours – I have short and relatively thin ones.

    • My friend used to work for Lancome and she said that if you can still hear the “pop” when you pull out the wand, it is still good.

  18. I was recently at an Alumni networking event. After the event, the emailed us a feedback form and linked the email to a bunch of photos from the event.

    I clicked to see the photos, and noticed one where I’m sitting amongst a group of people. My complexion color looked really really odd. I came out yellowish/orange/tanish colored when I am normally pretty pale. Everyone around me looks normal in coloring, with individuals of all different colors/complexions.

    Is this some sort of artifact of the BB cream I am using?

    • I’ve heard of the sunscreen in foundations ghosting, where you look white in photos, but I haven’t heard of looking more tan…hm.

    • I have heard of creams oxidizing and turning orangey after a few hours, but this would be apparent all the time and not just in photos.

      • +1 It might be that your BB cream oxidizes throughout the day, but because it’s a good match when you apply it, you don’t notice/scrutinize it…until it’s memorialized in a photograph!

    • Anonymous :

      Is your BB cream one with color adjusting pigments? I definitely have had them oxidize throughout the day on me!

  19. One of my employees had surgery on Wednesday. I’m kind of worried about him and would love a quick update on how the procedure went, but I don’t want to make him feel pressured. I should just sit tight and wait to hear, right?

  20. So I have 2 networking events coming up in the next 2 months. One is just listening to a speaker followed by networking in a conference room – organized by my old biglaw firm – should be 1-2 hrs of networking at most; a lot (though hopefully not all) will be talking to their current associates, though I hope there are enough alums there that I get to talk to others out there doing different things, rather than just being there as a mentee for the firm’s now 4th yrs. The 2nd is a FOUR day conference (ugh – too long) in the area of law in which I used to work for about 50% of my time as a firm associate (though no longer; specialized area – think tax or IP or the like) but kind of miss it and still have some interest and want to keep my foot in that door. That one will consist of many many panels, broken up by an hr lunch here and half hour coffee breaks there for networking. That one is more “intimidating” in the sense that I won’t know anyone; I’m not going back to my old firm or running into old colleagues or anything – so it is on me to either network or just sit in the corner alone.

    Tips for how to handle both? What to do/not to do?

    In case that’s too general – here’s a bigger question – without being a Debbie Downer, how do I let it know that I am NOT happy where I’m at and my interested in exploring other options? I feel like while these are networking events, all the others I’ve been too — people always act like “oh yeah I love my job, things are great” so you don’t want to feel like a downer who is like — get me out of my job!! I’ve also been at my job for under 2 yrs (which for law is short) so I feel like people always expect me to say – yeah, I’m really settling in . . . while I’m thinking, I kind of want out. WWYD? (And no I harbor no notions of going back to my old firm; they wouldn’t take me anyway. But I left on good enough terms that I’ll go to an event every yr or 2 – and that’s not even to network with the utterly useless and network-less partners, it’s to see alums who are out in the real world being successful and keep those relationships going).

    • Bathtub Gin :

      Not in law, but I try to frame it as a compliment t to the person I’m speaking with. My friend has an awesome job working for city of XYZ. I told her, “I’ve always heard that XYZ is a great place to work and your job in particular is interesting. What is is like to work for your boss? What hours do you work? Do the elected officials call you at night? How is it different than Steve’s similar job at another city? I’d love to have a job like yours one day. How did you get it?” I write down the answers. I do this a lot. Then people reach out to me when there are openings and recommend me for jobs in their departments. Honestly, I hate networking but it has really paid off. Go for it!

  21. For anyone who’s been through a negative life-changing event that’s a little unusual – I’m thinking loss of a spouse or child, serious chronic illness of someone in your immediate family – did you find it permanently changed your worldview? I’m in the midst of one of these now – spouse’s serious longterm illness, very advanced – and struggling with feeling like I won’t enjoy a lot of things in my life again because they’ve been shown to be so shallow. For instance, where I’d once taken pride in trying to upgrade my house, now I know that’s not really so important. People at work push, push, push for a deal to close by a certain date, but I know now that in the long term, that kind of thing doesn’t matter.

    Basically, because of these life circumstances I’ve become “wise before my years” (which is good), but it’s really isolating and makes me wonder what will bring joy again. (Yes, I’m in therapy, on antidepressants, and in a support group for this, and have great friends who are trying to help. Hoping to cast a little broader net on this philosophical issue.)

    • No advice, but I feel like this when looking at title work from the 1940’s in r.e. litigation. Like, “oh, most of these people are dead now. And they were probably so stressed about this.”

      And also, when I came back to work after having my first daughter, I thought, “oh my goodness, this whole world of people leaving their beloveds at home to write papers that no one reads!!!” (then I had my second kid and was excited to go to work and sit quietly).

    • I haven’t been in your exact shoes, though I had some immediate family chronic health issues in the past three years that caused similar thoughts.

      For me, the time you seem to be in now (actively dealing with the situation, trying to maximize time, etc) was the worst for these kinds of thoughts. It’s true that the general “This isn’t going to matter in the long-term, so try not to stress about it” mentality has stuck around. But as I have gotten some distance from the hardest time, small things started to give me joy again.

      For instance: for the first year and a half after my family member passed, I felt the same as you do about my house — why did it matter? But now we’re in the middle of some upgrade projects at our house, and it’s really bringing me joy to see the finished product. It’s certainly not the most important thing, and my perspective is different than it once was, but I’m able to find enjoyment again.

      I’ve also started, recently, to notice the small things that make me happy. A good cup of coffee. Making myself a really tasty meal. Breeze through my windows in the spring.

      My philosophy in getting through that time (and I’m not entirely recovered) was to basically take Kurt Vonnegut’s advice: to stop and notice when something is nice. I found that, for me, it had a cumulative effect.

    • Hugs! I just came out of a chronic illness that was likely caused by the stress of my career and now I’m going to school for my second career.

      First, if you are still in “crisis mode” dealing with the illness, take care of yourself. Care-giving is hard work. Try to enjoy your time with your husband (depending on the nature of his illness). Eat healthy foods, get some exercise, have coffee with a supportive friend. Don’t worry about what you will or won’t enjoy coming out of this time of your life. That will come.

      When my chronic illness became manageable, I had a long period of recovery. I slept through the night, I went part-time at work, and really just focused on myself. It felt like I was catching my breath. During this time, I naturally thought a lot about my future. I did some self-help books, including books like Pathfinder for finding a new career because I knew deep down that I needed a career change. You might think about your house, your relationships, where you live, hobbies, charities you want to become more involved with, etc. You might realize that you do want to upgrade your house but maybe the upgrades will be different than those you were envisioning before the illness.

      After a while, I had a plan and slowly started implementing it. Baby steps. It’s not imperative that you do everything at once. Being ill, I learned to not rush, to be patient. Go through the process and take each day as they come. Say yes to invitations, contact organizations that you want to volunteer with, and try to rebuild relationships.

      You can do this. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are not alone.

    • Absolutely. My Dad died when I was 28, and this past fall my husband left me. Both have changed me permanently.

      Overall I second ELS: the nuisances and insecurities of everyday life matter so much less by comparison, and the ordinary pleasures become more meaningful (once you’re out of the very worst sadness and anger–until then, it’s hard to see anything else). I actually feel very resilient and positive now, despite having my heart broken more than once. I know that I’m deeply cynical about some things, but I can step back and see that for what it is instead of thinking it’s some universal truth that life is awful. Pema Chodron says we should strive to be softened by life, instead of hardened by it, and that really resonates with me.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here – love that quote. I’m going to look for her book and see if I can mine more wisdom from it.

        • MargaretO :

          Seconding this recommendation! This book was very helpful to me:

    • I lost a young child to cancer.

      Of course it changed my worldview. But I have found over time since her death, I move closer and closer to a “normal” point of view. I spend mental energy thinking of her and I spend money supporting childhood cancer research, but I also spend time and money trying to find the perfect pair of shoes. I know, and everyone knows, that these are not of equal importance, but I’m human. It wouldn’t be much of a life for me to spend the rest of my life focused solely on my tragedy.

      I think you will find this for yourself too. Time does not heal all wounds because the wound will always be there, but you will find over time that you have more moments not focused on your own tragedy. This is normal and you should absolutely not beat yourself up about it.

      Hugs to you from someone who has been there.

    • Frozen Peach :

      I can speak to this a bit, because my childhood circumstances forced me to grow up a lot faster than many of my peers. I think it does change your worldview, but in the long term not in a bad way. In the short term it’s so, so isolating. The phrase “alone in a crowd” takes on exponential new levels of significance.

      I strongly encourage you to seek out some form of spirituality — regardless of your belief system there is something that will be helpful to you like meditation. I have a number of friends who are clergy and they experience this feeling all the time (lots of death/illness/major life stuff in their line of work) and have developed great ways to cope and keep themselves feeling okay.

      Also, hugs.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks for this idea – it’s something I’ve been batting around in my head for a while.

    • Absolutely.

      Early in my adult life, a parent became devastatingly injured. I took time to care for them and support my parents during months of hospitalization, years of rehab, and horrific pain and disability with 20 different doctor to see regularly, constant daily medical care, and financial devastation. And as soon as things started to stabilize and I was struggling to work again and continue to care for my parents, the one healthy parent was stricken and died. I am now a full-time caregiver, and have lost my job, my savings, my friends, and my future. But I am more at peace, and have learned acceptance. I am very, very strong…. although some days I feel my brain is melting from disuse….

      Your peers will never understand. I have found support groups helpful, and the most supportive folks are decades older than me who understand loss and caregiving better. I have separated myself from “friends” who are very self-centered, which is the norm in the young. I have little patience for the small stressors of daily life that many peers misguidedly worry about. But I appreciate the little things, and live day to day. Joy is a pretty abstract concept to me, but I have great empathy, passion and interest in life, and I think that is more important than “happiness”.

      Happiness = naivete

    • Never too many shoes... :

      My only child has moderate to severe autism – is partially verbal, does not sleep well and likely will have to live with us for the rest of our lives. His condition has impacted almost every aspect of my life as I saw it – all of my hopes and plans for him as well as for myself and my husband. Everything is different than I thought.

      I went through a very bleak period after his diagnosis of “what’s the point?”, much as you described. Therapy has helped me so much; it gave me the freedom to grieve for the life that I will never have…but it has also helped me find deep joy in the tiniest of things. As our own brilliant Senior Attorney says, the only way out is through.

      Your tragedy will shape you, but it will not always define you. As the poster said above, you are human… even though you may not think it will happen, you will laugh and dance and sweat the small, insignificant details one day. Because you will *live*.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks in particular to you and to “Lifer” above – these situations are closest to what I’m experiencing, with the long-term nature of someone else’s disease or condition having a tremendous impact on my own life.

        Was there anything in particular you did in therapy to help with grieving? Right now I mostly go and cry and talk, but it feels bottomless some days. It’s both anticipatory grief and actual losses I’m feeling, both related to my spouse and the recent loss of a really meaningful friendship from someone in a similar situation who’d been a daily source of support for me.

        The days just fly by but the hours are long. There are small pleasures but then back to this feeling of “what now”? I have a lot of time to fill as my spouse needs full time care.

      • On the chance you come back tor read this: I agree with Never too many shoes, “Your tragedy will shape you, but it will not always define you.” I am a few weeks out from the one-year anniversary of when my husband attempted sui cide. I am just now coming to grips with understanding that last year will always be part of who I am: what I saw, what I heard, what I did, including solo-parenting our children for 8+ weeks and taking over my husband’s care. It will be part of who I am, and it has changed me. It has made me more serious and it is tougher to find light moments, but slowly I am stepping back into the light. As my mom said (my dad died when I was very young): You have a badge of having done it, a badge that you don’t want and would never wish on anyone else but it is there and that is ok. For me, the hardest part was after the immediate crisis subsided and it seemed to filter away from others’ immediate minds, while I was/am still in the midst of processing and understanding. And yes, I am in therapy too. I had to/am grieving the innocence I had before, the changes wrought to my relationships, the changes in my husband and in myself. It will get better.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Sending you big hugs. You are in the very worst part right now and of course it’s all-consuming. I wouldn’t begin to compare a divorce to what you’re going through, but I will say I have had feelings similar to what you are experiencing and I have come out the other side and am finding more joy in my life than I could ever have imagined.

      I heard a lovely metaphor one time: Someone who was experiencing a hard, hard time was asked how he kept going, and he said “oh, those bumps and hard knocks are just the universe polishing my soul!”

    • MargaretO :

      Yes absolutely. I unfortunately had a couple of life altering events like this happen at the same time in my early 20s (it was a really bad time!!!). One very traumatizing event that happened to family members, and one that happened to me. Both experiences were pretty extended and I spent a lot of time nursing my family members back to health – they are fortunately fine now but that wasn’t clear for several months. My life was also at risk for about a week during this same time period. It completely changed me. I was already pretty “grown up” for my age (I had jobs with life or death consequences for my clients, I moved overseas away from my family and travelled in some “scary” places) but it really aged me, even physically, I looked about 5 years older after those 6 months. I’m much less risk averse, and far more focused on building myself a safe and reliable spot in the world instead of being focused on fun and adventures, and frankly I learned how to balance a need to take care of myself and ensure my own safety with a desire to change the world for the better. In a few short months I went from wanting to adventure around the world and do risky and intense politically motivated work to moving closer to my family, saving to buy a house, and looking for a stable career. Now that I am several years out and psychologically past the initial trauma I am honestly so much happier than I was as my “old” self. I feel much calmer and more grounded. In some ways I feel like I broke an adrenaline addiction.

    • I just looked at the calendar and realized that I am exactly (as of yesterday) three years out from a family event that was so awful that I really thought I’d never be happy again. My life and priorities have changed permanently, absolutely. It helped me a great deal to shift from a mindset of trying to heal (i.e. one is either broken or well, nothing in between, and well is always better than broken) to a mindset of embracing growth and change, and understanding that nothing is ever permanently fixed and solved. I am happier and more at peace than I have ever been, even as my family situation continues to unfold. Sending lots of good thoughts got way.

    • Yes, I lost my father unexpectedly and in front of me when I was 7. Our family pretty much went through the motions of life for a while after that (school schedules and work for my mom). It was also on the heels of losing our grandmother 3 months before, also unexpectedly. So my mom’s world just collapsed around her as she lost her own mom and husband within 3 months of each other. And she had lost her sister, too, tragically in their 20s, years before we were born. My mom’s entire life has been shaped by tragedy. After my dad and grandmother died, she wore black everyday for about a decade and dug her nose in at work so that our life could continue on like normal but also I think for her own sake to keep her mind off of the grief. People have different ways of dealing with grief and pain and that was hers.

      … And yet, 20 years later, she is the most joyous person I know. She does not hold onto pain or hate or bitterness at all and neither do we (her kids). I think we just learned life could be snatched away from you in an instant so to savor the joy and life that you have while you have it. I am reminded of my dad and grandmother in the smallest of things and treasure them so, so much. A song on the radio he used to sing, pearls (my grandmother’s favorite jewelry), going to a baseball game (and remembering when my dad took us to our first one), the colors of a sunset (which we used to paint together and he would encourage me to describe the colors to him), etc. And then there will be new memories that are so simple but will take your breath away with how beautiful they are and how much your loved one would love to see/feel it, too, like the voice of your child or the quirks of your husband your dad would have loved, too.

      Ultimately, there is going to be a really sh!t part. The only thing that I can tell you is that… I’m sorry. Because what you are going through is sh!t. There is really nothing else to say. It doesn’t get better but you get better at dealing with it. And I do believe it changes you… (not for the better or for the worse) but for the richer. My whole family looks at life and love and family in technicolor because of the tragedy we have seen. The unfortunate thing is that you don’t get there until you get through the sh!t. And that takes time. Take care of yourself. More people love you and support you and care for you than you know. And you are stronger than you think.

      • Anonymous :

        First, my thoughts are with you. After an extended period of care giving my spouse died fairly recently. For me, although the care giving at home was exhausting (and it was months before I recovered from sleep deprivation), confusing, and in many ways lonely, in retrospect I am so glad that we did it. I used to send myself to sleep by mentally packing a suitcase for somewhere I wanted to go, item by item. For months after the inevitable happened I operated on automatic pilot, with diminished energy, and did what had to be done – and there was so much of that – with tears induced by unexpected and unrelated things. I was a mess, and experienced some medical problems, probably stress-induced and ignored for too long. But people were incredibly kind. And then I met a very wise Hospicare therapist who helped in all sorts of ways – chiefly talking about issues in my life that I had never talked about before but that came to the fore after my spouse was no longer there, the person who could always, eventually, make me laugh when life got me down. Now I am carving out a new life, making some new friends and appreciating some old ones in a new light. Making small changes in my routine that suit me, rather than the compromise that even a good marriage is. I can live alone and enjoy small pleasures. But it is still a struggle – in some ways, for me, the second year alone is harder than the first. Working on automatic no longer cuts it, and realizing that I will never again have the chance to to talk with my spouse, including things I wished we had discussed, will always be with me. I hope you find strength and a measure of peace.

        • Anonymous :

          I know this is late, but I just wanted to say this is beautiful and wise. I am sorry for your loss, and the OP’s challenge. I hope she can find a balancing point like you have described.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t know if you will see this, but thank you. I have been lurking on this site for some time – it helped.

    • I’m the sick one in this scenario, and the grief is bizarre. For what it’s worth that which has survived matters more to me now, and I triage better in terms of what I am ok wasting time/capital on and what I’m not. It’s ruthless in some ways, and I get that it often looks heartless or mean from the outside, but it’s also sort of like being aged decades in years and it turns out I’m the truth speaking old women who doesn’t bother smiling unless I want to and who doesn’t bother sugar coating things with soft language and other time wasters. From my family’s perspective I’m told it’s good and bad in different ways and scary and fun to watch in different ways. Also, in terms of triage and capital I’ve become ruthless in assigning value to things including relationships and I’m open about calling out how and when we use social and political capital – for example I can speak out against doctor and nurse malpractice because I literally have nothing left to loose now whereas other patients worry about loosing treatment.

    • Anonymous :

      I am so sorry to hear you are in this situation.

      It is a little late and I don’t know if you will see this, but I was widowed 2 years ago with an infant.

      Previous to that I was somewhat of an older soul anyways (or at least others would tell me that) but yes, that experience has irrevocably changed me. To the point where I feel that I am not the same person– i have the same experiences as the me prior to the accident, but she and I are like two halves of the same coin. You can’t unknow what you have gone through. I am more dismissive of the smaller things that aren’t as high priority to me (ie still cosleeping safely with my munchkin and do not gaf) and more willing to spend time and money on the things that matter to me now rather than putting them off.

      That is not to say that in my “new normal” my personality is completely opposite from how I was before– I was generally a positive, high-functioning person with good energy, and people who don’t know my personal history and find out are often surprised at how resilient they perceive me to be. But I had and still have a lot of support from family and friends and that has made a serious difference.

      For an online resource you may want to google the widda boards for young widows. Immensely helpful to me.

      I am sorry you are going through this and hope that you are able to find moments where you can breathe and have some peace.

  22. I’m mentoring a 19 year old (graduated last year from an alternative h.s. I worked at). She came from a home with some pretty serious s—l abuse, and dad is now in prison for abusing her, in part bc of her testimony.

    She wants to be a speaker about her experience and rising from it. But isn’t really doing anything with herself to get on that path (working an hourly job and getting high w/ her friends. not blogging, looking for enagements, even starting an insta account). She also vaguely wants to help others who went through what she did. (she’s toyed with social work, etc.)

    She’s also totally against college (unless it’s a for-profit, online college, despite my attempts to explain the very lengthy list of “cons” to this decision) because she doesn’t want debt or to be tied down. Not interested in military service or a trade.

    She IS interested in traveling. I’m trying to help her locate programs so she can get some experience under her belt, get AWAY from the current crowd she’s running with (but still be supported in her living-like a soft move away), maybe make some $$ for college or a trade school, and meet people who are trying to do something with their lives. So far, I’ve come up with AmeriCorps. Is there any other program I can direct her to? It looks like Peace Corps requires a degree or work experience. She’s open to mission work (evangelical/nondenom type).

    I appreciate your help! I’m hoping to get her some good ideas for her to look into!

    • Why spend your time on this? We know how these kinds of kids turn out. Sure she wants to “make a difference” by sharing her experience – it means making money by speaking an hr/wk. If she really wanted to change she’d be sitting in a college or trade school classroom right now, not getting high and waiting for speaking engagements to roll in.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Excuse me?! “These kinds of kids?”

        I can’t even. She is 19. Would you say the same thing about someone’s slightly aimless high school graduate sister who isn’t sure what she wants to do and is living in suburbia? Teenagers need adults to help them get off their butts. It’s a commonly acknowledged aspect of the teenage brain. It sounds like this girl has not had much of that adult guidance, and props to c for offering her some wisdom.

        I won’t tell you to check your privilege, but I will tell you to check your karma.

      • nasty woman :

        “Why spend your time on this?”

        Um what? She’s spending her time on this because she’s mentoring this girl.

        “We know how these kinds of kids turn out.”

        We do? What do you mean by ‘kind of kid’? Did you not register that by trying to mentor this girl OP is trying to help her ‘turn out’ okay? What a wildly unhelpful and judgmental response. Ugh.

        Sounds like she needs to get some hands-on experience actually helping people. This way she can start to to get engaged with others and also with herself. I get the impression that she has a vague idea of how she wants to connect with people, but no real idea how to do it or sense that it’s feasible. Sort of like when you want to start running again but don’t have a plan or anyone to drag you out of bed and haven’t seen any results to keep you inspired, so you keep saying ‘ehh I’ll start later.’ Once she does some real work, experiences positive feedback, and starts to see for herself how she actually ‘rose above,’ that should continue to motivate her and teach her.

        I think a mission trip is a good idea (although those can have questionable ethical implications), or americorps. Other types of service could be helpful while she figures out a bigger plan: volunteer at a domestic violence shelter, with a group that focuses on preventing sxual abuse, for planned parenthood, a food bank, or a refugee services organization. All this is planting seeds- opportunities develop from other opportunities. Looking for speaking engagements is premature. If she gets plugged into communities of people actually doing this work, they can come to know her. That’s a much better chance at speaking to anyone than hoping that RAINN is going to check out your instagram and ask you to talk at their annual conference.

      • Oh, Jesus. F * * k off and die in a fire.

      • I prayed for her before I knew her.

        I cited her dad’s criminal appeal when I was practicing law because it had some implications on rules of evidence in expert testimony re: civil cases. I always prayed for the brave 10-year old kid giving that testimony in a rural courtroom. I then went in house at the nonprofit that runs alternative schools. Got asked to teach a class. She was in it, unbeknownst to me. Just a super bright, personable kid I immediately liked. I figured it out when she asked me to help look up her dad’s case on the docket as part of a project.

        Random? I don’t know.

        Call it what you want, I feel compelled to help mentor “this type of kid.”

        It’s so easy to get on the wrong track in early 20’s, when you don’t even know what you don’t know, and don’t see anyone around you doing anything but being working poor and making bad choices.

      • the Juvenile Law Center has programs she may want to get involved in “Youth Fostering Change” and “Juveniles for Justice” and other youth engagement programs. I suggest reaching out to Marcia Hopkins there

      • One of those kids :

        Came here via the threadjacks of interest page and couldn’t let this one go. How is it you think these ‘types of kids’ turn out?

        I am a researcher at a non-profit and I advise organisations around the country (I’m in Britain). I have volunteered working with at-risk kids and at a suicide crisis line. I have two postgraduate degrees.

        And I was one of those kids. One of those kids who are harmed by the very people who are meant to take care of them and keep them safe. One of those kids who have to work really hard and spend thousands on therapy just to learn basic things like how to trust another human being.

        I was one of those kids who grow up not knowing what it’s like to feel loved and cherished and safe. Who have moved 27 times by the time they get to college, if they get there at all. Who don’t have anyone to stay with in the holidays or to call when they need a parent.

        I help people for a freaking living. And I didn’t turn out to be someone who writes nasty crap on the internet. So whoever you mean by ‘we all’, try to remember that not everyone wants to be lumped in with your judgemental nonsense.

    • I wonder if you could set her up with a career counselor, like someone who she sees as their job to advise her on certain things, whose recommendations regarding college or a trade she might take more to heart? Maybe you could get a contact through the high school? I think the idea of Americorps is great, but I imagine they have an application process that requires you show some kind of experience in leadership roles in hs?

    • A few ideas:

      1) Focus on education as a tool to enable travel. For example, if you have a degree, you are eligible to apply to work in schools in France and Spain as a language assistant – looks of opportunity to travel around Europe on he weekends and during school breaks – and

      2) focus on healing programs that may be available for survivors. It sounds like she’s overwhelmed by the future, lacks good home supports and is ‘stuck’ where she currently is. Something like this program might help:

      3) Travel via working in the hospitality industry. If she’s interested in international travel, Club Med recruits here: If domestic, she could look for opportunities at resort areas in the United States. It’s a good time of year to look with many areas staffing up for the busy summer season.

      4) If she likes being outdoors – Willing Workers on Organic Farms is an organization that connects farmers with workers who will work in exchange for room and board – great way to travel around Europe but a lot of research required to find great spots –

      • please ignore the numerous typos

      • Commenting to agree with the WWOF suggestion – my SO’s dad runs an organic farm in rural Ireland and he sees all types of people from all types of background, young people who want to travel, older people who want to learn about organic farming techniques, teenagers whose parents are sending them to the farm so they’re not partying all summer (lol) – you do have to vet the farm you go to and make sure it’s legit and that expectations are set around how much she will help on the farm, how much her travelling/sightseeing will be facilitated by the hose (driving her places etc) but it’s a great way to travel and connect with people :-)

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Do you have Job Corps program in your area? They can be incredibly helpful for a young woman in a situation like this.

      • Get her the book “Platform,” and direct her to this blog post:

        Good luck to both of you!

      • Also a Mentor to a young lady :

        +1 to Job Corps. Also, there may be some local Union training halls for various trade jobs that she could look into. Last, for mission trips I recommend YWAM.

    • Habitat? Even a 1-2 week trip could make a difference. She’ll concretely get to help someone by building a house. But she’ll also get a very real taste of the trades to see if they’re for her or not. Plus she gets out of the area for a bit – maybe it’ll help not to see her “friends” for a few wks.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the idea of her becoming a speaker at this point is putting the cart before the horse. She needs to stop hanging out with a negative peer group, find a constructive path and purpose, and get herself well set on that path before she will be credible as a motivational speaker. I would help her identify her interests and capitalize on them. She is interested in travel and mission work? That sounds like your opening. Help her identify and apply for opportunities.

    • Have you discussed with her that motivational speaking is a part time thing? No matter who you are you are NOT booked with speeches 40 hrs/wk, 50 wks/yr. Also you start off small – church groups, various conferences representing small constituencies held at the Holiday Inn off of Highway 6 in Des Moines. Maybe some of these groups pay for your hotel/airfare, but they are unlikely to be paying you much, if anything. So (i) it isn’t as glamorous as it seems; (ii) the vast majority of motivational speaking “careers” never take off so if she’s thinking she’ll get 25k for this speech and 100k for that speech – it may not happen for many many yrs if ever; and (iii) (so as not to totally demoralize her) – bc the initial gigs won’t be paid, she needs a plan in place to make money 40 hrs/wk, 50 wks/yr.

      I’m not one of the ones that thinks retail is terrible. Every grocery store in America needs a manager, and managers average 60k nationally; the pushy types then jump over to distributors or into sales and can make six figures. Much of this can be accomplished w/o a college degree. If retail is what she wants – fine – but there better be a path in place QUICK bc for every 1 manager, there are 25 employees who are age 45+ making $11 as cashiers and in physical pain as they age. If retail is just what she’s doing for now, but doesn’t want it — push her to figure out what her dream job would be (besides speaker) and come up with some watered down alternative of it – since she doesn’t seem like she will go to and stick it out in college. Time goes fast and while it’s ok to wander around for 1-2 yrs post high school, before she knows it she’ll be 25 with a baby, baby daddy drama, and trying to support her kids on retail money.

    • lawsuited :

      I’m not sure how setting up an instagram account would help her become a speaker for se*ual assault survivors? I’d recommend that she volunteer at a se*ual assault hotline or help centre in her city to see whether talking to and working with other survivors is something she really loves. It would also make her familiar with other organizations doing similar work, which could help her network and look for opportunities to speak. Also, go to the library together and see if you can find some interesting books on the subject. There are lots of ways to learn besides going to college, and I really admire her hesitance to rack of student debt.

    • Have you thought about City Year? it is similar to TFA but with a smaller scope.

      • No–this is the kind of thing I think she’d be interested in. Thanks!

      • Anonattorney :

        AmeriCorps has tons of programs in a huge range of areas and subject matter. City Year is an AmeriCorps program. She should just go to the AmeriCorps site and browse the options and see what jumps out.

    • MargaretO :

      If she can afford to get there she can live for free and volunteer on a farm pretty much anywhere in the world: I haven’t done it myself but I know dozens of young people who have had really amazing experiences. I think she is smart to avoid college or further education until she has more direction, and you should continue to encourage her to make thoughtful decisions about that. Not everyone needs a college degree or a traditional bachelors to make a decent living, there are plenty of shorter training program she can do for very little money at a community college that will lead to a well paying career once she is ready. Better for her to do that at 24 than to flunk out of an expensive program at 19. Probably the best thing you can do for her is to help her avoid permanent consequences to her teenage actions – help her access long term reliable birth control methods like an IUD, encourage her to avoid hard addictive substances (and definitely draw a real distinction between recreational marijuana use, even if its excessive, and doing things like snorting cocaine or taking heroin), and encouraging her to go out and see the world. I have a lot of peers who were similarly aimless at that age and the ones that got unstuck are those that didn’t get pregnant/addicted/arrested and weren’t belittled for not going to college right away. It sounds like she is really lucky to have you in her life!

      • Anonymous :

        “help her access long term reliable birth control methods like an IUD” This is a great idea.

    • Anonymous :

      There are programs out there that allow you to travel for free provided you work off your stay. I’ve heard good things about the first suggestion, in farms. It’s a nice way to see the world and get away from toxic people and closer to hardworking ones

      http: // edition. cnn. com/2011/09/12/travel/vounteer-free-travel/ (remove spaces)

  23. I had cancer in high school and got through it but after I had zero patience for people being stupid college students. I.e. Drinking and driving, failing classes because they didn’t. Try. Like life is short, it can quickly change, be safe and smart. Don’t throw away your opportunities.

    I felt as a college student like maybe one day my mindset would connect more with my peer group. But then I realized people no matter what their age treat life like it’s something disposable. I have just learned to surround myself with people with similar goals and focus and that helps. I do enjoy life and take pleasure in it. I just have little patience for risky behavior.

    • Glad you have taken a positive attitude and get the bigger picture. Sometimes I wonder if it just takes all of us different life experiences to eventually get it.

      Cheers to surrounding yourself with people who “get it”. I kept seeing the adage “you become a combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with”, or something more elegantly stated than that. So, last year, I really pared down spending time with negative and unreliable people. It was really hard and still makes me sad to have lost what was, but it has made so much more room in my life for growth in the right direction and thankfulness for the present. Here’s to enjoying life and taking pleasure in it, in a healthy and balanced way.

  24. Lacking a waist :

    Has anyone had any luck having a tailor add darts in the back of shirts? I ask because it seems that all the shirts I find do not go in enough at the waist and I find myself having all this extra material in the sides and back. I am wondering if it would be worth bringing the shirts to a tailor to see if they could make it more flattering. Not worth the money?

    • lawsuited :

      A tailor could definitely do this for you. Whether or not it’s worth the money depends on what tailors in your area charge and what you’re willing to spend. Personally, I tend to get a lot of clothing on deep discount, not worry to much about how they fit off the rack, and then get them tailored for a great fit.

    • Totally worth the money. Makes the fit so much more flattering IMO.

  25. I am going on a business trip to Dubai (client meetings, fairly Westernized client). Would a skirt suit with a knee-length pencil skirt be appropriate, or should I go for a pantsuit? If I wear a skirt suit, can I go bare-legged? I appreciate that it is probably going to be cold indoors due to a/c.

    • givemyregards :

      I think a skirt suit is fine (with or without hose, whichever you prefer – you may want to err on the side of just below the knee, but honestly as long as it’s not a mini skirt you’re fine), but you may be more comfortable in pants because of the aforementioned a/c issue. I used to work in Saudi and would regularly step outside in the 110 heat just to warm up for a minute because the a/c was killing me, even though I was way more covered up than you’ll need to be in Dubai. If you think there’s a chance you’ll get warm in your blazer and want to take it off, though, definitely stick with a 3/4 length or longer shirt under it, not something sleeveless.

    • I worked with women who worked a lot on Dubai. They reported back that traditional skirt suits were considered “too short” and pantsuits were seemingly just as scandalous and opened up a door of what was appropriate fit v. “too tight.” The easiest solution they had was to buy skirt suits that were too long (or an actual ‘tall’ size) on sale at Ann Taylor, etc. – something that would have gone past the knees – and then after the travel stint was finished, hem it to a length they were comfortable with in the US. They wore sheer nude hose. This was ~5 years ago, though, and I know certain parts are more accustomed to Western businesswomen than others and I know that every year even more parts become accustomed to it. I will echo the above, though, watch out for sleeve length and openness on top (especially if you are wearing a button-down underneath).

    • Answer depends entirely on the client and where you will be spending your time, but givemyregards has you on the right track.

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