Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Seam Detail Dress

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

Seam bodycon dressMango really has so very many cute things for work and play that I hardly know what to post. For conservative offices, I like the seam details on this classic sheath dress in an unusual color. It’s described as “bodycon,” but as long as it’s worn slightly loose, as shown on the model here, I think it’ll be fine. The dress will “soon” be available in sizes 2-10. Seam bodycon dress

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  1. Is this hairstyle unprofessional? :

    I can’t focus with my hair in my face, and my hair is too fine / doesn’t look good with my face shape if I put it up in a bun or ponytail.

    I usually grab a piece from the center and each side and then braid it. A friend once described it as “the Legolas”, which isn’t completely accurate but gives you the general idea.

    • Anonymous :

      I thought Legolas was hot!

      I think that this is a great summer and dead of winter look. And grownups can do braids — google Ukranian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

      My hair is like this (and won’t even hold a good braid — too slippery). I do the Stacy London, incl. the grey streak (when I am feeling stabby, it is the Gemma Teller).

    • the higher the hair the closer to god :

      Honey, I think you need some good hairspray. It will help your hair hold a style. Maybe get a blowout so see what (a skilled person and) a lot of product can do for you.

      babyfine slippery hair lady

      • Is this hairstyle unprofessional? : :

        Oh I know how to do my hair when its completely down / blown out – that’s not what I was asking about!

    • Anonymous :

      I doubt it is unprofessional. I might experiment with what you can do to just secure some pieces out of your face with bobby pins. Maybe with a little teasing for texture and hold. I also am often able to bobby pin mine (admittedly a very different texture than yours) off to the side while I am at my desk but then can take it out for meetings, etc. without any ill effects.

      • Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I love Fruegel Fridays and this Body Com Sheathe Dress for only $59.99! Great Pick, Kat!

        As for the OP, I do thisbobby-pin routine on weekends b/c I do NOT have to dress up for work. I also use Schrunchies to keep my hair back when it is hot outside, tho the Manageing Partner has now banned ALL schrunchies from the office. FOOEY b/c he used to not mind them to much, then Margie started wearing them at home and he wants to see ALL of our hair, including my new associate, who is VERY pretty and has a boyfreind. She tells me they do some stuff together, but she does NOT have s-x with him b/c he is immature and wants to do stuff she will NOT do. YAY for her!

        My dad is comeing into town today to talk with the Manageing Agent for the Condo about why things are stalling. He wants a place to move into next year and this condo obviously will NOT be ready. He is mad b/c he wanted onley to have 1 NYC place to be responsible for and now, he will have my apartement, which is on E 77th, but he wants to be on the WEST side near Colombia U, which is NOT close. Now he thinks he will need to get a place near Colombia, but that is way to far uptown for me. He doesnt seem to care, b/c he says he can find a safe building up around Colombia for both of us. I do NOT want to live up there b/c I really like the Upper East Side, and I was NOT goeing to live all the way up there! DOUBEL FOOEY on that! We will see, but for now, I am NOT goeing to sign any papers that is goeing to sell my apartement here. TRIPEL FOOEY!

    • So you have three braids, one on top and one on each side?

      I don’t know that I’d go so far to call it “unprofessional” but it does sound a bit unusual. If you want to accomplish the same goal with a more traditional hairstyle, you could consider wearing a headband or using combs to tuck your hair back – I think those both look professional if you wear a neutral/non-decorative version.

      • I agree with this; while pretty, it sounds unusual for an office — more like a “day drinking at a hipster brunch place” look than one I’d typically see in an office. A small barrette with part of your hair pulled back (I particularly like the open circle or oval styles) would seem less “Legolas” (love that description!) / potentially distracting.

      • Anonymous :

        If you do this b/c you can’t concentrate w/ your hair in your face, then I think you need to use some products / skills to get your hair out of your face.

        Your look, like Yulia’s, may be a lot of look (esp. if your look has a name), and probably not what you want.

        I think as a grownup who is working, you can do better.

        • I am sitting here in my biglaw office on Jeans Friday with my (still wet) hair up in a high bun (visible elastic, not pinned), so I think you’re fine and leaps ahead of me. When it was longer I would pull it into a low braid at the nape of my neck. But I also stopped blow drying my sort of wavy hair 19 months ago and haven’t looked back, so YMMV.

          As a grownup who is working (often until the wee hours of the morning), I have different things to focus on in my nonclient facing job.

          • JuniorMinion :

            My hair is usually up in a high bun with an elastic. I use hairish colored elastics not electric pink ones but I had no idea that visible hair elastics were unprofessional. I used to work for a big ibank in NYC and saw tons of women with their hair in a bun / ponytail with an elastic in it.

            I wouldn’t worry about it.

      • I’m also a little bit confused by the description. It doesn’t sound unprofessional to me, per se, but after Googling Legolas, I’m having trouble picturing it as stylish. I could be wrong, though!

        What about braiding it as a headband, like so? Ignore the product placement in the video.

      • hairstyle op :

        Oh it’s not three braids – it’s just one braid. From the front it just looks like my hair is up. It’s a little unusual, but not that wacky!

        • Oh so is it like a half up style, but instead of the top being a pony, it’s a braid? I couldn’t find a basic one, but google “half up fishtail braid” and see if that’s close?

          It probably looks a little juvenile rather than professional, but not horribly so. Maybe experiment with a circle hair clip and see if that works for you – it takes a bit of the juvenile out of the hairstyle.

        • Is it like one of these?

      • Anonymous :

        I think two braids – one on each side – would be 100% fine in an office. The third braid in the center makes it odd though.

      • hairstyle op :

        It’s not three braids – it’s one braid and its pretty subtle! I think I’m just explaining it badly, I don’t know what to google to get pictures.

        • This sounds a lot less … weird? … than what I was originally picturing. You’re probably fine. But yes, you could probably look into clipping it half-up with a barrette if you wanted something a little different.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think that it’s unprofessional, but it’s also not really a style that is trending at the moment for workwear. I’m sure that people may care more if you’re in a judgier industry ( like PR) vs a less judgey field (like IT). I usually pull mine into a low ponytail.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s not great! Explore the world of clips and Bobby pins.

    • Not Legal Counsel :

      I have baby fine hair, too. I think braids are fine for work, but they can come off as twee or even lazy, if not done really well. The fact that your friend has a nickname for your hairstyle (especially after a fantast character) is enough to rethink it, in my opinion. It means that it’s a “thing,” instead of a style. My stylist recently told me to start playing with half up dos, like a half bun, as alternate ways of putting up my long bob hair style. A little teasing and a good texturizing spray helps.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I don’t think it’s unprofessional but it sounds a bit casual to me, so it depends on your office. You could probably achieve the same practical effect by putting just some of your hair into a ponytail or a nice clip/barrette.

    • If I saw someone with a half-up braid, I would think it was outdated or twee. I’d never say anything, mind you, but if someone once called it Legolas-like, that’s not a positive sign.

      So, I have fine but thick hair and find certain ponytail/bun placements flatter my face much better than others. I need either a high, tousled pony (weekend only) or a very low sleek one, but a pony placed in the middle of my head looks terrible. Maybe play around with quick options that look good on you. In my work bag, makeup bag, and at my desk, I keep spin pins and random circle clips like this one for when I want to throw my hair partially or fully back to concentrate on work. If I’m heading to a meeting, I’ll take them out and make sure my part fell back correctly.

    • I have fine hair that I hate having in my face. I take a two inch strip from the middle of my forehead and pull it straight back and cross two hair pins (that match my hair colour) in an X over it. You can make the strip as wide as you need to get the hair on the sides included so they don’t bug you. Occasionally, I also roll a small section at each temple up and into a quasi French roll of only a small amount of hair (the same you would put in a braid) and pin that back. I would avoid the braids.

  2. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have experience buying a sofa online? I like that there’s more choices and better styles than what I’ve seen in stores, but hesitant because I can’t sit on it first to test how comfortable it is.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought a couch from Article and I love it. It’s very comfortable and their customer service was excellent.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought a couch with West Elm online. I hadn’t sat on the exact couch that I wanted before, but I did go to the store to try to get a general feel for comfort and quality. And the couch I ended up buying online has been great.

      • +1. I will note it took 12 weeks to arrive, but I love it.

      • I bought my first adult couch from west elm and it has not held up well at all. Luckily (?) the particular model I bought got such awful press coverage from other people having bad experiences with it that West Elm is offering a full refund on this couch even now, so I’m returning it.

    • Bought a sleeper sofa from Room and Board online. LOVE it. The thing that made me comfortable was that it’s a well known brand with tons and tons of reviews online. In the absence of seeing something in person, I’d want lots of reviews.

    • Constant Reader :

      I trust the reviews from Crate and Barrel and Room & Board, and have had mostly good experiences with them regarding quality and customer service (had an issue with R&B delivery that they quickly took care of). But I actually went and sat in my C&B sofa. I think given the style focus on mid-century modern, you really want to pay attention to reviews that mention “it’s harder than we expected/softer than we expected” and depth seems to be a really big issue for some people (are you a curler-upper or do you want to actually sit in it?”) I do like C&B’s “comfort” link in their sofa descriptions that tells you depth, softness, seat height.

      You might find this article interesting about the “Everlanes” of furniture making and why its so hard (I’m considering a BenchMade Modern sofa because of some size constraints in the room we use for media watching). The article references the terrible and notorious West Elm sofa that Anonymous @10:20 mentions! And the Wirecutter recommendation for online sofas got a lot of pushback about their recommendations for Joybird, because of delays and lack of responsive customer service. Google Wirecutter online sofa and read the comments.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I bought one from The Horchow Collection and I love it. Also bought one from Apt 2B online and super happy with that one, too. So thumbs up for online sofas from me. In both cases I was able to get fabric swatches in advance and that was key.

  3. extended family :

    We grew up military and I never really knew my extended family that well growing up. I knew my first cousins, but not well, and not really any relatives past that.

    Now, I’ve moved to a big SEUS city and I have a lot of second cousins scattered throughout, as well as first cousins once removed (so they are my parents’ cousins, and much older). It is great! And overwhelming!

    I have school-aged kids, so I am hoping to reconnect and have them know their extended family a bit more growing up, esp. b/c many of them have kids their age (who are really sometimes distant relatives — third cousins). It seems so wild — I never had any local family at all ever until now.

    But it’s like dating — these people are virtually strangers and aren’t necessarily related to each other. I thought of trying to have people over (or getting together at the park or our pool) one by one over the summer so the grownups and kids can get to know each other. And then maybe a big open-house-type party in the fall at our house?

    My husband has a first cousin in our city with similarly-aged kids and that has been fantastic for us and our kids (but he has no relatives here otherwise). We also have some extended family about 1.5 hours away that we’d maybe try to meet up on a day trip (there is a good museum in that city, so we could maybe meet at that or meet for a meal while we are there).

    Any thoughts / advice?

    • Not Legal Counsel :

      A big open-house would work, but it won’t really give you a chance to connect with each of them. What about smaller dinner parties? Friend them on facebook and start connecting with them that way. I was a military kid and was in a similar position. I’ve gotten pretty close with my cousins now that we’re on Facebook.

    • I grew up with 4 cousins in close proximity and it makes me sad my son won’t have that as I’m an only child and my husband’s nieces and nephews are much, much older. I think your plan sounds lovely – you can see who you connect with and then let them connect with you/each other at the open house.

      Also, don’t put all your eggs in the family basket. My cousins and I don’t have anything in common and our parenting styles are very different. If we lived in the same area, we definitely wouldn’t hang out without the aunts/uncles being involved but we’ll happily chat at a family event. Sometimes families don’t mesh and that’s okay. Make sure you’re investing in the friends that can become honorary aunts and uncles.

    • I think that sounds like a great plan, especially with the open house idea later in the year.

    • I’m not really sure what you’re asking. Throw a party! You could do a casual backyard barbecue so the kids can play and the adults can chat.

    • Anonymous :

      In my world, these are called family reunions. You get together a couple of family members to help plan, find outdoor or picnic space somewhere, and invite all the relatives in the area to come to a cookout / potluck.

    • Anonymous :

      Casual backyard/pool party. But I’d do one for each side of family (your mom’s family, your dad’s family, DH’s family) because I think it would be pretty confusing to have lots of people that don’t know each other or you plus with a large group of people and hosting, it’s hard to get time to chat with anyone and get to know them.

    • If you want to get to know them, it sounds like a good plan.

      But don’t feel bad if you don’t get a huge response. I knew my cousins growing up, but they all lived 4+ hours away. At most, I saw them once a year; many I saw only 2-3 times during my childhood. I didn’t know any more extended family. And I don’t really feel a need/desire to get to know them. I guess if someone moved to the area and reached out, I would go to dinner. But if it didn’t seem like we had much in common (likely with my family), I wouldn’t make a huge effort to establish a relationship. I just don’t believe that extended family ties mean I need to know or like someone.

  4. Window Treatments? :

    Just had settlement on new construction house earlier this week (yay!). Any advice or recommendations for window treatments? We need something for the main level that will provide privacy, but also let in light. Should we use the same style throughout the house? Any recs for where to purchase? TIA!!

    • Anonymous :

      Plantation shutters so you can shut the bottoms but leave the louvers on the tops open?

      Find a local seller/installer on angie’s list that will measure (most imp thing).

      They are pricey though but IMO so worth it.

      • Not Legal Counsel :

        Agreed. We have plantation shutters in all windows that face the street, for cost saving, and they are wonderful. They also help increase insulation.

      • We also did plantation shutters on all public-facing windows. They were not cheap for us, but were SO SO worth it. Easy to open and close and look nice from the street too.

    • Anonymous :

      We have been very pleased with come cordless shades from Lowes. Levolor is the brand. They cut them at the store to fit and then we hung them ourselves. They have two options – light diffusing and room darkening. We have the darkening shades in bedrooms and the light diffusing option throughout the living areas. Dark gray in bedrooms and light gray elsewhere. We like the cordless aspect with a toddler. They are very functional and reasonable for the quality. I definitely recommend them.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. We have these and also the Lowe’s house brand of these.

        They’re also insulating and we noticed a big difference in our room with 6 windows. I have all mine in white.

    • Anonymous :

      I do sheers and curtains, hung high and wide. If you want custom sizes, JC Penney is one of the best places to buy that kind of thing.

    • Anonymous :

      I loooove my top-down bottom-up shades. We got Bali ones in a filmy sheer white for the entire first floor from Costco – 9 windows were about $1500 I think. The nice thing about being able to lower or raise the top and bottom is that you never quite know how the sun will change throughout the year. Like in April it’s always in our eyes in the kitchen but the rest of the year it’s fine. You can get them in a ton of shades — we got a creamy ivory for the bedroom that ended up being way too opaque.

      You can also get cheap temporary paper shades for the house if you want to live in it for a while before investing in window treatments.

      • +1. We got them from (IIRC) I love being able to have just the tops of my windows uncovered – privacy and sunlight! They also sent swatches before I ordered.

        I also have a cordless blind in one room which I really like.

        • +1 to this company – have the house brand cellular shades (some top-down, bottom-up; other cordless) and have been very happy.

        • Diana Barry :

          Blinds dot com is THE BOMB. Cheaper than Home Depot/Lowes and same or better quality.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Paper shades are a great temporary solution while you figure out what you want to do.

        I also have some top-town/bottom-up shades in my house. On the mail level, they’re simple– top down exposes the window. However, upstairs, in the bedrooms we have a top-down/bottom-up style where there’s sheer material on top, with blackout on the bottom. I love being able to let the light in, but there’s still privacy from the sheer section. (I’ll say, we live in a city neighborhood, where neighbors can peer right in from their own bedrooms– in a less urban environment, the sheer top wouldn’t feel as necessary.)

        Anyway, I bought ours at Smith and Noble, and will also happily plug their measure and install service. It cost something like $200 for the whole house, and was money VERY well spent.

    • I have cordless blinds. We did the same ones on every window to keep it consistent. I like blinds because you can open them to let light in but you don’t have to pull them up to completely expose the room to the outside. We’ve hung sheer curtains (that never close) on the ones that make sense to make the rooms warmer. They come with different openings depending on how much light you want to let in.

    • We have sheers and curtains (with a double curtain rod) for our big bay window so we can let in light during the day, but have privacy at night. We have levelor cordless faux-wood blinds in all the bedrooms plus curtains for DD’s room and the master.

      • Window Treatments? :

        Thank you for all the input! Very helpful. This is our first home so it has been eye opening (to say the least) how many options are out there. I will definitely be checking out the styles and brands recommended.

  5. Baconpancakes :

    Mango sizing only goes up to an 8 in most clothes??? So their plus sizes start at 10 and are a completely different line? Lol wut.

    That said, I am probably going to buy a couple of dresses from their “plus size” line. They are really cute.

    • Anonymous :

      Huh, I am pretty sure that they used to go up higher, to at least a 12. I haven’t shopped there since their store in VA was closed, though.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I got excited about a few of the dresses Kat linked to, but when I looked at the sizing, they all stopped at 8. The models for the plus size line look to be all about size 12 or 14, which isn’t really plus size in most lines, but which does give me a better idea of what the clothes will look like on me, so *shrug*.

        • Anonymous :

          They also run pretty small, like Zara. Definitely size up if you decide to purchase anything.

          • I think they run refreshingly TTS. Vanity sizing has really become out of control. I can’t shop at most American stores because a 00 is more like a 2-4. It’s insane.

          • Eh – I think it’s sizing in the single digits that suffers from this. My American size 12 has kept up with me sizing changes (so it’s probably changed dimensions in the 20 years I’ve been wearing a size 12), but I haven’t turned into a size 8 or anything.

            And if you want to know the true extent of vanity sizing, look at the sizes and comparable measurements of a sewing pattern. The Big Pattern companies have kept the same sizing for decades – and I’m more like an 18-20 on those charts. Shrug.

    • Anonymous :

      They are a European brand so their sizing reflects that.

    • I think an 8 there is more like a 12 because of the European sizing. Haven’t shopped there in a few years but that was true awhile back anyway.

      • I just consulted the “discover your size” and this appears to be true. I would normally buy a 12 and it is telling me an 8. Thank you Anonymous for pointing this out – I’ve been skipping mango for a while due to the sizing!

      • In my experience it’s more the opposite. I’d wear a pants size 8 in a brand like BR but a 10 or 12 in a brand like Mango. Maybe they changed, though.

      • European sizes are generally smaller, not larger!, i.e. A Euro size 6 us a US size 2-4.

      • Oops ya’ll’re right I think I flipped this in my head. Nevermind!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      BP I had that same moment earlier this week. But yeah, some of the ‘plus’/plus line is cute, and one’s sitting in an open tab in case the dress that’s getting delivered tomorrow doesn’t work for the event next month…

    • I’m usually an 8 or 10 (an L or 10 in Zara) and I ordered a few things from Violeta (the “plus”) line, but they were too big. This was a couple years ago, though. also, interestingly, the accessories (scarves and jewelry and bags) from Violeta are nicer and higher quality…

  6. Patty Mayonnaise :

    Any recommendations for cleaning blood out of the inside of shoes? Apparently my loafers were rubbing my feet pretty badly yesterday and I didn’t realize until I got home and saw that I’d been bleeding quite a bit. Luckily, it didn’t affect the outside, but I’m wondering what’s the best way to clean out the inside…

    • Anonymous :

      hydrogen peroxide. But you need to essentially transfer the blood from the shoe to another fabric. So, put the peroxide on the blood and then soak it all up with a rag. Press down to soak instead of rubbing. Rubbing won’t help that well. Caveat: this is what I do for fabric. I have no idea what it could do to leather or another nice shoe material. Hopefully on the inside it won’t really be an issue, but I’d proceed with some caution.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not sure what it says about my reading habits that I am seeing the genesis of a great murder mystery here, where the detection hinges on an online request for cleaning help. : ) We’d have to figure out the whodunit — the OP, or one of the commenters?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I love true crime shows – it’s amazing how many criminals make really suspicious/incriminating Google searches.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, though this always makes me nervous about my search history (such as every time I looked up something relevant to details of true crime shows).

    • Another fabric trick that may/may not work on leather – Spit on the stain, rub in the saliva, and wipe/scrub with a wet/damp cloth. The enzymes (?) in your saliva help remove/break down/get out the blood. Works best if the done with a fairly fresh blood stain. Supposedly your own spit works best on your own blood, but I think any omnivore/carnivore could probably help.

  7. Anonymous :

    Tips on starting to live together with a significant other? We just moved in together a couple months ago and are starting to have tiffs on tidyness issues. We have a cleaner come once every two weeks to do the heavy lifting, but he travels a lot and gets annoyed when he comes home and the place isn’t as tidy as he would like. I then get resentful because 1) I feel it’s unfair to expect that I keep things immaculate when I’ve been billing 70+ hour weeks, and 2) it’s not like he doesn’t leave small messes around when he leaves for his business trips, which I tidy up without complaint. It’s mostly small things (“babe, did you really have to leave this empty box on the kitchen counter when the recycling is two steps away?”) but I’ve never lived with an SO before and wanted to see how others handle this.

    • So I answer from the perspective of someone who is untidy- try tidying before he comes back. I know I know I know but if recycling is two steps away, just use it. I force myself to do a ten minute tidy every Friday morning because that is honestly all it takes to go from sad untidy apt to something you’d be happy to come home to.

      • i like you

      • 10 minutes :

        I agree – it is amazing what can be done in 10 minutes, even 5. Sort thru your mail, put things away, hang up clothes or put in hamper, toiletries in drawers/cabinet, dishes in dishwasher then wipe off your bathroom and kitchen counters with Lysol wipes.

        • Yup, this. My mom was a flight attendant, and I’d run around the house in the 30 minutes before she got home just to tidy up. No panicked deep cleaning or anything, just making sure mail was stacked neatly, the blanket on the couch was folded, the bed was made, etc. It makes such a difference when you come home from a trip! Now, I have to make sure the house is tidy whenever I leave home – I can’t come home to a messy house.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          In a pinch, I’ve carried a laundry basket around the house and just cleared off as many surfaces as possible. The bucket o’clutter can then be immediately sorted or hidden in a closet until you have more time.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            My husband calls that “the bag of crap approach”. I use it a lot.

    • Seems like you could sit down and talk about it not in the heat of the moment and he agrees to tidy his messes before leaving for a trip, and you agree that you’ll tidy your messes before he returns. Seems reasonable to me.

    • anon a mouse :

      Ah yes, nothing like early cohabitation to put all of your habits under a microscope!

      You have to have a conversation about the things that drive you both crazy. For him, is it little piles of things? That you can fix. What about his habits bother you? Each of you take one thing and commit to doing better. You can do this. And then revisit in a few months, after you’ve turned new behaviors into habits, to see if there are other things that are low effort/big reward.

      I know you only gave one example, but things like trash on a counter literally 2 feet from the trash can absolutely drives me nuts, because it takes 2 seconds to just throw it away. In our house we’ve tried to adopt a “touch it once” mentality and it’s solved a lot of those issues. (My issue was leaving little piles of to-be-read mail all over the house; now I open it asap and either recycle it or put it on my desk, rather than leaving it on the kitchen counter for days at a time.)

      • +1 to the touch-it-once mentality. You can keep the obvious stuff like the recycling on the counter under control even during a busy week. Save the big cleans for when SO is home.

      • +1 to each of you committing to do something better. If this is all about how you become a neat freak to satisfy him, it’s not going to work. That’s not who you are and that’s OK. But maybe you can agree on ways for you to cabin your clutter in specified areas and he can agree that he doesn’t get to comment on those areas and has to learn to let it go, or something like that.

        • Thanks all, that makes sense. I think the main issue is that I feel like we both leave small messes (me slightly more than him, but not horribly so) but I will tidy up after him without comment and he always comments on mine. I’ll try having a conversation out of the heat of the moment and talking about what we can both do.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Or you can just decide that this is a price of admission to the relationship: You tidy up after him without comment and he comments when he tidys up after you, and you say “thanks, babe” and/or try to do better, and then you go on with your life. (And conversely, he decides this is the price of admission for a relationship with you: He tidys up after you more than you tidy up after him.)

          • That’s a totally fair thing to discuss. You can say, sometimes I clean up after you, which I’m happy to do, but you may not have noticed that I’m doing it and it feels like you’re not giving me credit for it, or something to that effect. I don’t think, realistically, it’s possible to live with someone and never, ever, for example throw away an empty box they left on the counter and forgot about. I do feel you should each mostly pick up after yourselves, but sometimes you pick up after each other and if it really is only sometimes I think it should be a thing you both do without complaint.

          • You could stop cleaning up after him.

    • If you are not a naturally tidy person, I recommend Unf*ck your Habitat for cleaning tips. Maybe you could use some of the suggestions on the site to come up with some ground rules.

    • For me it’s about shifting to thinking about my home as “ours” instead of “mine.” I’m naturally an untidy person but I’m much more tidy when I’m living with someone. It’s just not very respectful to your partner to leave trash on the counter, your clothes on the bathroom floor, used glasses in the living room – to generally treat the space like it’s just yours and they don’t exist. I see my tidying up as an act of service to show my partner I care. I think I would struggle with this if he wasn’t home, though.

      • My husband and I are both on the untidy side. I wish we could both think like this!

      • OP here – this mentality shift makes sense! And you’re correct, it’s definitely harder when he’s not home. I’ve never had problems when living with roommates but it was also easier since I had my own room, so I would just concentrate on keeping the common areas tidy (and no one cared about how messy my bedroom was).

    • My late husband “hated clutter”. His solution – to tidy mail etc away into folders that were unlabeled or labeled with a title from the folders’s previous use, except the things he really wanted to be sure to find – his passport and some cash. Then ask me where I had tidied an item away!
      But I hate coming back from travel to find the house messy, so I always cleared away things before traveling, surface clean kitchen and bathrooms, and place clean linen on the bed. Now on my own and with a little more spare time, I find the touch-something-once method really works. And the cash I found in odd places, I lived on for more than a year!

    • Can you up the frequency of your cleaner? And/or adjust the timing of the cleanings so they happen shortly before he gets home? If it’s not a level of mess you “see,” it may be hard to train yourself to care about it.

    • Baconpancakes :

      We’ve had these tiffs. We will probably continue to have these tiffs the rest of our lives. I haaaate clutter on counters. But I’m also terrible at cleaning up after myself immediately. When I do clean, everything is CLEAN. Everything is wiped down, from the backsplash behind the stove to the inside of the sink, and everything is put away exactly where it goes. He’s more of a clean-as-you-go, but would never think to scrub the sink stopper or find a home for the pile of mail.

      BUT we made a loose rule. If I’m cleaning, you’re cleaning. The way it ends up working is that I’ll notice he’s starting to wash the dishes left in the sink, feel guilty, and wipe down the counters. Or vice versa.

      I do get where he’s coming from. It is so incredibly nice to come home to a clean house, and so demoralizing to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. But it’s hard for me to motivate to put things away, so I negotiate with myself, and say “ok, you have to put away 5/20/30 individual items, then you can stop.” A dish going into the dishwasher is an item, but a stack of mail is also an item. Wiping down a countertop counts as an item. The items have to go where they actually belong – no throwing the shoes into the bedroom instead of putting them in the closet rack. But most of the time, by the time I get to the full number of items I had decided on, everything is clean, and I’m hunting for things to put away. There’s usually a lot fewer things to put away than you think!

  8. Short hair solutions :

    After having at least shoulder-length hair my whole life, I recently switched to a bob haircut. But I can’t figure out what to do to keep it from flying around in the gym during cardio. It’s too short for a ponytail, and headbands slip off within a few seconds if I’m jogging. Suggestions for how I can keep the hair out of my face?

    • I’ll do a half up do when working out and then a second hair tie for the lower part if it’s really truly to hot to have it down. That at least gets it out of my face, which is more important most of the time than the small part brushing on my neck.

    • can you pull the top part into a ponytail– like a half-back style? That’s usually what I do when my hair is chin-length.

    • Baseball hat.

    • I used to french fishtail braid it, or do a half pony.

    • Snap clips, like the ones from Goody you see in drug stores work well for me. You can also use a hiking buff or a wide cloth headband secured with clips- like the Fringe Fighter headband from lulu

      • I use a half buff that I trimmed down ever further or one of the wider Bondi bands.

      • Sweaty Brow :

        Yes!! Goody snap clip barrettes are what I have started using and they work great for my bob length fine hair. I pull back sections from my temples so they don’t fall in my face during workouts. I get so sweaty and red during my workouts and this helps keep soaked hair off my face. They also work well for yoga and don’t interfere for positions lying on my back — much better than a pony tail band.

    • Betterandbetter :

      Pig tails- if you tie them low at the back of your head I swear they don’t really look like the little girl hair style. That was true for me even with my curly hair and round face.

    • I pin the front pieces back with a couple of bobby pins, and that allows me to pull what’s left into a low ponytail.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      All headbands? What works for me when I have short hair is wide, stretchy headbands, especially with rubber grippy stitching (scunci makes some good ones).

  9. Anonymous :

    Recs for spillproof coffee travel mugs? Would love to just throw it in my bag rather than carrying it during my commute.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I have never found a really-o truly-o leakproof travel mug. In my opinion, what you want is a thermos bottle with a cap you can pour coffee into and drink out of.

    • I’ve found the Contingo travel mugs fairly spill proof, though, because it’s not open if the button isn’t pushed, it can get a little gross in there after a while.

      • This is why I switched to the Contigo Snap and Seal. Way easier to keep clean, but still indestructibly spill proof.

    • Zojirushi! Keeps it hot all day and is spill proof in the bag when locked. Link to follow.


        • +100

          Yup. The Zojirushi is the one.

          I also love the narrow tall shape, which fits in any built in cup holder.

          I bought this exact one for all of my family for Xmas one year. And for myself, of course!

      • Yup I bought this one too and I love it so much.

      • Mrs. Jones :

        +1. I don’t think I could spill it if I tried.

      • Baconpancakes :

        It is seriously the best. I’ve had mine for… 7 years? 8 years? Still going strong. I’m purchasing replacement rubber parts because I left coffee with milk in it one too many times and I can’t get the smell out of the rubber, but it’s still perfectly leakproof.

    • Zojirushi – spill-proof and the only one I ever bought that keeps coffee/tea piping hot for hours.

    • Thermos brand! Three years old, still going strong, no leaks to date.

  10. I have an embarrassing issue that I wonder if someone else has dealt with. Whenever I exercise strenuously (lift weights, jump, etc) I leak. I’m finally biting the bullet and got a referral from my doctor for pelvic floor physical therapy but am dreading it. Has anyone gone to pt for this? Did you find it worthwhile? Thanks!

    • PT for this is great! Why are you dreading it? It’s a muscle group/body part like anything else. Definitely treat it now as this kind of problem only gets worse not better unless you address the issue.

    • Yes, pelvic PT is Great! Find one you like.

    • I thought about it and read that the MSU/USA gymnastics doctor was saying that was what he was doing and it really weirded me out re getting a referral.

      1. Is that truly what it entails?
      2. If so, is there any alternative that isn’t digitally invasive like that?

      • Yeah…is he really a reliable source on how the therapy is ACTUALLY done? What do sites like WebMD or MayoClinic have to say on the treatment?

      • I mean, I think it CAN involve manual maniuplation, but the reading I’ve done indicated you are more likely to have biofeedback probe inserted to help you learn what muscles to target. I think there is a lot of other things to the therapy that don’t involve people touching your groin area.

      • Get a female therapist.

        I initially went to a female PT who did pelvic therapy without doing an interal exam but it was less effective than the current therapist I’m working with.

        That said, a good PT will talk to you about different exercises you can start and daily habits to change in order to see some improvement. You may feel more comfortable with them after a few sessions.

      • Some PT is actually done that way. I’m not saying what he was doing was legit by any means. I know of someone who had a badly fractured and out of place tailbone and they attempted realignment by going up her butt. Ultimately she still had to have surgery.

      • I used a female PT for this. She did one initial internal exam to establish the baseline muscle strength and then a second one at the end of PT. It was quick and simple. It should not be happening at every session (unless you ask for it). The rest of the sessions are regular ole PT where you clench your pelvic muscles while doing other exercises. I did those with whichever PT was available at the time of my appointment.

    • I live in France, where it is mandatory to see a midwife after giving birth, to work on this precise issue! I did not like it at all (I am quite sweamish around that area), but it did make a big difference. It only takes a few sessions, so I would just bite the bullet, if I were you.

    • I once attended a 3-day meeting on incontinence (yes, it’s a big issue) and they had some people who talked about pelvic floor therapy. It is legit therapy and done by highly trained professionals, who can make a big difference in people’s lives without having to resort to surgery.

      If you are uncomfortable (which, sure, it’s not quite the same as PT for your knees!) request a female therapist.

      And now I’m going to sit here and do some kegels.

    • You may also like Mommastrong which is an online video workout thing focusing on similar topics. I did PT and now do Mommastrong for maintenance.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        And OP, if you happen to not have children – I’m 31, no kids, and I pee just a little every.single.time I do double-unders. I wasn’t the only one! We’d talk about it.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Seconding the rec to talk to your doctor but…

      I’ve never had kids and used to have to pretty much lay a towel down to jump rope / do squat jumps. I found compound lifts helped me out a little bit but I am still a person who pees occasionally during really heavy lifts . Some level of peeing is normal occasionally on really heavy sets (it only happens to me at ~90%+ of 5RM or in weird sticking point work like rack pulls) but if it happens every time or on lighter stuff definitely see your doctor. There’s some stuff / podcasts in the lady powerlifter universe on the internet that discusses peeing during heavy squats /deadlifts – when it is normal and when it isn’t

      • Lana Del Raygun :

  11. Can anyone recommend a cookbook or blog that has good country-style, vegetarian-ish recipes? I am not sure how to describe it better than that, but I like things like quiche, galettes, interesting salads, stews, fish with fresh herbs, etc. I don’t love cooking but I would like to have a few more options in my repertoire.

    • Flats Only :

      Look into Cooks Illustrated and Cooks Country. The recipes are great, can certainly be modified for a vegetarian, and the sciency take on process and technique makes it more interesting.

    • I think everyone who cooks has a couple of beat up, ingredient stained volumes that are their go-tos… these are mine.

      Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. If I only owned one cookbook, it would be this.
      Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is a close second for me. It’s all about classic, mostly simple recipes that emphasize fresh, high quality ingredients.

      • or Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix! It’s based on his NYT mag columns and is visually laid out: each page starts with an ingredient, like “tomatoes” or “celery” and then gives you 12-16 ways to prepare it. I love it, especially in the summer.

    • anon a mouse :

      The Moosewood cookbooks should have some good options for you.

    • It sounds like you want a french vegetarian cookbook. So maybe look for something provincial or Mediterranean diet?

      • French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Desulier, and Change of Appetite by Diana Henry are beautiful and helpful in this regard.

      • French Vegetarian Cookbook (that’s the title) by Paola Gavin

      • Equestrian Attorney :

        The French Market Cookbook by Clothilde Dusoulier, a French blogger who lived in the US, is great for French vegetarian. You can also check out her blog Chocolate and Zucchini, although it has a variety of recipes (including non veg).

    • How to Cook Everything Vegetarian – Mark Bittman. It’s like the bible in my kitchen.

    • All things Ottolenghi. More middle eastern than “country style” but the dishes you’re asking for are in his books and are wonderful. I pick them up over and over.

      • How do you manage to actually make any of the recipes in Ottolenghi’s cookbooks? I keep a very well stocked pantry and spice cabinet, and have access to a good variety of fresh meats and produce, but every time I want to cook something from “Plenty” there is some unicorn ingredient that I can’t omit or substitute. Literally the only thing I’ve managed to make from there was the savory tarte tatin (which was AWESOME, BTW).

        I’m a proficient cook comfortable with a large range of techniques and ingredients, and his are the only cookbooks I encounter this with, and I keep trying because the recipes look so good.

        So… forgive my rant, but how do you manage???

        • I think Ottolenghi himself has heard this complaint a lot, because he has a new cookbook called something like “Simple” coming out in the fall! I am totally looking forward to it, for the reasons you mention.

        • Anonymous :

          What are you having trouble finding?

          I don’t actually find this that challenging. I got sumac in the international aisle at the grocer (and add it to my hummus) and I make the eggplant from the cover of Plenty regularly and have made things from his other cookbooks as well.

          • Sorrel is the big one. Anise flavored liqueur…. again, not something I’d normally stock, until I want to make something from Plenty. I need to suck it up and make some preserved lemon, as it features prominently in his recipes that I’d like to make. Honestly, that seems to be the biggie. I plan on planting a pomegranate tree soon, so in a few years, hopefully that won’t be a problem. Of course it’s available at the grocery store, but I never have one around the house when the urge to make something requiring one strikes.

            It’s chanterelle season here, so I need to get some of that anise liqueur and do some version of the wild mushroom parcel soon.

    • If you haven’t already checked it out, SmittenKitchen blog sounds like a good fit.

    • Thanks everyone!! These sound great.

    • if you don’t have Joy of Cooking, start there. It’s a classic for a reason. It’s my most stained, beat-up cookbook (with excellent cookie recipes too!) and I’ve now owned three editions of it.

  12. Talk to me about Soma. I’ve seen it recommended on here multiple times before and bit the bullet and placed some orders. Loved everything I have ordered so far, but I have had some issues. One pair of underwear in the Embraceable line already has a hole in it after two washes, and the order I just received is missing 3 items and everything was to be shipped together. Has this happened to anyone else? Or am I just having a run of bad luck with my first two orders?

    • Have you called customer service? I typically buy in-store and have had good luck in general with both bras and underwear. I typically don’t judge the company on a mistake or two, or a mis-manufactured pair of undies, but how they fix it when I kindly/calmly call and explain the issue.

    • Yikes! All of my underwear is from there and I haven’t had the issues you describe. Some of my pairs are probably 7 years old and only really beginning to show some wear. I’ve never had a pair from them get a hole so quickly. I would definitely contact customer service about your issues and see what they’ll do for you. I hope this is just a one-off issue because I love them!

    • Ugh, in mod, check back. Basically, I haven’t had these issues and I would complain!

    • I don’t get the love others have for Soma. I tried the no VPL gripper undies twice – after the seams started pulling out after fewer than 6 washings (in lingerie bags, hung to dry). I’m a size 8 in bottoms and bought size large so I don’t think it was a sizing issue. Thought maybe I had a bad batch (I’d bought several pair, most were going through the same thing) and bought more. Same problem. Did some google searching for a brand I’d bought on recommendation from someone here many years ago and was thrilled to find them again: Naomi & Nicole is the brand and I love them – they hold up much better than Soma IMO.

    • Panda Bear :

      I’ve always had good experiences with them. I love the ‘vanishing edge’ undies. I do find they hold up best, though, if I wash them in a mesh back and dry them on a rack. I haven’t tried anything from the embraceable line, so can’t comment on that.

    • In mod also but I’ve had similar quality issues…:(

    • How do you wash your underwear?

      For all of my nicer underwear (ie. anything that doesn’t come in a 6 pack), I wash in the delicate cycle, in a mesh delicates bag, and hang to dry. I have a front loader washer. I buy Soma and have never once had a hole/issues.

      If your washer is a top loader agitator, it is easy to tear holes in clothes.

    • That’s so interesting. I wash Soma panties in hot water in an old school agitating washer and dry them in the dryer. I bought these in January and so far, no issues. They are the ones with the rubber gripper strip on the edges.

      • They definitely wont last as long washing that way.

        I’ve had mine for 5 years. Not sure how often people replace, but mine are just like new.

    • I have two batches of Soma vanishing edge undies – one from 2013 and one from 2017. They’re both in near-perfect condition. On the 2013s, the only problem is one leg elastic has lost its stretch and one row of grippy came unglued. My 2017s still look like new. And I just wash and dry them normally with the rest of my clothes.

  13. I’m transitioning into more of role that has more exposure to business analytics than the roles I’ve held in the past. Are there any resources that people can recommend to get up to speed quickly on the lingo and core concepts?

    • Panda Bear :

      I haven’t taken any, but always see options on Coursera for business analytics topics that look interesting. They usually run for about 4-6 weeks, though, so not sure if that is quick enough.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        You don’t have to do them over 4 weeks necessarily! I’m doing a Coursera course on Bayesian statistics and it’s letting me work ahead if I want (there are only a couple hours’ worth of work for each “week”; ymmv depending on the course and your other commitments).

    • Not sure where you are transitioning from into analytics.

      Depending on where you are coming from and what type of analytics you will be doing, topics like data cleansing, data validation and visualization are good. Trends to look into: visualization software, proscriptive vs predictive, analysis programs.

      • Anonymous :

        “cleansing”? “proscriptive”? girl, no. you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

        • Data cleansing is a thing. It’s literally the first thing you need to do when you get the data.

  14. I have looked back through the archives on campaigning for local office, but I just launched my own campaign for county board! Running blue in a very Catholic/Republican community.

    For those who have run, what worked best for you? What were your favorite and worst parts?

    • I didn’t run myself but a family member did and I managed a lot of the campaign. The emphasis on fundraising was . . . not fun. Good luck to you!

      • Yeah, that part isn’t great, but I’m in a small enough city that more energy and time rather than money are needed. And, I was recruited by the county party to run, so have access to their (limited) resources.

    • Congratulations on putting yourself out there! It’s challenging and rewarding. Reach out to local groups, but if you can, I found Run for Something the most helpful, closely followed by my local Progressive organization.

      I set up my campaign website first (on Squarespace, but there are free platforms I think through ActBlue), then a Facebook page and twitter. I used the business plan on Squarespace to collect donations, again, you can do this for a different fee structure through ActBlue, but for me it was more efficient and economical to go through the Squarespace plan.

      To win, knock doors, knock doors, and then knock more doors! It would be hard to overemphasize this. I used NGP VAN’s data set, and their mobile app, to cut turf and track voter contacts. I knocked ever registered voter at least once, and some as many as seven times, and that’s what put me over the top in the election.

      Knocking doors was also my favorite part, and keeping track of everything was the worst part. By that I mean managing literature, the website, scheduling social media posts, coordinating volunteers, fundraising, etc. If you can, get a campaign manager. If you can’t get one or two strong volunteers and put them in charge of one thing each. Whatever that thing is, let it go and they have total control over it. I had one volunteer managing other volunteers to take door knocking shifts, and one managing all my web presence, which freed me up to do the turf cutting & voter tracking, and to knock more doors.

      My pitch was short and to the point, “I’m running for city council to increase the transparency and responsiveness of local government, what issues are important to you?” Giving people a chance to talk about their priorities is important, and you’ll start to see the themes and can shape your campaign around that. I got to a point where I had three major issues (transparency, transportation, and schools) and most issues people brought up I could steer back into one of my talking points. E.g. “I can’t get this pothole filled” well I’m proposing a 311 system to make it easier to get services in your neighborhood.

      This turned into a bit of an essay so I’m going to stop here, but I am happy to answer questions about my experience, and am committed to paying it forward and empowering other people to run for office!

      • Thanks for all this wonderful advice! I am, of course, a crazy mix of exhilarated and terrified!

        Regarding NGP VAN– I’m in a very small city in a rural area. How extensive would their data be in such small markets? Is it going to be significantly better than the local voter rolls for the three precincts I’m campaigning in? (Which locally tell us which elections they’ve voted in and which party’s ballot they pulled in primaries.)

        Canvassing is definitely the only way I’m going to have a chance. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the experience! I’m kind of an awkward dork, so hopefully that plays well as a candidate.

        I have one core issue (residential recycling pickup, which is a thing our community has never had and is the purview of the county board locally) that I have worked in a volunteer leadership capacity for the past year and half. I plan to run on that issue plus a commitment to public health and safety, the two primary functions of our board aside from overseeing county employee/union negotiations.

      • Oops, it appears my original reply disappeared into the ether.

        Lots of great advice, thank you!

        Regarding NGP VAN: How useful is their data compared to the voter rolls our county party has from the clerk’s office? (These list all registered voters in each of my three precincts, which elections they’ve voted in recently, and which party’s ballot they pulled in primaries.) I’m in a super small city in a rural area, fwiw.

        Canvassing is, clearly, going to be the only possible path to victory for me. And so, I’m happy to hear it was your favorite part! I’m a bit of an awkward dork, but I’ve worked very hard on a volunteer citizen action group that I created a 1.5 years ago that is the reason for my campaign. So, I’m looking forward to talking to people about the work I’ve done on the issue and *hopefully* rally support to get me into an office where I can push it over the finish line.

        • Anonymous :

          Not the person above (posted below, actually), but NGP VAN is a state-wide thing. They pull voter registration data from state & county election board but the interface is what makes it useful. You can input data through their app while you’re canvasing (or volunteers can) and then pull lists based on who’s supporting you or if you need to try and reach them again, make notes, etc. Use that data and talk to your state democrat party. I’m in a RED state & ours offers training, support & can help you get volunteers.

          • Ah okay! That’s exactly what I needed to know/understand. Will be getting into that! Thanks.

    • Door to door and making a personal connection with people is the best way to get them to crossover from their typical party line vote.

    • I’m not running but I’m interested in voting for blue candidates in a red area. I find a lot of them on through groups I already follow/support, like Run for Something, Off the Sidelines, SwingLeft, and Moms Demand/Everytown. I highly recommend you try to get the support of these types of groups – they will put you on their websites and local supporters of the groups can find you.

    • Anonymous :

      knock doors strategically. If you’re a registered dem, the democrats have a voter tool called NGP VAN. In my state, you “buy” access to the database through the state democratic party. They have trainings. use the data to talk to voters that are 1) undecided or 2)100% for you, so they know they have someone to vote for and could become volunteers or donors.

      Don’t waste time talking to folks who aren’t going to vote for you no matter what, but if you’re running in a red district, you’re going to have to talk to republican voters. The races where my candidate has won in these situations, we focus on community-wide issues that impact everyone (so here, our county commissions deal with roads/bridges, safety, county jail, etc.) so we run on that. We stay away from social issues that would likely lose voters because they then become one-issue voters.

      Don’t focus too much on events. Being at events as a candidate is fun, and some are worth it, but most are not. Spend that time knocking doors (really!). Local races are won & lost on the doors.

      Good Luck!

  15. Does anyone here have social anxiety, and if so, how are you working through it? I have had it since college, and it definitely prevents me from trying new things or doing things I would like to do. I am a huge perfectionist as well, which I think is where this stems from. I am curious to hear from anyone who has coped with this to hear what strategies have worked for you.

    • Have you tried therapy? That’s where I’d start.

    • Yup! I have all of your issues.

      Therapy is absolutely the best for our combination of issues. This is part of our personality that we were born with and that our childhood experiences further ingrained in us. It is rough to deal with long term and frequently leads to depression and other illnesses, so it is great to nip it in the bud now. In therapy, you can learn valuable coping/CBT strategies to help deal with it.

      Meanwhile, if that sounds intimidating to you (and it is for all of us!), start getting regular exercise in (or at least a vigorous walk at lunch or after dinner daily), start writing a brief brief gratitude journal every night that focuses the on the little things (3 good things about my day – that’s it! Takes 1 minuyte), download the Headspace App and learn a basic mindfulness relaxation mediation or two, and finally….. order the Anxiety workbook on Amazon.

      Or just see the therapist. Easier!!

    • Yup. I go to therapy, take some anti-anxiety medication, and throw myself into uncomfortable situations on a regular basis, then practice self care after to recharge (and occasionally lick my wounds). It’s a long process of ‘rewiring’ your brain, but it’s worth it.

  16. Is there any kind of service out there where you can pay a trusted person to stay with you after a medical procedure, drive you if needed? How to older folks handle this if they don’t have a partner/kids, their partner is too old them self etc? Hypothetical question triggered out of anxiety.

    • Yes absolutely. There are surgical recovery facilities that provide all of this care. I believe Senior Associate has written about her experience using one.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, you can either hire someone to come to your home or stay in a recovery facility (they will transport you). I used this one after my tummy tuck and it was great:

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      In the old days, if you were rich, you would offer room and board + a stipend to a hard-up unmarried daughter of a friend or cousin.

      I’m not aware of any kind of official service, but I would ask on my neighborhood/church listserv if I needed this (we get a lot of “who can watch my kids”/”who can interpret for a refugee at the hospital”/”who can drop me at the airport” requests as well as meal trains).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      There are also home health services that provide non-medical health care. They can’t give you meds but they can help you get dressed, cook you a meal, take you to the pharmacy. Usually you have to pay out of pocket for them though. Google Home Helpers.

    • Coach Laura :

      Local agencies that supply home health aides would do this too if you’re not in Senior Attorney’s neighborhood. You can use an agency, perhaps interview them ahead of time. The agency screens for background and perhaps driving records if you want them to drive you. They can help you bathe and cook you food. These are usually certified nurse’s aides licensed/registered with the state after taking a course. My daughter did this while getting her bachelors degree in nursing.

  17. Knocking on doors! You will obviously need some fundraising, but don’t get so caught up in the money that you don’t do the hard stuff like going door to door. I’ve seen candidates with very little funds up against candidates with war chests do well just because they got out and pounded the pavement.

    • With almost no concentration on fundraising, I’ve gotten about $1,000 for a VERY small market. The county party has several times that to spend (and potential for a large grant from the Den gov candidate’s PAC), and as one of only 5 Dems running in the entire county, we’ll be able to share resources well.

      I’m hoping to have enough volunteers to always have someone to knock doors with me, as well as in teams of their own. Hoping to have 5 truly reliable canvassers to help me cover my small district.

  18. Would you run in a 10K if you’re feeling generally unwell? Tired, naueous, achey, headachey for a couple days?

    It’s my first one and I’m not really an expert runner but I don’t want to feel worse or get sick or anything.

    Thanks all!

    • When is the race? Are you stressed about it? Are these the kind of symptoms you get when you are stressed/worried?

      I ask because the symptoms are a little vague/non-specific and could be stress related or could be an acute illness

      Do you know why you are feeling unwell?

      • It is tomorrow. And I am a bit stressed about it but also don’t care about my time, I just want to finish it.

        I workout a lot so I’m used to pushing through but these aren’t normal symptoms for me.

        I guess I may as well go, and take it easy if I feel terrible halfway through. I’m going to try to hydrate as much as I can today.

        thanks all.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          I wouldn’t if these aren’t normal symptoms for you! Especially nausea, and especially if it’s warm, that sounds like a great way to delay/hinder your recovery AND vom all over your sneakers. :(

        • Honestly, if you’re not a runner and your stomach hasn’t improved by tomorrow, then no, don’t do it. Running can be a little tough on the digestive system and I’ve ended up feeling much worse when I’ve tried running with the symptoms you describe.

          There’s a general rule of thumb for runners that you can run with above-the-neck symptoms, but you should rest if your symptoms are below the neck. Usually applies to your lungs, but hey, your stomach is also below the neck.

          • +1, as a runner. It’s just not worth it to make yourself miserable. Is there another 10k in the next month or so that you could do instead?

          • Yes, unless it was a race distance and type I could not easy replicate in the short term (there are tons of road 5ks and 10ks during the summer, for example), I would sit it out.

            FWIW, I am also a runner.

    • If you’re coming down with a cold then you should probably skip the race and use the time to rest instead.

    • If the weather is nice and I don’t feel too crummy, I would do it, but I also wouldn’t care about my time.

    • I would do it, but everyone is different.

    • anon a mouse :

      A serious runner friend always says that if the symptoms are all above the neck (cough, congestion), you’ll be fine. But if there are any symptoms below the neck (lungs, gastric, aches, etc) you should sit it out.

  19. It’s a bad idea to walk ~5 miles on a sprained ankle right? I sprained my ankle about a week ago. It didn’t swell until the next day, so it wasn’t a bad sprain. I’ve been elevating it and mostly staying off it (and not wearing heels) and the swelling went down. I worked out this morning (just lifting! not even running) and now it’s a little swollen. I took some Advil and I’m trying to elevate it as much as possible at work. I was planning to go to an event tonight that will involve a lot of walking… but now I’m thinking maybe I need to pass?

    • Probably. I would.

      If you feel you can’t….. ice it really well before walking. Take ibuprofen/advil before you walk. Ice it really well when you get home.

    • Yes obviously.

    • It will prolong your recovery. Ultimately it’s up to you, but I would not do this.

      • Horse Crazy :

        +1. Even if you don’t feel a ton of pain now, and it’s not very swollen now, it will make things worse in the long run. I injured my foot/ankle while I was skiing last year, and I kept skiing for the rest of the weekend because it didn’t hurt much. I deeply regret that now – I still have a lot of problems from continuing to ski. I definitely wouldn’t walk.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – There’s a reason that the care for a sprain is to stay off it.

    • So have you seen a doctor about this? What you are describing is not “not a bad sprain.” Your swelling really should have gone away in about 2-3 days, even though you would have had some weakness after that if it was “just a sprain.”

      I’ve sprained my ankle maybe half a dozen times (combination of clumsiness and an undiagnosed tendinitis issue from running), and the sprains that were “not bad” tended to be most painful at the beginning, like could not walk at all and needed crutches bad, but then normally cleared up within a few days. For example, the first time I did this, I was running within a week. In contrast, another time, I turned my ankle running, actually ran part of the way back and really did not feel anything for a day or so. There was not much swelling. I couldn’t flex my foot though and had light swelling for the next few months. Turns out I had strained my tendon in addition to spraining the ligament in the ankle. The doctor I went to that time said that it was not uncommon for people to injure their tendon with an ankle sprain and that like I had noticed, more serious injuries tended to not be as bad at the beginning. (He had an explanation for this that I don’t remember right now.)

      That being said, if you foot is still swollen, which it really shouldn’t be, any walking you are doing on it is only going to cause more damage to your foot. You can try using a compression sleeve to see if that helps, and it may help prevent swelling/unsteadiness with more activity (sort of normal), but if your foot is just swollen now with you not doing any activity, that kind of suggests to me that you have a more serious injury than a minor sprain.

      • Thanks for this information! Yeah the swelling was gone before my workout this morning but now after the workout it’s a little swollen; not as much as it was the day after the injury but noticeable. My trainer thinks I bruised the bone. He has a master’s (I forget in what…) and is a licensed physical therapist as well, he just prefers personal training. I just wish I’d asked him if it’s ok to walk a lot today! Didn’t notice the swelling until I got to work. I’ll mention it to him when I see him on Monday.

        I’ll look into the compression sleeve – thanks!

    • Yes you should skip the event. Are you wearing a compression sock or anything? If you’re not, you might do that for a couple weeks. It will help it heal.

    • If it is something you really want to go to, you could rent a knee scooter to get around. If you are going with friends, you could also rent a wheelchair to get from stop to stop.

  20. Hey all! This situation feels so petty but… A few weekends ago I helped a good friend move houses. That friend has three small children, and her family does not have the money to hire movers. So I flew out to help with babies, boxes, etc. I have another friend who lives locally and moved the weekend before. She and her husband both work, have no kids, and could hire local movers if they wanted. I never offered to help them move. Friend B has made several comments about how I offered to fly across the country to help friend A move but never offered to drive across town to help her. I think that’s so silly so I’ve just ignored the comments. Would you say something back if the comments continue? I don’t feel bad for not helping her move and think it’s ridiculous to feel entitled to that (frankly, I am 30 years old with a full life and don’t intend to help all my friends every time they move). Or, am I being unfair to friend B with my time?

    • Why not just tell her that? Tell her that if she was pressed for money and needed someone to watch her baby during the moving process, you’d help her out, too.

    • I would! I would just say “I’m sorry you feel that way. I made an extraordinary effort for her because she really needed my help.”

    • You’re not being unfair. Friend B is being rude.

    • Nope, not unfair. If the comments continue, I’d say something similar to what you said here: three small kids, finances are tight, and you wanted to help out where you could. If you also were interested in having a chance to visit with your out-of-town friend and her kids, if that motivated part of your trip, of course I’d add that as well.

      I suspect Friend B’s comments are coming from a place of being a little bit hurt, and it sounds like Friend B is also a good friend. In that case, I would keep that in mind and offer to come help decorate, join her in shopping for something that the new place needs, or some other gesture of time to help out with their move after the fact. Even just showing up with a bottle of wine and checking out the new place would be kind.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I would say something. Clearly it bothers her; even if you think you were being totally fair, doesn’t it bother you that your friend is hurt and unhappy? Forbearance for a bit of unreasonableness is part of friendship. Something like “I’m sorry about that; I offered to help A because she was in a bind but you seemed like you had everything under control already.”

    • Actually, I can sympathize with Friend B. I’d be wondering, too, why you hadn’t even offered to help me at all, when you obviously are really good at helping. Even if I didn’t appear to need help, it would have felt good to have a friend offer.

      I know, I don’t have little kids and I do have money. But…sometimes it’s nice to have a friend.

      That doesn’t mean you’re obligated to have helped her or that you should have done so. Just that’s it feels good, sometimes, to have help.

      Signed, the friend who doesn’t appear to need help. But who likes friends.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Yeah, where I live moving is a social/barn-raising event as much as a favor.

        • I grew up in a community like this. Now that I’m a grown up and live in a city, I hire movers. But some of my family seemed legitimately offended that I hired movers instead of asking for help. Cultural expectations are strange.

      • I don’t know. I don’t think Friend B is being a good friend to try and make someone feel guilty because they ‘want’ help when they know their friend just spent a whole weekend helping someone who actually ‘needed’ help.

        Friendship isn’t a competition. Sometimes one friend gets help with one thing, and someone else with someone else.

        Friend B’s sense of entitlement is out of line. It says a lot about who they are as a person that they are repeatedly trying to make you feel bad about this.

    • I don’t think you did anything wrong but it sounds like you are closer to Friend A than Friend B and if Friend B thought otherwise it’s understandable for her to feel a little hurt. She shouldn’t be constantly bringing it up though.

    • Thoughts – Friend B could have also asked for your help if she had wanted it. When I moved, I invited friends over to help me unpack, but not to move. Because I can pay people to do that and don’t have to organize people to haul stuff.

      I get that Friend B is seeing the parallels between herself and Friend A, but…it didn’t bother her that you didn’t help B move until after she found out that you helped A move? That’s what’s bugging me about the scenario. Like other posters said, just explain to B that A seemed to be in a position that need more help, so you offered. If you feel like it, offer to help B unpack or paint or something else new house related.

    • I think your response depends on how much you value Friend B’s friendship. If she’s a close friend, then yeah just say what you said here – other friend really needed help and you guys seemed to have it together! Maybe ask if there’s anything you can do now and/or offer to bring a bottle of wine over so she can show you around her new place.

      But the fact that your knee jerk is to just ignore her suggests maybe she’s not a very close friend? And that you don’t care that much if she’s upset with you? Which is fine, it’s not your responsibility to manage someone else’s feelings, you didn’t do anything wrong here. But if someone tells you their feelings are hurt and you ignore them, that’s going to affect your relationship.

  21. Nordstrom Personal Shopper :

    Interested in getting recommendations for a Nordstrom personal shopper in the Chicago area. I’m considering scheduling an appointment and would like to get names of stylists with whom anyone might have had either a great or bad experience. I live closest to Oak Brook but would go to any of their Chicago or suburban stores.

    • Midwest Gal :

      By chance anyone has recommendations for a personal shopper at the Milwaukee (Mayfair Mall) store, I also would appreciate it.

      I grew up near the Oak Brook store, and it’s amazing.

    • Would you consider Trunk Club? I’ve had a great experience having in-person appointments at the Trunk Club in Chicago. All the benefits of Nordstrom and their personal shoppers, but with a glass of wine.

    • I’ve posted before about my fantastic experiences with Jessica Spencer at the Michigan Ave store! She’s wonderful and I’ve basically outsourced all my shopping research to her.

  22. Help me find a less expensive version of my AGL flats! :

    I have a pair of AGL flats that is on their last legs, and I’m trying to find a replacement that is hopefully less pricey. My flats are black leather with a black patent leather toe cap and a metal bar detail across the toe. I would describe the toe shape as almond (not pointy but not as round as I’ve seen on some other flats), and they have a one inch covered wedge which makes them look a little more structured than a typical ballet flat.

    Any ideas for other flats or mini-wedges along these lines? The AGL leather is so buttery that the shoes didn’t need any breaking in, and I realize that might not be realistic for a cheaper pair, but it sure would be nice…

    • Help me find a less expensive version of my AGL flats! :

      My current shoes look similar to these but with a one-inch covered wedge —

    • I buy AGLs on eBay (I know my size) and I end up saving $100 or more per pair.

      That said, black flats rarely come up on eBay because they are the most classic and simplest. If solid black is what you want, either ante up for the ones you love (they really are just pennies per wear when you figure it all out) or take them to your best shoemaker for refurbishing. I had my black AGLs redone in the last sixty days. It was $135 (Midwest MCOL city) at the best shoemaker I go to and included new soles, new heels, redying the leather, patching a spot in the lining and buffing up the patent toes. They look and feel like new!

      • Ugh, reply to AGL flats above.

      • Legally Brunette :

        I bought AGLs on eBay to save money and they were very uncomfortable. Not sure if it was a knock off or what but they felt nothing like my AGLs. Such a waste of money.

        Not the same style, but I stopped buying AGLs due to price and now wear Dr. Scholl’s flats. They are very simple and sleek and very comfortable to boot.

    • PSA – the classic black AGL flats are $139.99 on E.G. Geller right now, many sizes available. At that price, paying shipping is worth it.

      • Help me find a less expensive version of my AGL flats! :

        Oooohh this is an amazing tip, thank you! They unfortunately don’t carry my size 11. The curse of having big feet.

    • The Cole Haan Elsie (not the tali) is my favorite, and might suit your needs:,channel:online&gclid=Cj0KCQjwx43ZBRCeARIsANzpzb_Hc9ah6mwE2jeXF1Lo4i7N7YXVEBYWowX_SQ30i_wblMmk5v4VHicaAv-sEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

      • Help me find a less expensive version of my AGL flats! :

        Thanks, I just ordered these! Final sale, but only $40, so I have high hopes.

    • I have these shoes too and I love them. I haven’t found an alternative that is nearly as nice….however. The Nordstrom Anniversary sales is coming up in July. They always have at least one if not more option from AGL that are around 33% off. Still pricey, but easier to swallow with a bit of a discount, I think.

  23. Biglaw stealth layoff :

    I have been told to find a new job due to “performance” reasons. I find it odd that this happens the same week we get a salary raise. Our firm has been really slow this past year so everyone was surprised by the raise. Anyway, I have a few months left but what do I do now? I just came back from a clerkship less than a year ago so I feel it might look bad when I interview for another firm position. In hindsight, I wish I had asked around to find out how slow the firm has been before I decided to come back. I didn’t even bother interviewing with the firms at the clerkship receptions because I assumed that this firm would be busy. Don’t make my mistakes!

    • Call a recruiter today; spend the weekend polishing your resume; spend Monday calling every single person you know. Make finding a job your full time job. Depending on your finances cut whatever nonessentials you can.

      • This plus reach out to the judge you clerked with to see if there are other connections/opportunities they are aware of. They may not think of you for something they hear about if they think you are happy at your current firm.

    • I hate to say it, but I think a lot of this will be happening now. The raise will just push people who aren’t the chosen ones out faster.

      Sorry this is happening to you.

    • Anonymous :

      What year are you?

      I’m so sorry. Set up some recruiter calls for next week. Tell your judge!! Btw – fine to throw your firm under the bus by saying they aren’t busy and thus pressuring people to leave. You don’t have to protect your firm. I suspect you also commented below – drop some of the pro bono or if it can’t, let others run it. I’d still do the promised work for seniors bc at my firm, if they give you x months and you drop work that’s pending, they can get rid of you sooner. You can decline new work but don’t drop pending assignments even if you do them quick.

    • This sucks, and I’m so sorry. I recommend taking the weekend to engage in some self care the same way you would if you were hit with a large personal loss and avoid making any big decisions or announcements until after then. Once the shock has passed, I hope that you’ll realize that this decision doesn’t at all speak to your professional abilities. You’re still the same outstanding attorney who is entitled to a glowing review–your firm now just can’t afford you. Your colleagues, other law firms, your judge, and recruiters will all understand this because this is the very nature of law firms.

      I would ease into your job search starting next week by brushing up your resume and then reaching out to your contacts. Every firm is different, but I think that continuing to come to the office during the “core hours” (9:30-5 in my firm) is a good idea to avoid rocking the boat if it takes several months to get a new job. Of course, feel free to schedule networking coffees, lunches, etc. over top of those hours. I doubt that you’ll be asked to take on new work and you should feel comfortable declining it if you are asked, but I think it’s a good idea to follow through on the short-term commitments you’ve made so far. You might find the pro bono work a welcome and rewarding break from job-searching, but you shouldn’t feel compelled to oversee it just because you brought it in the door. Again, I’m so so sorry.

    • I will go a little against the grain on this, as someone this has happened to. You _must_ find a new job before your firm kicks you off the website. Leaving without another job lined up is a horrid stank that will make it very hard for you to ever return to biglaw. (Recruiters will confirm this.) Be honest with at least one recruiter (recommended by friends) that you have a timeline, and it wasn’t performance-based–it’s because your group wasn’t busy. The recruiter will understand there’s a fire to find something new.

      I also agree that this is bunk and hurtful. You are still smart and capable and you should tell yourself that. Don’t let this affect your self esteem. The best revenge is landing somewhere awesome. Focus on that.

  24. I really want a black tank/swing dress to replace one I have that is on its last legs. Specifically, I want this one: but don’t have anything else I want to get free shipping and have had issues with Grana sizing before.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a swing dress that is a true swing dress (not fitted in the hips) and cotton or at least partly cotton? I have had terrible problems with pilling and wrinkles from the other swing dresses I have that are rayon/viscose and would prefer something a bit more durable.

    • Old Navy has a ton of dresses this style. Not sure if they have solid black at the moment, but worth checking out.

      • +1 to the Old Navy jersey swing dresses. I haven’t had any problems with wrinkling or pilling. I was them on the gentle cycle and air dry.

        • Anonymous :


          Great item for the money. I wouldn’t care about cotton though. So soft, so flattering, so easy care.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks! I will give it a try. My last ones that did not hold up at all were from Loft, and I think in my mind I felt like the problem was the rayon/price. But I think the problem is Loft more than anything.

    • I have a Lord & Taylor black version that has pockets and several of the Old Navy ones, that don’t. The fabric doesn’t drape as nicely, but for the price, the Old Navy ones are flattering and comfortable.

  25. FREE CLE?? :

    About two months ago, someone posted a link to free CLE? Was it PLI? Or something else? I need .25 more hours of ethics….. sigh.

    • Bloomberg offers a few free ones each month. Not sure how many are ethics (or if any are).

    • Sunflower :

      Attorneycredits dot com isn’t free, but it’s really, really cheap. Also check with your professional liability insurance carrier. It may offer free CLE to insureds.

  26. Another Current question :

    My DH and I have been looking for “blackout” curtains for our bedroom. The problem is that we have a patio door, which I have been able to find curtains that will fit, but we also have 2 smaller windows. I have not been able to find smaller curtain to match the patio curtain. Would it look strange to use blackout shades for the smaller windows and buy a blackout curtain for the patio?

  27. To the poster yesterday looking for a dehumidifier:

    My former condo was essentially the walkout basement of a 1940s building. It felt pretty damp all the time, and I didn’t want to run the A/C constantly (esp since I didn’t have central air and the units were very noisy). I’ll post the link below of a dehumidifier I bought on Amazon. I was really pleased with it and it was incredibly easy to use. I plugged it in in the hallway next to the bathtub so that I could easily pour it out when it got full. My condo was 900 sq ft, in Virginia (so, humid), and I got a 50 pint that I dumped about every 24-36 hours.

  28. I’m too embarrassed to tell them what happened. I have only been back for less than a year at this job. My last evaluation (3 months ago) was glowing.

    • You need to get over the embarrassment or you won’t find a job. You don’t have to tell anyone it was performance related. The firm ‘wasn’t a good fit’ and you are exploring other opportunities.

    • Tell them what you’ve told us!

  29. I’m too embarrassed to tell them what happened. I have only been back for less than a year at this job. My last evaluation (3 months ago) was glowing.

    Also, I feel ashamed coming to work now and facing people on the pro bono matters that I just brought in. On top of that, some unknowing senior associates have asked me to work on their client pitches, and I had already agreed before I had this meeting.

    • Anonymous :

      Use your opportunities. Do a great job for the senior associates on the client pitches so that the senior associates can give you a positive reference or they have a great impression of you and recommend you to a contact they know is hiring.

  30. Should I still come to work then? If I stop showing up and just work remotely on finding a job everyday, people in my hallway will likely suspect. If I apply to jobs and call contacts from the office, people might overhear me. I also feel less productive whenever I am at the office now for inexplicable reasons.

    • I swear this is good advice: focus on work as much as you can today. Get a nice bottle of wine on your way home, cook whatever your preferred comfort food is, put on a movie, and snuggle your pet (if you have one). If you’re an extrovert, meet your friends for wine and dinner.

      Get some good sleep. Work out tomorrow. Then, once it’s settled in a bit, re-read the advice here.

    • Anonymous :

      Tough love – this isn’t about you as you, it’s purely a numbers game for the firm. You’ve got to not internalize it and try not to take it so personal, it’s not. People in big law know this happens and there isn’t anything to be embarrassed about.

      Be sad today, but then shake it off and realize that sad doesn’t help you get a new job.

    • Coach Laura :

      Yes, show up to work. You don’t have to work 8-5 in the office every day but continue to fulfill responsibilities and work on those client pitches if asked. Keeping busy will help you stop thinking too much.

      Do you have an office door to close? If yes, close the door when talking to people/recruiters/networking contacts. If not, can you reserve a conference room or use an unused office? Is someone going on vacation – ask to use their office. There should be somewhere you can take/make calls without being overheard. If not, then schedule calls for 8a.m. or 5:30p.m. and make the calls at home.

      Get comfortable framing your separation as a “firm” issue not a “my performance” issue. Obviously if you had a good review three months ago, it’s not you it’s them.

      Most people will understand. Have faith. Make a plan. Work the plan. You’ll make it.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a firm to firm thing. At my firm, there is no expectation that you will continue to come in or do any work and doing so will not extend your time

    • Anonymous :

      “for inexplicable reasons.” Nope, not inexplicable at all. It’s very hard to work when there’s no motivation or reward for doing so, and when you’ve just had a blow like loosing your job.

      • I just feel really awkward around my colleagues, and it takes a lot of mental energy just to force myself to go out in the hallway and get water/go to the bathroom. It feels like every partner or senior associate who passes me by knows my situation. Am I being paranoid or is there some truth to this? The partner who delivered the news told me that only the litigation chairs know (it doesn’t help that one of the litigation chairs sits down the hall from my office), but I still get the feeling when I pass by some partners and senior associates that they know I’ve gotten the ax. I also have been avoiding going to happy hours, because I fear that I’ll run into partners and/or senior associates who know my situation, or that people will ask me what I’m working on.

        On the other hand, I know one person in my class who has also been given the axe (a little earlier than me) and who still does not have anything lined up. He has been very proactive about reaching out to people. He emailed a lot of people at the firm to let us know that he plans to leave end of this month and said he would like to grab lunch with people individually before he leaves. He was also very open in his email about not knowing what he is going to do next. I guess I just don’t know if that should be my approach as well.

  31. Thank you all! This is really helpful.

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