Wednesday’s TPS Report: Monica Jacket

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

Monica JacketHappy Wednesday! I like this sleek blazer from Club Monaco. The frayed edges, the zippers, the uneven pocket distribution — all very chic. I like the minimalist look, but I can’t help that notice that one of those shoulders would be a great place for a brooch or two (or three). The jacket was $239, but is now marked to $139 at Club Monaco (free shipping, too). Monica Jacket

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



  1. Diana Barry :

    I was just hate-reading this month’s Lucky this morning and cut out the pages so I could bring you the following gems:

    Wear it to work: Leather Jeans!

    Yes, you REALLY can wear this to work:
    – A leather jacket!
    – A floral suit!
    – A long skirt!

    WEAR LACE: With a structured top-handled bag, a girly shift is professional.
    [Note: this last one seriously looks like a nightgown. ARGH]

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I can never wear or see leather pants without thinking of the Friends episode where Ross buys leather pants.

      “They’re still not coming off, man! … And the lotion and the powder have congealed to form a PASTE!!!”

      • Anon (and hanging my head in shame) :

        I had a pair of leather pants. They were lined, not skin-tight, and had a slight boot cut (maybe from Anne Klein?). I wore them to work (but it was on a Friday) with a white button front, pearls, and little ballerina flats. It was back in the late 90s.

        Sometimes I am too full of the Tim Gunn “make it work” spirit.

      • Maybe you can make a pair of paste pants.

      • I started rewatching friends again in the evenings after work and I am so happy before I go to bed. My favourite episode of all time has to be the one with the embryos where they play the trivia game and switch apartments.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          The trivia game for the apartment switch is my favorite too. Also, to this day I cannot say “pivot” like a normal person.

          • a passion for fashion :

            and to this day in my life, things are not moot points, they are moo points.

        • Miss Behaved :

          That’s my favorite, too. “Miss Chenandler Bong.” I love that the guys know more about the girls than the girls do about the guys.

      • One of the all time best Friends scenes. My favorite episode is the Thanksgiving with the Gellers, and when Rachel makes the trifle with beef and Joey loves it – “I mean, what’s not to like? Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, good!” I use lines like that when I like weird combos of food.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I love that episode! I love the secret telling at the end:

          “Mom, Dad, Ross smoked pot in college. And Chandler didn’t melt your records, Ross did!”
          “Yeah? Well Hurricane Gloria didn’t break the porch swing, Monica did!!”
          “Ross hasn’t worked at the museum for a year!”
          “Monica and Chandler are living together!”
          “Ross married Rachel in Vegas and got divorced — AGAIN!!!”

          • “That was a lot of information to get in 30 seconds”

            LOVE IT

          • Jessica Glitter :

            “No Rachel you weren’t supposed to put beef in the trifle. It didn’t taste good.”
            “Pheobe, I think Jacques Cousteau is dead.”
            “Ross, drugs? divorce…again?”

    • A Nonny Moose :

      I found a stunning Theory leather shift dress at Nord—– Rack last week. It was marked down to about $100 and was the softest leather I had ever felt. I was so tempted to buy it but could not figure out for the life of me where I would wear it.

      • Anon (and hanging my head in shame) :

        I so would have bought that.

        But I am really guilty of having clothes for the live I wish I had (which seems to involve a lot of breakfast-at-tiffany’s parties and outdoor late-spring wedding receptions) and not the life I have.

        • I have a dress I refer to as my “s&xy funeral” dress, which I will wear in my imaginary life as a mafia widow. The body is black velvet (narrowly cut, empire waist, above the knee, with a deep scoop neck), and it has long lace sleeves. Too much lace for work, too goth for church…but someday, that occasion will come when I am both in mourning and need to look hot.

        • This is me. According to my closet, I have an amazing life full of fancy parties where I wear printed heels and silk shirts. In real life, I wear the same jeans, sweaters and boots every weekend.

      • locomotive :

        I’ve worn a leather shift to my biz cas work (90% male) before and no one has batted an eye. I did wear it with a blazer and on 5’2″ me, it’s about knee length so perhaps I just overestimated the edginess of the material.

      • I saw a woman wearing a leather shift dress over a white button down and it was a really chic look. I could see it working in some professional settings, but definitely a know your office deal.

    • Calibrachoa :

      *clings to her long skirts* noooo, not listening, no, nope!

    • I feel like this is becoming a monthly ritual, almost. I’m an ambivalent Lucky subscriber and wasn’t even going to bother mentioning how insane some of their workwear recommendations were in the latest issue. Sometimes I feel like they’re pushing it more and more just to see how much smoke can emanate from the collective ears of this site’s readers! If so, success!

      Shark shorts forever,
      ISO shark blazer to make a suit that would be totally fine for an interview,
      Dr. Monday

      • A shark print blazer or literal shark skin? Maybe it would work for an interview as a marine biologist.

        Magazines like lucky contribute to the sartorial mistakes of inexperienced, unexposed young’ns. Maybe they could include a wink emoticon to indicate that they’re just kidding?

      • lucy stone :

        I think you should go with a shark print polo instead. Much easier to find.

      • I actually feel like I need to subscribe to Lucky now for the monthly hilarity.

  2. Like the jacket, am confused by the rise on the trousers.

    Anybody have recommendations for a really good wine aerator?

    • Do you mean those little pour-through things? We got the one from Brookstone as a gift for some wine-obsessed relatives and they love it. I tried wine through it, too, and it does seem to make a difference.

    • Vinturi.

    • +1 to the Venturi. They come in white for white wine and black for red wine — get black because red wine will stain the white. Such a nice product — it has a little stand to set it in when you’re finished that catches drips, and has a very fine mesh strainer in case you have cork or residue in a bottle. We use this thing every time… I have a crappy palate and cant reeeeally tell the difference, but SO can always tell (we’ve done blind taste tests and he was dead on!)

    • +2 to the Venturi. I got ours on Amazon for around $30.

  3. not a frequent poster :

    Timely advice requested:

    I am an associate attorney, 29 weeks pregnant, and after a very poor doctor’s visit yesterday, my doctor has given me until tomorrow afternoon to get my professional/personal affairs in order, with plans to start bedrest/more drug interventions on Friday. (I haven’t started having contractions, but my cervix has effaced more than 80%). Also, I have until tomorrow afternoon on the condition that I lay down at least 15 minutes out of every hour today and tomorrow, don’t lift/carry/walk any distance, and drink lots of water.

    My boss is out of the country for two more weeks, and the person in charge is our office manager (who has made it extremely clear that she is anti-pregnancy, anti-hiring women because they might get pregnant, etc – I mean, has said these things out loud and while I am in the room).

    I am in the process of getting my desk/workload organized for today, and am going in to speak with her right after lunch this afternoon. I also need send my boss an email that he can see before he hears from her about it.

    My hope is to be able to work from home to the extent that I am able. Our firm is too small to qualify for FMLA, etc. There are no legal protections, beyond the 2.5 weeks of vacation I have banked and 10 days of sick leave. We had previously agreed on 6-8 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, depending on the delivery.

    I’ll be happy to provide additional information as needed. ANYONE who has ANY ADVICE on what to say, what to have to be prepared for this meeting, I will be eternally grateful. I also need advice on what to put in the email to my boss, since he needs to hear it by email from me before hearing it from the office manager. I’ll check the comments every 30 minutes or so between now and lunch and add any information needed.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t have any advice except I’m so sorry and hope your pregnancy complications work themselves out. Is disability insurance one of your benefits? Can you potentially access short term disability while you are bed rest (or for that matter, after the birth)? I know our company (which is too small for FMLA) allows people to do this.

    • At this point, what will be will be. Do NOT, under any circumstances, give her an opportunity to express an opinion. Say “I’m leaving, I will work from home if possible, here is a list of my current cases, I will inform boss, thank you, good bye.” And leave. You may get fired, but that’s already possible just by going from 6 weeks leave to at least 14. The baby is worth it and you will land on your feet. Keep reminding yourself of this and don’t get stressed. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

      • Houston Attny :

        I agree. If office manager gets her opinion in at all, I don’t think it’s bad in a follow up e-mail to boss to reiterate with quotes what office manager said. CYA and print your e-mails. That way, everyone is on notice. Please let us know how it goes.

        And further agree with anon at 10:04 – “the baby is worth it and you will land on your feet.” It is and you will.

    • Violet's Fan :

      This sounds scary and stressful! As difficult as it is, I would try to project a calm, unapologetic demeanor to the office manager. Give her the facts that she needs – your doctor has ordered bedrest for the safety of the baby you are carrying; there are no other alternatives; you have gathered the materials you believe you need to work from home; you will be available by telephone and email.

      I would take the same approach with the partner, but also tell him or her that you will keep them up to date with your status and the status of all the work you are doing or are unable to do from home.

      I was on bedrest for four weeks before the birth of my (healthy) daughter. While it sounds like laying around shouldn’t be too bad, it can get pretty boring very fast. It especially messed with my sleep. My unsolicited advice is to try to maintain as normal a sleep schedule as you can. If there are people who can come for visits during the day, even though you are working, invite them to come see you. I think that most of my friends and family tried to let me “rest” during my bedrest, but it would have been so much better for me to have people to talk to and visit with. I wish I hadn’t been so shy about asking for visitors.

      My best wishes to you!

    • Others may disagree but, given the situation, I wouldn’t fault you for getting your desk in order, going home (if necessary for the story line, claiming to need to follow up with your doctor – which is essentially true) and then emailing your boss from home, all without talking to anti-pregnancy lady in person. You could follow up with her either by phone or email after you get home or after you make contact with your boss. Then you will have the benefit of it being 1005 a done deal and she’ll have the least possible chance to express her thoughts on the matter.

      As for what to say to your boss, I assume you will be put on some sort of bed rest. But exactly what are you looking at in terms of bed rest? Partial/full (with a bedpan and everything), home/hospital, etc? Will it include avoiding mental stress/working too? I think there’s a big difference between being able to sit on the couch and keep up with work compared to lying on your left side 24/7 in a hospital bed. As long as you think you will be able to keep up with you work, try to assure your boss of that… but keep in mind that your baby could come in 12 weeks or 12 minutes and you have no way of knowing which it will be so you may need to move your plan for maternity leave up really quickly.

      Please take care of yourself and your baby. The work situation will work out, one way or another. Good luck, and please update us!

      • Not sure how the “1005” got in my first paragraph!

        • Here’s the gist of a possible email to your boss. Not sure I love this, but perhaps others can chime in:

          My doctor has informed me that I am at immediate risk of going into premature labor. As a result, s/he has ordered me on immediate bedrest. I have forwarded my calls and will be able to keep up with them, email and my assignments from home. My physical files are in order and located [place].

          I wanted to address this directly with you rather than anti-pregnancy lady because you are my boss. If my health status changes in any way, I will update you as soon as possible.

      • Diana Barry :

        This + 1000. You don’t need to tell her, just get desk in order and GO HOME. Take care of yourself!!!!!! Hugs.

      • Agree with all of this. Also, while you may not qualify for FMLA coverage, your employer may have enough people to qualify under Title VII, Section 1981, and any state laws. Document, document, document. If yo do get fired and your employer qualifies under any discrimination statute, and even if you’re pregnant or gave birth, keep in mind any statutory timelines there are to file a charge of discrimination with the appropriate governmental agency/agencies.

        As for bed rest, I’d look in to Netflix, Amazon Prime streaming, Hulu, etc to help keep you occupied. I’m sorry you’re going through this, but sometimes things like this happen in pregnancy and the most important thing is the health of your baby. Good luck!

      • Famouscait :

        Frame the discussion to your boss around the idea that “This was so important I wanted to come to you directly with it, rather than have you hear it from angry-office-manager-lady.”

        If the discussion allows, you may mention how she has made comments in the past that were anti-pregnancy. However, I would only do this if A) you can provide specific examples (even mentioning who else was in the room to hear) and B) you think bringing this to his attention may help get in front of any future nastiness she’s likely to raise, given your impending leave.

        Good luck, and take care.

        • goldribbons :

          I really like this. “This was so important I wanted to come to you directly with it, rather than have you hear it from … “

      • This. Ignore nasty office manager. Organize to the extent you wish today and leave. Email boss and advise your 10 days sick leave will start tomorrow – this gives you time to look into short term disability options/COBRA. Do not suggest that you will work from home — this could be very stressful for you esp. w/nasty office manager in charge while boss is away.

      • It’s a partial bedrest at home – I can sit propped up, do work (but not be overly stressed out), and get up and go to the bathroom, etc, and I’ll have appointments every 5 days.

    • Anon (and hanging my head in shame) :

      Eff that. Agree with the poster on looking into disability coverage (STD is usually for 90 days; you will probably need to get some sort of note from your doctor). Also look into unemployment insurance eligibility if you get sacked over it and using COBRA to keep your health coverage (or it will be a change that would let you get on your spouse’s coverage if you aren’t already).

      Good luck with everything! Hugs!

    • Is your office too small to be covered by the ADA or a local equivalent? It is a complicated area of the law, post Amendments Act, but there might be a chance that you would be entitled to an accommodation for disability. If you get sacked, call a lawyer – or maybe before if they give you trouble about it.

    • So sorry to hear about this. Look to see if your city or state has more protective laws (ie gender discrimination). I’d also reach out to your local eeo office (whatever the city or state version of the EEOC is in your locality) as they may have additional information about your rights. And also apply for STD or LTD if applicable. Do not under any circumstances quit. However you communicate to your superiors, make it clear that you are requesting an accomodation.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m sorry; good luck! I would draft an email to your boss and have it ready to go immediately after you speak with the office manager (or send it before you speak with the office manager). As for what to say to the office manager, just tell her that your doctor has ordered you on bed rest, starting tomorrow, due to pregnancy complications. Say that you will try to continue working from home for as long as you can, and you’ve spent the past few hours getting everything organized so that everyone is up to date on your matters. She will invariably have opinions and/or questions, and answer them as completely as you can, but do not try to overcompensate by agreeing to do things that you’re not sure you can do simply out of guilt. Tell her that the situation is just as unexpected to you as it is to her, and you’ll have to play it by ear over the next few weeks.

      As for your boss, say something similar, but perhaps provide a little more detail.

    • lucy stone :

      Agree with everyone else who said you should break it to your boss first. You don’t report to the office manager. Wishing you a safe continued pregnancy!

    • What state are you in? Even if you are not protected under the FMLA, you may be entitled to leave under state law, such as pregnancy disability leave laws or the state’s equivalent of FMLA (which often has a lower minimum number of employees to kick in). For example, in CA the pregancy disability leave laws apply to employers with 5 or more employees and guarantees you up to 4 months of leave if you are disabled by pregnancy (e.g. on doctor-ordered bed rest). I would check if your state laws have anything like this.

      • At risk of beginning to out myself, it’s Virginia, and so far as I am aware, Va has no additional protections for leave or disability beyond the federal requirements. I’d love it if someone would prove me wrong.

        • I can’t speak directly to this point, but I will say that I work in BigLaw and we had an associate that went to a 29 week routine check-up and never came back to the office. She walked across the hall and was checked-in to bedrest.

          The office was INCREDIBLY accommodating, and everything was absolutely fine. In times like this, people will deal. They just will. Please don’t spend the next day or so stressing too much about getting everything in order. It sounds like you can do some work after you are settled in, so push as much as you can to later after things have settled just a bit.

          My last piece of advice (that is probably overstepping), when I am stressed about something personal, I often project it into a work setting. If I were you, I’d probably be anxious about the medical stuff, and feeling like I needed to control everything work related, which would just heighten my anxiety. It might be another reason to push off as much as possible and work on doing the best things for you and baby and to some extent let the work stuff play out a bit (however, feel free to disregard – as when i was struggling with infertility, I did steal another woman’s line: “the people that just told me to relax are all buried under the floorboards of my old apartment”).

          Good luck to you and your family; fwiw, my co-worker had a happy healthy baby four weeks after going on bedrest, and all are doing well several years later.

    • goldribbons :

      As far as being on bed rest, I’ve heard great things about a company Bed Rest Concierge — not sure if they’re available in your city, but if you need help with things and don’t know where to turn, I just thought I’d throw it out there. Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy.

    • I am not sure if discrimination type laws will help you at this point, but your State may have a family leave law similar to FMLA that entitles you leave time. In addition, if your employer does not have any work available for you, due to bed rest, it sounds like you could potentially qualify for unemployment compensation. In my State, even if you are not fired, if your employer does not have any work for you for 30 or more calendar days and you go unpaid, you are treated as if you are fired for purposes of unemployment compensation. I would suggest that when you are at home, you call the Unemployment Office in your state and ask them some questions so that you are prepared in advance and know your options. Do you have Pregnancy Insurance through GEICO or other Disability Insurance? If so, I would also call them and ask about the application process in advance, it may require doctors to sign and fax forms prior to coverage, and sometimes that can also take awhile.

    • I had a similar thing happen during my pregnancy, but it helped with my boss that I showed her a note (basically, an “order” written out on my doctor’s prescription pad), and the note went to the HR person. I think having a doctor’s note in my case was helpful because they felt compelled to honor it. However, I did take a firm laptop home and worked with my legs propped up for the remainder of my pregnancy. As a lawyer, you don’t need to be at work to work. If they terminate you for this, then you know that this is definitely not the place you want to be after you return and you’re dealing with childcare issues, pumping, etc. Now’s the time for you to advocate for yourself and to see whether your workplace is really looking out for your interest. Good luck!

  4. Violet's Fan :

    Yesterday I received two suits I ordered from The Limited. I am excited to report that they exceeded my expectations, although I wasn’t expecting much. I ordered the jacket featured here and the matching skirt as well as the black two-button black label jacket and matching skirt (the one with the tucks around the waist). They aren’t anything fancy, but I found them to be flattering on me and although they certainly aren’t of exceptional quality, the quality is actually better than what I expected to get for $200 (for two suits – $100 each. I ordered during the promotion, and I found a coupon code online). The fit was pretty TTS. I’m generally a size 4 in jackets, and 6 in dresses and skirts. (5’9″, 135 lbs, for reference) I ordered the small in the featured jacket and my usual sizes in the other pieces. I was concerned about the length of the skirts, but they hit me just an inch or so above the knee, which is fine for my workplace.

    • lucy stone :

      I worked there about 10 years ago and I think they have great everyday suits for those of us who don’t make tons of money. I am no longer in their size range, but if I was, I’d get regular suits there. They hold up for several years, are usually pretty classic cuts, and don’t break the bank.

    • Thanks for posting this. I am always curious about their suits.

  5. I need MIL advice. Mine always been a little whacky but I could deal with it because she lived far away. Now it looks like she’s retiring and may be in our area a bit more so I need some better coping skills.

    The back story: MIL has a pretty negative view on life. She complains about anything and everything and is convinced life dealt her a bad hand. She’s definitely had some rough life experiences, but she definitely dwells on them and lets things from long ago affect her now. DH has some trouble setting boundaries with her because “her kids are all she has” and he feels like its more effort saying no than it is just dealing with whatever she needs. I try not to get involved between them. He can set his boundaries wherever he wants (because I set mine, and he respects where mine are).

    Recently, MIL has gotten even more tone deaf/oblivious in her complaints. I want a response that isn’t rude, but doesn’t fuel the topic and maybe slightly acknowledges that she’s being ridiculous. Examples: She’ll complain about how her sister and niece coming to stay at her house for a week is so inconvenient and inconsiderate and she can’t use her living room for a week WHILE staying in our one bedroom apartment in OUR couch. Or she’ll call DH at 11:00pm our time and he’ll say he’s working and she’ll launch into a tirade about how unreasonable her boss is and how he’s making her work too much and she’s exhausted.

    I can tell it wears on DH, even though he might not say anything. I’d like a response other than collecting my jaw off the floor every time this happens. Any advice?

    • I know this isn’t the answer you want, but unless she is actually being abusive to you, I think you have to pick your jaw up off the floor and bite your tongue and say nothing. There isn’t anything that you can say to a person like this that will get them to do a V-8 headslap and realize the irony of their comments or the futility of their negativity. Just won’t happen. And while it’s irritating to know that you’ll have to deal with it more often now that you may see her more frequently, you won’t engender any more love and understanding from either your MIL or DH. You’ll just end up looking petty.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think that if these comments are made to your DH, then let him handle his mother how he sees fit, so long as it’s not affecting you/your family. If your MIL is staying on your couch and complaining to you about guests at her house, I think a response along the lines of “well, you’re staying here, so it can’t be affecting you too much” or “well, next time don’t let them stay and make them get a hotel room.” A “yeah, that sucks” might even be better – it is responsive but doesn’t really allow for her to really build momentum with her complaints and keep going.

      I have a friend who is really negative about most things/people in her life. I limit my interaction with her, let her be negative without perpetuating her negativity by not really engaging her (i.e., “yeah, that sucks”), and then talk about something positive.

    • I think you need to stop comparing your situation to hers, although I understand it is frustrating for her to be complaining about the same thing that you guys are experiencing. Don’t let it turn into a complaint-fest, who-has-it-worse conversation.

      However, I do think you can curb her complaining to you. When she calls and launches into a tirade, back up and say that it’s not a good time for you to talk, can you catch up tomorrow/Sunday afternoon/etc. That’s what I do. When she’s complaining about house guests, I would say something like, “You agreed to have them visit, I guess next time you will need to provide a list of hotels.”

    • In thind kind of situation, I just don’t acknowledge the person when they whine. It’s hard (especially if you have a tendency to try to “fix” things or if they annoy you), but it works. The moment they stop their whining, I get back in the conversation.

      (Of course, it only applies to one-to-one conversations, and to people who repeatedly whine for no special reason – I’m all for helping others).

      It’s a way to communicate, and if communication does happen (even through criticism), then their whining works. And if it works, why stop ?

    • I don’t have much advice but I feel like I’ll be you one day. My boyfriend’s family (mom in particular) is very negative and it took me a while to realize that was the reason I feel unhappy/stressed whenever I visit them. I agree with other comments above that you probably won’t be able to change her, but I completely understand how one person’s constant negativity can be toxic to those around them. Sure, BF’s mom isn’t (usually) mean to me directly, but when every.single.word out of someone’s mouth is angry/sad/whiny, it’s hard to stay positive yourself. I would (very nicely) tell your husband how you feel and try to work out a system that limits your interaction to more tolerable lengths of time – no surprise visits, invite her to stay with you for a long weekend instead of a full week, put her up in a hotel instead, etc. And of course, try your best to steer the conversation in a different direction, as difficult as that may be.

    • big dipper :

      It sort of sounds like her complaining is her way of empathizing. Like, your husband mentions he’s working really hard and really late, so she complains about work to show she understands. Or, she complains about how hard it was having people stay at her place when she’s at your place to show she understands that she’s inconveniencing you.

      Obviously, that’s not the best way of showing empathy, but that could be what’s happening. Like the other commenters said though, I think you should just ignore her and try to change the subject to more positive things.

  6. Two questions:

    – I need cute ideas for what to wear to a daytime winery tour next weekend. I will be there with a number of very chic size 2 women who take lots of photos, and I am neither chic (at least in play clothes) nor size 2 (14 hourglass). If it were summer, I’d do a sundress, but it may be quite chilly and we’ll be outside. I’ve done some shopping and I am willing to spend a little money (maybe $100 for the right outfit). What would you wear?

    – Similarly, for a special girls night out, same crowd, same weather, I have these options: a black shift dress and black satin pumps, a royal blue shift dress with nude pumps (which they have already seen), a black and white lace print sheath dress (form fitting jersey) with black pumps. . .do any of these appeal, or any other ideas? I shopped for a short sequin skirt to wear with a black top, and found one, but it didn’t look right.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      How chilly is quite chilly? Jeans + boots+ a coat jacket? Or do you need a coat on?

      • Do you have any bright skirts? It might be fun to do a bright skirt with knee-high boots and a cute scarf.

        • I don’t right now. . . there was a cute Limited skirt yesterday – blue/green floral, but sold out in my size. You know what I’d love? A cute skirt/dress that ties with a bow, maybe in a fun color. Limited has a pencil skirt now, but something more flouncy.

          Otherwise, jeans/boots/cute long top/scarf are doable – I have all of that except a top I really like.

          • lucy stone :

            Talbots and Lands End both have some great faux wrap dresses right now.

          • Try looking at modcloth’s website – they have several flouncy/twirly, colorful skirts with bows at the waist (I especially love the musee rodin skirt).

          • I’m in moderation, so trying again – look at the musee skirts sold at modcloth. Flouncy/twirly, big bows at the waistband, and bright colors/prints.

      • Best guess – around 50 degrees midday.

    • For the daytime, I’d do skinny jeans or leggings, tall boots, big/long sweater and infinity scarf.

      For night, I like idea of blue dress/nude pumps – if you’ve worn the dress before, maybe a new statement necklace? Or add a fun blazer?

      Anyway, sounds like a fun trip!

      • Agreed. Also – they invited you b/c they want to spend time with you. I’m sure they don’t care what you wear so don’t over think it.

        • Sort of – I’m related to the family :)

          • If you’re actually going to tour the vineyard a bit wear shoes that you won’t mind getting a bit muddy. I would wear boots. Also a bright, cute scarf. If you’re worried about photos, nothing helps more than having an awesome scarf wrapped just so around your neck.

            For the evening, I’d wear black dress and nude pumps. And add in some funky jewelry. I wouldn’t wear the satin shoes unless it was a formal occasion.

    • I tried on this jacket last night — I think it was featured on this website a while back in the pink color, but the navy is on sale and is more flattering, IMO —

      Its really adorable and would look great with jeans and boots (either tall boots or booties). I’d wear a simple tee underneath and add a necklace and some bracelets.

      If you don’t like (or can’t find) that particular jacket, I’d wear something similar — jacket, tee, jeans and boots + jewelry and / or scarf. I don’t think I’d add a scarf to a boxy jacket, but it you went for a regular blazer, I’d add a fun scarf.

      • That is really cute!

      • darjeeling :

        I bought this after it was featured here and love it (even though I paid full price, boo). Very cute with dresses and jeans, at work and on the weekend- kind of a holy grail of a light jacket.

      • I own this and confirm that it is very cute and versatile. Also super comfortable because it’s really stretchy.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I smell bachelorette weekend ;) These things always cause me great anxiety – and then the real deal is fun and easy going.

      I like the jeans/boots/scarf concept for the winery tour. I would layer tops so that you can adjust as you get in and out of bus/car, tasting rooms, and wineries. Something like top, loose sweater, jacket. Carry a great bag.

      All the evening suggestions sound good. Wear whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable.

    • Hey there,
      I think the outfits you described for evening all sound great- wear the one you like best/feel most comfortable in!

      As for day time, I’d think about buying/wearing a chic, brightly-colored light weight scarf that you can leave on indoors/outdoors, along with some fabulous chandelier earrings in a flattering color, and maybe a great lipstick. Those will all pop in pictures, especially in close ups, and I think a bright, flattering color close to the face looks really great in photos- my favorites are fuchsia, hot pink, and red, but depending on your skin tone, marigold or purple would look really pretty too. As for the rest, I’d go with a dark wash jean, either skinny or boot cut- whatever makes you feel comfortable, and a comfortable shoe with a little heel, like 2 inch boot, a top with some color in it, and hip length/long ish dark sweater in black/charcoal/navy, as a background to your fabulous scarf/earrings/lipstick.

      Whatever you wear, I hope you have a great time! You sound a little self conscious/nervous, but wine has a way of making everyone feel like friends and wineries are beautiful and fun, so whatever else happens, you should at least get a pleasant day and few glasses of wine out of it. :)

      • I like this advice about a fun pop of color for photos. I totally understand the concern about being around photo/Facebook tag-happy friends! There have been some great suggestions so far. I think layers always look great and work well for indoor/outdoor events. Depending on your style/what you have/the weather, I’d go with jeans + boots + [blazer + tee] or [top + drapey sweater] or [sweater over fun collared shirt] or whatever makes you happy! And of course, a scarf to add interest and keep you warm. But I wear a scarf pretty much every day so I may be biased.

        I love winery tours – have fun!!

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks everyone! I got great ideas from this – layer, color pops, anti-mud shoes. I’ll report back!

  7. Famouscait :

    Fashion check: Last night I received a big shipment from Banana Republic, and was trying to wear the following pink pencil skirt with a dark teal top:

    Thoughts? DH gave me a befuddled look, but I feel like there’s potential in this color combo…

    • It’s a lovely combination! Go for it!

    • A Nonny Moose :

      I like it and would wear it. I wear magenta and cobalt together all the time.
      I’d probably try to throw in a neutral cardigan, or a scarf or necklace to tie them together, but it’s also very cute as is.

    • I think they work together! I occasionally do the opposite — wear a floral top in the color palette (though a bit more muted) of that pink skirt, with a dark teal skirt. I once had a family member ask “Do you know how to match?” but she was the only one to ever knock it. Pink + teal is a great combo to me.

    • Personally, it’s out of my comfort zone (says the girl wearing a black and white striped top with black skirt). But I wouldn’t judge you for wearing it.

    • Personally I would not wear this combination (says the girl in a black and white striped shirt and black skirt). However I would not judge you for wearing it.
      *sorry if this ends up double posting, it timed out on me

    • I think quirky color combos look better when an accessory ties them together. In your case, maybe a necklace like this:

    • For me, the pink leans too far on the orange side to go with the teal. It could just be my monitor, but the skirt reads dark coral and the teal reads on the bluer side of the teal family. If you recall your color wheel, blue and orange are contrasting (clashing) colors.

      I’d pair the skirt with warm colors like pale yellow or neutrals like navy or gray. I’d wear the top with cool colors or neutrals.

    • OCAssociate :

      How do you like the luxe tee? It has some not-so-positive reviews which made me hesitate, especially the ones about the weird neckline.

      • Famouscait :

        I don’t have any problems with the neckline- I find it to be a basic, high scoop neck. My reservation is with the clingy-ness of the fabric. It seems to show every lump and bump. My other reservation is that I’ve had tops made of this same or similar fabric, and they always pill rather quickly (however, this could be due to the way I launder them – I’m probably too rough on them). My last comment would be that the shirt is long, but in a nice/good way.

  8. Need some shopping help this morning – I’m looking for nice silk blouses I can wear to work. Preferably not sheer and also fairly fitted because I am small so I don’t want a fit that is too boxy. I feel like I’ve been looking for these for months! Any advice? I’m willing to pay probably about $100 each if they’re good quality and will fit well.

    Thanks ladies!

    • springtime :

      Try artizia?

      • I do love Artizia silk blouses. They currently have a mint green one I am drooling over.

      • Ooh, I’d never heard of Artizia before. Loving the Bergen Blouse, esp in wild indigo/corella.,default,pd.html?dwvar_46975_color=3522

        • and the Bennett dress, ermuhgurd, I need this dress in my life.,default,pd.html?dwvar_38188_color=3047

          • ommmmmgggggggggg and this jacket from Mackage. GET IN MY CLOSET. GET IN IT!,default,pd.html?dwvar_48059_color=1274

            springtime, I’m simultaneously loving and hating that you turned me on to Artizia.

          • springtime :

            It’s a Canadian store that just opened in the US which might be why you haven’t heard of it yet!

        • TO Lawyer :

          Herbie – welcome to the wonderful world of Artizia. Some of their stuff is really weird and trendy (they have a TON of high-low stuff) but omg I love some of their dresses and silk blouses.

          Only problem is sometimes it feels like everyone in Toronto has the same stuff. (and definitely everyone has their winter jackets)

    • I’d check out your local HR – I can think of a couple of blouses like you describe in ours, and some are indeed around the $100 range, and I find HR tends to stock a lot of brands that run small. You should also check Judith + Charles, they’re pretty good about having non-sheer blouses that are cut quite slim. Hmm, maybe also Tristan? I don’t always love their style, but I have one or two good finds from there.

    • Everlane.

    • locomotive :

      I have 3 silk ‘camp’ style blouses (with collars, chest pockets, sleeves that fold up to 3/4) from ann taylor and vince camuto at nordstroms that are decent quality (~60$ each on sale). I have 2 more feminine style silk blouses from everlane ($80) which I am pretty happy with. I also have 1 thinner silk blouse from BR that was only around $40 – so perhaps try those places?

    • (former) Clueless Summer :

      Ann Taylor has nice blouses and a lot of selection but I’m not sure they’re actually silk…they may be poly, in case that offends you. Also I’ve heard good things about Massimo Dutti but I haven’t had much luck.

    • Have you tried Everlane? I just signed up last week – haven’t bought anything yet, but they seem to get great reviews, and they have a silk blouse.

  9. Online cookbook update:

    A few weeks ago I asked the hive about recipe/cookbook/ apps/websites and received tons of great suggestions. I promised to report back on what I found.

    Plan To Eat
    -Best by far for my needs
    -Extremely easy to import recipes from any website
    -Creates online cookbook that is completely editable, so I can adjust imported recipes according to my preferences
    -Can sort/tag recipes by meal, cuisine, main ingredient, etc.
    -Can enter nutrition info if available (although it doesn’t calculate for you)
    -Easy to search recipes
    -Bright, clean interface
    -Great for meal planning. Drag and drop recipes into calendar and it automatically adds ingredients to shopping list
    -Sorts shopping list by category and automatically combines multiples of same item from different recipes
    -Web based, but has a mobile site for shopping list that is easy to use. If you aren’t using it on a phone, you can pull up the list when you have a connection and still check things off the list w/o internet
    -Most expensive at $5/month or $40/year, but offers completely free trial (no cc info required)
    -Can export cookbook if you cancel subscription
    -Imo, it’s completely worth it and highly recommended!

    Here’s a quick rundown of other programs I tried that didn’t make the cut:

    -Best for meal planning/shopping list. Has a variety of great list features (e.g. grocery sales in your area) but limited recipe capabilities.
    -Only imports ingredients and partial directions, then links to original website for entire recipe
    -I need to be able to edit recipes, so that didn’t work

    -Can only import from their partner websites, which include major sites (food network) and blogs (smitten kitchen)
    -All other recipes have to be imported manually

    -Can’t be used on PC’s (Macs and smartphones only)

    -Lots of great features, but difficult to import from non-partner websites
    -Better for someone who wants to find recipes (they have a database of over 250,000 recipes), not import recipe they already have
    -Has the option to calculate nutrition, but it’s time consuming (you have to manually check each ingredient individually before it will calculate)
    -I don’t like the interface (kind of dark and clumsy looking), but ymmv

    • Thank you for this! I’ll be looking into Plan to Eat shortly after reading your review. It almost sounds too good to be true.

    • Meal Planning :

      I was one that recommended Plan to Eat – so glad it’s working for you! I absolutely love it.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Thanks!! I’ll also be checking out Plan to Eat. It does sound too good to be true!

      How long did it take you to import your recipes? And is it easy to enter your own? I feel like the big hurdle of these things (for me, anyway) is realizing it will take 100 hours to set up and giving up.

      • Veronique :

        I have hundreds of recipes on pinterest, so it’s an ongoing project (labor of love). In just over 2 weeks, I’ve imported almost 200 recipes, during breaks at work or while sitting in front of the tv. When you import a recipe, it usually either automatically imports the ingredients, directions, etc or you can drag and drop them from the website into the PTE pop-up. I then edit the recipe to ensure that the ingredients are in the correct category. I haven’t manually entered any recipes yet, but it looks pretty straightforward. There’s also an option to bulk input recipes from your own personal files, but I’ve never tried it.

  10. So I bought a scarf—a fashion scarf, not a cold-weather one—and I feel way too much anxiety about how to wear it. Accessorizing is my weakest area, fashion-wise.

    Assuming I do the scarf/t-shirt/cardi/jeans uniform that all the kids are wearing these days… in what circumstances, if any, do I remove the scarf? I can imagine wearing it out and about, but what does one do at home? Do I sit in the house (mine or someone else’s) with the scarf on? Basically, do I treat it like a scarf or a necklace?

    • I tend to treat them like necklaces, but it’s because I’m cold pretty much constantly. I like infinity scarves the most, I think they’re so much easier to turn into a makeshift shawl.

      • Likewise. I think of them as necklaces and wear them indoors and out (with the exception of really heavy scarfs that are primarily for outdoor survival).

        There are many ways to style scarves (and as many guides on pinterest!). For example:

        The thing I love most about scarves is that they take .2 seconds to throw on but make your outfit look more deliberate. And it lets you wear the same uniform without anyone noticing :)

    • Check out the YouTube page for Wendy’s LookBook. She has a great video on how to style a scarf.

      • I was going to suggest this! I think she might actually have a few videos? But look for ’25 Ways to Wear a Scarf’.

        I’m also in the “always cold” camp so I wear a scarf pretty much every day (including with outfits that don’t necessarily work very well with a scarf – oh well). Wear a scarf when you want to. I wear “fashion” scarves for warmth outdoors and cold-weather scarves indoors if I feel like it. I treat it like a cardigan I suppose; it’s part of my outfit so in general I keep it on, but if I feel warm I take it off. I actually wear scarves most often indoors in the summer because everywhere I go the AC is blasting and I freeze when I’m dressed for 90 degree weather outside!

    • I mean this in the nicest way possible – I think you’re thinking too hard about this.

      Is the scarf you bought soft and comfortable? If so, then you probably won’t have any issues wearing it at home. It’s like it’s part of your outfit. If I wear a scarf with an outfit, I won’t take it off because it’s an integral part of my outfit. So if I’m hanging at someone’s house, I’ll keep it on. If I’m at home and just chilling, I may keep it on but if I’m starting to really relax and get comfy, I may take it off depending…

    • hoola hoopa :

      Wear it like a necklace, and I second Wendy’s Look Book.

    • Yep, like a necklace. I have become so fond of lightweight scarves, they are perfect for transition weather. I just wind mine around my neck so they look decent and don’t bug me (be sure not to let them droop on potentially wet counter surfaces when you wash your hands), but Une Femme d’un Certain Age has a bunch of scarf tying tutorials.

    • Best scarf advice I ever received: The less time you spend arranging it, the better it will look.

  11. Anne Shirley :

    Is anyone else completely distracted by the Conclave? I’m not even
    Catholic and I just can’t get enough of the coverage.

    • Me either! It is VERY exciting. I was wondering how long the Cardinal’s have to sit there b/f they can go back to their room’s.

      I REALLY like OUR Cardinal Dolan. HE could also be a GREAT Pope b/c he is so personabel, but he is also so great for New York City, so part of me want’s him to stay here.

      Ed says he realy want’s to be a shortstop for the NY Yankee’s, but Dereck Jeeter has that job already and I LOVE JEETER too! YAY for the Yankee’s and Yay for the Cardinal!

      When I had to go and watch the SAINT LOUIS CARDINALS last year, who knew that we would be haveing our OWN cardinal in the RUNNEING for the POPE! YAY!

    • Me me! I find it fascinating. Episcopalian here, so I do love me some tradition. :)

    • If you watch foreign-language films, there’s a nice, oddly prescient, Italian one about the selection of a pope who then goes on to have a spiritual crisis about whether he’s up for the job, with a lot of gentle insider humour like cardinals playing volleyball in a Vatican courtyard while waiting for the proceedings to begin. It’s a couple of years old and called Habemus Papum (‘We have a Pope’).

      • That’s so funny – my husband and I got totally sucked into that movie this weekend. I agree – it was delightful. And may be playing on a movie network loop because it was on on Saturday.

        Also – it made me want to learn Italian.

      • In the Pink :

        There is also “Shoes of the Fisherman.” While totally before JP2 it really is rather prescient. Anyway, a good movie. For more intrigue, “The Cardinal” by a famous Italian director, so also lushly done.

    • The only thing that bothers me about the conclave is the low likelihood that we’ll have an antipope as a result. Come on, cardinals! Get medieval on each other! In the 12th century, you practically couldn’t shake a stick without hitting a claimant to the papal throne.

      I also think we should give the pope an army again, but only allow him to declare war on really annoying things, like the company behind Axe ads, and the use of “gift” as a verb.

      • Hahahaha, that’s amazing, and I agree on both points. I think the women on this site would encourage pope war on shorts-suits, particularly ones with sharks on them.

    • All I keep thinking of is The Borgias and all the dealing and cajoling during the episode where he gets himself elected Pope. I assume it’s not like that anymore, but it’s still the only version of a conclave my mind will consider.

      • I like to think they still make the finalist sit in the bottomless chair to check for t e s t e s.

        NB4R I lost all interest in papal succession after the RCC took a step in the wrong direction by choosing Ratzinger to succeed my homie JP2.

    • I was interested initially, but now it’s just non-stop and I cannot possibly care as much as the news wants me to. Like, seriously Peter Mansbridge. Calm down. You do not need to report from Rome and rural Quebec for 20 minutes on the news every night. Please.

    • Anonymous :


      • Sort of funny how the media hyped a long, drawn out process and there’s a decision on the 2nd day. Now the anticipation of the announcement is the hard part!

  12. Wednesday. Yuk. That is all.

  13. Working Mom question…

    I’m going to be returning to work after a 7 month maternity leave this May (had to go out early on disability). The plan is that I will be returning on flextime at 80%, my husband will watch her one week day (he works retail), my parents will watch baby one day and my in-laws will watch her two week days. Does anyone have any advice on similar arrangements? Mostly, I’m interested in any perspective on how to tell my parents and in-laws what I want them doing/ not doing with the baby throughout the day without micromanaging or creating resentment when they’re doing us a big favor, any tips on what to send with the baby when she’s at the grandparents, any equipment that’s more useful to have permanently at their house rather than shlepping back and forth from our home to theirs, etc. I really want this to go as smoothly as possible but with the whole village raising our little one I know it’s going to be an organizational challenge. I would really appreciate any perspective, tips, advice from anyone who has or has had similar family child care arrangements for a 6 month old+ baby. I’m super nervous about relinquishing control over the baby, but at the same time I always have a problem with voicing my concerns or even just letting people know what she likes etc when they babysit because I don’t want to seem controlling.

    FWIW, she’s bottle-fed, not breast fed so that’s not an issue.

    • I think it’s worthwhile to let go. If you trust them with the baby, just trust them. Make sure they put the baby to sleep on his/her back, and if you have any special stuff you like to use on the baby in terms of wipes/diapers/gas drops, keep the grandparents well stocked. You might also need to do a little baby-proofing. And if anybody smokes, ask them to do so outside when they are taking care of baby. I have found that my parents were cool with a quick reminder re: scissors in low kitchen drawers, etc. A link to a story about baby-proofing, along with an offer to help buy/install gates, etc, should do it. As far as equipment, car seats and a safe place to sleep should do it. Maybe you could ask them what other equipment they want/need? They can change baby on a towel and have him/her play on a blanket, etc. It’s pretty easy. They love your baby! As long as they are up-to-date on the most important safety concerns, s/he will be fine.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Agreed. My BFF’s MIL watches her daughter a few times a week, and the biggest thing she had to do was learn to let go. And, frankly, she realized that her MIL, while doing things differently, loved her daughter and would always try to do what was best for her. It’s a process, though. You have to work at letting go.

        There are certain things you can and should ask your parents/in-laws to do: feed her certain things, not feed her other things, use certain products on her when changing diapers, etc. For the solid food items, it might be helpful to create a list and when you provide it to them tell them that you created it because there are certain things that you know your daughter will/can (allergy-wise) eat, but that there are other items that she can’t eat until a certain age or you haven’t allergy-tested it yet. Give them a list of emergency contacts (doctors, etc.). If you have specific products that you want them to use, keep them well stocked with wipes, lotions, diapers, etc.

        It might be helpful for each set of grandparents to have some sort of high chair at their place, assuming that your daughter is starting to eat solids. It is also nice if the grandparents have their own set of toys at their house, so your daughter can look forward to playing with special toys/books when she’s there. My friend’s MIL also has her own car seat, which is helpful.

    • The easier question here is gear. You’ll probably want to keep diapers, wipes, lotions, extra clothes, bottles, formula, and baby food where ever the baby is. It might make sense to periodically dole out diapers/wipes (i.e., bring over a pack when you’re running low); definitely keep extra clothes at both places (I swear my kids went through multiple outfits every day when they were 1 and under). If you’re really setting up you might want to look into gentle used bouncey seats, Pack n’ Plays, and maybe play mats/jumperoos/exersaucers–very quickly you’ll want some simulation for the baby beyond laying around (oh, tummy time, how I don’t miss you). That’s the kind of gear that some careful combing of parents’ message boards, Craigslist, and yard sales can yield wonderful and affordable results. PnPs for all places, because sleep is key, would be my no. 1 pick. Secondly I’d probably want some kind of toys, mats, etc. Maybe have a bigger item (exersaucer) at one place and a play mat at another, to give baby some variety. At least for the beginning–once baby is more mobile you’ll need to go through and put in gates, maybe some padding for sharp furniture, electric socket covers, etc. as others have mentioned.

      As for negotiating the relationships…hopefully all caretakers are good about following your requests/wishes, and maybe the best move is to lay out most things in advance. Come in with a plan (baby does X at Y time, then we like to do Z, then Q, etc.). For eating, it’s probably easiest when baby is on bottles and simple baby foods, harder when you’re trying to move to solids and trying to introduce food/construct a diet. OTOH, food might be less of an issue than other stuff, like how to negotiate sleep/nap training, what you’d like baby to do all day (for example, you wanting baby to get fresh air most days v. caretaker preferring to hang out and watch TV). Those are the kinds of things I imagine would be easier dealt with before they arise, but I confess that folks who’ve had nannies or au pairs might have more advice on that front than me.

      Good luck!

      • If I had to pick one item not to schlep around, it would be the pack and play. I know they can be pricey, but it may be worth having one at each house.

        One tip that may be helpful: see if everyone would be on board with keeping some type of journal that would travel with the babe. It doesn’t need to be fancy or especially detailed. Our nanny kept one for our son (and we added the weekends), and it was incredibly helpful to look and see that he was having a sleeping/eatting/behavior issue that might not otherwise be communicated. I’m thinking of the times that we each tried to feed my son peas and he threw them up, every time. Or when he started to drop his morning nap (helpful to see that his nap was decreasing and then he fought it). You could frame it as being helpful to everyone involved.

        • A journal is a great idea. Our daycare sends home daily reports of naps, diaper changes/potty attempts, meals and activities. It helps us keep up with what he is doing and what his patterns are.

        • Yeah, we do this, too. Just got an old school notebook and wrote a page each on eating/sleep/cloth diapers/etc. People (grandparents, nanny, babysitter) like having something to review and it’s easier for you because you don’t have to go over everything and feel like a crazy tyrant as you talk it through. They also write down nap times/meal times etc. Now we are just down to writing down nap times (baby is 13 months) because I still like seeing it.

          You might look up local activities for the grandparents and give them suggestions for regular things to do with the baby on their days with her (storytime at the library, singalongs, etc).

          Good luck! It will be a fun arrangement!

    • Pick your battles. First, decide on a routine because routines are important for little ones. It helps them feel safe. And with so many different caregivers, consistency will be extremely important. Figure out the 2 or 3 or 4 most important parts of the routine, and make sure everyone is clear. For example, nap time is at 9am and 1pm because if the naps are later the baby won’t sleep well at night. Some babies to ok without a set schedule, some need the rigidity. And some parents need the rigidity (hand up & waving).

      Don’t worry about giving hints to what baby likes/doesn’t like, but recognize that sometimes likes & dislikes can vary from house to house. She may hate being bounced by you, but when grandma does it she loves it. That kind of thing. However, if, like my oldest, baby will scream 20 minutes before falling asleep, no matter what, share that with them so they know what to expect.

      And always speak up if it’s a safety issue. Safety guidelines change so much over the years that giving the grandparents a refresher on what is considered safe right now is totally OK, IMO.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree about the safety guidelines. My MIL was so offended when BIL and SIL didn’t take her advice about things that she had done in the 70’s/80’s, because she didn’t realize that safety guidelines had changed so much since then.

        • Coach Laura :

          Just two quick comments: For anything that you’re really worried about that you think is important (e.g. not feeding solid food until Xmonths, car seats always, no honey before age 1) is to say “Our doctor mentioned that X is his/her preferred time to do Y, and we agree with that advice so we want to let you know so we can all be on the same page.” If they have questions, then that gives them a chance to ask. Some peds give out fact sheets at each well-baby check up so you could make a copy for each set of g-parents. And I agree that a general schedule of meals, play-time, naps, baths etc., would be good.

          IMO – you, hubby and baby are lucky to have the help!

      • I agree with all of this. My mom watches my son three days a week and we have a nanny for the other two. I send a bag each day with a cooler full of bottles, some fruit or other foods he’s currently eating, changes of clothes, pacifiers, loveys, and while she buys the bulk of the diapers/wipes she needs, I occasionally send replenishments. We bought a car seat for my mom but she bought a little umbrella stroller to have for walks. She keeps toys at her house so that way they’re “special” toys that he doesn’t see every day.

        Luckily, my mom and I see pretty much eye to eye on raising my son so we haven’t had too many issues. I do let her know things like “He’s eating diced chicken now, loves pasta with red sauce, I like to put blended spinach in the red sauce to sneak it in” and will send some of that with him. I also let her know “Hey, I’ve never taken him to the swings or the park yet, let’s wait until I do that the first time before you do.” I also provided a written list (and reminded her) of foods that he can’t have until he’s older: honey, shellfish, peanuts, etc.

        We’re also lucky that he’s a fairly easy-going baby regarding naps and sleeping, but I do let her know that he’s currently on a two-nap schedule, approximate times for when he naps during the day, and any other quirks that he has that day or week.

    • Anonymous :

      Great advice here regarding relationship with the other caregivers: refresh them on safety, describe basic schedule and ‘what baby likes’, then let go. Babies understand that grandma and grandpa do things differently than mom and dad.

      Give each home a carseat base, a sleeping spot (pack and play or porta crib), a high chair (Ikea antilop or FP space saver), and some books and toys. I would leave a stock of diapers and wipes, although you can easily keep the diaper bag stocked, too.

  14. springtime :

    I’ve been eyeing this jacket for awhile actually- just hoping it runs a bit big because they don’t have it in my size.

    Do you guys think this is office-appropriate?

  15. Anon for this :

    Meeting with a recruiter tomorrow (law) – not generally looking for a new position, but this one has something of interest to me. Do I wear a suit to meet the recruiter? Or can I get away with a very nicely put together business casual?

    • I would play it safe and wear a suit – or at least a dress with a suit jacket. I think of the initial meeting as the recruiter’s litmus test for who you and how you’ll be marketable. You want the recruiter to know that if he/she sends you out on job interviews, you know how to dress appropriately.

  16. Anon For This :

    Meeting with a legal recruiter tomorrow for the first time. I’m not generally looking, but this recruiter has a position of interest to me. Do I have to wear a suit? Or will very nice biz casual work?

  17. The jacket looks to be a reasonable Etoile Isabel Marant knock-off…

  18. Telling mom :

    Ladies, I really need some advice and hope I don’t get burned for this. Background: I’m 24 and my bf is 26, we both have stable jobs and make decent money, been together for 6 years but live seperately (I’m at home and he has his own place). My mom is really traditional and conservative and thus bf and I have never gone anywhere alone. Yes, previous vacations meant my mom came with us and I shared a room with her while bf had his own. Does this sound crazy? So I’ve finally had it and decided that this year bf and I will go somewhere alone, just the two of us. We have already booked flight and hotels. Problem is, I know when I tell my mom she will say I’m loose and disgracing he family because going alone must mean lady garden parties right? And she was also against me moving out until in martied or at least engaged because what if it doesn’t work out? Then it’ll “look bad” to family friend or relatives who I don’t even care about.

    Sorry this is so long, I guess I just want to know if I’m asking for too much just to have some alone one with my bf.

    • locomotive :

      no, you are not asking for too much! your mom sounds like she has a different set of values (that I personally think are old-fashioned and ridiculous and neither good nor appropriate for this era, but I respect that you respect your mom’s values and may also share them) but you absolutely should not feel bad for wanting time alone with your bf. For two people to consider being in a serious relationship means that you should at least be spending time alone and figuring out how compatible you are – which can’t happen if your mom is there! Also, there is nothing wrong with LGP (there is nothing that makes them magically ‘right’ just because you’re married v. being in a serious relationship or even otherwise) and your family is not disgraced by you being a mature adult seeking companionship

    • Get an apartment. It’s time.

      • Second this. You should have some time “on your own” before you get married (if you plan to marry BF), even if it’s with roommates, it’s still not with an authority figure (and I understand that parents never stop being somewhat of an authority figure). I don’t object to your mom’s rules entirely (or, at least, I think that it’s fine and even good for parents to make regulations about what goes on in their homes or while they are there, even if they know that their children may not follow them when they are on their own). But it is time to gain some measure of independance and experience some time apart from those rules. If she starts going on about calling you “loose” (people still say that?) or disgracing the family, you need to be able to just walk away. Which is easier if you don’t live with her.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I really agree with this. I think living outside of your childhood home for awhile is extremely important, especially before living with a significant other. You’ll learn a lot about yourself once you are the one responsible for dealing with every situation that arises. I think moving out is an important rite of passage and growing experience.

          I also agree with the poster below who suggested taking the time to figure out what it is that you truly want for yourself. Try to take your family, boyfriend, friends, etc out of the equation and think about what you want deep down. Once you know that, you can figure out how best to achieve it and whether or how much to take all of those other people into consideration.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This, times a million.

    • You’re not asking too much! It’s kind of crazy for her to come along as a chaperone on your vacations when you’re 24. Just go, your mother will get over it. Also: consider moving out. ;)

    • Uh wow. I hope this is a fake post because yes, dear this sounds insane.

      Boyfriend issues aside, you need to get some independence. How about saving up and moving out on your own (separate of your bf) and learning to live for yourself? That seems like a good place to start.

      • It’s traditional and accepted in many non-American cultures for people to live at home with their parents until they get married. The OP’s mother may not have grown up in the U.S., and may be coming from a different culture.

        However, OP, I agree with the other posters that you’re old enough to decide what your beliefs are, separate from your mother’s, and if that involves going on vacation with just your boyfriend and/or getting your own apartment, you should do those things.

        • A lot of these traditional and accepted practices are also really unhealthy and fall into the classic definition of codependence and emotional manipulation. I know this from personal experience and from others of my culture. I really hate it when people just trot out “oh, lots of non-Americans do this” as a shorthand to say it’s OK. It’s often NOT OK.

          OP is getting some crap from her mother and is mostly NOT OK with the arrangements now, so I think that’s what should matter. Not trying to give certain cultural carveouts for practices that are causing problems.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m not sure if anyone is still reading, but I’m going to respond anyway because you make a good point. I cited other cultures because L suggested the OP’s post might have been “fake” because it sounded “insane.” It didn’t sound fake to me at all, because there are many cultures where a mother might act the way the OP’s mother does. I also don’t think it’s insane if the mother follows the practices handed down by her culture (if she in fact did not grow up in the US, which I don’t know).

            That said, I agree aspects of these other cultures are manipulative, codependent, etc. Aspects of our culture are negative also, like the social isolation that befalls many people because we emphasize individual freedom over obligations to family, friends, and society. I agree with you the correct response to cultures isn’t ignoring their problems, but I do think recognizing someone may be coming from a different culture can (i) help explain their behavior, and (ii) help us recognize what is good and bad about their culture and our own.

            Finally, I too (probably because I’m an American) think the most important thing is what the OP herself thinks and believes now, as I said in my first post.

          • Shoot, of course I am the most recent “Anonymous.” I forgot it doesn’t fill in your name anymore.

    • Are you coming from a more conservative/religious background? If so, I can completely understand where you’re coming from and your mom’s perspective.

      Given that context, it may not just be possible to move out without creating legitimate family issues that you may not want to create.

      I would say just go on the trip – it’s minor enough that your mom may be upset but she’ll get over it. Moving out may not be something your relationship with your mother can recover from if your cultural context is similar to that of some of my friends…

    • One of my recent mantras is “act, don’t react.” Take the time to figure out your own wants/values/etc. There’s nothing wrong with living at home, not having LGP’s, etc, if it’s what YOU want. There’s nothing wrong with moving out, traveling together, etc, if it’s what you want. Once you filter out what your parents, boyfriend, society, etc think you should be doing and focus on your own priorities, then you can start to determine how to make them happen.

    • Two quotes from my dad:

      “Sometimes forgivness is easier than permission. ”

      “Your opinion, my life. ”

      Looking back, those are kind of weird quotes to tell a 12 year old girl, and then a 20 year old. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m too conservative in my choices, he frequently tells me to be more impulsive.

    • Special Circumstance :

      Not that I think lying is especially awesome, but I had similarly conservative parents growing up and honestly eventually I just told them white lies often to avoid drama and dealing with their absurdity. It wasn’t even to do anything bad- it would literally be to go and get coffee or something with a friend (male or female) for a couple of hours and they would freak out if I asked them to do that. So I would say I was going to the library to study (or something) and they would buy it. And I’d just go get coffee. Could you just tell your mother you’re going on a trip with your best girlfriend? Or you’re going to visit somebody? If you tell her honestly, it will likely be a battle you have to fight. And is it worth it? I feel it probably isn’t, especially if you have to live with her. I feel what your mother doesn’t know won’t hurt her. With parents like this, you have to know how to pick your battles and how to get around issues.

      By the way, I learned this very early… my parents would berate/nearly abuse me starting at young ages for things like not getting a sticker on a spelling test or missing 1 question on a 2nd grade work sheet (that sort of thing). So… I just started hiding those worksheets (we often had to bring school work home in folders our parents had to sign, so I’d take out the ‘bad’ ones, hid them, and put them back in to bring back to school once parents signed), throwing them away, and “lying” essentially to them (telling them we didn’t do many worksheets one week, for example) from very young ages. It was so I wouldn’t have to fight the battles. Some tests/worksheets couldn’t be hidden so I sucked those up and dealt with the blows that had to be dealt with, rather than fighting and having every single one. What they didn’t know never hurt them. Was that awesome? I guess not. But really sometimes you just have to do a cost benefit analysis and the benefit of white lying sometimes outweighs being totally upfront.

      • Agreed. Lying is bad but, having also grown up with conservative parents, it’s sometimes the only option.

        FWIW, my family was very conservative until my parents’ divorce (after my brother and I had moved away). Then, all the stories came out. Ironically, we were all lying to each other to avoid this same kind of drama.

        • with k-padi and special circumstance. ive taken weekend trips with bf while living at home with disapproving parents, just saying i was staying at a good friends. i’ve also done longer vacations with bf and told them that there were other people also going (though this was not when i lived at home).

          girl who loves and respects her mom (despite mom trying to have a “dangers of promiscuity” talk with her at age 23)

      • Yup, coming from an Asian culture I can relate to this. Me and my friends did this all the time. It would be too much of a battle/drama if they knew there would be guys in the group of friends we were going out with – so that fact was omitted. Grades were also a big thing. Anything less than an A was unacceptable.

      • Ha. I feel like all the asians are coming out of the woodwork for this!

        Yup. My first trip with a boy when I was 23, I mentioned the place, but not the with WHOM so if they had to retrieve my body from Mexico they wouldn’t be surprised. This was also because my mom calls 1-2 times a week and I didn’t want her to worry while I was away.

        As for “going to the library” I was super involved in high school just for this reason. They didn’t need to know that public service event only lasted 2 hours.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      You’re not asking “too much” but I agree with the points above that your mom isn’t going to give you independence – you have to take it. Why not move out on your own? If you wait for her to give you permission to be an adult, you’ll wait a long time.

      As someone who comes from a fairly conservative culture, and family, you aren’t going to change her mind on this issue. What you can do is move things to “out of sight, out of mind” – I just don’t discuss things with my parents that I know we will never agree on. If those things come up, I do what is said above – white lie. I would move out as soon as you can so you don’t face these questions/inquisitions on a regular basis.

      That said, I have a cousin who has a GF who comes from an even more conservative family than I do. They live together and the GF hasn’t told her parents (parents don’t even know they are dating – religious differences). When they come to visit, he literally removes all traces of himself from their apartment and she pretends to live there alone. I think that level is a bit over the line.

      • I agree. If you keep giving into what she wants, you will always end up giving in, and it will be harder to break that dependency on her approval as you get older if you don’t make a habit of doing the opposite now.

        momentsofabsurdidty – I think doing things like hiding a boyfriend’s existence is definitely going over the line, and it’s not going to help her in the long run, nor is it going to contribute to having a stable, healthy relationship with him. If my boyfriend insisted that I make myself an unperson when his parents were around, I’d wonder why a grown man needed so much approval and whether we’d ever be able to be accepted in his family. I have a low tolerance for those kinds of shenanigans.

    • Anon for This :

      Wow — are you me? Seriously, this was me about 13 years ago. I have very conservative parents, and they reacted the same way to things like this as yours. I went to college and grad school and then returned to my hometown to live with my parents. After all that freedom, it seemed like a nightmare. The nightmare was that my Mom treated me like I was still the high school graduate she sent off to college. Anyway, once I started dating my now-dh, she and I really butted heads. I had no sleepovers, but she would freak out (and wait up for me!) when I came in at 1 or 2 a.m. on a weekend night. I finally decided that it was time to move out, and I did. There was a lot of threatening (to disinherit me — even though we are by no means rich), guilt-tripping and venom spewed by my Mom, but I did it. I made sure to tell them both many times that I love them, but that I needed to be on my own before I got married. They actually {gasp!} got over it. It took a long time, and I came over for Sunday dinners a lot, but they actually got over it, and we have as close a relationship as we ever have. Not to say that my Mom isn’t a very difficult person, but that’s another story. All this is to say, it is probably time to move out. Be prepared to hear a lot about it and how horrible you are, but hopefully all that will soften over time. As far as going on a trip, I say go for it. I did — even when I lived at home — and they didn’t like it. But you have the right.

  19. Anne Shirley :

    Why are you living at home if you make decent money, have a stable job, and don’t agree with her rules? And why aren’t you married?

    I don’t agree with your mom’s rules, but if you’re going to chose not to grow up, move out, and act like an independent adult then I think you are stuck with them.

    • This has nothing to do with “growing up” and I am afraid your statement sounds incredibly close-minded and uninformed. As Eleanor point out, “It’s traditional and accepted in many non-American cultures for people to live at home with their parents until they get married.”

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I agree that there are many cultures where it’s normal for adults to live at home until marriage (or often, after marriage) — I come from one.

        However, in those cultures, you do so accepting that you will live under your parents’ rules until you’re married. Even more than that, I would argue that if someone else is providing for your living expenses, they have a right to instate rules on your behavior (he who has the gold makes the rules, as it were). If the poster above lives in the US, she’s perfectly within her rights to decide she does not want to do that, and move out.

      • Anne Shirley :

        It has everything to do with growing up.

        Grown up choice: live with your parents in accordance with their values, either because you share those values or because you value your family relationships

        Childish choice: buy plane tickets for a vacation you know your mom disapproves of while still living in her home.

        • a passion for fashion :

          I dont think it is childish to make the travel reservations, but more importantly, i totally disagree that it has everything to do with growing up, nor do i think its productive to call the OP childish.

          It appears the OP is trying to reach some sort of compromise with her conservative mother/family, who has told her it is their expectation that she live with them until she marry. [and what exactly did you mean by why isnt OP married?] She has tried, at least somewhat successfully, to honor their wishes and not cause family drama, but she would like some independence.

      • I think by “grow up” she means making independent decisions. Yes, in some cultures it’s common to live at home until/during/after marriage. However, presumably the poster is fed up with this lifestyle.

        At the end of the day, she needs to learn how to make decisions for herself. If she doesn’t want to abide by her mother’s rules then she has to accept all the responsibilities and consequences. Same as if she keeps living at home.

      • I completely agree w/Anne Shirley and disagree w/you.

        She’s well-informed. I’m from one of those cultures, and also “well-informed,” and I can see that it’s unhealthy. Just because a lot of people keep acting like sheep and repeating traditions, doesn’t make the tradition in itself a good thing. That depends on the people involved. It’s clearly causing problems for the OP and her mother, and that alone is something to be concerned about. And something to find a solution for.

        In these traditional cultures, women are viewed as objects — first under the control of her parents, and then safely passed into the hands of the husband. The woman never gets her independence, because she’s always an appendage of something else– her birth family, or her husband. This is problematic if you believe each individual has a right to be a person on his or her own.

  20. anonypotamus from yesterday:

    Thank you for suggesting Chia Seed Pudding! I made some for breakfast this morning and it’s yummy!

    • anonypotamus :

      Yay! I’m glad you liked it! When I first tried it, I was skeptical, but it has become one of my staples in the morning. Its also delicious with a bit of cocoa powder or peanut butter :)

      • I’ll try that. I used cow’s milk and added honey, dried fruit, and sliced almonds this morning. So filling! I was only able to finish half (3/4c milk +1/4c Chia).

  21. Re-posting from last night: Anyone a member of CREW – Commercial Real Estate Women? Do you find your membership worthwhile? I am debating joining my city chapter. Thanks!

    Alternatively anyone start their own real estate development firm?

    • I’ve been a member of my local chapter for six months, and have been going to meetings with some regularity for about a year. I haven’t actually gotten any business from being a member (I’m a lawyer), but I think that’s more because (i) I’ve been practicing less than two years and I look quite young, and (ii) all I’ve done so far is attend the monthly lunches and one of the social events. I think to develop business you really need to join one of the committees so you see people more frequently and interact with them in a more meaningful way. To that end, I did join one of the committees and am responsible for one of the programs this year, so we’ll see how that goes.

      The meetings are usually on topics I find interesting, and everyone I’ve met has been very nice. There seem to be more people there who are in a looking-for-clients position (lawyers, engineers) than those in a being-the-client position (developers), which I guess isn’t that surprising.

      I’ve actually had a passing thought of starting my own development firm, since I have pretty strong views on real estate development. However, I’m not prepared, at least at this point in my life, to borrow so much money, and I don’t think I have the knowledge of the industry that would be necessary. That’s great that you’re thinking about it, though, since real estate is such a heavily male-dominated industry. I think the more female clients there are, the more welcoming the whole industry will be for women.

      • I forgot to add that if my firm weren’t paying for my CREW membership I wouldn’t be a member, as it’s kind of expensive once you pay the annual fee plus lunch costs. I would pay for it myself if I thought it would lead to my getting clients though.

  22. Maddie Ross :

    Has anyone purchased any of the Joe Fresh for JC Penney items? I’m totally curious, but would love a review first.

  23. It turns out that I’ll be going on a week-long cruise to Alaska this summer with my father’s extended family (about 25 people). Does anyone have any experience with cruises like this? I’m really jazzed to see Alaska and would like to go hiking and exploring on my own or with my sister, but the cruise line’s website–Celebrity–seems intent on only telling me about excursions that are pre-packaged and pre-planned. Any recommendations? It looks like we’ll have day-long stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia.

    • Check message boards on cruise critic. Lots of recs for independent excursions. Also, join the roll call.

      • Sorry–what’s the roll call?

        • It’s a thread on cruise critic specific to your sailing. It’s the best place for tips on going on tours outside of ones provided by Celebrity. Also, it’s fun to get to know others who will be on the cruise.

    • You should expect the average age of the cruisgoers to be about 50 years older than you, so you may want to do some excursions that are not planned by the cruise line. I believe there’s a website called “shore excursions” or something like that, that has less expensive options. If I were traveling alone (and didn’t need to stick with the group), I would have ziplined, kayaked, heli-planed, and fly fished, but alas, I was mostly going on “city tours,” which were really boring and lame (these “cities” are small towns full of t-shirt shops that are owned by the cruise ship companies). Butchart Gardens in Victoria was awesome though, and getting high tea there would have been fun.

    • For Victoria: ditch the group. The cruise ships dock really close to downtown so catch a cab into downtown and spend the day walking around downtown, the Inner Harbour, having fancy schmancy afternoon tea at the Empress, and going to our awesome Chinatown. Yes, certainly go with the group to Butchart Gardens if you like, but it is equally great to just walk around on your own and you will see awesome scenery in Alaska, so no need to go to a garden. Another option is to book a whalewatching excursion if you aren’t doing that already. Also in Victoria: a castle (Craigdarroch Castle), a wonderful art gallery (Art Gallery of Greater Victoria), the best museum I know of short of going to London (Royal BC Museum), a very photogenic Legislature, and yummy fish and chips (try Red Fish Blue Fish in the Inner Harbour). Victoria is very walking-friendly and the distances are quite short if you want to rent a car, so there is no need to stick with a group.

    • lucy stone :

      We went to Alaska last summer and it was awesome! We did a mix of cruise tours and on our own tours.

      In Ketchikan we took a flight on a floatplane to Misty Fjords. The company we used was called Island Wings and the pilot, Michelle, was awesome. There were about 7 people on the plane and we got to stop and land on a lake. It was gorgeous!

      In Juneau we took a halibut fishing trip through Celebrity, which was fun. There were four other people on the boat with us. In the afternoon we took a bus to Mendenhall Glacier that you can catch at the docks, then hiked there for a few hours. We saw bears and it was awesome! After that we went shopping downtown and picked up a bunch of souvenirs for people. Downtown Juneau was definitely the most touristy of any city we went to.

      In Skagway we rented a car rather than do the railway trip. I downloaded a guide from Murray’s (I think it was $5) and we drove up through BC and into the Yukon. We had lunch in Carcross and then drove back. It was a beautiful amazing drive that I’d highly recommend.

      Have a wonderful trip!

  24. I like this jacket but can’t dig it with brooches on the shoulder.

    • I agree. I think it’s very chic on its own, but because it also borders on old lady territory given it’s style, brooches would be too costume-y for me.