Coffee Break: Zala Heels

I was perusing Bloomingdale’s best-selling shoes recently and thought, OH, hey, I know those. Indeed, we’ve featured these pointy-toed, block heeled pumps numerous times before in our hunts for comfortable black pumps and nude-for-you heels — but we’ve never done a Coffee Break just for them. Bloomingdale’s only has them in black and tan suede, but Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon have a ton of colors, including some on sale for as low as $62. I’m picturing the cherry patent ones from Zappos because they’re so purty — but there are TONS of colorful suedes, textured leathers, and even fancy embroidery/lace fabric-covered options. They’re $160 full price, available in sizes 5-11. Marc Fisher LTD Zala Pump

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  1. Has anyone ordered work appropriate dresses through heart my closet on Etsy? I have been eyeing her clothes for years and am thinking about buying one, especially as so many dresses now have too many ruffles, cold shoulder, high waists, etc. Yuck. I love the style of her dresses. Any feedback?

    • I’m eyeing this one:

      • I’ve never seen that shop before, but her clothes are beautiful! How on earth does she do it for only $100 and in 2-3 weeks?!

        • Are there pictures of her actual clothes? I just see pictures of the inspiration. There’s no way a $100 dress is going to turn out as nice as the pictures.

          • Anonymous :

            and ALL of the reviews are 5 stars? Seems unlikely.

            And the comments below about having to add your own ease in the garment measurements is stupid. If you have a tailor/sewer your measurements, I think it’s usually presumed to be your actual body measurements, which they figure out how to apply to a pattern, which should already have the ease/extra room needed to move built in.

            I mean, try it if you want, but don’t get your hopes up.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I am also super curious about this!

    • Anonymous :

      I have. Measurements were tricky. If your hips are 36″ the dress will be 36″ in that area i.e. it will stick to you. Add an inch or 2 for breathing room. Also, no lining and thin fabric. It was not a total fail but I would not do again.

    • I also have–like Anon above, you need to build some “breathing room” into the garmet yourself, not lined, etc.

      Kind of a fail for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I have. Very happy with it.

      Have someone else measure you, keep the tape loose.

      The tailors are based in Vietnam. The dress was well-constructed and I had no complaints on quality.

      My only complaint was fabric. Your only option is a basic twill, which is fine, but I wish I could have ordered stretch wool.

  2. Need to work out :

    I have been trying to figure out an exercise routine that works for me. After trying various things with little success (in terms of how long I am able to stick with it), I have come to the conclusion that working at home might be the best bet.

    Any experience with fitness blender? I was pleasantly surprised to see how many videos are free. Any suggestions on a good one to start with?

    • Following for responses! I have this saved on my phone to eventually use!

      I do enjoy a few kettlebell workouts while my coffee brews/husband takes up bathroom sink in the morning, plus a 20-25 minute walk at lunch, but that’s just never enough.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Love fitnessblender!! They got me started lifting weights. Recommendations depend on how much time / equipment / prior experience you have working out. I’d encourage you to use their website interface – they’ve got a spot to search by level / type of workout (cardio / resistance) / time you have available. In addition they’ve got a couple of 5 day challenges (30 minute workout version and longer ones) that I repeated a bunch of times before purchasing one of their 8 week programs.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Also all their videos are free and 5-80 minutes in length so you can pick your poison. They only charge for the 4/8 week programs where the workouts are sequenced and it’s nominal ($10)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My husband has the Ruthless videos and those are 20 minute workouts that will leave you sweaty.

    • cat socks :

      I have limited time, so I like the workouts under 30 minutes. Some of them don’t have a warm up or cool down, so I’ll create my own playlist with a warm up, the exercise routine and the cool down. They also have plans on their website you can buy, but I haven’t tried those yet.

  3. Newbeee777 :

    I’m trying to make my wedding registry as practical as possible with items that will make life easier as a working lady. Of course, there’s a fancy programmable crockpot. What else am I forgetting?

    • No personal experience, but I have several professional friends who swear by their pressure cookers. Apparently the meat can go in frozen and be cooked in like 20 minutes.

      I like my Ninja blender that can do individual smoothies right in the to go cup. Also love my cold brew pot for making cold brew coffee ahead.

    • A really fantastic iron, if you or your intended iron. Depending on how you commute/work, things to make packing coffee, lunches, office food easier and more pleasant.

      A roomba.

      • CherryScary :

        My sister swears by her mini-steamer. She won’t iron, but loves steaming her stuff.

        I’m still apartment living, and can’t grill, so DH and I registered for a panini press that most nights we end up using for quick grilled chicken or steak.

        • Ooh, good call. We have the Cuisinart Griddler with plates that you can remove, flip over, and put in the dishwasher (and they make waffle iron plates!). It’s glorious.

          • givemyregards :

            that sounds amazing. I’m not even close to getting married, but now I’m currently scheming ways I can get one of these as a gift…(I know I could just buy one for myself but that’s less delightful to ponder)

    • Upgrading from our dinky cheap 2-slice toaster to a nice 4-slice toaster was a game changer.

      Also, I registered for varying shapes and sizes of serving bowls/platters/dishes in the same or similar colors, which seriously upgraded my hostessing abilities. The heated Trader Joe’s or storebought app’s look much better on nicer serving plates and dishes with almost zero effort on our part.

      Lastly, make sure everything is dishwasher safe. Handwashing is the worst.

    • A sous vide (I like my Anova) and vacuum sealer. Your easy coffee system of choice (Keurig, cold brew system, drip machine with a built-in grinder). An automatic pepper mill (sounds ridiculous but a total game changer once you have one). If you have counter space, a toaster oven–we use ours several times a day.

      A good chef’s knife and large cutting board. A good non-stick skillet and a cast-iron skillet.

      Not for the kitchen, but a Roomba?

    • Anonymous :

      A really good vacuum. one of the nice simplehuman trash cans and simple human paper towel holder (both of which received America’s Test Kitchen high ratings). I like the spill proof pyrex food storage items. I don’t know why, but I feel like the glass gets cleaner than traditional Tupperware.

      Also – reallllly nice sheets and towels.

      • +1 to good vacuum (rec’d Hoover below). +1 to simplehuman trash can, especially the kind where you can use normal trash bags (simplehuman has weird-shaped bins so they recommend their own brand of bags to fit the bins without stretching out regular bags). Congrats in advance!

    • I’d do an instant pot over a fancy crock pot since it has a slow cooker option. Otherwise, I’d just consider requesting nicer versions of stuff you already have (sheets, dishes, coffeemaker, etc).

    • Register for nothing. Seriously you don’t need all the extra stuff. Having less stuff will streamline your life and make it easier to clean.

      • Not knowing this poster’s life, storage space, an inventory of her possessions, you don’t know that. She might need the stuff. She might need to replace stuff. Look, I’m all about having less stuff, and what I have being great and useful, but the answer to everything for everyone isn’t…this.

      • nasty woman :

        Where did you register for your crystal ball and your high horse, anon?

      • Besides the fact that this is ridiculous, you’re crazy if you think people will just not get you gifts. Might as well register and have some modicum of control over what you get.

        • Puddlejumper :

          Not saying I agree with the comment about no registry. But I will say we asked for no gifts and got no gifts! We did say if people wanted to they could donate to one or two charities we named or one of their choice and some people did that but many others gave no gift and it was wonderful. We were living in another country and the idea of having to store gifts or transport gifts was truly a headache. And personally, I probably would have also asked for no gifts even if we didn’t have the excuse of the other country. The whole tradition seems very 1800s setting up a new bride with a chest of things for their new home. We were in our late 20s, had lived together for years, we had enough stuff. What about my friends who never marry? Its not fair that they are always giving crazy wedding gifts to everyone.

      • Marry into an Asian family and get cash for gifts. We made money at our wedding even with an open bar.

      • Newbeee777 :

        @ Anon: Not sure what to say or how to interpret your comment. I can say I’m not a fan of having extra stuff that I don’t need around. I’m only registering for the things that I have room for and know I will actually use.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Do you want anything mildly ridiculous but fun? I didn’t register for either of these, because people said “aaah for your wedding i’m buying you this!” but an ice cream maker (did you know you don’t have to turn them by hand any more?!) and a soda stream!

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to the soda stream if you drink la Croix or other fizzy waters. So easy and cheap and so much less waste.

        I cannot get behind the ice cream maker though. Those, waffle irons, and popcorn poppers are all things that sound intriguing, but will never ever get used.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Ah, maybe this is because you don’t know the Top Secret Vegan Ice Cream Recipe: two cans of full fat coconut milk + some sugar + whatever is delicious (strawberries? all the berries?) –> put in ice cream maker –> impress friends and vegans alike!

        • Anonymous :

          I use my waffle iron and popcorn popper all the time! lol

          • Anonymous :

            Ok, that’s hysterical. Does anyone want my popcorn popper? New in box. Cuisinart. Circa 2005.

        • I, uh, have all three of these and use them ALL THE TIME.

        • Anonymama :

          We actually use our waffle iron regularly (we love waffles, the joy of cooking recipe is actually super easy and so so delicious). The popcorn popper goes through phases where it is our go to snack for a while and then goes unused for months.

      • Anonymous :

        Luckily, I convinced my office that if we’re going to buy everyone soda, we can have a healthier La Croix option. My husband has a soda stream in his office and we have one at home.

      • I wouldn’t even call either of those things mildly ridiculous.

      • Newbeee777 :

        I seriously JUST added the soda stream after reading your comment. I love sparkling water and my future hubby likes ginger ale. And we always seem to run out! NOT ANYMORE!

    • A good vacuum (we love and use our Dyson one regularly). A good set of knives if you cook, a large crockpot, a good quality dutch oven (Le Cruset is gorgeous but Lodge works as well), and nice sheets/towels/bath mats. Heavy duty (ie, not cheap thin) metal roasting pans for veggies make it SUPER easy to do one sheet dinners or even just roast veggies regularly. I’d also totally register for either a stand mixer or cuisinart if you do a lot of cooking.

      • +1 to good vacuum. We got one when we exchanged a too-large coffee maker that the groomsmen got my husband. Love the Hoover one that came with a small vacuum for smaller messes. Check out the AMA from a vacuum repairman on reddit.

      • I prefer my mom’s Miele vacuum to my Dyson and I’d get the Miele if I had it to do over again. But mostly I use the Dustbuster.

      • +1 to quality sheet pans and good knives. Real workhorses in our family of 5.
        Quality sheet and towels (I just stick to basic white for both), some good pots and pans.
        I would recommend the Oreck vacuum – so lightweight.

    • We love our Vitamix. Also use our Aerolatte multiple times per day when making coffees (bonus: only $20). If you don’t have nice knives, now is the time to get them.

      • And, FWIW, you’re more likely to get what you register for and want what you get if you get your knives and pots and pans separately rather than in a big extremely expensive set.

      • +1 to the knives. Don’t get a set, though. Pick individual knives. Sets tend to be overpriced and lower quality. A few basic, solid knives (a chef’s knife, a santoku, a paring knife, a serrated knife) will do ya well.

      • +1 to knives. I recommend two chef’s knives, a bread knife, a small utility knife, and whatever else you specifically need. Maybe an electric knife sharpener and a honing steel too (check out The Sweet Home or America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated reviews)

    • Anony Mouse :

      If you consume rice or steel cut oatmeal on a regular basis, a Zojirushi rice cooker will change your life. I have model NS-ZCC10. Put steel cut oats in before bed and they’re ready when I get up; put rice in the cooker and it’s ready for dinner.
      +1 to the SimpleHuman trash can suggestion. We have one in the kitchen and love it.

    • Puddlejumper :

      These have probably been mentioned but:
      Solid knives
      Great vacuum
      travel clothes steamer
      Vita mix blender
      If you have a yard – good yard equipment like a nice lawn mower
      Instant Pot
      Gift cards to the container store to get organizers for your closet

    • Good high-quality luggage.

    • The Le Creuset Every Day Pan is my favorite thing that I received as a wedding gift (via Crate & Barrel registry). I literally use it every. single. day.

      We used wedding $$ to buy a weber spirit grill from lowes, which we have used 5+ times per week (since May)

    • A good toaster oven — such a workhorse for me. You can roast things in the summer without heating up the house, toast any size bread, bake small quantities, etc.

      Travel steamer

      Good chefs knife and paring knife and cutting board

      Extras you’ll actually use and not hate storing (for me that’s my mini food processor, portable blender, rice cooker, bread machine, and programmable electric kettle)

      • Also +1000 to everyone who said Simple Human trash can. They really are the best and I love that my dog can’t get into mine, which has a butterfly lid.

    • If you drink tea or French press coffee, I cannot recommend an electric tea kettle highly enough. I have the variable temp one from breville and it’s amazing. I use mine multiple times a day, sometimes just to boil water faster for cooking a little pasta and it comes in super handy with a baby for sterilizing things quickly.
      If you want a fancy coffee maker, there are some good small espresso makers from nespresso.
      For apartment living, I really like the Jospeh Joseph nesting Tupperware set. It’s also good as a lower price item.
      Same with a mini food processor – I’m too lazy to take out my big one sometimes but the little one is great to speed up dinner prep and down the line – if you have kids – you can use it to purée food for baby. Obviously, if you cook, a big one is also good, if you don’t have.
      If you don’t already have one, I’d add a Le Creuset Dutch oven (again I’m assuming you cook).
      Maybe a roomba to cut down on vacuuming?


    • Late to comment but I find having good tools make cooking sessions on the weekend a joy: get a stellar chef’s knife, paring knife, and a serrated knife – good advice above about not buying a set. Go and try some out, get what fits your hand best. Then several cutting boards in different sizes, including a large one with the juice groove – I love the non-slip epicurean boards, because I’m lazy and they still look new after I’ve put them in the dishwasher 1000x. Dutch oven is great – go for Staub. Le Creuset is also wonderful, but I’d ask for what you’ll use most in All-Clad cookware and save on the dutch oven.

      Once you have those, let me make a plug for the nondescript jelly roll pan in a higher gauge. I use them for all my roasting and freezing, and if we’re being honest, most of my baking, too. The added lip is nice, but the real key is that nothing sticks to them. Get a pair in all the sizes: quarter sheet, half sheet, full sheet.

      Finally…. don’t be afraid to try to return stuff you get and won’t use. I have a friend with a basement full of Pyrex, because she didn’t want to hurt feelings and didn’t return any of the 17 sets she received from two showers and wedding day gifts.

    • Newbeee777 :

      Thanks everyone for the AMAZING suggestions!

    • Silpat mats to put on your cookie sheets – much easier cleanup after baking, roasting, etc.

  4. Shopping Help :

    Vicarious shopping challenge: I need a dress which will flatter an apple shape to wear to an fall evening Bat Mitzvah. The last time I was at a Bat Mitzvah was circa 1996… so not exactly sure what proper attire is here!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Do you know what denomination the family is? I always err conservative for religious things. Where will the party be? I would probably look for an elbow sleeve, knee length, fit and flare dress in a not-too-loud color that looks great on you – navy? wine?

      • Shopping Help :

        It is at a reform synagogue in a very wealthy suburb of a HCOL city. The party is at the synagogue following the ceremony.

        • Following the ceremony? The ceremony should be in the AM at the synagogue, but you said the party was in the evening. I am confused.

          • Shopping Help :

            Yup! I have been to a few others with the same logistics, but not in about 20 years.

          • But…at the Bat Mitzvah you read from the Torah which is taken out Saturday morning and then you talk about your torah portion. So that is done in the AM in front of the whole congregation. Saturday night is after shabbat is over…so you wouldn’t be reading from the Torah. I am very confused. I am used to there being a huge kiddush celebration sponsored by the family right after the ceremony on Saturday for everyone at services and then there being a time break and in the evening a smaller group of people are invited to a fancy party.

          • Shopping Help :

            Thank you for the mansplanation of a question I didn’t ask… I personally became a bat mitzvah in a conservative temple by reading a haftarah portion at a service that was not a saturday morning so maybe it doesn’t only happen the way you are used to.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Wait I’m still confused. It’s like 10am-11am ceremony, 11am-6pm nothing, 6pm-10pm reception?

          So you could change?

    • So I have been to a bar mitzvah at a Reform synagogue in a wealthy suburb of NYC with the party right there at the synagogue too… maybe the same one! I wore a c!cktail dress as did nearly everyone else except the mom wore something more akin to a mother of the bride dress. Mine was blue silk with a ruffly-sorta attached capelet thing so it worked for daytime but certainly there were dresses that with sequins and lace and a more night-time feel, too. I’d say the look was what people would wear to a non-black-tie wedding.

  5. Colorado Day Hiking :

    Flying to Denver this weekend for a wedding in Lyons, CO. We are getting in early Friday morning (7 a.m.) and hope to spend the day doing some light to moderate hiking. The only catch is that we need to be back at the Denver airport at 9 p.m. to pick up another couple. Any suggestions for hikes (or scenic drives) within ~1 hour drive or so from the Denver airport?

    • Red Rocks and Estes Park both fit the bill. Estes Park has more trails, including some more challenging trails.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If you aren’t used to life at altitude, you should do an easier hike, particularly on your first day.

    • Anony Mouse :

      If you want something less crowded, I recommend Panorama Point in Corwina Park. Take the trail from the second parking point. It was a moderate hike that took us about 3 hours round trip, including plenty of time for photos. Then you can drive on to Evergreen (another 5 miles, maybe) for a coffee at the Wildflower Café or a beer at Revival Brews.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Comment’s in moderation, but check out Panorama Point in Corwina Park. A lot less crowded than Red Rocks or Estes Park.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Panorama Point in Corwina Park.

    • Colorado Day Hiking :

      Good call, Blonde Lawyer–we live in the Midwest, so not accustomed to altitude. Looking for recommendations for beautiful, easy hikes! Thanks.

    • Garden of the Gods Park. The drive is about 1.5 hours but there are a lot of trails so you could spend a lot of time or just a little time hiking around. There are good nearby breweries for post-hiking food and beers.

      • Also many of the hikes around there are fairly flat. Drink lots of water to help with altitude!

        • CorporateInCarhartt :

          This. The first thing I buy when I get to Denver (or anywhere else in the Rockies) is gatorade. We usually go straight to hiking the first full day we’re in the Rockies, and this strategy has served me well. Have fun!

    • If you’re not used to the altitude, I would do Boulder’s Chautaqua Park. Gorgeous! Enjoy!

      • +1 to Chautauqua Park in Boulder. It is not as far a drive from the airport as Rocky Mountain National Park or Garden of the Gods, you can pick an easy trail, and you can have a nice lunch/beer at the Chautauqua Dining Hall after your hike.

    • Anonymous :

      I would head toward Boulder/Nederland — there are lots of hiking trails, you could pick one of the flatirons if you like that kind of thing and Boulder is a good brunch or dinner stop. You can also drive from Boulder along I think 119? to 6? (Google Maps will tell you) for a scenic, winding drive that’ll take you from Boulder around in a loop toward Golden, and then head back to the airport. There are better drives, but it’s pretty nice if you’re not from the west and it’s convenient and will keep you closer to Denver. If you go that way, you can make a stop at Golden Gate Canyon state park, where you can get a nice view of the continental divide. There are trails in the park as well, you could feasibly do one short hike closer to Boulder and at Golden Gate.

      I would check the traffic if you plan to venture to RNMP (there is mountain traffic, like how there is shore traffic on the east coast) and it may take longer than you think to drive there. It is definitely the nicest, though. If you had more time, I would say drive to Estes Park, then maybe trough RNMP along trail ridge road to Grand Lake, and back. It would be a lot of driving (at least 6 hours?), as a warning, and I think you may need to pay for entrance.

  6. Anon for This :

    I’m depressed about my social life. I’m the only one of my local friends who doesn’t have kids and, while I like hanging out with people’s kids, that life I don’t have constantly being shoved in my face just gets too much sometimes. How do I meet people in the same boat? I’ve looked at Meet Up but I’m in D.C. and it just feels overwhelming. Every group has thousands of people in it. I’m 34, for what that’s worth.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Are you open to volunteering? The Junior League or even the United Way’s “young professionals” groups are a good way to meet people. While the League in different cities can look different, in mine, it’s half SAHMs and half single 30 somethings – both willing to devote time to hands on volunteerism.

      • Thanks. I am open to volunteering. I guess I always assumed the Junior League was a little preppy for me? Anyone know what it’s like in D.C.?

        • Anonymous :

          I posted below. I was in the JLW and it’s about half lawyers. IIRC, very few SAHMs. Highly recommend.

        • Delta Dawn :

          I have a close friend who is in the JLW and loves it– she is 32, single, lawyer, no kids. She’s never said if that’s common among the group, but I know she likes the other women in JLW and hangs out with them outside of those events.

        • AttiredAttorney :

          I like checking out an organization’s facebook page to get a feel for the members. The members in the pictures on the Junior League of Washington’s fb page don’t look all that preppy to me.

          Also, depending on where you went to school, your alumni association might be a good way to fill social time. My SEC alma mater has a HUGE and very active AA in DC. Even though I’m not based there, I sometimes go to their happy hours if they overlap when I’m in town.

          And last idea, have you checked into DC’s State Societies? Basically, every state has “state society” in DC that connects people who are originally from that state or who just love that state. Oftentimes these are happy hours, lunches, volunteer events, or ticketed parties featuring lots of food from that state. Just google ” yourhomestate State Society” and the right on should pop up.

          • United Way Affinity Group :


        • When I was in your shoes a couple years ago, I also got the advice to check out the JLW. The thing is, their work is either exclusively or primarily (depending on the chapter) done with low income children (school supplies, school lunches, winter coats). While that’s a super worthwhile focus, it’s a lot of nurturing/mothering/caring that didn’t fit me. Not that I can’t be those things, just that that’s not my default personality. My friends who are in the JLW are the same friends who are still big into their sororities (they’re in their late 30s/early 40s). Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that it’s not me.

          I ended up adopting a dog and joining the board at church. The dog hasn’t helped me meet as many people as everyone says, but church has been a great place to get involved (so I stopped being so aware of my loneliness/spare time and started feeling useful). I’ve also met some casual “come over for a cookout” type friends, but no potential besties.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried DC’s private clubs? Our alumni group is always having events at various ones and usually the alumni host is happy to sponsor younger members (younger being about your age). Lots of fun weekday activities that are kid free. More women than you’d think.

      When I worked at Farragut West, I really liked activities at my club and wished I’d had more time. Now that I live elsewhere in the US, I miss that. My city is basically a country club city, not a city club city.

      Alternatively, lots of DC churches do adult events on weeknights that are more cultural than strictly religious, as museums and Smithsonian mini-classes (I went to one on distilleries that was fantastic). Finally, EMBASSIES have wonderful social events featuring food / drink / culture from their country.

      I really miss DC right now. Sniff!

      • I didn’t even know private clubs were a thing! What are they like?

        • Anonymous :

          Google university club, metropolitan club, cosmos club

          Iirc Monica lewinsky’s lawyer stayed at the cosmos club during all that. It is beautiful (but a hike if you work downtown). I thing maybe there are others, esp in Georgetown and on the hill? The best is when you travel, you can stay in cool places like the ny athletic club.

      • I live in DC as well and have never heard of private clubs either! Would love to know more too.

    • Anonymous :

      Not in DC, but when I was in a similar boat I tried signing up for local sports things as a single and got assigned to teams. I tried bowling and crew (rowing) solo, and did dodgeball with a friend. I also did an art class, a writing class, and a dancing class. Obviously I didn’t do all these things at once, but it was a good way to get introduced to people in a new city and I found some lasting friends this way.

    • Have we thought about a DC meetup for posters on this board?

    • Puddlejumper :

      Here are some of the ways my husband and I make friends in a new place:
      Meet up Book Club
      Crafting group – knitting, sewing, pottery
      Sports activity – dance, kick ball, softball, circus skills
      Volunteering – especially if its not a one off thing, like every Tuesday night you go help at the local overnight shelter.
      Church/Mosque/Synagogue 20s/30s group
      Political Volunteering – knocking on doors, stuffing envelopes, phone banking
      Course to learn something – coffee making, beer brewing, computer coding, language, photography etc
      Weekend group – hiking (sierra club has some), travel

    • So I am the same age and have the same problem. I am the last one unmarried and I love my life and friends. But, I don’t want to hang out with them and their kids all the time. So I joined the local young professionals group (it used to go to 35 but then it changed to 45) and made all new friends 25-33 who are more likely to do the fun things I want to do. A lot of people joined because they were new to town. I actually went on vacation with them for a 25th birthday about a month before I turned 35 and it was a blast. No one really mentions it probably because I do not look 35 (thank you genes and sunscreen) but also, I was in school until I was 28 then I worked my butt off while everyone else was dating. They are all professionals who’ve been out of school for 2-3 years too but didn’t go to grad school so really it’s not that bad of a fit. There are a ton of activities through ours that encompass what other posters have listed, social events, sports, community service, etc. I still see my other friends but probably at a 1:3 ratio as compared to the friends who are more like me. We still talk all the time but it’s a little depressing to feel left behind (by them) when I don’t feel like that to myself or others. I figure this generation all gets married and leaves me…I’ll reconsider but probably just repeat!

  7. Anonymous :

    The Atlantic has an article titled “How friends become closer”, one the take-aways is the importance of making an effort whether it’s calling someone or asking to meetup with them and not thinking, well why should I call them, they rarely call me etc. My friends now live far away from me and understandably communication has also fallen off with some people due to life changes like having kids, career pressures etc. I now find myself thinking along those lines i.e. if someone really wanted to be in touch they would and so I no longer send emails or even call. And when I do call/email or Skype it’s usually with those who have made a point of reaching out time to time or those that respond to communication. FWIW, I’m in my late thirties and I’m up at the point where I’m thinking that in some cases older friendships just kind of wane and once you move forward in life you just have to try and make new connections. After reading this article though I’m curious deal with their friendships in terms of maintaining connection or deciding to let go.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I have friends all over the world. Its hard to stay in touch due to distance, life stages, and time zones. I have a list of people I want to stay in touch with that I go through every few weeks when I have a moment and text them to say hi and see how they are doing.

      My husband and I always send out New Year’s Cards. We have been doing this for years – before we were married. And its always an easy way to open the door for a catch up, see where everyone is living, get new addresses. We only send our short letter to those over 50. Those under 50 get a photo and a quick hi!

      We have large parties few times a year for anyone in the area – so no matter how long it has been, basically anyone is welcome which I think helps maintain friendships. They are annual things so people learn to get ready for them.

      Since we can afford it and don’t have kids so its easier – we fly to travel to see people whenever we can. We put a lot of effort into not missing weddings or funerals.

      Lastly we always open our door to hosting. It can be a headache to host people, but for example in London it was the only way lot of our friends and family could afford to come visit us and we loved that they made the effort to come see us!

      • Triangle Pose :

        New Years Card – I like this idea! I’m terrible with real postal mail but I will make an effort for all those friends who don’t live in my city.

        • We do this too, as a postcard, and we do some kind of picture of us from the year plus a very VERY brief “highlights from the year!” blurb (seriously, like two tweets long).

      • I always liked the New Years cards because you can reciprocate who sends Holiday cards to double check your list and not forget anyone and it’s not religious so, not offensive!

    • Triangle Pose :

      I always do this! Honestly, it never occurs to me to think “well why should I call them, they rarely call me etc.” There are a subsets of friends I know from different parts of my life that I am always the initiator. I honestly don’t care! I figure if they don’t want to hang out with me, they’ll just say “no” to my invites. Unless they do it like 3x in a row without expressing i wish I could make it/next time sentiment or suggest an alternative hang out I assume they want to hang out with me!

      Prime example is that my city is having a free week for city residents at a museum/touristy destination with time slot specific tickets you can reserve in advance online. I reserved 6 tickets for a Sunday afternoon and reached out to like….10 friends inviting them to come with SO and me. If they couldn’t make the slot I’d chosen I replied, “well it’s all week, hope you can get a time slot that works for you, let’s hang out next time!” or let them know that we’d be getting dinner at spot near the museum afterward and to stop by if they are around. My 4 extra tickets were claimed and then 4 other friends reserved their own for the same time. I don’t consider myself an extrovert but this also is just the kind of thing that is easy for me to do.

    • I read an interview of Shonda Rhimes and she mentioned that she has a group chat with a few of her closest girlfriends. I was inspired and so a few of my closest college girlfriends and I started a group chat about a year ago. Sometimes we check in daily and other times its more like once a week. The benefit of the informal group chat is that some communications are super short and silly but overall it has helped us maintain a connection even though we are spread out. It has been an overwhelmingly positive addition to my life this past year!

      • With some of my local friends we’ve tried to implement standing appointments (eg. wine date on the third Wednesday of every month). Sometimes we have to cancel (and that’s completely ok) and there is still space to get together on other days for other activities, but at the very least we have a default.

    • Your friends could easily be thinking the same thing though.

      My mom is really fantastic at maintaining friendships with people regardless of geography and she always just picks up the phone. I try to not keep a tally either but sometimes I find myself thinking ‘oh I can’t call this person, it’s been too long’ but I think it’s always silly. The friendships I have now are ones where I can just text a random thought without explanation and I think taking that approach probably would lead to more friendships maintained.

  8. I find block heels really uncomfortable, even when sized correctly. It’s like the weight of the heel pulls on my tendon and then it starts to hurt after a couple of hours. I have several block heels of different weights and they all do this. Any suggestions or tips for helping with this?

    • Anonymous :

      Sell all of your block heels on ebay and buy new shoes that don’t have block heels? I mean, sometimes a shoe type just doesn’t work for your foot, and that seems to be the case here.

      • Ha! +1

      • Yes I feel this way about kitten heels, or whatever you call those low height stiletto heels. They’re just evil to me and I can’t even stand in them.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh, I hate kitten heels and refuse to have anything to do with them. I always feel like I’m going to fall over. I’m 5’10” and I say f it, bring me the 3″ heels.

  9. Procrastinator :

    Can I get a gut check about my new therapist? In our first meeting, she seemed really great. I am seeing her because I am in a bad cycle of procrastinating, feeling super anxious, and having a lot of trouble getting anything done at work. In our second session she (correctly) pointed out the link between procrastination and perfectionism, which gave me some decent insight about the cause, but her advice was to just get things done. Which, um, hello, if telling myself to just do the thing got it done I would be fine. I’m seeing her because that isn’t getting it done. I’m not sure what I need, but I definitely need more than that. Is that unreasonable? And if not, how do I express that next time I see her?

    • Maybe a life coach would be more helpful? Someone to guide you through goals and new habits. Sometimes therapists aren’t as proactive in helping you shape new behaviors than life coaches.

    • Go to another appointment and see what her tone and advice is. If she’s still not working for you this week, that’s fair.

      At the same time, as someone who suffers with procrastination and perfectionism and anxiety, sometimes it really is just about sucking it up. “Ok, Self, I know this sucks and you’re worried and anxious, but just buckle down for X minutes and do this task and then it’ll be over. You’ll feel so good when it’s over!” If I can’t even manage that, I tell myself to just put my toe in the water – outline the project, review my notes, what have you. I often find that once I start, I’m motivated by the weight of panic and worry leaving my shoulders to keep working.

      • Procrastinator :

        That’s the problem I have – I never seem to get to the point of the panic and worry being lifted so I don’t get the reward. I searched through the archives here and came up with a few books to try to find strategies in, so at least I have a starting point.

        • Senior Attorney :

          This may be kind of out of the box, but years ago I just accepted that I was a last-minute girl, and things turn out fine when I wait until the last minute. I feel like if you’re not going to buckle down and just get it done, that’s probably your best option.

    • Did you actually tell her any of this?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I told my therapist I like homework and checklists, and she gives them to me. Seriously, “Read a few chapters of this book. Work through this worksheet for at least three days.” etc. Would it help you to ask for stuff like that?

      • This too. I told my therapist in our initial 90 minute session that I was very interested in doing proactive things to help. (I’m sure she knew half of my request was just about making myself feel better in the now, whether or not it actually helped my long-term self.) The homework for the first few weeks was just to journal my negative thoughts and what triggered them. Eye-opening, for sure.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I am a big pleaser and I really like to “do it right” and have people tell me “you did a good job” which is funny in therapy because I really want to like “be the best at therapy” and that … is not the goal. Anyway, my lovely therapist knows this and gives me praise when I need it, but I do find myself having to check that goal of ~winning~ at therapy.

      • Procrastinator :

        Oh yes! That’s a great idea, specific homework would really help me. Thank you.

  10. Baconpancakes :

    Thoughts on toasters vs. toaster ovens? I’m partial to toaster ovens for heating up a slice of pizza, but am willing to go either way. Favorite brands? Smaller footprint is vital, as countertop real estate is very low in supply. MIL bought a weirdly high-tech toaster with “Lift and Look” and “A Bit More” buttons, and when we remarked that our toaster was basically a game of burnt-or-cold roulette, she hinted she would get us the same one she had for the holidays. Any models you’d recommend?

    • Anonymous :

      I love the one your MIL has.

      • Anonymous :

        As do I. I never thought of it as weirdly high-tech though.

        • Baconpancakes :

          I think the slow, mechanical lift is what put me off. It seems oddly ominous for the toast to lift so slowly and deliberately.

    • anon a mouse :

      I love our toaster oven. I was always a toaster girl, but DH had one when we got married and I’ll never go back to a simple toaster. We use it for tons of things – pizza, reheating french fries, melting cheese on an open-faced sandwich, etc. I think the one we have is a lower-end Toastation and it works fine.

    • I love our Breville toaster oven, and we use it several times a day. That said, if counter space is an issue, I’d rather have the counter space. Even the best toaster oven does nothing more than a toaster + oven.

    • Marshmallow :

      Toaster oven forever. Pizza, leftover fries, frozen burritos– you can do so much with it. I even roast salmon fillets and asparagus in mine so I don’t have to wait on heating up the big oven.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I *love* our pretty basic toaster oven. We don’t have a microwave so tons of stuff gets reheated in it. It’s the best! The only time it’s annoying is when we have a bunch of people over for breakfast and there’s a wait to toast bagels (happens more often than you’d think) but now we just borrow my mom’s toaster-toaster for that.

    • cat socks :

      I love my Breville toaster oven. I use it for heating up leftovers, roasting veggies and baking small batches of cookies.

    • Anonymous :

      I love my toaster oven! It lives on a shelf on the island most of the time, when it’s not in use, but I use it for toast, easy grilled cheese sandwiches, broiling fish or whatever for dinner, baking just 5 or 6 cookies, or whatever else you need it to do. I was actually singing the praises of my toaster oven to a coworker earlier today. :)

    • I love my toaster oven and use it constantly as does my sister. Perfect for toasting bread, roasting veggies, cooking smaller entrees, cooking smaller amounts of cookies, etc. I only use my oven for large entrees (roasting chicken, whole fish, etc.) or baking where the the temperature is very important (I don’t think my toaster oven is as accurate). I have a Cuisinart and am happy with it, but there are others that are probably better.

      Also amazing for Thanksgiving when oven space is at a premium. We’ve been known to take our toaster ovens to the host’s house (Thanksgiving is with family and we split the dishes, so don’t think I’m randomly carting this around) to heat or reheat dishes.

    • + a million to the Breville Toaster oven. I basically never use the microwave or oven for just us because I use the toaster oven. Reheating leftovers, baking 2 cookies (I freeze the dough and pop a couple in there and done-zo), roasting potatoes, toasting, you name it. You don’t have to wait forever to pre-heat like you do with an oven and it is far better for re-heating leftovers than a microwave. Seriously LOVE ours. We do not have a toaster and even growing up we were a toaster oven family.

  11. Anonymous :

    Any thoughts on asserting myself. Usually I’m fine at it – but I get uncomfortable and stay quiet out of politeness when it comes to something where I’m looking like I’m calling out a junior employee/saying I’d rather not have them etc. Had posted earlier – got significant palpitations during a dental procedure this summer even though I had the kind of novocaine that isn’t supposed to cause those. So I mentioned it to a dr. who said – it could just be one of those things but they should be careful about where they’re injecting bc when that stuff gets closer to a vein/vessel it is more likely to cause heart racing. Thing is at that appt. bc the dentist (who I really like who I’ve seen previously w no issues) was finishing up with someone else, she asked the hygienist to get me numbed — have never had anyone besides a dentist do it in all these yrs of 3-4 dentists in 3 different cities. I was kind of surprised by had no reason to say ‘no I want the dentist.’ I did specify I needed the lower level novocaine which both the dentist and hygienist acknowledged — afterwards I was left thinking — hmm I wonder if she grabbed the wrong one and now I’m thinking — was it a location issue. So next appointment — do I pre emptively say I’d rather have the dentist do the numbing? Or do I wait and see if it’s a running late issue and then say – it’s ok I’ll wait for the dentist? Seems rude to say that to the hygienist’s face but . . . what choice is there?!

    • “Would you mind if the dentist numbed me? I’ve had some issues in the past and would feel more comfortable. It’s not about you, it’s about my anxiety with dental procedures. Thank you so much.”

    • Aaaagh. Triggered.

    • Yes, of COURSE assert yourself. You would not want a schmoe to stick you inte wrong place just b/c you were NOT assertive. The hygenist is NOT a person to handel a needel, let alone anesethesia. The dentist is trained. When I was in high school, the dentist always gave us laughing gas, but it still hurt when he drilled but we did NOT care b/c it was funny! Now I look back and laugh on how dumb I was.

  12. Chase Sapphire Question :

    I’m considering signing up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and heard a rumor here of some sign-on bonus that might be worth waiting for. Is there any more word on that?

    • I think the last time it came up here people said it was as good as it’s going to get so don’t bother waiting.

    • Senior Attorney :

      There’s a 50,000 point bonus at the moment (or there was as of last week). That was good enough for me.


  13. Fast fashion :

    Got stuck in moderation yesterday so trying again hoping for more responses– I need attractive, basic casual pieces that are cheap but don’t look it. They do not need to hold up well.

    I have the enviable problem (I know! I know!) of having lost a lot of weight in a relatively short time. I’ve started intermittent fasting and it is working incredibly well for my body. I’m happy to share more about my journey with it, to those who asked yesterday.

    Getting dressed has become an ordeal because my clothes have suddenly jumped the shark into laughably too big. This weight loss has been a project years in the making, and so I was already wearing a lot of my old clothes (sizes 12-18) that were too big. I just can’t afford to wholesale replace my wardrobe every month. Even a lot of the nice tops I JUST bought as my new beautiful skinny clothes look like I’m trying on my mom’s work outfits.

    My work environment is casual, so at least I can wear a lot of the same pieces from work week to weekend, but HALP. I need new clothes. I just bought all new clothes.

    What are your go-to cheapy tops and jeans and pants? I need quantity, not necessarily things that will last a long time, but I work in the C suite, so a certain level of structure/formality is necessary. Links welcome! Tell me what to buy online!

    • I’m in a similar position. It seems so silly to complain about, but it’s tough when getting dressed in the morning is so difficult. I’m a dress/skirt person myself so I’m not help with pants, but I like Old Navy and Target for inexpensive tops. I also used to love The Limited (RIP) so I’ve been browsing Thred Up to stock up on stuff I’m pretty sure I’ll like in my new size for cheap.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I did a cursory glance through some of the “new arrivals” at Target and they look super cute. I have found decent, cheap pants at JC Penney.

        When I’m short on time, I’ll place a big online order, try everything on at home, and return what I don’t like in-store.

    • Anonymous :

      Take your tops to a tailor. They’re probably easy to alter – I used to alter mine myself by turning them inside out and tracing along the seams an inch or so in with my machine.

    • Yes please tell me everything about IF! I literally just posted in the other two threads today because I heard about IF on this board and was looking for inspiration.

    • Frugal am I :

      JCP, seriously. I revamped my wardrobe there at least 2x while losing weight, and I’m really pleased with the pieces. I bought Liz wear (Emma ankle pants, basic shells) and Worthington (pencil skirts, shells, and jackets). I get compliments on my clothing. They wear really well. I have not had construction issues (hems falling, seams splitting), and the clothing is inexpensive (constant stream of coupons on top of sales).

  14. Sloan Sabbith :

    What are your “secrets of Adulthood,” a la Gretchen Rubin? Mine are:
    1. Take ibuprofen when I have a headache.
    2. Track what I want to do more of.
    3. Take care of myself when my body needs it.
    4. Long days. Short months.
    5. To be a leader, don’t make yourself indispensable.
    6. Go. Because you want to. Because wanting to leave is enough.
    7. When in doubt, drink a glass of water.
    8. Talk less. Smile more.
    9. Do the thing instead of worrying about not having done the thing.
    10. Leave earlier than you think you have to.
    11. Gold stars are adulting.
    12. Pet the dog.
    13. Schedule things that need to happen.
    14. Set aside time to work.

    Re-asked from the morning thread by request.

    • Anonymous :

      What do #4 and #11 mean?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        4 was something someone told me when I was talking about how I was struggling at work- the days feel long, but the months end up flying by. Just know that time will keep going and it will feel faster than you think.

        11 is kind of a personal joke- it took me a long time to realize that if I wanted to get something done, I had to have some sort of personal accountability (upholder/obliger in another Rubin thing). “Gold stars” are my view of starring my calendar when I hit 10K steps, or filling in the box on a tracking sheet I use for work or health or fitness. I want to get that gold star, and it doesn’t feel like “adulting,” but it helps me get stuff done.

    • 1. Try to not do things you’ll regret and, conversely, do the things you’ll regret not doing.
      2. Spend time with older people, they won’t be here forever.
      3. Try to leave without having ‘one more drink,’ you’ll be happier in the morning.
      4. Print your photos
      5. Buy keepsakes when you travel that will remind you of your trip later
      6. Make an effort to do new things

  15. Puddlejumper :

    Mine are a work in progress, but this is what I have now:
    1) Be Me
    2) Sleep Solves All
    3) A Shower Means a New You
    4) The bedroom is for going to bed.
    5) Stay Hydrated
    6) Get Outside
    7) Choose to be Kind
    8) Stay Curious
    9) Listen
    10) Let it Go
    11) Make your future self happy
    12) Do it now
    13) Move Forward
    14) Always charge your phone/computer if given the chance to
    15) Always use the bathroom.

  16. Grilled Cheese :

    I posted on the other thread but I’ll keep playing…
    #1. Always bring a sweater
    #2. Pee before you leave

    Since that thread I’ve thought of:
    #3. Make life easier for future self

    • Grilled Cheese :

      Oh, and
      #4. Buy clothes for the person you are, not the person you think you’ll be someday

      • That one is one I will definitely try to keep in mind. I always buy amazing clothes that I look awesome in…and never have a reason to wear. It needs to stop!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Peeing before you leave is my #1 adulthood success. It seems dumb, but was life changing.

  17. I’m sitting the GRE tomorrow and have dropped 10 percentile points since the last time I took a sample test…I’m so depressed and ready for this to be over.

    I’ve been studying for this test since May and have been making my way up to the 90th percentile but in the last week I’ve experienced a huge drop – I think due to panicking and stressing but I don’t know how to get back up before tomorrow…sad to think part of my hard work is being wasted because I can’t control my nerves or exhaustion.

    • Anonymous :

      Good luck. Don’t do any “serious” studying today.. just try to relax, get a good night’s sleep and feel fresh. You got this!

  18. Amazon K-beauty :

    I have a one-time 20% off Amazon code (highly recommend the Amazon wedding registry for this reason!) and I’m indulging in some new skincare/beauty products. What are some fun things to try?

    I’ve got those amazing gold eye patches and Tony Moly sheet mask collection, and I’m trying the Elizavecca piggy carbonated mask.

  19. This is a very classic pump; One that every working woman needs in her closet. The short block heel will make for a very comfortable wear. And I love that there are so many colors and textures!

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