Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Merino-Wool Jumper

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

Personally, I tend to love this slouchy, sort of sweatshirt look for the weekend, but this is the first time I’ve seen something that could be appropriate for work as well. (But know your office, obviously!) I like that it’s merino wool, so it drapes nicely, and I like the look of the buttons up the back and the fact that it’s not off-the-shoulder or anything like that — it has a higher, tighter neckline. It’s $195 at Reiss in sizes 0–10 in gray and pale blue. Merino-Wool Jumper

A more affordable option is here; two plus-size options are here and here.

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  1. Personal trainer to solo :

    Any tips for transitioning from working with a personal trainer to working out solo?
    I like my trainer and I think it’s been valuable. I just can’t justify the cost long-term, and I don’t think you’re supposed to work with a trainer forever.
    I feel like I would go to a gym and not be able to think of work outs to do or when to add more weight, etc. Any tips are appreciated!

    • Maybe switch to a program like Strong Curves or Strong (the newer New Rules of Lifting for Women)? The workouts are pre-set so you don’t have to come up with your own.

    • Anonymous :

      What about paying for a specialty gym membership instead of a trainer? it will still be cheaper than a trainer, but you won’t have to plan out your own workouts, and you’ll have some accountability. I go to a place that’s similar to Orange Theory, and I love it.

      • Trainer OP :

        I hadn’t heard of Orange Theory, turns out there is one by my work. Thanks for the tip!

    • – Instead of going “cold turkey”, consider starting by reducing the frequency of your sessions. Pay attention to how you feel during your non-trainer sessions and what questions or issues arise, and then ask about those when you do meet with the trainer.

      – Ask these questions of your trainer! “How do I know when to add more weight?” “How do you come up with workout routines?”

      – Consider seeing if you can find a group of people to work out with to defray the cost of the trainer. I have a friend who shares a trainer with three other friends – the four of them work out with the trainer a couple times a week and share the costs. You could google “group personal training” in your area to see if you can find somewhere that offers this, or ask your trainer if he/she ever does group sessions.

    • Anonymous :

      Ask your trainer to write out the workouts so you have them to use on your own. Any trainer I have worked with has been able to provide workout/exercise printouts for me.

      • This. Also mention to your trainer that you’d like to come up with a routine to supplement/replace sessions (depending on your relationship). A good trainer will help you to do so.

      • Agreed. Not exactly the same, but related – I’m a yoga teacher and I love it when my students ask me how to work on their personal practice. Building their personal practices is actually something I’m really interested in assisting however I can.

    • CorporateInCarhartt :

      If you’re willing to pay a smaller amount per month (around $10/month, but there are some free trials), I love the Aaptiv app. It’s like having a variety of personal trainers for a lot of different gym activities (or outside running). It keeps me motivated and interested; lots of different workouts.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Few potential routes
      1) Nike training app / fitnessblender (they both have programs you can cycle through) – great for programming, less great as a strength gains program (beyond beginner level)
      2) New rules of lifting for women is good depending on how much existing lifting experience you have – if you’ve got a bit more you might want to go straight for a hypertrophy based program. I’ve read the book and its great but I noticed it starts in the hypertrophy range and you don’t get to the traditional strength training range until towards the end of the program
      3) Starting Strength (the Rippetoe bible) – he also has a podcast / website or Stronglifts / Madcow 5×5
      4)If you want to get more into programming a bit more flexibly (and willing to do some math on your own), I am currently on my first week of a Wendler 5/3/1 cycle + the BBB assistance lifts and some conditioning 3 days a week . I’m more of a novice lifter (1RM: 150 lbs deadlift, 100 lbs squat, 85 lbs bench) but still beyond the linear gains of Stronglifts / Starting Strength
      5) There are a bunch of great (free!) bodybuilding.com programs that sync with their bodyspace app. People I know have had good results with Lee Labrada / Jamie Eason Middleton’s programs. Caveat – these will not propel you to put more weight on the bar in the way SS / SL / Wendler will

      General thoughts: Always go to the gym with a workout planned out in advance, a programmed plan will serve you well in terms of helping you make gains in strength / weight / leanness / bodyfat %. The forums at bodybuilding.com and t-nation.com are super helpful as well for questions you might have – caveat ignore the bro lifters.

      • JuniorMinion :

        One more thing – if you’ve got any questions about my (limited, amateur) experience ping me back! The people I know who make real gains in the gym have a plan / cycle and track their workouts.

    • To piggy back off of this… I’m looking at the Chase Sapphire too. They usually have huge deals/signing bonuses right? I’m looking right now and it’s only 50,000 signing points and $450 annual fee and that just seems ridiculous to me (younger millennial, don’t have an extra $450 to spend annually just to maintain a credit card) but if I wait a bit, there will be a better deal right?

      • Eager Beaver :

        I don’t think so. They used to do 100,000 signing points, but have phased that out. I think this is probably as good as it gets.

      • IP Associate :

        I have this card (the Reserve). I got it because a number of my friends had it and recommended it to me. It’s amazing and I love it so far. The steep annual fee is more than paid for with the $300 annual travel credit and the amount of annual spending needed to justify the remaining $150. I doubt they will offer the 100k points again, that was because it was a new card. I got the 50k and it equals $750 in travel spending. It’s definitely most useful if you spend more on dining/travel with the triple points. But we also put everything on the card and pay it off at the end of every month, so we are just banking a lot of travel money.

  2. Credit cards :

    Is there a way to browse the reward point redemption options for credit cards before signing up (looking specifically at the Chase Sapphire)? I am looking to switch but wanted to see if I’ll be able to redeem points for my favorite hotels.

    • Don’t know if you can browse ahead of time, but we have Chase Sapphire and I’ve used it for hotels. They’re all generally the large chains, like Hyatt and Westin (probably cheaper ones too) and they have luxury resorts like Four Seasons/Ritz. You’ll be fine if it’s a big brand/comparable to that, but not if you like small, boutique hotels only.

      • Want to chime in that they also have smaller hotels. We did our entire honeymoon (flights and hotels) off of points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve and didn’t stay in a single hotel large hotel chain. We love it because we get 3x the points on all dining out and travel which we do a lot as DINKs but also have other cards for other rewards but probably use this one the most.

        • Senior Attorney :

          We just got our Chase Sapphire cards in the mail yesterday and are super psyched about 3x for dining and travel.

        • Oh no way! That’s great news, last time I went it was just big chains, now you have me intrigued!!

    • Anonymous :

      Call them? This is the type of a call that Credit Card Marketing Departments LOVE.

    • Peruse The Points Guy website. He has some fairly comprehensive articles on this subject.

    • givemyregards :

      I have a sapphire and just checked – you can do a 1:1 transfer of points to IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Hyatt.. You can also use the points on any hotel/flight through their booking site (each point is worth 1.25 cents) but the conventional wisdom is that it’s better to transfer to partners and book directly.

      • givemyregards :

        Should add the caveat that I only ever use the points for flights – so I’m not sure if the conventional wisdom about booking directly vs. transferring points holds when it comes to hotels.

        • How does this work? Transferring points to an airline to book directly? I have a BUNCH of chase sapphire reserve points that I’d love to redeem, but I’ve previously only redeemed them by booking travel through Chase. Is there a better way to do it? (poked around The Points Guy but couldn’t find an easy answer!)

          • givemyregards :

            When you log into Ultimate Rewards, you click Redeem Points (or similar, I’m not actually logged in and looking at the screen), then “Transfer to Partners.” From there you can link your Southwest, United, etc. mileage accounts and transfer over any amount you want (in 1,000 point increments). You can go deep down the rabbit hole of how to value the points and the best way to use them, but my mental math is usually something like “If this ticket can be booked with 25,000 miles, but costs more than $312 (i.e. the value of 25k points when booking through Chase) – then I transfer over and book with miles.” But I also book a bunch of piddly Southwests flights that I’m probably better off paying for with cash, because there are – to me – positive externalities associated with booking things on miles and then feeling like they’re free (even when they’re not, really).

    • Check around on blogs (The Points Guy has some but has mostly sold out, onemileatatime, etc.) and on the r/churning and r/awardtravel subreddits — lots of information on the best redemptions, and they’re usually not the ones available at first blush!

  3. Financial Planner :

    Do you have a financial advisor? When did you decide to get one? How much do they cost?

    Lately I’ve been desiring some advice as to what I can afford, how much I should be saving and how my money should be invested. I’m not rich, but I’m debt-free except for my mortgage, have around a hundred thousand in savings and around a million in home equity. Right now I manage my money based on advice I read online – max out retirement, funding emergency, etc. But I have more complex questions sometimes around rental income, investing non-retirement savings. Is an FA worth it?Yesterday I spoke to a financial planning company that has a monthly membership set-up. It’s a flat fee with monthly meetings meant to keep you on a budget and meet your goals. It sounds interesting, but I can’t help but feel like its counterintuitive to pay someone to help you save. Do you guys have any favorite personal finance blogs?

    • Anonymous :

      You don’t need monthly budget meetings. You’re doing great as it is!! You’ve got enough that talking to a real financial advisor makes sense.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry to break it to you, but you are rich.

      • Agree! The OP is doing great.

        You might benefit more from other types of advisors now. A very good accountant, and ideally one that either works with a tax attorney or has tax knowledge (can get more complex).

      • Anonymous :


      • How does someone have a $1M+ home and think they’re not rich???

        Sidebar, what in the world do people DO that they can afford million dollar homes? How are there that many jobs in the US that pay that much money? I clearly need to rework my career path…

        • Lots of people inherit property or have property values rise due to market, so may not consider themselves “rich” due to not having all that money in liquid savings, but they are functionally rich.

          By average wealth standards, you are rich, but you may not be able to blow money on frivolous spending due to lack of access to it.

        • I have that same thought every time I’m on this s!te. I wish there were more people like me who haven’t bought million dollar houses or saved six figures towards retirement by 35…

          • Hi, you are not alone!

          • Let me assure you, we are here! I routinely feel ill reading these types of posts. (I attempt to scroll rapidly past.)

          • Hello!

          • Hiiiii I work in education!

          • Haha same, emeralds. Good ole higher ed here…I have friends and family who still automatically think lawyer = beaucoup bucks. More like nocoup bucks in my world.

          • Hi, hi! You’re definitely not alone!

          • Rainbow Hair :

            It’s funny because I think I am actually ‘rich’, even though I often feel like the least wealthy person on this board. I have a modest house (in a great neighborhood though) and only one car that I still owe a ton on, and basically break even at the end of the month and have almost nothing to show for savings… but I break even because I’m making payments on my totally functional (touch wood) car! and my house! and I get to buy good cheese and good beer and sometimes dresses from Macy’s! I don’t blink at the cost of my medication! In the real world that does make me richAF. Only in the rare company of this board am I not in the richest little top sliver.

          • Hi there! Not alone!

            I still think I’m rich for similar reasons to Rainbow Hair. Not independently wealthy, but rich!

          • I think in another year, I’ll be where you are, Rainbow Hair. Rebuilding savings and still renting as a result (which is right for us at the moment but we’d rather own), but yes, perspective.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Hi! I’ve saved zero figures (hopefully that will change soon…) and live paycheck to paycheck some months when medical bills suck. You are 100% not alone.

        • to clarify, I bought my fixer-upper home in 2011 in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood for 250k. It was just appraised at 1.2 but similar homes nearby are selling for 1.5, so the equity works out to around a million. I couldn’t have afforded to buy a million-dollar home, I just got pretty lucky in the real estate game and my mortgage payments are very low.

          Also thanks for the reality check, yes of course I know I’m doing very well. In a very HCOL area so sometimes I forget! Not much real estate here for <1mil.

          • Nicely done.

            That is a very different situation.

            Definitely recommend Boggleheads/Mr Money Mustache and use free help from Vanguard.

          • She doesn’t post any more, and it’s Canadian (so maybe some of the advice on things like retirement savings plans will be less relevant). But I used to really enjoy the blog by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. All of the old postings are still available and worth a read. She has an easy to understand and no-nonsense approach to personal finances.

    • Most of my friends who are successful savers, upper class (like you!) save on their own, working with Vanguard or Fidelity to get basic advice… for free. Most are conservative in their personal investments. Mostly index funds. One or two do small amount investing in stocks, but this is risky. I invest a very small proportion in stocks of companies I like (Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple…. but thinking of selling Apple ……), but most is in index funds. My stocks don’t always do great (hey Tesla).

      I am similar to you, but have most of my savings in investments…. not in a house. That reflects my values, and my risk tolerance, and my desire to make more money via investments. A million dollar house is not the greatest investment….for me.

      Boggle head book/website is pretty good. Some good points on Mr Money Mustache.

      My very,very,very wealthy distant relatives use investment advisors. And the advisors are not cheap. But they are in a bracket that we will never reach, and get advice that help the very rich get crazy rich. And those doors aren’t open to most of us. Even my own relatives would not share those names with my family.

      • Side question – why are you thinking of selling Apple? And would you sell before the new phone comes out? I feel like Apple won’t see the same appreciation now that it has in decades prior and yet with every new phone that comes out, it reaches another level – even when people say, oh I wouldn’t buy that, that new phone/product isn’t so great and yet droves of people still buy. Warren Buffett has even said that he now views AAPL as a consumer products company not a tech company. I see it as a $180 stock – maybe $200 though that may be pushing it. Thoughts?

        • I buy stocks for the long game. I do not buy often and plan to hold long term. Apple has continued to do well, and I use and love their products. That’s why I own it. My only reason for selling potentially is my dislike of their corporate ethics, tax avoidance strategies etc…

      • Does Vanguard still do free advice? I already have an account with them, but when I called to ask about what to do with some savings, they bumped me over to their financial advisor service (which wasn’t that helpful, I didn’t think).

        • I think it’s free only if you have a certain amount of assets with them (incl. retirement).

    • My husband and I have one – we pay them 1% of assets under management. I like this approach because if the best thing to do with the assets is nothing (e.g., they’re already in a good index fund or similar) then I want my FA to do nothing, and not do something because he’ll make money off of it.

      We decided to get one after buying our first house and after getting hit with capital gains taxes of $10k+ a few years in a row. We just figured that we have a lot of “stuff” – house, student loans, 401(k)s, investment accounts that we each inherited, and needed someone to tell us what the best thing to do with this stuff is. We’re both very busy with our jobs and don’t really want to devote the effort to learning “how to read the market” or something like that. It was mostly the investment accounts that we inherited from grandparents. They’d been set up one way, and we didn’t know how to change it to make the most productive/least tax liability.

    • You are doing well, but I would caution about placing too much into your home.
      And since you do have a mortgage, you need to net all the future principal and interest expenses (liability) against the market value of the house (asset) to truly understand net worth.
      So if your house has a market value of $1MM, your real net worth could be $400-$600k.
      Start with a good accountant/tax person.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Hi OP! I am a Financial Advisor! It seems like many people think that advisors are for the ultra-wealthy, but that’s not the case. We typically charge clients 1% of assets here with our firm, but if we are only doing planning or a 529 plan or an insurance product of some sort we bill differently. Our group is by no means the gold standard, but about fifty percent of our clients are retired and fifty percent want to be someday. The latter is a mix – young singles/families with some money they rolled over from a previous job or a bit of inheritance and are saving for a someday retirement (but mostly kids and house stuff) or older singles/couples who are actively saving more as they get closer to retirement.

      We don’t help people decide how much to save (aka budgeting) but we do help them decide what to do with the money they have/are saving. If you want help budgeting I think this monthly service might be a pricey way to do it. Step 1 is figure out what you’re spending on currently (Mint.com is my pick for this) and Step 2 is decide what you SHOULD be spending it on. Step 3 (sticking to the budget) is up to you (and consequently, the hardest part, IMHO.)

      I would be happy to chat offline @ kate middletown 7117 at gmail dot com (good advice depends on the facts of the case and the individual client!)

    • We have a FA who takes 0.5% It’s worth it to us to have someone taking care of everything for us and our FA has had great returns for years, much better than what we would do on our own. We did get lucky though in that a family members invests through the same FA so the FA took us as clients even though we did not initially meet his investment requirement.

  4. Can you think of any female lawyers at your firms who are grandmothers?
    Or who have kids in college?
    Or who have kids in high school?
    Or who have kids who read?

    I’m just realizing that I feel like I’m on the edge of a cliff where everyone else has fallen off (or where did these people go?). I have reading children. I feel like the world is showing me that staying in isn’t going to last.

    FWIW, aging non-local parents on both sides. I don’t dislike my work, but can see how chopping off about half of it would let me meaningfully participate in my children’s lives (and my life, I’d like to participate in my life instead of just being like the female worker bees in the hive who work and then die; not cool) or at least not be a stressed out burned out no-time ghost of who I used to be.

    • Yes, but they’re notable exceptions, and the amount of paid help they have is unbelievable. One had three nannies (daytime, nighttime, and backup, now down to one au pair) and now that her kids are in elementary and middle school, she also has a driver for them to shuttle them around to whatever activities they’re doing.

      • In my former life I was a nanny to one of these Biglaw women, and agree that I was just one of the many household staff members the family required to function. The mom I worked for always seemed incredibly busy to me. The dad, not so much.

        • How do you think it was for the kids? Does it just get to be too much?

          I do worry that even if I took a huge pay cut (say to be a teacher assistant making 30K or something), I’d have a really inflexible job (dentist, kid with braces, sick kid, kid with music lessons, kid with sports practice) that I’d still need good kid help but would not be able to pay for it.

          Was the mom happy? Happy-ish? Miserable?

          • Going from Big Law to becoming a teaching assistant is a pretty severe change. There is middle ground. I’m a staff member at a law school and make about 60k. Obviously I miss the money sometimes, but my job is way more flexible than it was in Big Law and very personally fulfilling.

          • I went big law to government and took a pay cut but gained so much of my life back that it’s totally worth it. 50 hours a week, tops, good benefits, able to attend school functions, etc.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes I want to hear more about this woman’s life and her kid’s life. Anecdata but STILL.

          • Sorry I just saw your reply. Personally, I gave 120% to that job and loved the kids with all my heart, so I believe they were very happy even though they didn’t see their parents much. It was not unusual for me to work 12 hour days, as well as working weekends and overnights (I lived out). So, I will say it worked out for the family because I was incredibly dedicated.

            The parents were not exactly…the sort of people who would have been happy at home with the kids, I think they preferred working such crazy hours, so it worked out for them too.

    • Anonymous :

      Ha. I have yet to know a female lawyer who is a grandmother. I know 2 practicing female lawyer with adult children; I know 3 practicing female lawyers whose children can read. FWIW, I’m in NYC.

      • The grandmothers are either all judges or retired judges who went back to firms. Also in NYC.

    • I know of one. She is an appellate attorney who always worked reduced hours so she could be home to get her kids off of the bus. She would sign back in after bedtime. She made it work because she has impeccable credentials (former SCOTUS clerk), is amazingly smart, and picked a practice area with long and predictable deadlines.

    • Yes, I know quite a few. The women who were the first female partners at my regional biglaw firm now have grandchildren. Many of the female partners have high school or college aged kids. I myself have two children of reading age and one on the cusp. I don’t think your feelings are off though. I don’t necessarily hate the amount of work, but I do feel like I’ve hit a glass ceiling now that I’m in my 40s in a way I really didn’t feel in my 20s and 30s.

    • Yes on all counts, but as PP said they are exceptions and much less common than male partner equivalents (generously, maybe 5 dads for every 1 mom in your bucket).
      As someone with kids in early elementary school, I think elementary school is where the demands of family life really make biglaw untenable… Looking back, nanny/daycare is much more tailored to a working parents schedule while elementary school often isn’t. I think to push through that barrier, people often start employing the more unusual/extraordinary measures — second nanny, house manager, etc. — if they don’t already have a special set up like grandparents living very nearby and providing lots of childcare, SAH spouse, spouse with undemanding job, etc.

    • There is a female partner at my firm who is a grandmother. She even used to be managing partner of the firm before she handed it off to someone else. But her “kids” are her husbands kids from his first marriage. Her husband is a tenured college professor.

      Out of the small handful of female partners at my last firm only one had a kid, an only child, and he was in college at the time.

      Other than that, no.

      • A female coworker and I used to joke that we needed sister wives in order to succeed there. It made our clearly-on-the-partner-track male coworker with a SAHM wife so uncomfortable. Ah, memories.

    • Two women partners at my firm have middle school-aged kids, and two grandmothers just retired. But you’re right, it seems like most women partners don’t have kids, and almost all the men do. Also: in house is where they go, I think.

    • Not to hijack your post, but I think similar things about executive women. In the corporate world, it’s really hard to find VP or Sr VP women who fall into any of your categories. My kids are hitting elementary age and I can’t fathom how anyone makes all this work.

      I know one executive whose kids are in college (she “retired” from the family business and drew from her trust fund when her kids were small, then re-entered after they hit high school). I know another who has an au pair for her teenage kids. Another has a SAHD husband. That’s it.

    • How much of this is due to women dropping out (or opting into a life with easier hours), and women not succeeding that high in the workplace long enough to be grandmothers? Compared to now, the number of women that made partner in big/mid law in the late 80s and 90s (the women who could conceivably be grandmothers now) were paltry. There were almost none before then.

      • That’s the point. Why do they drop out? Why do they not succeed long enough to be grandmothers? The OP’s point is that no women with children seem to be able to stick it out over the long haul. That’s the problem.

      • It’s a chicken and egg thing, this “not succeeding” thing.

        I can think of associates who have been pushed out and others who have jumped. And others who said “f*** it; I’m done with this.”

        This is the only job I’ve had that became harder the better I technically got at it. More work. More responsibilities. More travel. It is truly a pie eating contest where the prize is pie.

        I can’t think that in 5 more years I’ll care anymore. If I can turn the reins over to younger generation by then, great. I’d love to be the guy-partner equivalent who plays golf with clients and is a good mentor. But when I quit, it won’t be because I didn’t succeed; it will be because I did.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That is exactly the point.

        I left my law firm for a government job when my son was going into high school. I made partner as a divorced mom but it was ridiculously, ridiculously hard and honestly if I had it to do over again there are things I’d have done differently (10-week trial out of town when he was 10, I’m looking at you). The men who were my peers all had SAH wives and oh my gosh it was breathtakingly easier for them.

    • Yes to most of the above. I think all of our female equity partners but one have children, ranging in age from young elementary to college. I’m not sure if we have any grandmothers, but I’m not aware of any male partners that are grandfathers – most people in my firm seem to have kids in their mid-30s, and if their kids do the same, they’d be retired before they became grandparents.

      • anonlawyer :

        agree. My BigLaw firm has all of them, and lots of them. that’s not to say there is still work to be done (i.e., not enough in the equity ranks vs non-equity and associates) but we are there. We actually have a sub-group of our Women’s Forum that is specifically for Mothers. And its a big group.

    • anon for this :

      There are women partners in my firm with high school-aged children. One has a stay-at-home husband. Another sends her children to boarding school. I don’t know how much paid help might be involved. I do think they miss a lot of time with their families — one of these women is my mentor and she has told me to think seriously about whether her life or one of her peer’s lives is something I would really want.

      • I can’t fathom even affording boarding school. 60K/year? I’m hoping to partially fund my children’s college. At those sorts of $, I guess staying in may be the sort of thing where you’re always saying “just one more year,” sort of like NFL players must.

        Maybe that’s the mindset: NFL. A good gig, but likely not sustainable for 10 years. Possibly sustainable for 5, so start planning.

        • anon for this :

          I’m in a less expensive city and this woman’s husband is a doctor. :)

        • JuniorMinion :

          I think part of this though is that sometimes in some districts it does enable you to live in a non ideal school zone more cheaply if you don’t have more than 2 kids

          My husband and I think about this a lot. We are in a city where to be a good commute and be in a good school zone we would need to buy an $800k house. If we go private school (for future potential child), we can live in a $300k house thats a good commute. In a city where property taxes are relatively high (~3%), it might make more financial / life sense to send a kid to private school and stay in the cheaper home (only real difference in locations is school district. they are literally across the street from us). Add in the need to not have additional paid household help for a woman / man who are both in really demanding careers and boarding school could potentially be a good solution.

      • I don’t understand someone having children just to send them to boarding school. People like that should just get a dog and hire a dog-walker. If the parents don’t think the kids will be majorly resentful later in life about being shipped off to boarding school just so Mommy and Daddy could have an easier time in their careers, they are in for a rude awakening. I don’t know anyone who went to boarding school who isn’t raw about it, no matter how prestigious the school was.

        • On the other hand, the majority of the kids I knew that went to boarding school really value their experience and would consider doing the same for their own kids assuming it is the right fit for their families.

        • Interesting; the people I know who went to boarding school loved it.

        • Yeah, I went to boarding school and appreciated it. I hope it’s an opportunity I’m able to give my children. I mean, I wouldn’t want to do it starting at age 7 like the British royals, but for high school I think it is really valuable.

          • I think it also depends on where your school is relative to home. The people I know who liked boarding school were those who could get home to see their families relatively easily. If they were far enough away that it was a problem to see their families except at holidays, it was a totally different story.

          • And also what the home environment was when they were actually home. My peers who had close relationships with their parents enjoyed the academic rigor of boarding school, particularly those were only children. Those who had younger siblings at home told me that they resented missing out on the family time the younger sibling got to experience and weren’t close with their siblings as a result.

        • And on the flip side… you already only get 18 years with your kids at home, why would you want to shrink that to 13 (or 10, if middle school??)? What does your relationship with your kids become, when you are no longer a primary influence at such a critical life stage? Everyone has different priorities, though; I loved how the OP put it about wanting to be a participant in her life, which included her family.

        • anonymama :

          Huh, the people I know who went to boarding school either had a tough relationship with their parents in the first place and hated it (saw it as punishment/getting rid of them), had a tough relationship with their parents and loved it (relationship improved with distance), or had a great relationship with their parents and loved it (parents were really involved, visited often, made friends with their school friends, were clearly really into the academic opportunities). I can’t really imagine doing it myself, but when the parent is not directly responsible for the actual physical well-being of the child anymore (feeding, getting dressed, etc) they can still have a close relationship based on their actual personal relationship, especially with the prevalence of phones, texting, video-chat etc., where you can check in with your kid regularly quite easily.

    • When I was in Big Law there was one female partner in our group with adult kids. She was pretty powerful and was head of the group for some time. But she did the SAHM thing when her kids were really young and went to law school when they were in elementary school, became partner when they were high school age. She had been partner for 10+ years when I joined the firm, and she became a grandmother while I was working there. There was one other woman who made partner the year I left. She was 40ish and had five (!!!!) kids who ranged in age from infant to upper elementary school. Overall, the percentage of female partners was terrible in our group, I believe somewhere around 10 or 15%, with most of the woman being 30-somethings or early 40-somethings who had made partner within the last five years. Hopefully 10 years from now all those women will still be there but I’m not super optimistic.

    • DC Biglaw. We have 5 female partners that I can think of with school aged kids (5 years old+) and 3 with college or post college aged kids and 2 with under 5’s. We have a handful of associates with kids who are about to be school age and a handful with babies/young toddlers. We lost most people in the 2-5 year old stage.

      • How big is your office and is it your head office? That seems to be high (in a good way).

        OTOH, where are the people with teens?

        IIRC, in DC, a lot of women moved to government jobs as soon as they could once they got engaged. Are the demographics there very different?

        Unfortunately, I’m not in DC now.

        • Yes, we’re in the government. ;) I can only speak for my small gov office, but among lawyers we have 2 grandmothers, one mom with kids out of college, mine are in high school, and several other women with kids in elementary school plus babies. We are a litigating office, so it’s hard, but we have a lot of flexibility with our schedules outside of depos/trials. My field is overwhelmingly male; I don’t think I’ve ever had a mother as an opposing counsel in my 20 years of practice.

        • Not the head office of our firm, but that doesn’t really mean much given how the firm is structured, between 250 and 300 lawyers in the DC office. When I said school aged I meant 5-18 years old so there are some teenagers in there.

          We loose people to government but probably men and women equally.

    • I know lots! But, I’ve made it a point as an in-house attorney with two teen girls to seek out professional women. Two of my mentors (and former bosses) are partners in two different law firms, both with grown children. While my law school classmates have dwindled, the women still in practice all have children either in teens or preteen ages and are now partners. There are women out there. I promise! It just feels like there aren’t. Also, as in-house counsel, I prefer to work with firms that actually have a diverse legal staff. Hopefully firms will continue to grow the diversity, not just of women, but of nationalities, sexes, religion, etc.

    • I am an income partner in an AmLaw 100 firm, and I can think of a bunch of grandmothers (because they send out an annual email celebrating the babies of women lawyers).

      In my niche practice group, there are eight women partners, three of which are equity partners (IP- grandmother, IP- childless by choice, EP- single, EP- 2 middle school children, IP- single, EP-1 college age, 1 post-college, IP- children, IP- 3 pre-K children). Notably, folks can remain income partners forever- no up and out at that level.

      Granted, I was at two other firms before this, and I did not see this at all. The firm I am at now is considered more of a lifestyle firm.

      • Can I ask which practice area?

        And how do you manage to keep so many women?

        We have one group sort of like this at my firm and I’m convinced that it’s b/c they have 7 people doing the work of 5 (so I’m sure there are some % haircuts in there for FTEs, but only one PT person officially, and a lot of people coming in at a comfortable 80% of targeted hours).

    • NYC biglaw :


      One partner in my group has two children who have graduated from college and work nearby. Another partner in the group has one child who just had a child (her first grandchild!).

      Another partner has two children in elementary school and one counsel (single parent) has a child in elementary school.

      Lots of young children among the female associates. I think some of them are starting elementary school. Don’t know of any middle school/high school children among associates/partners (but don’t really ask about them either).

    • lawsuited :

      I can’t even answer “can you think of any female lawyers at your firm” in the affirmative. It’s just me.

    • I’ve never thought about this, but I have seen posts about wanting to live near parents for childcare help – doesn’t that presume that grandparents are retired and have time to be involved? Perhaps people hit retirement age by the time they’re grandparents…. that seems conceivable if a 65 year old women had a child when she was 30 and that child had a child at age 35.

      I can also only think of a few grandfathers I know who are in the workforce, but even they are in “lifestyle” positions now that are significantly lower stress than the types of jobs they had for the majority of their careers.

      • Anonymous :

        Depends on the age. My mom was working full time when I had babies – she often stopped by my house at lunchtime or after work to help. But she retired when my oldest was ten and has been a huge help in the last five years. She picks the kids up every day after school, takes them to activities and sometimes starts supper if there’s not much on the go. I love that they can come home after school and play in their own backyard a few times a few. I had a similarly close relationship with my maternal grandmother and I loved it.

        • Good point! I was thinking from my own context where my own grandparents were much older (both parents are youngest of multiple siblings) and actually lived with us (very common for South Asian families). My own parents will be at retirement age, if not close to it, by time my sibling or I have children so neither of them will be “working grandparents.”

      • My mom works but we live near her and it’s been such a help. I still had my kids in daycare until school, but she could do drop-off, pick-up, get them to playdates/activities/whatever. When they were little and I had to travel, they stayed at her house, because my husband leaves for work really early.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      There are many women at my firm that fit into one or more of these categories, including the grandmother one. I have a child starting high school this fall, and all of my kids are at an age where they read. Surprised this is such a rarity.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      There are several women in my office who are equity partners with children in elementary school up through high school. (Including me.)

      • I am an equity partner, but do NOT have any kids and am NOT married, so I act as a mentor to Lynn, who is onley a secretary, but she look’s up to me b/c I am an attorney at law, and she is thinking of going to law school. She is still haveing s-x with Mason, so she is VERY familiar with legal issues, both at work and with him. Mason has NOT gotten another job (he was terrible here, and I could NOT give him a good recomendation b/c all he was capable of doeing was to carry my pump’s, and to have s-x with Lynn in the Conference Room). FOOEY!

  5. Anonymous :

    does anyone have any suggestion for flats that would be similar to the cole haan air tali (with the bows), but which are perhaps a bit less matronly looking? those flats are the most comfortable for my narrow but with bunions feet. i love the little lift in the back–they aren’t totally flat, which makes them more comfortable for me. i am not crazy about the bows. but, generally, i think because of the colors offered and perhaps the texture of the leather, as well as the bows, they come off as a little bit matronly to me. any ideas for a similar shoe which would be just a bit more fashion-forward? i have been looking forever and coming up with nothing, so any suggestions would be appreciated!

    • Anonymous :

      I have the higher heeled version of these


      They may be the best shoe ever (at least in the higher version) b/c they are:
      very comfortable (have worn to work conferences where I am on my feet on hard floors a lot)
      very inexpensive (n.b., not leather)
      I have yet to ruin them (and I ruin everything, usually sooner than later; had these 1.5 years and they are so inexpensive, it seems like I can justify keeping a pair as a spare).

    • anonlawyer :

      I like the Ferragamo varina flats.

      I also like the AGL’s

      I own both of these and the CH Air Tali and the AGLs are the most comfortable, though i like the looks of the Ferragamos the best.

  6. Recommendations for a 48 hour couples trip to Mexico City? I think we might stay in Condesa or Roma… ? Activities, restaurants, hotels, all welcome. Or just tips!

    • Anonymous :

      Both Condesa and Roma are good neighborhoods to stay in. Condesa DF is a gorgeous hotel, in particular, if you have the budget. Definitely check out the Chapultepec Castle (hike up if you can, otherwise take the little trolley). Walk around Polanco and downtown. I don’t have any restaurant suggestions, but I’d try to do a mix of high-end restaurants and taquerias – tripadvisor should have some good suggestions.

    • Anonymous :

      Both Condesa and Roma are good neighborhoods to stay in. Condesa DF is a gorgeous hotel, in particular, if you have the budget. Definitely check out the Chapultepec Castle (hike up if you can, otherwise take the little trolley). Walk around Polanco and downtown. I don’t have any restaurant suggestions, but I’d try to do a mix of high-end restaurants and taquerias – trip advisor should have some good suggestions.

    • ALX emily :

      If you like food, do a street food tour through Club Tengo Hambre. It will seem kind of expensive considering how cheap food is there, but it’s worth it (and I have adequate Spanish skills and am pretty adventurous so would’ve otherwise braved figuring things out on my own, so that is high praise!). For other food info, see smitten kitchen’s post about her trip there and the Eater guide to the city that she references.

    • Puddlejumper :

      Never stayed there but I keep following Casa Nuevo Leon 120 on instagram and the rooms look beautiful!!!

      Two blog posts about Mexico City from people that haven’t sold out so their blog recs are real recs and not just sponsers:
      Smitten Kitchen spent a weekend in Mexico City. I trust her so much on her food recs: https://smittenkitchen.com/notes-from-a-weekend-in-mexico-city/

      Heart of Light:

    • thanks all – these are great suggestions!

    • espresso bean :

      I was just there in May and it was amazing! You’re going to have the best time.

      I LOVED the Eat Mexico street food tour. Highly recommend it! Also used the Smitten Kitchen guide like ALX emily says above and it was great.

      We stayed at Condesa Haus, which is a very affordable yet chic bed and breakfast in a quiet corner of Condesa. We loved it.

      Condesa and Roma are both beautiful — tons of great dining options, shops, and bars. Save some time for wandering the two large parks. They’re gorgeous and lush!

      We took Uber everywhere. The city is huge and sprawling, and although you can definitely wander around within neighborhoods, it can take over an hour just to walk from one neighborhood to another. Uber is cheap and easy.

      For one day, we took a private tour through Stylewalk MX that I really enjoyed. We went to Frida Kahlo’s house, Diego Rivera and Frida’s painting studio, San Angel (university neighborhood), Coyocan (one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, the area surrounding Frida’s house), and Xochimilco (raucous, vibrantly decorated gondola rides on a river filled with families — definitely not touristy). Highly recommend all of these things, although Xochimilco might be overwhelming without a guide.

      Loved wandering through the Centro and seeing the plaza with the truly enormous Mexican flag, Palacio Bellas Artes (a wedding cake of a building). Not too far from there, the La Ciudadela market was one of the best we saw. Great prices, not very touristy, and a huge variety of goods. I got some pottery and embroidered dresses for my niece.

      I could go on. Let me know if you want more ideas!

  7. Can anyone recommend a truly comfortable evening shoe?

    I have an event coming up where I will probably walk 2-3 miles around a museum during the evening. Attire is predominantly cocktail and I don’t actually have my dress yet. This will be an annual event so I would like something versatile that I can wear for multiple years. I figure a simple, timeless, black shoe is my best bet.

    A heel of 2 inches or less would be ideal and I would like to avoid an ankle strap since they make my legs look stumpy. Thank you!

    • I recently wore the Sam Edelman Susie for my wedding. I am not usually a heels wearer and wore them all day without pain – 10+ hours.

      They are a 2 inch block heel with an ankle strap. Not linking to the shoes to avoid moderation but if you google them, they come in a million different colors/materials.

      • Those have some serious potential. I really like the orange suede but realistically the gold will take me pretty far, I think.

    • Baconpancakes :

      It’s not really an “evening” shoe, but a simple black pump or wedge has carried me through a couple c0cktail dress weddings. I have the Clarks Vendra Bloom wedges in black leather, and they’re fantastically comfortable. They’re quite low, 1.5″, but magically don’t look frumpy. I’m planning on buying them in different colors as the need arises. (I’m debating buying them in pink lizard right now!)

    • Badgley Mischka Gigi. Flats are so much more comfortable for walking than heels. And IMHO a chic flat is more elegant than any wedge in existence.

      • I truly didn’t realize that there were some lovely formal flat options. There are some gorgeous Manolos. out of budget sadly.

        • Thistledown :

          This may be too far in the other direction, but I’ve tried on Rocket Dog silk flats before. They were very comfortable and would be appropriate for evening . I ended-up getting a pair in purple with heels and have been happy with them. They’re definitely not going to look luxe with the plastic sole though.

    • I last much longer in wedges than a stilletto heel. But I have no shame in switching to flats or black flip flops midway through an evening like this.

      • I usually prefer wedges too. Just can’t do a stiletto heel, even when I’m not walking that much.

    • Earth Shoes and Ecco both make dress shoes that are actually reasonably stylish and don’t look as “orthopedic” as they used to. Ecco, in particular, has some plain pumps (closed and open-toe) that are very neutral but are well-constructed and don’t make my feet hurt within an hour. Check Amazon, or the individual maker websites. They aren’t cheap but they’re worth it, IMO.

    • Anonymous :

      I find the Aerosoles Exquisite pumps to be very comfortable for these types of events. I have them in the funky black-and-white pattern and in nude.

  8. I don’t dislike the sweater (but could do this look for less).

    But I dig how the pants are styled — skinny-ish showing ankle with sleek heels.

    Why do I think if I get some of my BR Sloanes / Loft Julie pants hemmed up a bit that they will be Sad Capris from the late 1990s?

    I think that my pants were maybe intended to be shorter — I am only 5-4 and usually have to get regular pants hemmed up a bit if they have straight or bootcut openings.

    The proportions in the picture are (to me) perfect.

    • I think the key to flattering cropped pants is to have them hit right near the narrowest part of your ankle – a couple inches above the ankle bone. Sad ’90s Capris were usually just below the knee or at the widest part of the calf.

    • Anonymous :

      Fellow 5’4 person, and I get ankle pants in petite for this reason – have you tried that? Being 5’4 is an annoying no-woman’s-land of petite/regular cusp sizing!

    • Also 5’4”. I recently ordered some BR avery pants. I didn’t like the fabric and I will be returning them but the short length was perfect for me.

  9. A little sad today…

    Yesterday I turned down a job that I thought was going to be my dream job when I first heard about the opportunity. I think I would have loved the work itself, but the interview process revealed a corporate culture that I would have found intensely frustrating and overall made me so uncomfortable that I realized I would probably regret it if I took the job.

    Sad and frustrated! If only this company hadn’t been so dysfunctional…

    Ah well. Onto bigger and better things.

    • Sending hugs.

      If it makes you feel better, I took an opportunity where the job was ideal, but the culture was shady. It’s been four months, and I’m burnt out and have lost all the passion I had for my work. Culture is SO important when choosing a job, and I should’ve put more emphasis on it.

    • Your future self is so thankful that you didn’t take the job! It’s hard to turn down a job where the culture is a bad fit, but it is so much better than being stuck somewhere that makes you miserable. Be proud of yourself for making that tough decision.

      • Liquid Crystal :

        This. And please be proud of yourself for knowing yourself and identifying a big mismatch between you and the not-dream-job. You have come far already to see this!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Can you share some examples of what you experienced in the interview process that showed problems with the corporate culture? And why they made you uncomfortable? I’m curious but also I think sometimes in situations like these it helps to see your gut feelings in writing to cement your resolve and help you alleviate the sadness.

      • I’m slightly paranoid about going into specifics in case anyone from that company happens to read this, but I would say that the concerns fell into two major buckets:

        – general chaos throughout the process – ever-changing contact points to try to schedule with, things rearranged at the last minute, people showing up late, etc. More concerning than the chaos was also that people seemed totally unapologetic/matter-of-fact about it – it was obvious this was standard operating procedure.

        – disconnect between different people at the company about priorities, goals, challenges. I would say things like, “I understand from my earlier conversation with Person X that this division is very focused on Topic Y,” and Person Z would say, “No, that’s not a key focus for us at the moment.”

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      congratulate yourself for being so wise and not letting the “dream” cloud your judgment.

    • I’m at that job – org I alwyas wanted to work out – and have already seen someone crying at work and i’ve only been here two months. I see why you are sad, but good for you for being brave!

    • I’m you, but I took the job despite my gut telling me not to. I got greedy when I saw the offer, but I should have turned it down. Things at my new job are so chaotic, and I know at some point I’ll be the scape-goat for some disaster that comes to light. But the good news for my is that my old job called me last week…they want me back!! We’re negotiating but I think I’ll be going back to a job I really loved. Fingers crossed and lesson learned to listen to my gut!

    • Hey, congratulations for making such a good decision, though! I think that takes a lot of maturity and thoughtfulness!

  10. Country Mouse :

    We’re starting the process of selling our home in a rural NE state, and moving to the outskirts of Boston (wayyyy outskirts). We’ll likely rent for a while, looks like in an apartment/condo complex with our toddler and dog who will just fit under the weight limits. Husband already has a job, I will be looking, so even figuring out exactly where to go is still a little up in the air. Any moving/renting/changing our whole lives around advice?

    • west of Boston :

      how outskirt? There are some towns west of 95 that are suburbs, but feel very country-y. We have a barn. Our neighbors have horses and we have many alpaca farms in town.

      • Country Mouse :

        We’re looking east/northeast of Boston, but before NH.

        • Country Mouse :

          Sorry, I guess east of Boston is in the ocean… let’s go with northeast :)

          • Linda from HR :

            So somewhere along the north shore? Are we talking Salem-ish? Ipswich-ish? Newburyport-ish?

            Salem is a really pretty town. Bit crowded during the October weekends of course, but otherwise a nice place. Commuter rail station got a new parking garage, so driving to the train and taking it into North Station wouldn’t be bad.

            Manchester-by-the-Sea is also nice if you like the beach . . . but aside from those two aforementioned towns and Ipswich, which I only go up to once a year for an event, I don’t know much else about the area. I’m from south of the city.

          • I’m generalizing, but that area is gorgeous. Some ideas for your first year:

            – be a tourist in your own city/region. Go to the museums, shows, attractions, good restaurants, historic sites, breweries, explore neighborhoods, etc. and take advantage of being new and relatively fresh-eyed. We made a huge move last year and that has been my favorite part.

            – look into Hike it Baby if you’re into being outdoors. They have a Boston group, and I think others outside as well. Great for meeting people and exploring at the same time.

            – Check into the Trustees of Reservations for great places to go with the toddler and the dog. There are countless places to explore.

            The only downside to being up there is if you’re commuting into Boston it can be rough. Train is best, but timing can also make all the difference in the world for driving. 20 miles out might not have a huge difference in commute time from 10 miles out if the timing is right.

          • I have a cousin with a family of 6. They have a pretty large lot with farmland in Groveland –
            they love it! May be worth checking out!

        • Sad, as a NH seacoast resident I was hoping we would count as the way outskirts of Boston! There are lots of nice outskirts where I am imagining you are-ish, and also some not so nice (e.g. Lawrence). Newburyport is my fave for a MA outskirt, given that they have a commuter train especially, but can be very expensive.

    • We just bough a house in Malden (to me it is “just” north of Boston but that opinion can differ I guess) and love it here. It is an easy commute to the city.

      • Ha, to my mind Malden (and anywhere within 95, really) is still ‘in’ the Boston area!

        It depends on where you both will be working and what commuter rail station you might need to pop out at – North Station, South Station, Back Bay, I guess.

    • In that area, check out Beverly. It’s more affordable than some of the surrounding towns, but has a commuter rail stop and a nice downtown with some good coffee shops and restaurants. Plus excellent beach access.

      • Lyra Silvertongue :

        I’d also recommend Wenham, Hamilton, Georgetown, Boxford, Ipswich- all lovely towns with a lot of surrounding convenience and access.

  11. Anonymous :

    going to pike place market later today for my last day in Seattle, any must eats? (I like everything)

  12. London (again) (I know) :

    8 millionth London request of the week, since my mom and I decided yesterday to plan a trip for March! Puddlejumper, would you mind emailing me your list of recommendations? anonare t t e at gmail.

    • Anonymous :

      Or better yet Kat can you just have her write a guest post?!?

    • Awesome! My dream is to take my mom to London and then a week long trip around Ireland. What a special experience :)

    • Puddlejumper :

      Will do!

    • Anonymous :

      I went to London last year with my mom and we really enjoyed getting high tea at Fortnum and Mason before going to a show. We also went to several of the costume/clothing exhibits at Kensington Palace and the Victoria and Albert. (I’m not sure if it’s still there, but the exhibit on the history of underwear was fascinating. So many oddly shaped corsets!)

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I’m UK-based, and I know very little about London. I’m going for a day-trip, in October, and these posts are so useful… thanks! :)

  13. cake batter :

    Furniture question! Do any of you mount your taller furniture pieces to the wall to avoid tipping over? I’ve never done that, and my parents never did it growing up, but the 6′ tall shelves I just bought came with anti-tip hardware that you’re supposed to mount to the wall. No kids yet, but that’s the plan eventually. Is this something everyone does now, or is it just a “cover your peach” move from the furniture companies so they don’t get sued when stuff does tip?

    • We strapped furniture to the wall that we used in the kid’s room and other rooms where he spent time.

    • Yes. We have a small kid and our bookshelves and tall dressers are secured to the wall.

      My husband really didn’t think this was necessary, but our toddler has been doing his best spiderman impression and I’m glad they’re secured.

      If we didn’t have a kid or kids frequently in our house, I wouldn’t bother.

    • My kids’ tall dresser is secured to the wall. I can definitely see a terrible accident happening if it weren’t. I wouldn’t bother if I didn’t have kids.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I think furniture used to be sturdier. I used to climb up our bookcases, and there wasn’t really a thought that it would possibly tip over, because they weighed multiple hundreds of pounds and were built of thick, solid wood on thick bases. Now bookcases tend to be kind of wobbly.

      • cake batter :

        That’s a good point. Now that I think back on my parents’ and grandparents’ furniture, it was all enormous, sturdy stuff that wouldn’t have tipped even with an adult climbing on it. These new shelves I just got aren’t in that same category. I’m thinking we’ll hang onto the mounting hardware and add that to the list of childproofing activities whenever we cross that bridge. The only kids who (infrequently) visit us now are babies, so it won’t be an issue for a while. Thanks, y’all!

      • Well people didn’t used to buy furniture online or at Ikea and put it together themselves. It was bought at real furniture stores and thus made of real oak/pine/whatever which is heavy. The stuff nowadays is cheaper and lighter and often what is wood on the outside may have some light particle board on the inside making the whole piece lighter.

        • Baconpancakes :

          The styles are very different, too. I want my furniture to look airier than my parents’ furniture, and that often means it has to be made of less wood. Specifically I’m thinking about the backless bookcase I’m eyeing at CB2, which takes up less visual space but is probably not as sturdy as my current “can’t move it even empty without two people” hulking solid oak bookcase.

          • cake batter :

            Agree about changing styles – even my solid wood pieces are much smaller and airier than my parents might’ve had. My solid wood furniture has a lot of open “x” details and other designs that make them weigh less, visually and physically.

    • furniture does tip over. kids die from this sort of accident. i don’t have kids yet, but i think it’s worth the relatively little time you will spend on it (or just hire someone to do it).

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        There are so many sad stories online. I don’t have kids but when/if I do, my furniture will be secured.

      • west of Boston :

        My good friend is an ER doc. He has every singly piece of furniture strapped to the walls (he has young kids). The stories are awful.

    • We did but only because we had small children. If we did not have little climbers, we wouldn’t have.

    • No but I would if I had kids

    • Yes, why not? It takes about a minute to do.

      • cake batter :

        The only “why not” rationale is that I move furniture around a lot and don’t want to make too many holes in the wall. After hearing from everyone, though, I’m thinking I’ll just keep the hardware and do it later when we have kiddos – by then I should know if these shelves are in the perfect spot, so the holes will be nbd.

        • Linda from HR :

          That’s why I’m hesitant to do it too. I know it’s imperative if you have kids, but I’d still like to know if tall bookcases can tip over by themselves *without anyone climbing on them.*

          If you have friends with kids, or if you have nieces or nephews, it may be worth mounting furniture now in case there’s ever a time where those kids are in your home.

          But my friends don’t have kids, my one sibling doesn’t have kids, if there’s no chance of kids being in my home, does the furniture need to be mounted to keep it from falling away from the wall?

          • No. The furniture will not tip over unless someone is pulling on it. You may have some instability if you put all the heavy things on the top shelves vs the lower shelves. But I believe the wall mounting is to keep small children from toppling things onto themselves.

            I have a series of Billy bookcases that I have mounted to the wall only so they line up flush with each other to look flush with each other since the didn’t quite snug up uniformly to the wall otherwise.

          • Linda from HR :

            Ah, fair enough, thank you for clarifying!

            I don’t actually have a tall bookcase, but I have so many books that I know it’s a purchase I need to make in the near future, but if I ever have kids, they’re much, much further away.

          • Anonymous :

            If you live in earthquake country they can! -Said from the golden state, where all our furniture is strapped to the walls, even before kids

    • ShouldHavePlannedBetter :

      We never did this, and now have to retro fit because of expecting small one. Hoping local stores or Amazon sell generic kits, as I have no idea where the original ones are, or even if all the furniture came with.

      • Safety 1st and KidCo both make some. You can get tv straps too if that’s a concern.

      • Most manufacturers will sell them for next to nothing, if you know your brand. We just bought some used Room & Board bookcases and R&B shipped me the anchor kits for $1.99. I haven’t put them up yet because, tbh, with the books there, the bookcases are pretty immovable as is, and my daughter isn’t into climbing but if she starts trying we’ll probably get around to it. Agree that the downside is if you plan to move furniture and that it’s more of an issue with flimsy ikea stuff than solid wood.

      • Fwiw we hired a professional to anchor all our furniture and the tvs. Took 30 minutes and the house was done, and wasn’t obtrusive. If we want to move furniture around they’ll come back and redo free of charge.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        You can get them cheap from anywhere, as the other posters are saying.

        Also! If you just don’t want to deal, you can hire a baby proofer to come and do the work for you. Ours was really great and honest, like “eh, don’t bother strapping this, but please do that!”

        • cake batter :

          I’ve literally never heard of a baby proofer, but that’s brilliant. Will keep this in mind!

    • With kids, yes. All furniture that could conceivably tip over is anchored to the wall.

      To answer another’s question, yes, kits abound in babyproofing aisles.

    • We did this for the furniture in our daughter’s nursery and playroom once she was crawling. We didn’t bother doing it for the dressers in our master bedroom or the guest bedroom or the desks in our home offices, since she’s not in those rooms unsupervised. I definitely wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have kids. Adults are not going to tip over a dresser and it damages the wall to install the anti-tip hardware.

    • Flats Only :

      Since you don’t have kids yet, don’t worry about it now, unless you are in an earthquake prone area. However, for those with kids, absolutely do this. Even a smart kid like me climbed up the dresser and turned it over on myself when I was about 5. I was fine, and able to extricate myself, but for some reason kids WILL do this and it can have tragic results.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Thanks, I kept looking for the earthquake comments! Everything tall is anchored, regardless of the likelihood of climbing.

      • Yep, I was just going to ask. Do it when you have kids, but do you live in earthquake zone? If so, anchor it now even without kids.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, I was coming to make the earthquake comment.

      • cake batter :

        That’s funny – I’m not in an earthquake zone so that never crossed my mind.

    • I always anchor bookcases to the wall because I grew up in California.

      As an alternative to straps, for really tall bookcases we use angle irons screwed into a stud and the top of the bookcase, pointing down so they are concealed behind the bookcase.

    • For those of you who only do it if you have small kids, please note that an Ikea dresser fell on me as I was putting clothes in it. Me, a full grown adult. If it had heavier things than clothes in it, I would have been seriously hurt. And it took me a long time to free myself out.

    • Earthquake country here. Hell yes we do.

  14. Anyone want to do some vicarious shopping for me? I need work-appropriate skinny pants (looking to start an “office uniform” of sorts) — NOT leggings. I work in a business casual environment but try to dress on the fancier end due to my age/role (youngish person in a senior role — I am ~25 years younger than my closest-in-age peer). I carry ALL of my weight around my midsection so a higher rise to prevent muffin top is preferred. Any recs?

    • I like the Paley pants from J Crew. Not super skinny, but office appropriate skinny, IMO. About medium rise, I guess. I find them flattering. Lots of folks also love the Sloane pants from BR.

    • Loft Skinny pants. But some fabric styles are better than others so try a few.

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 Try for sure. Some Loft skinny pants work for me, others make my narrow hips look huge.

    • Flats Only :

      I have ordered these (linked) from Uniqlo. The back of the waist is elastic, but I generally wear my shirts out, so no issue. To me they look slim but not tight, and the description mentions a higher rise. We’ll see how they do.


    • I’m wearing the MM Lafleur foster pants today. They are cotton, slim but not legging-tight, and have a high rise. They are also very flattering! I get compliments on them, which is really rare for black pants :)

      • How durable are these? Have they held up well over time?

        • Bought them recently, but used from the buy-sell-trade facebook page. I don’t have direct experience yet but I think they will be very durable. The cotton is quite thick and the stitching seems strong.

      • The Foster pants are definitely not work appropriate on me. I think it depends on your size and build. I am 5’9″ with reasonably muscular legs/butt and these pants definitely fall into non-work territory for me (even when I sized up). Color also matters. I’ve only tried them on in gray and green. Black might be a bit more reasonable looking.

    • Ponte pants from Brass are amazing and have a very high rise.

  15. Baconpancakes :

    Anyone have favorite black mary jane commuting shoes? I’m thinking the athletic type, but all black to be lower profile.

    • Clarks Vailee Pine. A few years old but can probably still find them on Amazon etc

    • Not the most attractive, but depending on your feet, the most comfortable: the Naot Kirei mary janes. A friend of mine had majorly complicated foot surgery and these were the only shoes she could wear for a while, aside from Birkinstock Gizehs. They look like great commuters.

      fwiw, I love the Naot Kayla sandals and have very narrow feet, and those work for me (I’ve heard here that for many, these are just too narrow in their M size). The Kirei mary janes don’t appear to be as constricting, and I know my friend didn’t have particularly M or N feet.

    • I’m a huge fan of Merrell’s flats for commuting. They rotate styles frequently but right now here are a few I like:




  16. Does anyone have a compact waterpik? I was browsing reviews on Amazon for rechargeable/battery operated ones (my bathroom is small and has little storage) but it seems like there are a lot of options and conflicting reviews. Any recommendations from the hive?

    • Marshmallow :

      I do! I have the Waterpik WP-560 from Amazon, purchased on the advice of my dental-hygienist sister, and I really like it. I have some dental hardware that can be tough to floss around and the waterpik makes it so much easier. If I’m really taking my time, I’ve run out of water a few times and had to refill it. But it’s not a big deal. And a charge lasts about a week, so I appreciate not needing to leave it plugged in at all times. Would definitely recommend. I’ve also used the larger sized one with the reservoir and the water force feels the same to me.

    • Liquid Crystal :

      I got a package at Costco with a regular/tank one and a travel/compact one. My husband ended up with the compact one and likes it so much he is about to order a full sized one for easier use, now that he know some he will actually use it.

  17. CPA - Worth it? :

    Jumping of the financial advisor thread above, do most of you use an accountant? I’ve always done my own taxes without software etc and weirdly enjoy doing them, but they’ve always been fairly simple. I just got married, so this year it’s quite a bit more complicated – side-gig income, husband’s unemployment this year, investment gains, new house etc. Husband has always used TurboTax. Should we spring for an accountant this year or just do our research and use a program?

    • TurboTax can handle all those scenarios, but you’ll need to go through it carefully to make sure each of those things is captured. If you’re uncomfortable doing it on your own, it’s certainly fine to get an accountant, but go to a real CPA. H&R Block is just lay people using a tax prep software like TurboTax, so you’d be wasting your money.

    • We used on the year we were married, as we also had partial year home mortgage and DH had a few 1099s. After two years and a super frustrating experience (and now that 1099s are gone and we have full-year home stuff), we are going to do it ourselves this year.

    • I did briefly when I had a side gig, but I eventually switched to using the Home and Business version of TurboTax or a similar program – I just needed something to walk me through doing the schedule C for my business expenses.

    • It depends on 1) How much do you make and is it at the level where they may audit you?, 2) How much time and energy are you willing to spend on this? 3) How risk averse are you?

      I had some weirdness with my taxes this year with a couple of bonuses, and getting a CPA was the best thing ever. I ended up spending ~$700 and an hour of my time talking to the guy. That was it and everything was done for me after that. It would have taken me forever to figure out how to do this on Turbotax, probably would have cost $200+ in fees, and there’s a good chance I would have done it wrong.

    • I would definitely get a CPA in your situation. I have had to clean up so many incorrect self- employment situations (both side-gig and main source of income) that it is ridiculous.

  18. Student loan repayment cosigner :

    Hi ladies, a distant relative A has been diagnosed with a late stage terminal illness and will have trouble paying back his student loans since he’s still in med school. His brother B co-signed the loans for him so B will be responsible for the full amount no matter what happens? Is there a way to reduce the burden for B since we’re talking about at least 100k here and he didn’t use any of the money? I’m not sure if B can prove hardship but it’s not like he has that much extra money to make the payments. A is married but his wife didn’t co-sign the loans and they live in an equitable distribution state. I’m assuming these are private loans but I’m not sure. I know loans should be paid back but this is a tough situation for all so I’m trying to see if they can get any help.

    • So sorry about this awful situation. Not sure if he has already started making payments, but if so, I think if you are able to make payments for a period of two years you can then remove the co-signer. My brother co-signed for me and I had him removed as soon as the period was up. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to find a lawyer who is well-versed in this topic.

    • They’d need to start by figuring out what loans they have and what the terms are. There’s no one size fits all answer.

    • You’re right, I don’t know all the details, just trying to gather some info. Good point about removing after two years! Thank you for chiming in! Would part of the loan be forgiven if A were to declare bankruptcy or something?

      • Student loans are typically not dischargeable in bankruptcy. There is a very high bar for demonstrating an inability to make payments in order to justify discharging.

        • To close that thought – the ability of A to discharge will be very fact dependent and how closely his facts align with the reasoning on the few cases that have had discharges.

          • What were the reasons on those discharged cases? Or could you tell me how to look? I’m not in law so not familiar. Thanks so much!

        • I see. It sounds like it’s a good idea to consult someone familiar with loan settlement/bankruptcy. Any idea where to start looking for such a person/company?

          • Anonymous :

            My thought would be a reputable bankruptcy attorney – your local state bar may have a listing or recommendations. You may want to interview a couple to see what their experience is with student loan debt.

    • Some loan companies explicitly say they won’t go after the co-signer if the borrower dies. But most will. You have to know the loan terms. And honestly this is why people shouldn’t co-sign loans unless covering the total loan amount wouldn’t be a financial hardship. No matter how much you trust the borrower, something like this can happen. My husbands parents were furious and stopped speaking to us for a while when we wouldn’t co-sign a loan for them, but having to pay off that loan ourselves would have been disastrous for us financially, and we had to put our own family first.

    • They should try and have the loans forgiven by total and permanent disability. Usually, the easiest is getting on SSDI, but there are other avenues. Check with the servicer.

      • crymeariver :

        This is an excellent idea.

        For many life threatening/limiting diagnoses, there are now fast tracts for obtaining disability.

        What is his/her diagnosis?


        • Thank you for the direct link! He has late stage cancer so I think he should qualify, I will check the list.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      A needs to read the terms of the loan. Federal ones (last I checked) are discharged on death or permanent disability. If this is a private loan, you need to check the terms. Some have hardship provisions and others don’t. If A is still in med school and now withdrawing because of the illness, he should also see if the school would provide any tuition refund for any paid semester he won’t be attending. That money can go right back on the loan balance. Does A have life insurance? In law school, my friend’s mom made her get life insurance w/ mom as the beneficiary before mom would co-sign the loan.

      • Anon in NYC :

        My mom did the same (made me get life insurance) before she would co-sign a school loan. A most likely won’t be able to get a new life insurance policy now. But assuming that A already has life insurance, he can change his beneficiaries so that he provides for B. Or, he can create and/or amend his will to designate some of his assets go to B.

    • Federal loans (including PLUS loans) are all discharged upon the death of the student. Private loans vary, so it all depends on the terms of the loan. If they are private loans and they are currently with a lender that does not have a death discharge, I wondering if your family member would be able to refinance them to a lender that does have a death discharge. I notice that SoFi seems to offer death discharge. If he has private loans in a current semester that do not have a death discharge provision, he should check with his school and see if he still has time to switch to a federal PLUS loan instead of a private loan.

    • Thanks so much everyone, really appreciate your input. I will pass on all your helpful suggestions to the family!

  19. Didn’t want to derail the question above — but for the people above who are saying what do people do to buy $1 million houses or have 100k+ in retirement at 35 — when you all chose your majors/jobs after college/industries to pursue, did you consider money at all? Or did you pursue the things you felt passionate about and figured money would come and/or were you unable to make yourself interested in higher paying things? And the converse as well — for those of you who chose things like banking/law/medicine — how much did money play into it, be honest?

    • I was never good at math or science or things like that, so I knew early on I would never be a banker, engineer, or doctor! I work in nonprofits so I don’t make a lot of money but I like the field, the flexibility, the lack of stress, the work-life balance. Being rich has never been a goal of mine. I also hated higher education and never wanted to pursue something like law school just for the sake of making more money.

    • Kind of a mix. I didn’t feel like I had to go into law or medicine or another stereotypically “rich” field and I definitely would have pursued engineering or nursing or something like that if it was my passion. But I definitely shied away from notoriously low-paying professions like teaching, or careers where it seemed like it would be really hard to find a job, like journalism/writing. Fwiw, I lasted about eight years in law before accepting it wasn’t my passion and going into something else that pays a lot less but I enjoy a lot more. My house is nowhere near $1M (we live in a LCOL area and bought a forever house that will easily accommodate a growing family for $400K) but I do have a lot of money in retirement accounts. I was in Big Law for most of those eight years and DH has a job that pays low six figures so we mostly live off his salary and put my salary in the bank.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Former ibanking (now in post banking corporate role). Money played into it a lot. I don’t come from a background where I could have afforded to move / take a job in NYC / rent an apt etc without a job paying $$$$ so thats what I did. I also enjoy numbers / hard work / analytical thought so it worked out from that perspective.

      I didn’t have parents who managed money well (they made a decent 5 figure family income) and we always seemed to be falling short. My parents decided to live in an expensive (for them) neighborhood and try to get me into private school as a scholarship kid. I was disappointed a lot as a little kid and the lack of funds for anything / doing everything on a shoestring (think 22 people staying in a 3-4 bedroom condo on vacation, never getting boots / coats / clothes / furnishings / bedspreads etc I wanted because they would need to be handed down / resold) / and constantly begging for more financial aid / babysitting jobs / work hours became a central facet of my childhood. It drove me to work (both in school and in work) like the wolf was perpetually at my back door, and banking is a field that rewards this sort of ethic. I do struggle a bit with this now that I am 30 and very comfortable (not like early retirement comfortable, but could easily survive 15 – 20 years without working), when is it enough? What do I really want over the next ten years? I also struggle with an irrational fear that someone is going to come and take everything I have away from me.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      Yes. I did. I knew I wanted to make money, so I chose law (dumb, actually). And then when I was in law school, I chose tax because I believed it to be most lucrative.

      stupid 22 year old me!

      • Why is that dumb exactly? If you go do tax in biglaw – there is money to be had. Even if you don’t make partner 8-10 yrs of associate money is a LOT. And tax folks have good exit options into banking/hedge funds etc. or if that’s not your speed even regular corporate in house puts you at a “step down from biglaw” salary of 150k+.

    • Marshmallow :

      I knew I wanted to make money. I’ve always been a huge reader and very into writing, and I looked up to the lawyers in our community, so it was a pretty easy career path decision. For a while I toyed with the idea of going into publishing or trying to become a fiction author, and I took a short detour into a public service career, but going to law school was the right choice for me. I was not about to be the next Liane Moriarty or Stephen King, and while I’m never going to make ibanking money as a lawyer, I know I can be stable and comfortable. That was really important.

    • My husband went into a field he loves. He is good at it. It happens to be tech and he happened to join a company early before they went public. Totally by accident, he didn’t do research into which company would go public – he just picked one that had work for him that was intersting. We ended up rich. We didn’t plan for this at all. We would still be working the jobs we are working even if they didn’t make money.

      We live very nicely, but not as over the top as many of his coworkers We both grew up very middle class and expected to when we were in college to live very middle class. We hope to raise our kids as grounded and unspoiled as possible. We donate over 75% of our income every year.

      • If I were fabulously wealthy, I might pay off the student loans of the dying medical student mentioned above.

    • Money played into it for me to some degree (I knew I’d make a decent living), and fortunately my interests and talents aligned with the field I am in (finance).

      • I will also admit to being flummoxed that many people didn’t seem to do a little research when choosing majors as to whether their goals aligned with their lifestyle expectations (yes, I know they’re 19 and 20, but so was I). Especially people who also took out a ton of debt for degrees that don’t lead to a distinct career path (i.e., engineering at top school, makes sense; studio art or English major at private school, probably doesn’t make sense). There is too much “follow your dreams” nonsense when people are just starting out.

        • Yep like 11:30 – my interests were finance (and later law) AND I was positive I wanted to live in a big city like NYC/DC so I knew I had to make a good living. So yeah it all aligned. Agree with 11:34 – if you’re taking on debt to major in English, you had better be at a top 10 school where you can get recruited by McKinsey and the like AND you had better be ok with doing “corporate” work for those kinds of companies. So many people aren’t though – they want to take on debt to attend top schools to study what they want and then pursue whatever it is they love – all of which is fine at 22 but then at 35, it’s worries about retirement funds or down payments or whatever if they aren’t for the type of families that can provide that. I don’t get it.

        • If you’re a first generation college student, the focus is on trying to graduate, not planning out a career at 19. Unfortunately, because these students don’t have educated parents to guide them through the process, many of these students feel that just graduating will lead to success and better job prospects. It’s not a great thing, but you shouldn’t blame teenagers with no experience or guidance for picking a major they enjoy, and a major that they can complete without failing out (especially due to compound pressures of school, usually working a work study and additional job, and possibly deal with home stressors).

          • 80-90+% of the liberal arts majors I went to college with were NOT first gen. They came from parents who had also gone to college and were doing well – though maybe not well enough to pay 70k/yr full freight so these kids were taking on loans to study English and history to pursue “passions.” So yeah while I feel for the first gen, don’t act like it applies to everyone at the private schools bc it certainly does not.

          • So what? You can do a lot of different things with an English or history degree. Not everyone needs to be a lawyer to be successful in life.

          • I’m the anon at 11:30 and 11:34 and my husband and sister are both first-gen college students. That actually made them more likely to do this kind of analysis because they were adament that they would have a better life. So I don’t think it’s a good enough excuse.

            I do blame teenagers (and society generally). They aren’t making these decisions in a vacuum. They have teachers and parents and administration staff that can help them if they are going to college. It’s just not acceptable that people “shouldn’t be expected” to plan for their financial stability in their early 20’s. It used to happen all the time.

          • This is why financial fluency should be a course throughout high school, if not earlier. It’s seriously lacking from required curriculum because, among other reasons I’m sure, TEST SCORES.

            Signed, former public school teacher now in ibanking. Go figure.

          • As a first-generation college student English mahpjor, the OP’s explanation hit the nail on the head regarding my experience (and the experience of most of my other first-gen friends)

      • But it’s only certain sectors of finance that lead to million dollar homes. I came from a poor background, first gen college student, and thought I was picking an awesome job in Finance. And I was! But corporate finance doesn’t pay the kind of money that lets you get $1M homes, at least not until you’ve worked up to Director or sometimes even VP level, which takes many years and often another degree.

        I think people who make a decent living and feel rich because they can pay the mortgage on their $250-500K home probably did a great job considering money and career when picking a major. But you’re on an entirely different plane if you got to the point of $1M homes. That’s not a function of picking the right major. That’s something else.

    • Similar to JuniorMinion over here. Parents were divorced, and because of that money was more of a struggle than it needed to be. When I was choosing BigLaw it was with eyes-wide-open as to salary you could earn in BigLaw, although I unfortunately thought it would be easier than it is to live with BigLawLoans.

      I don’t regret my choice because I love being a lawyer, and the niche I’m in, but I am totally befuddled by the “follow your dreams” nonsense that seems to be everywhere when you’re 18-22.

    • Different anon :

      I was raised by immigrants and money was a big factor, but it was never called “money” but rather viewed at in terms of “financial stability.” It worked out great for me having a mother that was more concerned about my independence than finding a rich husband (I know a lot of moms who pressured their daughters this way). I always rolled my eyes when my parents would say it but I understand why they did now – “a history degree, what do you do with a history degree?” So this was always drilled into us. So, yeah clearly this framework meant my parents were going to have doctors, lawyers, accountant kids because those were safe jobs and not “starving artists” as my mom called them. Funny thing is my parents LOVE art and sports and music and we did all of those extra curriculars but they were hobbies to excel in, not areas to ‘major’ in. My parents paid for us to go to private school and then private college on the pretext they would pay for the best schools we could get into. As a result, because we knew how much school cost them, it was a shame to your parents and a disappointment to them to not try your hardest to always get the best grades. This is obviously a big risk for parents to take but I see a lot of immigrant parents who do this. Graduating from law school debt-free (I paid for law school but received huge scholarships and paid for the rest with my money from jobs I had in college) has given me a massive leg-up as a young professional, but it is a huge gamble for parents to make. I think a lot of immigrants have the idea that you have to make your children’s lives better than your own and they certainly did for us and also drilled that idea. No kids yet but saving for them and for the future has always been on my mind for the same idea – it would be a waste of the potential and the gifts I’ve received to not make life better for my kids.

      • Yep. This. Also raised by immigrants (South Asian). “Practical major” is a refrain in every south Asian household I know. In my home – your choices were engineering/medicine/law/investment banking or mgmt. consulting. If you weren’t bright enough for those – throw in pharmacy/accounting. That was it. Fortunately my sibling and I were both drawn to one of the 4 fields anyway – as neither of us had any particular interest in liberal arts – so my parents didn’t have to push us into something we didn’t want. But in the homes of my south Asian friends (and now 15 yrs later I’m seeing the same with high school age cousins) — there was major pushing/arguing/fighting about “practical majors” and people were definitely pushed into professions they didn’t really want. From the outside looking in, they’re doing well in life now – but only they can know in their heart of hearts where they are miserable as doctors/engineers etc. My sibling and I both went to an ivy where every single person who wants a business job gets one bc recruiting is so solid – so theoretically we could have majored in English and landed at MBB (or gone to law school), but our parents didn’t see (and even now) still don’t see that as a “safe” path bc what if recruiting just doesn’t work out for you that yr or you don’t get into law school; to them it is safer to study finance or engineering bc if MBB or law school doesn’t happen, some other 100k job will. So yeah — very risk averse immigrant views and to be quite honest even though I’m 2nd gen I still feel the same way and am probably even more adamant about it than my parents. But it could be that I view an education as a means to an end to make money — I don’t have romantic views about learning generally.

      • Seconding this. First generation immigrant and money was very tight throughout most of my childhood. Obviously law school is a gamble, but I felt confident that I could make it into big law, which I did. I did not ever feel like I could truly chase my passion/dream (whatever that is), because I knew I would not have family money to fall back on.

    • I went into a field I liked and thought would make money (law. HA. HAHAHA.) I was in law school during the crash, and the payoff math changed dramatically after my first year, but money did play into my decision.

      I’m making a nice salary now in the public sector (not federal). My husband also has student loans, but makes significantly more than I do in a skilled-trade area, also for government. He completely lucked into his trade, and isn’t using the education the loans are for.

      • Anon for this :

        I didn’t go into law for the money, but I agree that law isn’t a good field if you’re motivated by money and in a position to go into anything. It’s not that much money for the hours and job security just isn’t there for most people (even most grads of top schools). I wish I had known about total comp packages (not just salary! Equity is how people in my town can afford even modest houses), but also about flexibility, job security, what an actual day was like, what career paths would be like, and what my expenses would be like when I was figuring out what to study.

    • I didn’t consider this at all when I was in undergrad and I wish I had. I just really didn’t have a clue about what to do and I wish I had pursued things that would have at least made me employable upon graduation. I did get a solid education and after flailing for a bit in my 20s I found a career I like well enough with a decent salary. It’s not a biglaw salary by any means, but my lifestyle is pretty good.

      • +1 I’m doing fine now, but I wish I had chosen a STEM field like my father. I would have been just fine if I skipped law school.

        My parents didn’t push me one way or the other. They let me do whatever I wanted, which included changing my major several times (accounting –> comp sci –> sports marketing).

        • And when I say fine I mean that I own a small house in an LCOL, and make some sort of student loan payments every month (IBR), contribute to my 401k, and have a (small by ‘ r e t t e standards) savings account. But I do not have spare money at the end of the month.

    • I was always good at math and assumed engineering would be a good path. So that’s where I went. Money wasn’t a top concern, but I did go for some balance of money vs. (uninformed) interest. In retrospect I really wish I had known of other options. I’m not the most creative kid, and there was a lack of guidance at home and school that I didn’t really know what else was out there besides the general doctor, lawyer, engineer gigs.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’m not wealthy by any means but I will meet the retirement milestone (hopefully, if all goes according to plan). For me, it was going to an elite school debt free (thanks, parents) and getting tons of internships while I was there. My work experience + stellar GPA got me an offer at a Fortune 500. So for me, it was orienting myself early towards the workforce (I started off doing event planning internships, realized I hated them, and switched to Comms/Marketing).

      • Well, no, for you it was getting significant support from your parents. Nice, but not really “orienting yourself towards the workplace.”

        • Anonymous :

          lol +1

          Let’s not kid ourselves, Veronica Mars.

        • Anonymous :

          I see your point, but there are lots of kids whose parents pay for an elite college in full and the kids don’t do anything to set themselves up for a productive post-college career and end up not doing so well financially unless the parents bail them out post-college. I went to an Ivy where almost 100% of students graduate debt free (either through grants from the school or parents footing the bill, mostly the latter) and a pretty sizable percentage of people moved home post-school because they didn’t have jobs or they had jobs that didn’t pay enough to pay rents in the big city where they were working so they had to live rent-free in suburbia (this was the peak of the recession, but still). I think she acknowledged that she was a born a step or several ahead by having her parents pay for college, but her own actions still have relevance and it sounds like she’s ahead of a lot of similarly-situated peers.

          • Anonymous :

            Agree. My sister went to an expensive private school (GW) and my parents paid for most of it. Despite living in DC, she got zero work experience relevant to her major (international relations and a foreign language), and my parents definitely bailed her out post graduation, allowing her to travel and do work that did not allow her to be financially self-sufficient. She could have oriented herself toward the workplace a LOT better and found a “real” job about 5 years sooner if she’d been more proactive. (I’m not bitter about this at all, I swear.)

    • For career #1 (chosen while in undergrad), I went with the “follow your dream” advice and went into the arts. I don’t regret doing it, but there is no such thing as “Do what you love and the money will come,” and I learned that the hard way–there’s just not money to be made in certain fields, except I suppose at the very top. I was relatively “successful” in my field, but worked a gazillion hours, mostly doing tasks I did not find enjoyable with people whom I did not enjoy, and made very little money, plus had no benefits. The stress took a toll and that plus the money/instability prevented me from making certain major life decisions when it would otherwise have been the right time to do so–i.e., delaying having kids because I couldn’t afford to take a maternity leave, let alone childcare costs afterward.

      Switched to law for career #2 and couldn’t be happier. I love the work, I get along with the people way better, and the salary increase is no joke. For the first time in my life I am not stressed about money–and I work fewer hours (yup, BigLaw hours are better than certain arts jobs). My husband and I are planning a family at last. I feel like I can finally see a long-term career path for myself (whether I stay in BigLaw or not, there are tons of great law jobs out there, any of which would provide interesting work at a decent and dependable salary, with benefits). I largely made the transition because of the substantive work I would be doing and its alignment with my personality and interests, but money and even more so, dependability played a huge role as well. No regrets and no shame about it. My career now supports the life I want to live.

      • I grew up with constant stress about money, and honestly, the lack of stress about money in biglaw massively improves my life and (for me, given my background) makes a lot of the downsides of this career acceptable.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      I always wanted to be a lawyer, but the supposed money and prestige definitely played a role in my choice. Unfortunately, I have worked for the government my entire career. I’m still chasing “attorney money” and it has been quite elusive.

    • I am always amazed when I hear people telling teenagers to “follow their dreams” because for most people, that is not good advice. Childhood dreams are usually not compatible with the actual job market. Kids who dream about being engineers will probably do fine. Kids who dream about playing in the NFL, or being a ballerina, are going to have a much tougher time.

      My parents told me, if you’re going to spend money going to school, you better be able to get a job when you get out. It was all practicality for them. And it worked out well for me; I’ve always been able to find a job. If my kids want to “follow their dreams” and those dreams don’t necessitate a college degree, I’m going to encourage them to consider community college or trade school rather than a full four-year in, because I don’t think the expense is worth it unless you’re going into a field that will pay decent money to offset the expense put into going to college.

      • Yep – even at 17 or 18 I remember thinking, if I’m paying 50-55k/yr for school (what ivys cost back then – and it was a combo of loans and parents paying), I better get a job for at least that amount when I graduate. To me it made zero sense to pursue a 55k/yr education for the type of job that pays 40k – bc IMO you can get that 40k job going to a cheaper school, in state etc.

      • Anonymous :

        I think this makes a lot of sense. I also know that even today I am constantly hearing about job titles people have that I wasn’t even aware existed and I am constantly wondering how people ended up in these jobs and how they even knew that they existed to apply to them/seek them out. For example, being a property manager. In my law career, I’ve ended up advising some REITs, and have only learned about commercial real estate property managers through this work experience.

    • I’ll be honest – money was 100% of the reason I went into law. I had a job where I was making 1/4 of what the lawyers supporting my business line were making & I wanted to increase my income and be able to support myself without worrying about money. I got lucky & it worked out & I happen to love what I do. I wouldn’t sell law as the path to riches or even comfort these days, but the idea of it was why I went that route.

    • I’m 33 and so is my husband. Neither of us are JDs or MDs. We’ve both always worked, including through grad school (I went part time, he went full time but worked part time and also had a scholarship). I have a MHA and DH has an MBA. I was a bio major in undergrad that considered med school, then considered being a nurse practitioner, then went into the administrative side of things instead. DH is a director/VP level at an insurance company.

      Since we’ve been in the workforce since 22, we have been contributing to retirement since then. He maxed out his IRA every year and contributed between 5k and the max to his 401(k) which was matched in part by his employer.

      I made less money right out of undergrad (hello, government service) but still contributed to both a 403(b) and an IRA (roth, since I was poor).

      Compound interest really matters– we’re now both 33 and have a combined 400k in retirement. I just looked up that number and am pretty damn proud of myself– I had thought it was more like 250k.

      FWIW, we have what I’d call senior/middle mgmt jobs (at my peak I made 180k; DH made 230k at his peak–we’ve never peaked at the same time and average a HHI of around 280-300k. We also have 2 kids and probably will have another and it’s like setting money on fire!).

    • Anon for this :

      I knew I needed an H1B to stay in the US and I needed money to support myself (I was a refugee), so I chose engineering because it is reasonably easy to get a work visa in most engineering fields and they pay better than average. After working as an engineer for about a decade, I moved to law, mostly for the additional money but also because it interested me.

    • Anonymous :

      I grew up in a low income family (my dad worked a smattering of mostly-minimum-wage jobs in retail and construction until he became too sick to work and my mom reentered the work force as a CNA) and I was hugely motivated by money in focusing on education and choosing a career – but I also considered a salary of $50,000 a year (double what my family of five usually lived on) to be rich, so I decided to go into academia.

      I started law school in 2007 because 1) I had a very good score on the LSAT, which translated into a full scholarship and 2) I thought it would make me become a better writer. By the end of my 2L summer I decided to forgo a phd and become a lawyer not because they make more money than professors (either salary seemed absurdly comfortable), but because a job offer in hand seemed like a better bet than hoping to find employment as an academic in the humanities. Now I am 30, work in mid-law in a LCOL city, make about $150,000 a year (which I consider lower-upper class – I mean, I can afford real Parmesan and have been to Europe!), have a $500,000 house with about $200,000 in equity, and just hit six figures in my 401k.

    • Anonymous :

      I didn’t really consider money that much when choosing my undergraduate degree, I just majored in government and international relations because that was what was most interesting to me and it seemed like it would offer me a lot of career options. But I graduated in the middle of the recession, and after taking a year to be an au pair and think about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I decided that among all the jobs I would enjoy (think tanks, academia, NGOs…) there were some that made a lot more money than others. So I decided to be a lawyer. I applied only to law schools that place at least 90% of their graduates in jobs, and I would have had to come up with a plan B career if I hadn’t gotten in, because I wasn’t going to invest all that time and money if I couldn’t get a job. It’s worked out so far, my BigLaw experience has been good.

    • Marillenbaum :

      When I chose my major, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do, so (with a bit of faffing about wanting to be a theatre major before realizing I did NOT have the requisite capacity for rejection), that is exactly what I did. I’m now in grad school as part of a fellowship program that puts me into my chosen career (diplomacy). Partially it was a desire to work in public service, partially an interest in the work, and partially the fact that as an African-American woman, I figured my best route to avoiding systemic underpayment was choosing a career with a clear pay scale that I could hopefully leverage into a market rate position in the private sector if I leave.

    • Anonymous :

      I specifically considered money and did an MBA. But I also enjoy my job, mostly.
      My true love is history, as well as literature but I figured that I could enjoy those just as passionately in my free time…which I do!

  20. Done with D.C.? :

    Dc ‘retts- with the politics and weather lately is anyone else feeling just DONE with D.C. ? I daydream about moving somewhere without 100 percent humidity and where my family can buy a house in a nice neighborhood with good schools and commutes for less than 800k. But with jobs in policy, it may just be a daydream? Talk me out of it? Or tell me where to go!

    • Move to MN. Yah there is humidity in the summer – but not as bad. Great commutes, lovely neighborhoods, solid schools. Seriously check out the Twin Cities!

    • Yup, with the politics and the high COL (I’m in BigLaw and with student loans buying a house is AT LEAST 5 years away?!), I am DONE. Moving to Texas. I like the heat and don’t mind humidity, so that isn’t a factor for me. But getting away from the politics, moving to a city with a more reasonable COL is worth it to me and the SO.

    • Chicago! I moved in December- we’d been feeling done with DC for a while, and we knew my fiance’s job would be eliminated after Trump was elected. Check out the thread from yesterday- Chicago is a wonderful place to live.

      • Marillenbaum :

        I have a bit of a dream of living in Chicago–I was in the running for a job there a few years ago, and while I didn’t get it, I kind of fell in love with the city. While I’d probably have to transition out of my current field to something adjacent, I’d love it (apart from the winters!)

    • Yeah unfortunately D.C. In theory should be a good place to live but the weather is generally unpleasant especially in the summer, the commute is rough, and the shell game climate at work and in the political culture gets old real fast.

    • Am I the only one who thinks the weather lately hasn’t been bad? We haven’t really had the typical summer with 112 degree heat indexes, no? Feels like it’s been stretches of that mixed in with longer stretches of humid fall weather. Not defending DC. Move here from NYC 2 yrs ago and am really thinking about returning to NYC – except the darn COL is good here.

    • What kind of policy area do you work in? If it’s foreign policy or international aid or something, then I guess D.C. is probably the only place to be. But if it’s something else you could probably find jobs at the state level anywhere else in the country. They’re not as prolific, but they do exist! I loved my time in D.C. but I’m also really happy to not be there anymore.

    • Anonymous :

      Hard to move if you’re a policy person in DC but what kind of policy? If you’re doing something related to health or transport, there are departments of health and transportation at the state level also. If it’s something like chief of staff for someone, you can look to get into a mayor’s office/state senate somewhere. If you’re somehow tied to an industry, you can look to get a job at a company in that industry in a gov’t relations function. It can be done if you really really want to leave DC but TBH easier said than done.

      • I don’t think it’s as hard as you’re saying it is. It’s definitely possible, it just takes some motivation. Those jobs aren’t going to fall in your lap.

    • I am moving from DC to Colorado in two weeks! Can’t wait.

    • I’m in policy/politics. I’ve worked here and at the state level, and I really enjoyed the state level. My field has a direct human impact (think like healthcare or education), and at the state level, I got to meet and work with the people my work was affecting. While yes, here I’m shaping national policy, it’s just that – national. I feel disconnected from the people I got into this field to help. My SO and I are definitely planning on leaving within 5 years to somewhere with a more reasonable COL…and a state capital where I can work.

      If you want to work in a state capital in the capital, it’s all about old fashioned shoe leather – go drop resumes in offices and introduce yourself.

    • In defense of DC :

      Because I really do love this city (although I absolutely get your frustration). Oddly enough the weather here doesn’t bother me. I love having a distinct four seasons and don’t mind July and August being gross and humid. Midwest/New England winters would kill me, and I love that DC winters are generally 40 degrees or so. The political climate is a bit crazy right now but even that is I think largely a function of who your social group is. I’m in policy but am not particularly political, and my conversations with my friends tend to center on things other than politics (because you can only talk so much about how terrible Trump is).

  21. Meal prep for foodies? :

    I know we have talked a lot about meal prep here (and there are a ton of resources on the internet) but anyone has good tips/resources/ideas for mealprepping for a foodie. So someone who wants to eat healthy but will choke at another grilled chicken based menu. TIA!

    • I haven’t found anything great so I just do it for myself. Sunday morning i page through recipes and day dream up what I want, go to the grocery store, and prepare things.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I love love love food. But I also need to meal plan. What I do:

      1) Lunches (if I am working/internship ie not eating from home). I make a huge pot of soup on Sunday and eat that every day of the week for lunch if I don’t have enough left overs from the dinner the night before. I rotate the soups regularly and pick things that are seasonal. During the hottest part of summer I tend to just do adult lunchables – cut up cheese, hard salami, fruit, cucumber, pickles, mustard, crackers and bring that.

      2) I try to plan a loose calendar a month in advance. Where I look at meals we will actually be around for etc and fill it all in with basic ideas. I have a google doc of meals that we loved in the past that are sorted by season. I also have a calendar of “what produce is in season for what month” to help me out. I scan pinterest too.

      3) Thursday night I do the next’s week meal plan. I look at what I have set for the week. I fine tune it – maybe I am craving something different than I was when I made the month long plan. I make a grocery shopping list. I either than send my husband grocery shopping on Saturday or I do delivery groceries and put an order in.

      4) Sunday I prep things I can prep. Cut veggies, wash things, make that pot of soup listed above, cook things in the crock pot, cook up a ton of sweet potatoes, boil some barley etc.

      5) Lastly – and this is most important. I make notes about what I need to do food wise for each day. Do I have to take meat out to defrost in the fridge? Does the tofu need to marinate? Can I whip up the dressing in the AM before work to make the salad go super fast after work? After I try a new recipe I always think about how I could prep it easier the next time and make notes on that so I don’t have to worry.

      • This is SUPER helpful…more please?

        How do you organize your google doc of things you loved, sorted by season? I want to start this. I do something similar to you where I make lunches for the week on Sunday, and eat the same thing most of the week (usually a soup in winter, but tofu stir-fry or other lighter meal in the summer).

        Where do you take your notes on what you need to do food wise? I usually keep this in my head, but I need a better system.

      • Casper Clone :

        This sounds like such a great system! I have the Paprika app to store recipes I find online, and an Evernote document of meals we’ve liked / recipes to try, and a ToDoist reminder every Sunday to plan for the week, but it only marginally works.

        I think what I’m missing is the month ahead review / plan. Thanks!

      • Puddlejumper :

        Just posted more notes in the coffee break post for today!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have been wondering the same thing, and trying hard to think of bases that can be tweaked in truly flavorful ways. Like *could* I prep a generic-ish salad/bowl type thing, and then really jazz up the toppings/sauce/dressing in a way that would make it delicious and exciting all week?

      I was seated at a table with a woman this weekend who was talking about her great diet where she ate X oz of chicken and one thin slice of microwaved sweet potato for lunch every day, for weeks, and yeah she lost a ton of weight and it’s probably not unhealthy per se, but omg I would be So. Bored.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Gah that sounds miserable. I struggle with this – the meal plan book I was reading most recently straight up confessed the author didn’t really care if he ate the same thing every day, at which point I put it down. I can barely eat the same thing twice in a week, let alone every day.

    • Not super helpful because I don’t have a set process, but I just make 2-3 regular dishes on Sunday, feeding two people each, with some division of grain/carb, veggies, and usually a little animal-based protein (mostly; occasionally I’ll pair up some non-animal things to make other proteins). Portion them out into matching containers–the black and clear food prep ones you see on the internets–and stick them in the freezer. Pull out 2 matching ones the night before, don’t eat the same thing every day.

      I love to cook, but I do tend to rely on healthy but more expensive shortcuts so I can do this in an hour on Sunday morning. Frozen broccoli florets, pepper/onion medley, other frozen but interesting veggies from trader joe’s abound in my freezer so I don’t skip those parts of the meal. I buy Uncle Ben’s brown ready rice and Tasty Bite’s basmati rice–microwave it for 90 seconds, two portions per pouch–to avoid over-portioning my rice (…I always do!) and also I am the one human who cannot make rice well. Pre-made sauces that have been vetted for sodium help turn leftover chicken shreds, a bunch of frozen veggies, and chickpeas into a “curry” over the rice, and so on.

      This week, it’s that curry+rice I mention; frozen meatballs in homemade sauce over protein pasta; salmon with white beans. All have a healthy side of roasted frozen broccoli.

      • This thread is giving me a ton of inspiration! What are some of the pre-made sauces you like?

        • The Saffron Road simmer sauces are excellent! Some are a bit higher on sodium than I’d like, but if I stretch them out across more veggies/filler, then I feel better about it. I’ll occasionally use a trader joe’s salsa or thick soup as a sauce, too, depending on the preparation.

          My goal in prepping lunch is two-fold: 1) don’t go out for lunch at work (budget); 2) portion control, as I’m trying to lose/maintain weight (essentially don’t gain). My husband has the same first goal, but lifts and works out a ton and needs something filling. These types of meals have really allowed us to meet in the middle!

        • In mod, but saffron road simmer sauces are the best!

      • Sorry, that would be 2-3 dishes, each serving 3-4 servings, split between 2 people. Total of 5-10 meals at the end, usually. Totally depends on what I’m making, what can do double duty, etc.

    • Baconpancakes :

      It’s not low-labor, but the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse kind of does this. It has two weeks of menus at a time, with big recipes you’ll prep on the weekend and reuse throughout the week in different ways. The big recipes are things like steel cut oatmeal, pre-cooked, steamed green beans, salad dressings, sauces, and desserts, but the key for me is that the grocery list at the beginning of the week truly goes through everything you’d need, and each dinner recipe is reincorporated into lunch the next day. (They call it Lunch-o-matic.)

      I adapt this to fit what I feel like – the last time I did it I planned on 5 out of 7 dinner recipes, and ate out the other nights, and often I’ll simplify the recipes, but it really is perfect for foodies.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Wow this sounds amazing.

      • The book is $13.50 on amazon…out of stock until Aug. 26, but after browsing some of the recipes…this looks amazing!!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        So could a person just decide to fully commit to this book, buy the things she tells you to on the shopping list, go home and follow her instructions and have a week’s worth of not-gross healthy-ish food??? I really want someone to take the thinking-work out of food for me.

        • I think so…I think I will probably use it sporadically for inspiration (because $13.50 to have a bunch of healthyish, build-on-top-of-themselves, interesting recipes ready to go is worth it to me, even if I don’t follow the whole plan)

          This is what I looked at to make my impulse decision: http://www.bonappetit.com/the-food-lovers-cleanse/article/complete-menu-food-lovers-cleanse-2016

        • Baconpancakes :

          Yes! The book is based on the Food Lovers’ New Year’s cleanse they did for 3 or 4 years, but the book has 4 different menus, 1 for each season. The grocery list does have literally every single ingredient you need for the entire week.

      • I had never heard of this and am so excited for some light implementation of this in my house!

      • Baconpancakes :

        I do want to stress there aren’t any “throw it together in 10 minutes” meals in this book, though, with the exception of breakfasts and lunches. I think you can preview a few pages on Amazon, though, that might explain it.

    • Marillenbaum :

      Here’s my process: on a Thursday, I scroll through my Pinterest recipe boards/Buzzfeed Tasty articles, and put together a list of meals (usually, quiche for breakfast, a sheet pan meal, and a slow cooker meal). I run it against my pantry, then put together my shopping list. I use instacart and Amazon Fresh to deliver my groceries on a Saturday morning. Sunday, I throw in the slow cooker and sheet pan meal, then make my quiche (I use store bought crust, which still feels like blasphemy but my food processor is broken).

  22. True story: when I first read Bridget Jones’ Diary in my twenties, I didn’t know that “jumper” was the UK term for “sweater.” I thought the male love interest was wearing a Christmas dress. The headline of this post brought back that memory and made me laugh.

    • Haha. I didn’t realize “jumper” meant “sweater” until I dated a guy from the UK. And this post just reminded me how much I miss him. Sigh ….

  23. My grandmother’s 95th birthday is this weekend and my husband and I need a gift (yes, we procrastinated). Gift ideas? I don’t really have any parameters.

    The only thing I’ve come up with on my own is a basket of NYC stuff (mostly consumables, like black and white cookies, etc. We live in New York and the rest of my family is in Louisiana). I would love other ideas.


    • heated throw blanket, cashmere socks, non-slip socks, motion sensor lights, electric tea kettle or keurig, photo book of you/your family, letter of gratitude, nice hand lotion

    • Puddlejumper :

      Don’t know how mobile your grandmother is but things I have done for those above 90 in the past:
      1) Tickets to a concert playing music that they loved or from their past
      2) DVD of their favorite cartoons as a kid
      3) of a month club – so fun things show up to surprise them every month
      4) if they live in a nursing home – fun things to decorate their door with. The staff love having things to talk to them about and usually the doors are themed by the holiday
      5) Does she use a walker? My grandmother loved us getting her a purple bedazzled walker!
      6) recreate some of her favorite recipes from her life – this was a big deal to my grandmother because it showed her I had paid attention to her recipes
      7) A calendar with family pictures for every month
      8) If her eyesight is still good – sending her large print books to read every month – my great aunt loves her romance books!
      9) Does she play cards? A deck of cards with family pictures was a hit with my grandpa
      10) Lunch date with the ladies – we paid for a limo driver to pick up my grandmother and all her friends to drive them to lunch. Ridiculous but they loved it.

    • Flowers and chocolates or cookies.

      Most older people have enough stuff. My mom is still living but moved into a nursing home and the sheer amount of stuff we had to get rid of was depressing (and we haven’t even done the lion’s share yet- she was able to keep most of it in storage). A lot of the things we gave or threw away were recent birthday/Mother’s Day/Christmas gifts. She would really rather have had us spend the money on coming to visit.

    • cake batter :

      I like the idea of NYC consumables with a couple pics of you at NYC landmarks, if you have them. My 90s+ grandparents go nutty whenever I gift them pics of myself in a pretty frame, because they can show off the pics to all their friends and brag about what good taste I have to pick such a nice frame (lol).

  24. ‘rettes, help! Need business formal attire that can be repurposed into separates once an intro period on a client ends. Any suggestions for suiting with a TON of combos? Like pants, ankle pants, sheath dress, a-line dress? Skirts least important as I am hourglass shaped and skirts hate me.

    I bought a few pieces from AT yesterday but welcoming any and all suggestions including tops and accessories.


  25. I’m on the hunt for new bedding and am curious if people use down comforters + duvets, other comforters that don’t need duvets, quilts and blankets, or some other combo. I’ve used a down comforter + duvet for the last few years and am just kind of over it – not just the duvet cover, but the whole setup. Does anyone have bedding they love? Brands that you’d recommend? Preferences for sets that match or all individual pieces? Curious as to what others do.

    • My apartment runs hot (and I’m a hot sleeper) so I use a linen quilt from Pottery Barn year round. In the winter I might put a throw blanket on top. I love quilts and comforters because they can be washed easily. I LOVE the look of big fluffy duvets though and I’m sad I can’t use them without boiling to death.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I just got one of those PB linen quilts (less than a week ago) and OMG I am in love! Perfect weight for summer, so soft, love the diamond quilting! We have a matching duvet cover with a big fluffy comforter to use in the winter. Big thumbs up for PB linens.

        • I have the same one with the diamond quilting, I love it! I’m just bummed that they were sold out of the matching shams when I bought mine.

    • I live in SEUS where it’s mostly hot and rarely cold. In the summer it’s a matelasse bedspread. In the winter it’s a duvet. And that’s it. I don’t like a ton of beddings on my bed.

    • Kind of following along for ideas. I’ve been using quilts that were made by my step-mom as gifts, but have been debating if I want to get a matching set for my room and use the quilt for additional warmth in the winter.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I really like duvets because you have so many color options, but I’ve been swayed to the quilt-side by the ease of washing and making the bed.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a duvet + cover I use in the winter, but cover it with a matelasse bedcover (vs bedspread) from The Company Store. In the summer I just use the matelasse bedcover, with a blanket if the AC makes it too chilly.

      Though, i’m still waiting for my mother to finish the quilt she designed/made for me, and then I’ll use that.

    • I am pro-duvet, because I like to feel snuggly in the winter, so ymmv on my brilliant recent discovery: empty duvet covers make lovely summer-weight coverlets.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I switched from a down duvet to a silk duvet (i.e., silk filling) a few years ago and it is a world of difference. Much better thermal regulation and it is much lighter weight. I use the same duvet year round, but have a fleecy duvet cover for the winter and a duvet cover that is an thin as a sheet for summer.

  26. MM laFleur Plus size review :

    I decided to try a Bento Box now that MMLaFleur is offering “extended sizes.” Here’s my review for my fellow plus sized ladies.

    I am 5’10” and a size 18W, which is what I filled out in my profile. They chose the size for me.

    They sent me the +1 size, which was too small in most of the offerings. I’m definitely at least a +2 in their sizing, so I would say the extended sizes run a bit small compared to department store plus sizes, where I am usually a 1x. (But sometimes a 2x depending on brand)

    The only item I’m keeping is the Deneuve top. They sent me a size +1, and the size was OK for this top due to the drapiness. The draped neckline of this top is gorgeous and will be nice under a jacket or a structured cardigan, but it has nice 3/4 sleeves so I can take my jacket off too. The color they sent is a light stone color. I think I will order this in all the other colors it comes in.

    The Greenpoint skirt they sent was too small but I liked it. It’s a black pencil skirt with a very small front slit. I’m going to order this in a +2. I have lots of black skirts but I like the narrowness and length of this one.

    They sent three dresses and unfortunately they are all going back – the Masha dress in black (not shown on their website in this color) was GORGEOUS but a size too small. I considered reordering a size up but I have lots of black dresses and I don’t need one for $265. The other dresses (Toi and Emily) were all above the knee, which I specifically said in my profile that I didn’t want, so that was frustrating. Basically, anything they show on the website as hitting above the knee was definitely above the knee on me.

    One remaining blouse, the Bourgeois, was nice and I can see ordering this at some point in the future but I’m not wild about the high neckline. I do love the asymmetrical drape of the front. If I were slimmer I would love this look with a pair of slim pants and a rope of pearls.

    Last, they sent a pair of dangly earrings made of brass for $155. I just laughed at that. No thanks!

    Most of these fabrics are synthetic, which I usually don’t like, but the fabric of the Deneuve top in particular is a very good approximation of a heavy silk jersey and is really nice. And they’re washable.

    The returns process seems easy so far. I just put everything I’m not keeping in a return envelope and drop at UPS, which is easy for me because UPS picks up at my office.

    That’s my review. Hit me up with any questions!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Thanks for the review! I’m intrigued by the top — a lot of why I had written them off was my impression that not a damn thing they made had sleeves (except like, outer layer pieces).

      • I went to one of their pop-up showrooms recently – my requests were pretty broad but I asked specifically for dresses WITH sleeves. I was not impressed when the selections were mostly sleeveless with a helpful suggestion of layering a jardigan ON EVERYTHING. Grrr.
        I did end up buying the Ingrid dress, which was surprisingly flattering on my hippy shape. The Greenpoint skirt mentioned by the OP is also on my wish list for later.

        • You might like the Emily dress. I’m not an A-line person and it was too short for me but if you’re comfortable with both of those things, the neckline and sleeves were flattering. If it had come with a straight skirt and about two inches more length I would have reordered it in the +2.

          • Thanks! I did try the Emily dress and I liked it. It’s very similar to the Alexandra I already own, or I probably would have bought that one. I feel that the length would have been okay on me (I’m 5’4″).

    • I had a similar experience with the sizing–everything was a size too small. I did really like the tops, but I couldn’t justify the price tags given my current needs.

      • It’s a bit pricey I agree, but the pieces seem to me to be better made than most of what I find in stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s.

        I try to support designers venturing into the plus size category since so few of them are willing to do it. I have also bought a few pieces from Universal Standard and have found it really well made. Most of it is not my style (too boxy) but the pieces that I do have are really nice.

      • I didn’t really object to the price point, for the reasons you stated. I just couldn’t justify it based on my needs right now. I completely agree on wanting to support designers in plus size. I tried Universal Standard and just couldn’t make it work because the cuts are really not my style, but I completely love their philosophy and what they are doing. I just saw that they are starting to be sold at Nordstrom.

        I will definitely revisit mm lafleur when I need new pieces.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I’m surprised; they sent me +1 sizes, when I usually wear 16, and all the separates fit me perfectly. The dresses were huge on my top and waist. I did send my stylist my actual measurements before I ordered – don’t remember if that is a requirement in the form or not.

  27. Thanks to the NYC Moms! :

    Thanks to the NYC moms who chimed in with recommendations on how to transport two toddlers between Queens and Manhattan. We used a combination of Lyft carseat and Legends Limo, and it worked out. The availability of Lyft drivers with car seats was better than I expected – I don’t think we had any extra wait time b/c of the car seat request. If Lyft had a way to specifically request an SUV with a car seat, we would not have needed Legends at all.

  28. One of the partners I work for does transactional work, but his clients often have litigation needs. He tries to handle those needs himself but has poor understanding of litigation and is not open to opinions. He will instruct me to file lawsuits with major major flaws, for example, we completely lack standing, or breach of contract when our client can’t find a copy of the governing contract, or the partner wants tort damages on a contract claim. He won’t listen to me when I explain these problems, says to do it anyway. And then, when we get the inevitable motion to dismiss, he says it’s MY case and to figure it out.

    • You probably already know this.. but it’s time to go. Also, try to avoid putting your name/signing these kinds of filings.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh boy. I would start planning my exit strategy. Seconding the advice to make sure his name (only) is on the pleadings. To CYA and for your own ethics, I think you should continue to object to each unreasonable thing (by email?) even if you know he’ll ignore you.

      Sometimes, when a very unreasonable boss would demand that I argue totally unsupportable things, I would say, “I’m RainbowHair for Plaintiff. I am arguing this motion for Partner, who can’t be here. He contends blahblahblah.”

  29. Travel agents :

    Travel question for you all: what does a travel agent do exactly? (Wealthy) friends have a travel agent they use who basically plans their whole trip: transportation, lodging, activities, etc. They have always been very satisfied. My family is taking a big trip to Japan this fall and so I hired a travel agent who “specializes” in Japan. She said she had traveled extensively there, had so many recommendations for us, and would work on hotels, transportation, and putting together a day-to-day activity itinerary. We paid $250, which was supposed to include the creation of this itinerary, booking everything, and assistance during our trip if needed.

    What has actually happened is she seems to have outsourced all of the work to a Japanese travel agency. She relays their communications to me without any of her own commentary or suggestions, even when they don’t answer my questions, and the itinerary includes numerous days of “private guided tour,” with no specifics on what we would see or do. Is this typical? Are my expectations out of line (and more in line with the (I assume) costly travel agent my friends use)? I understand I may have just blown $250 (not the end of the world, fortunately), but I would like to know whether this is just what travel agents do or whether she is a bad travel agent. Any insight would be appreciated!

    • Anonymous :

      Bad travel agent. A good travel agent will discuss your interests, make suggestions and develop a suitable itinerary. Usually a couple of accommodation options at each stop would be recommended.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Agreed. We used a travel agent (through American Express) for our honeymoon and she was great. She really helped us shape our itinerary and found us options within our budget.

    • Mostly bad agent.

      I will offer a defense of “private guided tour”: I have hired private tour guides in some locations and the daily itinerary can vary widely. A good local tour guide should try to take you places that would be less accessible as a standard tourist – it might be hard to supply a travel agency with a standard itinerary. I have learned to be flexible with the “private guided tour” – one of my favorite experiences was a tour in Vietnam that mostly seemed to be the guide taking me on a tour of various places his friends/family owned, including his uncle’s fish farm and rice paddies, his sister’s noodle shop, his friend’s bookstore, etc etc. It was really fun and interesting! A good private guide will listen to what you’re interested in and plan accordingly, or have several options in mind and adapt the tour on the fly.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I have used a travel agent before and it was always free because they get kick backs from hotels and things that they suggest to you. They would book all my flights, plan my days, book restaurants, schedule tours etc. Sounds like you got a bad agent.

      We did not use a travel agent for our trip to Japan (and if you want my google doc just leave your email and I can email it over) HOWEVER- I will say that for Japan my husband had to use the hotel concierge ahead of our visit to make all our meal reservations. We needed someone who spoke Japanese calling from a number in Japan to arrange the more foodie meals so we paid to stay at a hotel who had a concierge that did this for us. Apparently if you call and speak english or have a non Japanese area code the places that are hard to get reservations at won’t pick up the phone.

    • Anonymous :

      She’s a bad travel agent. I paid a similar fee for an Indian travel agent, and they suggested an itinerary, adapted it four or five times when we brought up concerns, bought all internal flight and train tickets, made all hotel arrangements, and arranged for (and paid) the drivers, who usually also served as tour guides. When my friend got sick, she called them and they were able to suggest the best way to get medical help (in her case, call the hotel doctor), and they checked in several times while we were on the trip to see if we needed any more help. (India Someday, if anyone is planning a trip to India…).

  30. I have never used a travel agent for specific recommendations, but they are often able to get better rates on air or hotels (especially air where many route options are available). Check the price you paid through her versus what you would have paid to book online – it may be that savings have already covered her fee.

    For the private tours – I have booked many of those myself in various countries. Some tour guides will ask in advance what you want to see, but I have never had any problems just meeting up on the day of the tour, giving the guide a brief idea of what I’m looking for (eg food, people-watching, history, shopping) and going from there. Obviously unless admission tickets need to be booked in advance. Can you reach out to the tour guides directly?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve had spectacular luck with www.toursbylocals.com, including in Japan.

      • Travel agents :

        Yea unfortunately the quote she has given us also seems way too high. She says the Japanese travel agent won’t disclose their contract hotel rates, so we only know the estimate for the whole trip, including rail passes, hotels, and activities. We have looked at the rates of the hotels/train passes online, and if the travel agent’s rates are comparable then the prices for their activities would have to be astronomical. This is another reason we are pretty uncomfortable with this agent. I would understand if there were a small cushion that went to the agent, but this seems to be much more than that.

        I would be more open to deciding with a guide the day of if we weren’t traveling with a 2 year old. Since things seemed to be falling apart with this travel agent, I have looked at various tour guides. It’s really good to hear you would recommend Tours by Locals, Senior Attorney. I was looking at their website yesterday and it looked like they had experience leading tours with children. Do you have any other Japan suggestions?

        • Senior Attorney :

          I was only there quite briefly and only made it as far as Osaka and Hiroshima. My guides were great about letting me decide where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see. I did a day trip to Miyajima Island, which I loved. I feel like that would be fun for a toddler because it is inhabited by miniature deer! If you are going to Osaka, my guide was Setsuko and I recommend her highly. Her English is great, if heavily accented, and she was just fun to spend the day with.

          • Travel agents :

            Thank you! We are planning to go to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Miyajima. I agree re Miyajima. I will definitely look up Setsuko!

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yay! Have a great trip!

  31. Anonymous :

    This might be too late for the morning thread, but here goes….

    Our new nanny started full time last week after several training days with our old nanny. Last week, new nanny showed up on her second day and said she was sick, went home early and stayed home the next day. This week she texted at 2 am on Monday to say her father is in the hospital and she isn’t coming and won’t come on Wednesday either. So, of 8 days of regular employment, she has missed 3.5.

    I understand that life happens to people but her performance isn’t that super otherwise either (she took my kindergartener to school late!). Should I let her go or keep trying? I can’t keep missing work and working from home….

    • Anonymous :

      Did you check references for her? Maybe call those people and see if this is par for the course or really out of the norm? I would lean towards letting her go. I mean yes life happens and it’s not always timely, but taking your daughter late to school is kind of weird.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think I would cut my losses.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Unless the tone of her texts is hyper-apologetic or like, “I can’t believe this terrible timing!” she is telling you she doesn’t want to do this job.

      • This exactly. Life happens. If she’s absolutely mortified, extremely communicative, and apologetic, then I’d talk to her about it.

        If this is just as you wrote hear– very blase and factual without any grovelling or acknowledgement of the bind she’s put you in, cut your losses.

        And/or/in addition, if you spoke with her references once (I hope you did!), call them back and ask for their perspective.

        • Anonymous :

          Thanks – this hits the nail on the head for me. She has not been mortified or extremely apologetic in any way. We were wondering why, after a trial period, she would have taken a job if she doesn’t really want it, but I think that is the reality of the situation.


    • HR Consultant :

      Having dealt with many many many employee situations like this in my day, I think you should start looking for another nanny. It’s worth a conversation with her – she might legitimately be having a run of bad luck –
      but if I were you, I would start the search now. The last thing you want is for her to quit with almost no notice or ghost you; then you’ll be in a panic situation. I’ve seen this with employees at all levels, from cashier to VP, and the result is almost always the same. It could be that she’s not feeling the job, for whatever reason, and is looking to get fired so she doesn’t have to quit. Sorry this is happening to you.

    • Line up another nanny now. I had this situation with a part time babysitter and I let it go on for way too long. She has failed her trial period.

    • Anonymous :

      I used to be a nanny and I worked when I was sick because I knew there were people depending on me.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree that tone is everything. Anyone can have a run of bad luck – illness then a sick parent but the taking the kid to school late when she had a training period with the old nanny isn’t a great sign. I’d start looking for someone else but I would also give her another chance if she’s clear that she understands that this isn’t a good start and not typical of her reliability.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks, all! I was worried that I was being unreasonable but I agree that she’s “not feeling the job.” She’s had a lot of other performance-related issues too, which I chalked up to being new (in addition to late school drop off, she has also forgetten to lock the front door, left one of the stove top burners on all day, etc) but which are really just not being competent.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh my gosh! Yeah, time to find a replacement!

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        Fire her. This happened to me, we kept it going because we so desperately needed childcare, and it just got worse. Cut your losses now!

  32. This sweater should definitely be a closet staple this Fall and Winter! It’s stylish and comfy which is always a plus. The neutral color will make it easy to pair with multiples pieces as well. And it will be perfect for most shapes! Love!

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