Coffee Break: ‘Stembend’ Ear Jackets

This is a newer trend for post earrings — they have a piece with a significant drop (1.25″) attached to the post in the back. It’s a very modern look, and I like it. If you’re generally a very simple post-earring kind of girl, these simple ear jackets give you an easy way to update your look. They’re only $25 at Nordstrom, too. (Note that the goldtone will ship around 2/13 but the silvertone is available now.) Madewell ‘Stembend’ Ear Jackets



  1. Anonymous :

    I need to do something nice for my husband. What’s the last thing that you did to spoil your husband that went over well? It could be an experience, a gift, whatever (let’s leave gardening out of this one for various reasons).

    • “I’m taking the kids to the museum for the afternoon. Don’t feel like you need to do any housework, it’s all under control. Made you a salad and sandwich for lunch, it’s in the fridge. Enjoy and see you in 4 hours!”

    • Anonymous :

      For my husband it’s tickets to any stereotypically manly type of sporting event, bonus points if he knows it’s a sport I don’t enjoy watching. The poor guy is outnumbered in our household by artsy girls in leotards and gets dragged to a lot of plays, art exhibits, symphonies, ballets, gymnastics meets, and folk concerts, none of which is really his thing.

    • I bought him new undershirts and got rid of his old ones.

      • Anonymous :

        It would break my husband’s heart if I got rid of his stained, holey undershirts. YMMV on that one! :)

    • In-House in Houston :

      I’ll make his favorite meal, get his favorite ice cream and let him just relax and watch sports on TV or something I’d hate on the history channel. I’ve also taken him out for a date night where I plan everything….but he’s said he’s enjoyed staying home the most and just relaxing.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 to cooking dinner (or ordering in Thai food in the case of my husband because it’s his favourite and I can’t cook Thai food) and letting him pick the shows for the evening.

        Also doing one or two of the “blue” jobs in our house like taking out the garbage. Or booking appointments for him because he hates doing it – once for Valentine’s Day I booked all his hair cuts, teeth cleanings and yearly physical for the year and programmed them into his phone so he got a reminder the week before. He’s commented a few times since then that it was the most awesome gift.

    • Carnivore club – mail-order cured meats. It can be a subscription or a one-time. Sometimes if I’m traveling, I’ll order a box as a surprise for my husband.

      • Massage. I put 20-30 minutes tutorial on my ipad and copy the movements. Also, joining him when he watches his favourite team play (TV, not life) and cooking his favourite meal. Oh, and playing his favourite board game with him.

    • Anonymous :

      Pretty sure my ‘love language’ is gifts, so I’m pretty good at this. My biggest successes:

      -Bought a ‘secret decoder ring’ on Etsy, wrapped it, hid it in his bag with a coded note before he left for a business trip so he could decode it on the train. In general, hiding little gifts in his bag (like a fancy chocolate bar with beautiful wrapping) with love notes seems to go over well
      -Booked a walking wine tour for the two of us, didn’t tell him what we were doing or where we were going, just lead him to the starting point. We ended up socializing with two other couples who we’re still friends with! Score.
      -He likes unwinding with video games and feels super sheepish about it, so I bought him a $20 gift certificate on Steam; it’s emailed directly and can be redeemed for many games, a bunch of which are sub-$20.
      -I ntimate foot rub. Most men don’t treat themselves with pedicures and assume their feet are totally off-putting, so he was really moved that I’d cheerfully volunteer to do that.
      -Can you find a meal or dish that has special significance to him, maybe something he grew up eating, or a beloved relative would cook for him, or a dish you had together on an early date? Recreate it! It doesn’t have to be a difficult dish, just something with emotional resonance.
      -If he has any creative hobbies, consider doing something with one of his creations- like if he draws, get his favorite drawing framed, or if he collects things, pay for a professional shadowbox to display it. My SO writes poetry, so I commissioned a modern calligraphy artist to interpret one of his shorter poems. Watching his face as he unrolled the paper and realized he was reading his own words was the best gift-giving moment I’ve ever experienced.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I used to leave love notes in my husband’s bag or taped to the front door when I leave for work before him, but I haven’t done so recently. Thanks for the reminder. He really loves that surprise.

        • Idk if you’re still reading, but a twist on this that I grew up with is that Mom had us kids write notes/draw pictures that she’d put in Dad’s bags when he traveled in business. She added her own, of course.

    • The nicest thing I’ve done recently for my husband was ignore him when he was ridiculously grumpy and acting like a two year old this morning. The specific nice thing I did for him was not saying “you’re acting like a two year old.”

  2. Anonymous :

    Will the sister Women’s Marches have a program of speakers, or is it just the march?
    Anyone going to the Denton, Texas one?

  3. GoldenGlobes fashion... :

    Best: Emma Stone, Natalie Portman
    Worst: Nicole Kidman and SJP. Latter looks like Miss Havisham

    • Diana Barry :

      SJP is wearing way too much dark eye makeup lately. It’s so smoky, you can’t see her eyes any more!

      I also liked Keri Russell’s dress (weird but cool), Thandie Newton, Viola Davis, and Evan Rachel Wood’s tux.

      • Gosh, just looked at SJP…. reminds me of why I hate Botox…

      • I loved all the women in pants suits :-)

      • You must remember that SJP is not the same cute young woman we all loved 20 years ago on S-X and the City, though I hope I am abel to look like her when I am 52. SJP is NOW almost 52 year’s old according to Wikipedia. Dad thinks that when I am 52, I will look more like a skinny scarecrow with a tuchus, particularly if I am NOT married. I agree that I had BETTER be married by that date or I will become some sort of a hermit, since NO man (other then the construction workers in NYC) will even want to have s-x with me or grab my tuchus if I still am singel at that age. FOOEY!

      • She needs to retire that heavy dark eye makeup look stat! Shes been doing it forever, and its never looked good – like ever – which is a shame because she has beautiful eyes :(

        • I think she might have had her eyeliner tattooed on. I can’t remember seeing even a casual picture where she doesn’t have it.

    • I hated Zoe Saldana’s dress.

      • Anonymous :

        I weirdly liked it. It totally felt like the kind of thing (so much pink! so many ruffles and bows!) I should hate, but I liked it on her. And I’m not normally a big fan of her style.

    • In-House in Houston :

      I loved Laura Derm’s dress!!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      SJP is not getting any cuter. I thought Sienna Miller was the worst dressed.
      I liked the women’s tuxes, Viola Davis, and Emma Stone.

  4. I’ve enjoyed all of the threads lately about 2016 summary/2017 goals. Here’s one I don’t think we’ve talked about yet…What was your clothing spending for 2016? Any changes expected for 2017?

    Total spent on clothing: ~$4,500
    (of that amount, ~$750 for shoes)
    Percentage of take-home pay: ~3.5%

    I am expecting a much lower number for 2017, since I changed jobs twice in 2016 and put a lot of effort into buying “investment” and capsule items. My pay is also much lower in the newest job as is the pressure to dress up (biglaw -> govt). I am also hoping that with the job change, I will engage in less stress and reward-motivated shopping.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      $3700 in 2016. Way too much and month by month I didn’t see how it was adding up. I could have put a good portion of that towards my student loans.

      I’m budgeting $100/month for 2017, but since I’m changing sizes due to weight loss, I’ll be happy to keep it under $2000 for the year. I may be losing weight but I’m still in the expensive size bras!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That number was bothering me so I went back to double check. There was a big set of returns mistakenly categorized as income and not put into my clothing category.

        My real total is $2530 (3.7%). So better than I thought but still not as good as I want.

        This has inspired me to calculate percentages for all my categories for 2016. I’m going to figure out 2015 as well and see if I did better or worse and aim for even better in 2017.

    • Total spent on clothing (well, ‘shopping’) £1850, which is way too much. Most of it was buying a work wardrobe in the second half of the year, but I’m having a shopping ban for now.

    • Around $1700, 2.7% of household take-home. Much better than I though considering I had to buy new work clothes when I went back at the start of the year after maternity leave. I’m actually hoping to buy fewer things this year – I’m on a spending fast this month and I otherwise want to hold out for “needs” and not just wants.

  5. Unhappily ever after? :

    Hello hive, I wish I was starting this week better. When did you know that you needed to give up on your marriage? Was there a moment of realization? Or something else? I love my husband. We’re in our early 30s and we’ve been together for about 10 years, married for 3 years. I feel like he’s had an extended midlife/delayed quarter life crisis that involves depression and mild substance abuse (he’s a former alcoholic but hasn’t been drinking for more than 6 years) that is affecting both our lives and his job as a mental health professional, of all things. He’s getting individual therapy after much prodding and he takes health supplements as well as meds for depression and anxiety. We tried couples therapy, but only went to one session before he broke it off because he didn’t want conflicting messages from 2 different therapists. I just don’t know what to do. I want to have a kid eventually, but I don’t know if I can handle being unhappy, taking care a child, and taking care of a spouse who is so high maintenance.

    • Anonymous :

      If he is declining couples therapy now, I would see a therapist yourself, to help you sort through these feelings and perhaps come up with a strategy to talk to your spouse about your next steps.

      I see his point about having two therapists, but people do this all the time.

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. It is very, very smart of you to want to work on this before having a child. I grew up with a father with untreated/poorly treated mental health issues, and the consequences were devastating on my mother, the family, and my future health and relationships with men.

      • Anonymous :


        It’s normal to be concerned about having conflicting advice, but that his solution was to stop going vs. ask the therapists for suggestions on how to deal if that happens, says a lot about whether he thinks therapy will be beneficial.

        I would not have kids until you feel that he can be an active participant and healthy parent to the kids.

        As someone who wishes she had made different choices in her early 30s I will say that it is okay for you to focus on what makes you happy. You are allowed to be happy and to make your own happiness a priority even if that means ending your marriage if you can’t be truly happy in your marriage.

        • Anonymous :

          Absolutely agree. Life is so, so short. For me, the light bulb moment was realizing that even if I never met anyone else, my life would be much better spent alone than with a mostly-ungrateful dead weight.

    • Anonymous :

      No real advice, but the behaviors you describe combined with a refusal to go to couples therapy would be a deal breaker for me. You’re very smart not to bring a kid into this, and if having kids is important to you, I understand why you’d be considering leaving at this point.

      • I was in a similar situation and I broke it off after I realized that he would never be there for me when I was really distressed because his own issues were always more important. A lot of other things were going on as well, but this was big. Also he refused to admit to having a drinking problem (despite insisting on always having wine in the house and always at dinner) and refused to attend therapy with me. Since your spouse does go to individual sessions, does his counselor also offer family or couples therapy? That worked for us in the years when mine ex was still cooperative… Once he refused to participate or make any changes that I had to have for my own mental health, I got out

        • “he would never be there for me when I was really distressed because his own issues were always more important”

          Incredibly well put. This crystallizes something I recently went through with a friend. I know how badly it felt to have a friend like this, I can’t imagine what that would be like with a spouse.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, I just dumped a long=term boyfriend for this reason. His depression and unending internal drama/victim mentality meant there was very little room for me and it consistently made me feel. like. crap. Ending a marriage is another ball of wax, but I would at the very least not be having a kid with him.

            Also, alcoholics never become former alcoholics. If he’s drinking again, even mildly, that is a huge problem and I would get out.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I have twice in my life been in similar situations to this. And both times I stayed way, way too long before I realized that they just weren’t capable of being the kind of partner I wanted and needed. I feel like the only person you can change is yourself, and if your husband isn’t the partner you want, right here and now, then you should seriously consider leaving. I wasted far too long waiting for a change that never came.

          • anon anon armani :

            And, you found who sounds like the true love and partner of your life! Blessings to you, Senior Attorney and Mr. Senior Attorney (you lucky man, you) in your first year of a multitude to come.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I did!! Thank you so much! I still keep pinching myself…

          • I did the same thing and wasted years that could have been wonderful.

    • Anonymous :

      Would his therapist see you both together? Either way, getting your own therapist would be helpful – figuring out what your part is/should be, what you can’t control,etc. From my experience, it is possible to come out on the other side of something like this, but it is a really hard place to be in. In my case, my reaction to my husband’s depression (which led to paralyzing lack of action in getting another job) compounded the problem, and some of what I was feeling was really more about my issues than his – his situation triggered my anxiety, and then he was angry that I was angry at him, etc. We did need couples’ therapy to sort this out. But maybe starting with joint sessions at his therapist would be a way to get to that? If nothing else you could use that opportunity to let him know you are unhappy enough to be considering divorce and something needs to change.

    • All I have to say is that any issues you have now will be so, so much worse with a child in the picture. Co-parenting is intense and demanding. It takes all of your individual quirks and relational nuances and accentuates them a million times over. For me, it was like shining a brilliant white light onto every dark corner of my relationship – everything you want to push into the shadows becomes exposed and you can’t hide from it or escape it because now there’s a baby at stake. And you don’t have as much emotional energy to manage your partner. One of the most devastating (but also transformative) moments in my life was when I had a baby and realized that my (depressed) partner was never going to step up and help me manage my post-partum blues and my unhappiness at having to go back to work – and not only did I have to step up and take care of myself and the baby, I also had to take care of him. We eventually worked it out – but it was truly heartbreaking and made me feel so abandoned and alone. TL;DR: Do not have a baby with this person unless he meaningfully and seriously gets his act together. Life is too short to coparent like this. It would be easier to have a baby by yourself than to have a baby with a depressed, substance-abusing partner.

    • Anon for this :

      This comment is very late and I’m not sure you’ll see it, but I just wanted to echo the other commenters in that the moment I knew it was time to end my (very long) marriage was when I realized that my husband’s depression had made him completely blind to my needs for many years running. It’s not that he saw I was unhappy and overburdened and just couldn’t do anything about it because he was ill; it’s that he no longer saw. I finally realized I didn’t have a partner anymore, not in any meaningful way.

      +1 to the idea of seeing a therapist on your own. That was really helpful to me. I wish you all the best.

  6. Marshmallow :

    I posted a week or so ago about my husband’s efforts to lose weight. Just wanted to share that he recently reconnected with a friend who wants to be his gym buddy a few times per week. This friend also wanted Husband to send him a food journal so he could offer tips, and Husband has been actually doing it using MFP. Last night Husband said to me, “So if I sign up for Rise, I only have to take a picture [instead of entering cals in MFP] and I get somebody actually giving feedback on what I’m eating?” Yes, Husband, exactly that. Sooo…. he’s signing up for Rise today and will be planning to go to the gym a few times a week with his friend. All without me needing to micromanage him. Huzzah!

    • Meredith Grey :

      Win! This would have me dancing in the street

    • Wildkitten :

      I found rise to be extremely discouraging – absolutely everything I ate they hated. (You ate salad? You should not use dressing. You ate fruit? That’s the wrong kind of fruit.) It wasn’t the kind of incremental help that I got from like, a nutritionist. YMMV.

      • Marshmallow :

        I bet it depends a lot on your coach. I used it for about four months (and still do on “maintenance” mode without a coach) and had great results. There were two occasions when I got pretty p!s$ed off because of what I perceived as nitpicky advice, and I told my coach so, and we discussed. But generally I found her feedback honest and her suggestions helpful.

  7. Art Newbie :

    My husband and I just bought our first major art piece. What do I do now? Do I get it insured? Do I need to get it appraised? Help!

    • Diana Barry :

      What is major in terms of dollar value? Yes and yes if it is something you wouldn’t want to lose!

    • In-House in Houston :

      We have a lot of art around in the $10,000 area. Our agent said that unless it exceed (cumulatively) the amount of our contents policy, that we couldn’t get individual insurance on a piece like this and so he said to take photos and definitely keep the invoice/bill of sale in the event it’s stolen or damaged.

    • anon anon armani :

      You can insure any piece, yet the first step is an appraisal. I’ve often contacted museums and fine art framing/conservators for recommendations as to an appraiser. Art insurance a s PAF (personal articles floater) is not all that expensive. While it won’t replace the item you love, it helps you find another. Even if you choose not to insure, the appraisal is important for theft and identification as well as household valuation.


      • anon anon armani :

        Oh, save all the documentation from the sale and any research you can find on the artist.. A good appraisal will have the size, description of the art and the framing; the more detailed the better. We have our many art pieces all itemized on the appraisal as well as the insurance PAF. Perhaps our cumulative art value is more than others. I also went and had the animation art in my office put as a PAF on the general business insurance policy, so I know that art <10k is still able to be insured. State Farm for both home and office policies.

    • lawsuited :

      If you consider it a non-depreciable asset or an appreciable asset you likely need a waiver on your home contents insurance policy. Talk to your broker.

  8. LikeAGlove :

    Came across the above product on my Facebook feed. Obv because of the source I’m skeptical, but the idea sounds really intriguing. Basically it’s a pair of “smart” leggings that promises to take your measurements and compare them to a database of jeans to find the best fit for your body type. They’re not cheap ($75-ish) but I have an athletic build that makes shopping for jeans super frustrating. Thought I’d see if anyone here has heard of it or tried it??

    • I also saw it on FB and was really intrigued as I am an extreme pear and have a hard time finding jeans. However, I am not willing to drop $75 on something that could potentially be terrible.

    • No idea if they’re still around but in 2013 Bloomingdales installed a 3d scanners in 4 (coastal) stores to help match women to their best fitting jeans.

      • I totally did this at the Stanford Bloomie’s. And what did I learn? That they did not carry Tall jeans at Bloomies. But I did get my 3D measurements!

  9. I bought these about a year ago and end up wearing them all the time. I have bold glasses so I like understated earrings, and these are a nice departure from my normal round studs.

    • I think they’re really cute. Are they lightweight?

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t for the life of me find a picture of these actually on someone anywhere… hive, help?

      • if it helps, they are like slightly thicker than a long grain of rice? picture two short spaghetti strands that somehow look nice as earrings. I know I’m not selling it, but I really do wear these a lot and get compliments.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        These aren’t exactly the same, but are a similar idea. There is a picture of them on a person. I own these and also get compliments on them almost every time I wear them.

  10. Anonymous :

    I’m starting to grow my own herbs indoors! Any experienced indoor gardeners have tips or tricks or things they wish they knew? I am planting in terracotta pots, I have a few grow lights for additional light during the winter months, and good quality potting soil.

    • Oh that’s great. I have an expanding succulent collection and a mini greenhouse in the garden with salad greens and a few herbs. Ikea has this pod system that looks really awesome but it’s sold out in my local store.

      My nana could grow anything anywhere and she always said her secret was talking to the plans :)

    • Anonymous :

      Make sure you have plastic liners underneath the pots.

    • I used to do this when my old house had a good space for it, but hadn’t been able to find a good place in my current house, but I got an Aero Garden for Christmas, so I’m back to it and super-excited (I, er, might not lead the most interesting life).

      From my old experiences, though – the big thing is mess – I could never avoid watering and overflowing onto the table, spilling dirt everywhere, etc. (The table was just an old hand-me-down, and we threw it out when we moved. It was gross.) So be prepared for that. I also found that buying plants was a lot better than trying to grow from seeds – most of my seed attempts never took off. I would wait until I wanted some herb for a cooking project, then buy the plant and plant it instead. Also, make sure you know how to harvest the particular herbs – basil, for example, isn’t really intuitive. Otherwise, just trial and error – I’ll say, I treated mine pretty badly – forgot to water a lot, didn’t do much to regulate light or temperature – but they still usually did OK (or, when they didn’t, it didn’t really seem connected to my mistreatment). Have fun!

    • Tips: make sure you pinch or trim them a lot to keep them from flowering and to stay the size you like. Feel the soil before watering to make sure it’s dry. Don’t assume they all have the same watering requirements. If you get little flies put the plants outdoors.

  11. I am a chronic insomniac. For most of my life I’ve had trouble getting to sleep, but once asleep I’ve always stayed asleep for the rest of the night and then had difficulty waking up in the morning. Over the past couple of years I’ve finally learned to fall asleep and have been able to get up more easily in the morning. Recently, however, I’ve started waking up in the middle of the night, somewhere between midnight and 3:00 a.m., and haven’t been able to get back to sleep until just before my wake-up time. This means I am losing somewhere between 2 and 5 hours of sleep a night. Any tips for falling asleep and staying that way, without medication? My sleep environment is dark, quiet, and cool but not too cold. My snoring husband has been banished to the guest room. I am avoiding alcohol, and my cell phone is in another room.

    • For my husband, this happens when he doesn’t get enough regular exercise. He needs to get a good hard 30 minute run in at least 3 times a week or he has that exact problem.

    • Anonymous :

      See your doctor about a sleep study? There may be a physical cause, especially if it’s a recent change. I don’t think you should have to exercise hard just to sleep through the night (I certainly don’t).

    • Anonymous :

      Is your mind racing/worrying when you wake up?

      When I am going through a high stress period, this happens to me. And when I wake up worrying in the night it is SO AWFUL as everything seems 10x worse in the dead of night + stress of “I need to go back to sleep!!!!”

      First… are you drinking more alcohol lately? If so, cut back, as alcohol can always cause these later wake-ups to happen.

      Second, work on stress reduction…. agree with exercise, mindfulness/mediation exercises.

      Download a mindfulness/nighttime insomnia App and try those if you wake up in the night. If you can’t get back to sleep within a few minutes… get out of bed. Do something restful, relaxing… ex. read for a few minutes. Then try to go back to sleep again.

      • When I wake up in the night and my mind is racing, I play a podcast on low volume with the sleep alarm set. The combo of soothing voices, and a mildly interesting topic usually lulls me back to sleep. I used to listen to the BBC overnight service, these days it’s usually A Way With Words podcasts. Also learned that NFL radio in the car not only sends me straight to sleep, but I can sleep for hours with it on.

    • Anonymous :

      My entire family is addicted to sound machines. It starts with getting the baby to sleep, and now we all drop to the floor at the sound of rain :-)
      If I’m having a really hard time turning my brain off, I do one of the TheHonestGuy’s sleep talkdowns (youtube). They are soothing and I actually don’t find the voice annoying for some reason.

      • Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I think the podcast on low volume or sleep talkdown ideas may help because TV on low volume is how I get to sleep at the beginning of the night. And now that I think about it, the waking-up started when I cut back on exercise because I was exhausted for other reasons. I don’t think it’s medical, as I am on the small side and don’t snore.

        • (I posted previously about my husband and exercise). Just wanted to mention that is not at all a weight thing for him either – he’s athletic and in good shape. It really seems to be some combo of being physically tired out from the exercise (as opposed to generally tired from work/kids), plus regulating stress through endorphins or whatever. Hope you found your answer!

    • This was me until I started taking magnesium. I have since learned a lot of people have a deficiency, and it is something that contributes to inability to sleep.

      • Magnesium is awesome. In addition to sleep issues, it also helps me with muscle recovery from hard workouts and b*ob tenderness from PMS.

      • Similar issue :

        Not the OP, but I’ve had similar problems and magnesium sounds like it could be really helpful. What types do you guys recommend? Some preliminary googling suggested that some types are better than others for absorption and that sort of thing.

        • I use a triple mag. complex that seems to work.

        • Yeah, I look for the ones that are most bioavailable. I’ve used citrate and glycinate, but they both caused digestive issues. I just ordered some taurate from amazon, which is supposed to not cause those problems. Sorry if my spelling is off :)

    • Anonymous :

      I say to myself if I am still awake in 10 minutes I will get up and do some job on which I am procrastinating. It usually works.

    • If you’re drinking any kind of wine or booze before bed or with dinner, knock it off for a week and see if it helps.

      I call waking up at 3AM the White-Wine-Wide-Awakes. For a reason.

  12. I joined the gym at work today! Hooray! Is there anything I need to know about office gym etiquette that’s different from regular gyms?

    • No conversations with co-workers when you’re not fully dressed.

      • Does ‘not fully dressed’ include gym kit? I mean, I’m wearing a top and gym leggings, but they’re still gym leggings.

        • Anonymous :

          Fully dressed in gym clothes is fine. “Not fully dressed” refers more to the old ladies on the faculty at the college where I used to work who would walk around the locker room wearing nothing at all, not even a towel. I shudder at the memory.

          • Is this an American thing? Being uncomfortable with nudity in changing rooms/shared bath houses/etc., but being comfortable with mini-skirts and plunging necklines in a social setting?

            I feel like Europe is largely the opposite – our hemlines are slightly longer, necklines are slightly higher, and less skin shown socially, but nudity in a same-sex changing room or sauna? Totally normal and acceptable for all ages/shapes/sizes.

          • If the thought of an old lady naked makes you shudder… I have some terrible news for you about your future + mirrors.

            Only gym etiquette I would suggest is to remember that it’s the gym, not work. If you see a co-worker, say hi, but it’s not a time to talk about work. And keep in mind that some people like to zone out and not socialize during workouts, so don’t be offended if you see co-workers and they more or less ignore you.

          • Amberwitch :

            Must be an American thing. I often chat with co-workers in the changing room while we are all semi dressed or naked (it is a changing room after all). And they all talk with each other as well, so I’m not the odd person out.
            Probably wouldn’t chat in the gym, though, that’s where I’d want to concentrate.

          • I’m not uncomfortable with nudity but prefer not to have work conversations with naked people.

          • Anonymous :

            I am not uncomfortable with nudity. I am uncomfortable with the fact that when other people are walking around the locker room naked it is incumbent upon me to put on a huge show of not actually looking at them. It is awkward and annoying.

          • I’ll throw it out there. I’m not hugely fond of being naked around coworkers or even random people. I know they’re not looking at me and I’m not looking at them. It just isn’t my cup of tea.

          • Dani Mathers, is that you?

  13. Financial mess :

    I am 25 and am having a serious “I need a financial advisor and cannot rely on my father’s advice any longer” moment. I live in Canada. We have tax free savings accounts to which you can contribute a maxim $5,500/year. I have always maxed mine out since their introduction. My father has always advised that I not put it in a GIC or stocks. Today I learned that he has put his in stocks and, having contributed the exact same amount, saved $30,000 more than me. Last year the bank paid me $330 interest on ~$45,000. I am so discouraged right now. How do I find an advisor that I can trust (ie. that is going to objectively represent my interests)? Any help appreciated.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      This is confusing. He “saved $30K more than” you, or he EARNED $30K more than you?

      With the amount of money you have, you aren’t going to get personalized attention from an experienced advisor, unless you piggyback onto a relatives household (I take kids of clients but wouldn’t take a random person with$45K, for example).

      If this is truly long term money that you have no intention of using for decades, then consider dividend stocks (in Canada this is generally banks and utilities).

      If this is money you are saving for a downpayment etc, then consider a balanced mutual fund, as much as it pains me to say that.

      • Financial mess :

        Sorry Suzi, yes he earned $30K more than me.

        • SuziStockbroker :

          Well, if it makes you feel any better, if he made $30K in his TFSA last year (given that even if he has maxed his contribution every year, he has only contributed $50-oddK TOTAL), he must have “hit it rich”with one stock (maybe an oil stock or a new issue). That is not sustainable, and is high risk.

          Over time, the things that create the most wealth are boring dividend paying stocks, and reinvesting those dividends. Boring.

          Again, what is best depends on your time horizon.

          YNAB has a decent free email based investment course (for Americans but much of it applies to us too). Or read David Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber etc.

          • Financial mess :

            To clarify, he has earned $30,000 over the lifetime of the TFSA, not in the past year. I was just shocked to hear how much his money has grown because we’ve been contributing the same amount each January. Compared to what I’ve earned in interest, $30,000 is huge. I think he has his in dividend paying stocks (he calls them bluechip?) but thought even that might be too risky for me.

          • SuziStockbroker :

            Ah, I see.

            Depends on when you’d be withdrawing the money. Time horizon is very important.

            But yes, blue chip dividend stocks are the cornerstone of a long term equity portfolio.

      • Financial mess :

        I also have more savings than that (in an RRSP and other accounts), however the TFSA is subject to contribution limits and that’s how I can compare my dad’s earnings directly with mine.

        • Anonymous :

          are you comparing the tax advantages though? Can you remove and repay to TFSAs like RRSPs when you buy your first house? Is that the basis for his advice?

          • SuziStockbroker :

            That was my thought too. If he knew she’d be withdrawing for a downpayment, that is a different time horizon than his own, perhaps. Also, he may be able to afford to blow the whole thing. Hence the “do as I say, not as I do”.

        • SuziStockbroker :

          If you have $100K+ total, you can get more specialized advice than the bank branch.

          • Financial mess :

            I do. Any recs on how to find this advice?

          • SuziStockbroker :

            If your bank branch knows you have $100k+, they will/should direct you to their financial planning arm.

    • Shopaholic :

      I honestly don’t think you need an adviser, I think you maybe need to consider what you want to use the money in your TFSA for. perhaps once you know the answer to that, someone at your bank can help?

      FWIW, I basically have 4 savings buckets, my emergency fund, a general account for bigger upcoming expenses, a RRSP and TFSA. For the RRSP, that is obviously the long-term investment and does not get touched, so I’ve put it in a mix of index and bond funds and will look at it once a year to see if I have the right mix.

      For my TFSA, I see it as more medium-term so I don’t want to tie it up in mutual funds as much. It’s a mix of funds, GICs and cash. Not the highest earning but it’s basically liquid for when I want it

  14. I’ve had TMJ for about 20 years and have just kind of dealt with it. It developed in my early teens when I had orthodontics. At one point I did one of those DIY mouth-guards when I was in my 20s and too poor to get one made at the dentist. It was useless. I asked my dental hygienist at my last cleaning about getting a custom one made, but she kind of blew me off saying she had one and it didn’t really help her. Lately I’ve been taking advil every morning and evening and doing ice packs on my jaw muscles and a heating pad for my shoulders, where I also hold a lot of tension. It occurred to me that this is completely absurd and I should seek medical treatment rather than covering myself with heating pads and ice packs.

    So I made an appointment with a different dentist. The one who advertises TMJ treatments on his website, including botox injections. I’m so excited. I am not sure what kind of treatment he’s going to suggest, but hopefully I will finally find some kind of relief. I know we’ve talked about getting botox for migraines, but have any of y’all gotten it for TMJ?

    • I get botox for migraines. I also have TMJ and do not get botox for that. I don’t see how botox would help TMJ, it literally freezes muscles. I have gotten trigger point injections for my TMJ, which has really helped loosen up the jaw muscles due to repeated clenching and grinding at night. A custom night guard is much more comfortable than a drugstore one but still, I don’t enjoy wearing one.

      The most effective thing I’ve found for TMJ is doing massages. Cut your nails really short, wash them with soap and water, and shove your right thumb in your mouth to grab your cheek. Go as far back as you can where you feel the C curve of your jaw bone and squeeze with your finger tips. Squeeze hard, you’re trying to release knotted muscles. Do the same for the other side with your other hand.

      • My massage therapist does this and it’s amazing and also very painful. I always feel better after.

        And I highly recommend a custom nightguard, especially if you are grinding your teeth. It will take a few nights to get used to, but once you do you’ll be amazed not to wake up with a headache.

        • I also agree with the custom nightguards. Not sure if I actually have TMJ, but lots of head/neck/face/jaw pain and the nightguard helps with the jaw and tooth pain. Whenever I skip it for a few days, I’m in noticeably more pain. As a bonus, it works as a retainer and keeps my orthodontically straightened teeth from moving back.

      • My TMJ is severe enough that my bottom teeth dug holes/impressions into the nightguard within the first 2-3 days. It was fun explaining that to my dentist.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had both a custom nightguard (when I had my parents’ insurance) and a DIY one, and the custom one was a miracle worker. My TMJ actually disappeared for years after using it regularly.

    • Second the rec to find a massage therapist that specializes in this! I have the custom nightguard which helps a bit, but the massages really solved it. I had a super stressful year and only had one bad outbreak (like had to stay in bed bad). A trained masseuse will not only do that cheek grabbing thing but will do other in-mouth things that are kind of hard to put in words. So painful, but so good afterwards. I was amazed at how much wider I could open my jaw!

    • I get migraines and TMJ. I did get Botox once for the TMJ but did not find that it helped at all. I had braces twice growing up and just started Invisalign because apparently twice wasn’t enough…my bite was still very misaligned which was causing wear on my teeth (probably also from clenching). I think the Invisalign has actually been helping with my TMJ and I have a built in protector against clenching for 22 hours of the day! Beyond that I found taking a muscle relaxer helped when my TMJ was very bad. I also went to PT for a few weeks and that + massage from the PT helped a LOT.

    • Anonymous :

      oh i LOVE my custom fitted nightguard. its much smaller than the cvs/walgreens ones, and fits well to your teeth, and i definitely grind on it but in the mornings i dont feel any more jaw tension. i replace mine once a year because i grind my teeth so much but it’s 100% worth it.

    • IME, no comparison between the custom & the DIY/boiling water ones. If you can afford it/insurance will cover, definitely go for it. As for other ideas, my acupuncturist suggested making exaggerated vowel sounds (A-E-I-O-U) to stretch and relax your muscles.

    • Find a good physical therapist who does manual therapy. Make sure they treat your neck and upper thoracic spine, not just the jaw. It’s all connected. If you spend a lot of time at a computer, your posture is probably contributing.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband had acupuncture for his and it worked remarkably well. He hasn’t had significant pain in over a decade and only occasionally gets the clicking.

    • Idk if you’re still reading, but here is my experience/advice:
      TMJ frequently gave me a headache, so I started having mouth guards made ~25 years ago. The first one might have lasted a year or more. After that, they were torn up progressively faster. Eventually, they were nowhere close to making it the six months between dental appaointments. To tide me over til the next appt, I started chewing sugarless gum at night. When I got the next mouthguard, I didn’t find it any better at providing relief, and of course you can talk better with a piece of gum (even if you’re just saying “remember to turn off the hallway light. Goodnight” it’s still nice to be able to ennunciate). I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this, but you might want to try it while waiting for your appt.

  15. Anonymous :

    Has anyone dealt with a supervisor who just doesn’t like you personally? I’m constantly on edge waiting for my supervisor’s next criticism/nitpick/annoyed comment. I’m not doing bad work, she just…doesn’t like anything about me. I’ve honestly never dealt with anything like this before and I don’t know what to do.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, and my solution was to get another position within the same organization. Fortunately that wasn’t difficult, as this supervisor had a tendency to zero in on one employee and punish him/her, so people understood. Of course, I never got why they didn’t just fire her instead of moving her and her employees around over and over. I wish I had better advice. My $.02 is to remind yourself that it’s him/her, not you, and to also solicit occasional feedback from other coworkers/management so you can take the temperature of how his/her treatment of you is perceived in the office (do they know you’re an asset even if s/he is badmouthing you? does his/her reputation make people understand? or are you being perceived poorly because of things s/he is saying?)

    • Anonymous :

      Yes and I quit. Honestly I’m not sure there is much you can do about it and staying in that situation for too long can result in negative consequences.

    • Anonymous :

      I stayed, but in my situation the supervisor was a prominent person in our field. I sucked it up and tried to figure out what they wanted from me and why. Eventually I won the person over and I’m glad I stayed because it forced me to take things less personally, to get comfortable with people not liking me, and to realize that life is just not perfect…you have to tolerate some discomfort and negative aspects to any job. Obviously YMMV, especially if your supervisor is a peon with a god complex or if there are other problems at work. Then I would get out.

  16. Hate to waste :

    Ladies, am I the only one on the planet that eats food past its expiration date? I’m eating yogurt now with a “use by date” of December 5, and it’s perfectly fine. Actually, I don’t think they expire by the date on them, but I think they must be sold by the date. My friends think I’m completely nuts for doing this. I don’t do it on purpose, but I tend to over-buy and I hate to waste. It’s been in the frig the entire time. I always smell it first and if there’s any hint that it’s gone bad, I won’t eat it. I’m not going to get sick over a $2 container of yogurt. But if it looks and tastes fine…I can’t throw it out. Please tell me others do this too??

    • I take the opposite approach – shop more frequently and only buy things I know I’m going to eat immediately.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes!! It’s a small way of living on the edge for me! Seriously, I’m undeterred by anything except maybe meat expiration.

      • +1. I won’t mess with meat, but everything else is fair game.

        • Anonymous :

          Ditto, I’m careful with meat, but I’ll eat yogurt 6+ months past date, if it smells and looks okay. My coworker also does this.

    • Yeah, I do this. NBD.

    • Anonymous :

      I definitely do this with things that are going to be cooked anyway or dry, crunchy foods. Less so with things you’d just eat as-is, like yogurt. But I think that’s just where I’ve drawn my personal irrational line and not a rule of thumb by any means.

    • I do it! If it smells bad, I don’t eat it, if it has mold on it, I cut it off, otherwise, good to go.

      • Anonymous :

        Plus 1!

      • You don’t really want to eat food that has mold on it, though. The mold you can see is only a small part of it; by the time it gets to the visible stage, you can trust that spores basically coat the food. I, for one, am not able to get that mold smell out of my nose and ignore it to eat an old, rotten piece of food.

    • All the time. Use by does not mean that the product goes bad but that the manufacturer won’t guarantee it will be at its prime.

    • All the time.

      Also my family always kept ketchup in the pantry when I was growing up, and I didn’t notice until I was well into my 20’s that the bottle indicates it should be kept in the fridge. No one in my family ever got sick from unrefrigerated ketchup. It has a ton of vinegar in it and would take quite a long time to spoil.

      If it smells weird, don’t eat it. Otherwise, eat away.

    • Meg March :

      All the time. John Brooke is always super scared about expiration dates, but I really couldn’t care less. Does it look/smell/feel the same as normal? Go for it.

    • I do this too. Last week I tossed a yogurt container with a Sept expiration date, but I’m trying to be more careful because I’m pregnant. IME if you are careful only to use clean spoons in the yogurt / sour cream / crumbled cheese, they last a lot longer.

    • Any cultured dairy (yogurt, buttermilk, kefir) is still good as long as there’s no mold. Honestly, with those, I don’t even look at the expiration date.

    • I will use things a few days past but not a month past.

      My husband used to have a coworker who loved to buy overripe fruits and vegetables from the sale bin. She was always eating a half rotten plum or banana at her desk and cutting the rotten part into her desk side trash can. They had a shared office. Not only did the rotten fruit smell up their office and attract fruit flies, but she was rather flatulent as well. He still gags when he talks about that work situation.

      So, don’t be her.

    • This is spooky because I literally just contemplated this same issue with a yogurt that expired on Nov 28 of 2015! (Did… did I make this post? It has been a long day..). I googled it, most things said 3 weeks (lame). I almost went for it, but figured that this would be a super bad week to get sick I shouldn’t risk it just to avoid wasting $1 (plus I had another newer one in the work fridge). But I’m sure it would have been fine. I will eat cheese that’s been left out for 24+ hours, yogurts that have been left out for 10 hours and/or are 2 months past their expiration date.. I take fewer risks with meat.

    • Yogurt lasts forever! It was invented by people who carried it around in leather sacks strapped to their horses. I have no qualms about eating it unless there’s mold growing. Same with cheese, which was also invented to preserve milk. “expiration” dates are really “best before” dates. They don’t turn into poison the next day, that’s just the day that they estimate that things will begin to deteriorate a bit. Trust your nose.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. Listen to the 99% Invisible episode on this for comfort!

  17. shamlet96 :

    Any ladies out there who deal with a long (train) commute? SO and I are talking about getting engaged and moving in between our current cities (we are about two hours apart). He would likely be able to work from home at least part time, but I don’t have that option. The place we are thinking about living would result in a 1 hour and 45 minute commute for me (each way). Is this totally unrealistic or something that would be doable, at least on a temporary basis? i’m a lawyer in gov’t, if that matters.


      • +1

      • Anonymous :

        +2 It is doable, at least for a few months, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. I would put off the engagement and spend that 3.5 hours a day looking for a new job for one or both of you.

    • Wildkitten :

      That’s totally unrealistic. Commuting is the worst part of a person’s day and you’d be spending almost 4 hours on your commute. Can you split the difference and have each of you commute an hour?

      • shamlet96 :

        The problem is that we’re in SoCal and there’s no actual midpoint where, with traffic, it would only be one hour for each of us. I was figuring at least with the train I might be able to get some word done, but maybe that’s a pipe dream. :( We have no good options short of one of us quitting and moving to the other city (he lives in a resort town where it’s near impossible to find a job). Eventually I’m hoping something opens up in one or the other city, but for now, this is the best solution (unless we just keep living two hours apart).

        • We’re in SoCal and we’re moving just 40 miles away for my husband’s new job, simply because our options were either a) live apart or b) have him endure a ~2 hour commute each way. My husband did this kind of commute for a few months and it’s definitely NOT sustainable. I’m not excited about our move but it’s important for us to live together and have a decent quality of life.

        • Yes. I have a friend in sweden who commutes 3 hr to Norway for work, another who goes from act to NH a couple hrs. Both of them are professors, so only go in a few days a week, otherwise work from home. The Swedish guy rides the bus, and listens to podcasts or audiobooks (work-related). I can see doing that. The guy in the US drives. That sounds awful to me. I had another friend who drove from Waco to Austin for grad school. She spent Tues & Wed nights in a cheap hotel.
          But if he can work from home, it seems to me that your fiancé should be willing to do the longer commute, unless you’re planning to be a SAHM in the next few years.
          Commuting by train is a totally different animal than commuting by car!

      • Senior Attorney :

        No, no, no!

        Traffic in So Cal is getting worse all the time! You’ve got to figure out a better way!

        A friend of mine got a job 2 hours away and she sleeps in an apartment near work M-Th and comes home on the weekend.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I missed the part about the train but I still think it’s a horrible idea. Just way too much time commuting!

    • Anonymous :

      I work with people who have 2 hour commutes, and they sleep or read on the train. I think driving it would be infinitely more stressful. Personally, I couldn’t do either for more than a couple of months.

    • Worst idea ever. Unless your temporary basis is say, 3 months, and you already have another job offer accepted that would let you move to the other city (or another apartment to move him to your city).

      If he can work from home and you can’t, then stay closer to your city. Otherwise stay long distance until you figure out a way to work a reasonable distance from home. A long commute will ruin your life (only barely exaggerating) and put huge strain on your relationship.

    • I’m not trying to be overly dramatic, but you do not want to start your cohabiting/engaged/married life off with a ~ 2 hour each way commute. You will not be a nice person. You just won’t.

      Also, if you are in the NE corridor, remember that winter months = snowy/icy tracks = longer commute times.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeh not the answer(s) you want to hear but this is a horrible idea. I went from a 1hr commute to 35-40 mins and I can’t tell you the difference that has made in my energy levels. You would literally have no time to do anything except work/commute during the week. and you’ll get home and be so tired, hungry, and cranky that your partner wouldn’t enjoy you at all. One of you probably needs a different job/relocate.

    • shamlet96 :

      Thanks everyone. Sounds like a unanimous no. The problem is that we both have really awesome jobs and lives in our home cities and are somewhat unwilling to give them up, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen. :/

      • Wildkitten :

        Don’t move in together until you have better options/new jobs.

      • That’s the thing about committing to a LTR — sometimes, you have to give up your awesome job and move for the other person. Or sometimes you have to stay at a less-than-awesome job longer than you want to because of uncertainty in your SO’s job situation, and one of you needs to be pulling down a paycheck.

      • I commented above, but I’m giving up my awesome job to move with my husband closer to his new job. It makes me sad to give up my current role and I feel very anti-Lean In/like I’m setting women back 50 years to move for him sometimes, but at the end of the day there’s only one Husband for me and there are plenty of other jobs.

    • Anonymous :

      I read that studies show long commutes are correlated to higher divorce rates, and longer commutes tend to have a have a larger impact on women than men due to imbalance in emotional labor/household work. Don’t do it!

    • I have put on a solid 15-20 lbs since starting a 1.25-1.5 hour commute each way just about 8 months ago. No time for exercise, lots more sitting, and lots more cortisol from various levels of road rage. Don’t do it.

      • What if trains had workout rooms/cars?? No idea on the logistics, but your comment made me think of that!

        • There is a bike bus in the Boston area that starts at various Park N Rides in the Suburbs and runs a really awesome spin class on the bus as you drive in to work. It looks very cool!

    • Anonymous :

      I agree commuting 3.5 hours a day every day sounds awful, but I’ll dissent (maybe?) and say that I think living together on weekends and apart on weekdays can totally work, even fairly long term. Probably not once you have kids, but it seems like a viable option to get you through the next few years while you search for equally awesome jobs that are closer to each other. I and many other friends have even done a similar thing, even while engaged or newly married, and it turned out fine in all cases (couples all still together 10+ years down the road). I would not give up either an awesome job or an awesome relationship just because you would have to live apart during the week, since both are way too hard to find.

      • shamlet96 :

        i think if I were younger, I’d be up for it, but I’m starting to tire of the constant weekend drives. The other problem is that we definitely do want to have kids soon because of my age (38) so it’s not an arrangement that can continue that long without someone moving. As much as I love him, i’m starting to have doubts that we can make this work. :(

        • Anonymous :

          Oh my god srsly? You live him, he loves you, you want kids. He needs to quit his job and move to you since he lives in the smaller town. What are people thinking putting jobs ahead of actually living? Do you want to childless single and 48 but really liking your job?!?

        • lawsuited :

          If travelling 4 hours each weekend to see your boyfriend is tiresome, definitely don’t sign up to travel 3.5 hours EACH DAY to see him.

    • I currently have a 2 hr train commute 3x/week – Holylywood to Irvine. I’m a contractor, so I also need to put in a full 8 hrs in the office (can’t count working on the train toward my hours). It is doable, but it is a grind. The train itself is fine, and infinitely better than driving, but it’s a long day. And inevitably, on the days when I really need to be home (because I’m exhausted, or have plans), the train is delayed. By an hour. You can read/work/zone out, but you can’t make dinner, exercise, or go grocery shopping. I’m only doing this because I knew it was a short-term commitment. It’s not as terrible as I thought it was going to be, but it’s definitely not sustainable over the long-term.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you the last stop on the train? I had a 2 hr each way commute from the NY burbs and Penn was the last stop so I would sleep the entire way in and was much more rested. I even lost weight between the extra sleep and 10 minute walk to my job (sleep is a huge weight loss factor for me). I can sleep anywhere though, so this might not work for you.

    • lawsuited :

      You would hate your life within a month. When you said you lived 2 hours apart and were going to split the difference, I assumed you’d each end up with a 1 hour commute (which is not great but more reasonable) not that your commute would be 1 hour 45 mins and his would be 15 mins. If he can work from home it makes much more sense for him to have the longer commute and you to have the shorter,

    • My partner has a commute of this length. It’s awful. It’s held my career back enormously, because I cannot rely that he will ever be able to pick our daughter up from school in an emergency and I have to be available for all the events that happen between 8am and 7pm.

  18. Delta Dawn :

    I once had a two hour commute and dealt with it for about a year. It was awful. Sometimes I just got a hotel or stayed with a friend to avoid the commute. On days that I did the full commute, I had to leave my house by 6:30, get to work by 8:30, leave at 5:00, get home at 7:00. I realized that my awesome 8:30-5 schedule was a waste if I had a four hour commute– if I was going to be unavailable due to work from 6:30 – 7:00, I may as well have stayed in BigLaw (not quite, but close). It is absolutely not at all worth it and is also not at all sustainable.

  19. It’s been really hard finding a white dress for my rehearsal dinner (in February, on the East Coast= so possibly snow, or at least cold weather). I’m thinking about this dress from BHLDN (link to follow). Is it winter-appropriate? What shoes would look best/least ridiculous in cold weather? Would it look crazy with black hose/tights and knee-high flat black suede boots? what about charcoal gray suede boots?


    • Beautiful dress! But this would not look right with black or gray or boots. If you want to wear this in February, wear a closed toe pump and limit your time outside.

      OR! Just don’t wear white and wear something weather/season appropriate! There is no rule you must wear white, just wear what makes you feel fabulous. Red! Blue! Gold sparkles! Purple! A black jumpsuit!

      • I hear you. If this dress doesn’t work out (and it’s kind of more than I wanted to spend anyway), I might give up on the white.

    • Beautiful dress! I think it’s winter appropriate but I’m having a hard time imagining it with tights, but hose, sure. I can see it with a dressy bootie- think stiletto heels. Maybe something metallic to dress it up?

      • These look nice:

    • Anonymous :

      No. You must wear nude hose with this or any white dress.

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