News of Interest to Overachieving Chicks (2017 roundup!)

2016 Career News for Young Working WomenHappy Almost 2018! We realize that many of you may not have time to click on all (or maybe any) of the links in each week’s Weekly News Update, so we’ve gathered some of the most notable or memorable stories that we highlighted during the past year, organized by topic. Readers: Tell us some of your favorite news stories that were relevant to overachieving chicks during 2017 (whether we covered them or not)?

Interesting Stories on Work Fashion

  • The Atlantic took a stab at why workwear went from suits and ties to, well, just about anything as long as there isn’t “too much skin.”
  • The Work Uniform: The Washingtonian talked to Renata Briggman, who adopted a work uniform to avoid having to decide what to wear: “she wears black slacks, black shoes, a grey blazer and a white shirt. Every. Single. Day.” Along similar lines, Business Insider shared how a work uniform can streamline your routine — and Fast Company provided six women’s work uniforms to save time and energy when getting ready in the morning.
  • Bored Panda told the story of 63-year-old Fordham professor Lyn Slater, who was mistaken for a fashion celeb during New York Fashion Week and now works as a model with Elite London. (Love this story!)
  • Racked shared where to find “nude” lingerie for all skintones.
  • Huffington Post shared Chelsea Clinton’s response to comments about her favorite pair of scuffed-up pumps.
  • Here are the 2016 Award Winning Undies as voted by the customers of HerRoom (affiliate link).
  • The Atlantic told the lesser-known history of the little black dress.
  • The Huffington Post reported that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced plans to update the decades-old House dress code after its recent criticisms — and the The New York Times shared readers’ responses to its article about “appropriate” work attire.

Career-Related News of Note

  • Love this: A Forbes contributor shared the “Court Lobster Strategy” as a way to gain confidence and head off imposter syndrome.
  • Wired told you how to erase files and back up what you need when you leave a job.
  • Quartz listed three strategies to combat sexist interruptions; meanwhile, Fortune explained how to cut down on “manterrupting”: by avoiding starting questions with “‘sorry,’ ‘may I ask,’ ‘can I ask,’ ‘excuse me,’ or by addressing [someone] by name” and using a more aggressive style. Meanwhile, The Daily Dot defined the new term “he-peating” as when a woman’s idea gets shut down and “a male colleague not only repeats this same idea, he gets credit for it.” (Ad may autoplay.)
  • Quartz offered 10 CEOs’ top interview questions and tests for prospective employees. Have you heard any of these before?
  • Harvard Business Review looked at the downsides of being recognized as a star performer and “future leader” at work.
  • U.S. News noted that “76 percent of hiring managers believe that ‘being interesting’ is the most crucial quality they look for when interviewing to fill a new position.”
  • Ms. JD shared how a lawyer stood her ground in court, even after opposing counsel and the clerk told her she looked like a 12-year-old girl.

Feminism/Rawr News

(This is by no means a complete compendium even of our coverage of all of the many, many stories that made 2017’s word of the year “feminism” — these are just some of the ones that jumped out as being memorable or made me click on them again.)

  • There were one or two stories this year about sexual harassment allegations — maybe you saw them? Dahlia Lithwick at Slate shared how she felt complicit in some way with regards to Ninth Circuit judge Alex Kozinski,  Lindy West opined in the The New York Times on why “we have all been seething, in our various states of breaking open or, as [Uma] Thurman chooses, waiting,” and Bustle asked whether the heroes of several popular romantic movies were actually sexually harassing the heroines.
  • Slate rounded up some of the best signs from the Women’s March — but didn’t include Kat’s favorite.
  • Gosh, it’s hard to believe that #ShePersisted just started in 2017 – Huffington Post had the details.
  • “Dear Lady”: The Atlantic featured rejection letters from the Society of Women Engineers archive; meanwhile, Above the Law shared a Biglaw memo from 1956 that explains how to deal with “Lady Lawyers,” aka “girls.”
  • Harvard Business Review shared the results of a series of studies involving mock resumes sent to law firms. They found that “elite employers discriminate strongly based on social class, favoring applicants from higher-class backgrounds [and that] coming from an advantaged social background helps only men.”
  • Fast Company told the story of two women entrepreneurs who had better luck getting investors after they created a fake male cofounder.
  • Readers recently discussed a Harvard Gazette article, “The Internal Marriage Tax of Women M.B.A.s,” that was shared in the comments.
  • The Hill suspected the Swedish climate minister was trolling certain people with an all-women photo, and Forbes rounded up the best working women’s responses to #DressLikeAWoman campaign.
  • This was also an epic year for recognition of the invisible labor that women often bear – this comic by the French artist Emma had a fresh look at why women tend to be the “manager of household chores.” (We’ve also talked about the “default parent” problem over on CorporetteMoms quite a bit, from how to ask for help from your partner to how to avoid being the only one thinking about the little things (i.e. share the emotional labor).)

Lifestyle Advice for Overachieving Chicks

  • Thought Catalog had some good tips for true self-care—beyond salt baths and chocolate cake.
  • The Everygirl provided 20 recipes you can prep on Sunday for healthy meals you’ll want to eat the rest of the week, and BuzzFeed rounded up 11 lazy, er, quick and easy (and tasty!) recipes from food bloggers.
  • In its “Money Diaries” series, Refinery29 featured a finance VP with a salary off $230K.
  • Need motivation for a 2018 workout routine? Politico shared Justice Ginsburg’s personal trainer’s tips (the Notorious R.B.G. is pretty strong!).
  • May you never need them, but: these suggestions from Tip Hero may help you survive a work shooting.

Articles and Posts We’re Still Laughing Over

  • Thumb typing school, you guys: The Huffington Post had the deets on this viral Facebook post (about being interrupted by a man who offered to be her mentor, even though he had zero relevant experience that would benefit her writing career or, uh, probably anyone’s career) and it was awesome. (Appropriately enough, she was reading Men Explain Things To Me at the time.)
  • Don’t miss Prince William dancing like a dork, from Jezebel.
  • The Onion recreated TJ Maxx’s shopping experience online. Meanwhile, McSweeney’s offered retail-therapy suggestions for a variety of unpleasant thoughts.
  • Pajiba rounded up some amusing reactions to Ivanka Trump’s new book.
  • Drowned in moonlight, strangled by her bra: New York magazine’s The Cut collected some of Carrie Fisher’s best quotes, and BuzzFeed rounded up some tweets paying tribute to her.
  • Having a yucky week? This isn’t funny but it is uplifting: The Huffington Post has a firsthand account of how Dr. Mary-Claire King survived what could have been her worst week ever—or at least the plot of a sad country song—and how it led to the project that became BRCA1.

Want more? Here’s our news roundup from 2016.


  1. Talk to me about storage units :

    How many of you have storage units? Is the idea that you dump stuff there and leave it or shuttle back and forth monthly? I think that you need to have a good labeling system and be very religious, almost like packing for a move.

    I am thinking that if I get a largish storage unit (even if it costs $2,000/year, ultimately way more than the value of anything in it) that is fairly close to my house (old, inadequate closets; husband is size-changing clothes and stuff/junk hoarder) it will be:
    — cheaper than any possible remodel, and less of a hassle
    — possible marriage saver
    — allow kids currently sharing a room to move to separate bedrooms

    I am thinking that this is good for husbands millions of old DVDs, stepson’s toys (he is away at college, so his periodic bedroom is now just used for holidays and sporadically for houseguests), offseason items, christmas decorations.

    BUT I am thinking that we would keep at home (due to risk of loss being lower) things like:
    truly precious keepsakes
    tax records
    items that you may need off and on (this would maybe take some getting used to — husband seems to want all camping gear accessible all the time but having it be a 15-minute drive that maybe you can only get to b/w 8am-8pm would take some getting used to).

    I hate to waste $ and I think that having overflow space may lead to more hoarding.

    [We have a small attic, but the pull-down stairs make it so that I really can’t manage getting heavy / large / bulky items up and down easily; plus I’m not 100% sure it’s critter-proof.]

    • Yes, overflow space will lead to more hoarding.

      Storage units work if you treat them like your garage or shed. Holiday decorations, summer items like camping tents and patio furniture, childhood toys that you’re saving for the next generation, off-season items like mowers/ snowblowers/ bikes/ wheelbarrows, etc. But your rule has to be that the current storage space for those items becomes usable, livable space. So your garage needs to be for your cars, not additional storage. Your attic needs to be unused or for off-season clothes only. Your spare room needs to be an office/ guest room.

      If you (or your DH) can’t agree to those rules, particularly about preserving the new living space as actually usable, then it’s just an excuse for more hoarding and you need to focus on changing the hoarding behavior.

    • I’ve always used them temporarily, like when I was renting somewhere small for a couple years and needed somewhere to put Aunt Gertrude’s dining set that I had inherited and didn’t want to get rid of. And Christmas decorations.

      Rather than just getting a storage unit – which it sounds like would ultimately result in your husband acquiring more stuff – can you address the underlying stuff? Do you need it all? Think closely about your stepson’s toys – which ones are YOUR favorites and which ones are really his? (For example, my mother insists that some plastic tea set was my very, very favorite thing, but I have zero recollection of it, so it means nothing to me and there’s no reason for her to hold onto it. As for DVDs, we burned them all to an external hard drive and donated the discs to our public library. Doing good and saving space!

      And not to be one of those posters, but does your husband’s acquisition of stuff have a root cause that may need examining? Like my mother started hoarding after she lost everything in a devastating house fire. Understandable, but therapy helped.

      • Talk to me about storage units :

        I say hoarding lightly — he seems to have no time or inclination to go through and purge (his family, on the other hand . . .). Plus, he is upset about gaining weight and doesn’t want to give up on the skinny clothes.

        If I can pop one kid into the other’s bedroom, that should hold him off since it won’t be free-to-him space.

        I am a Virgo, so I heart organizing and I despise clutter, so it bothers me more and I am the one who is motivated. He wants a nice clutter free house, but just won’t ever get sh*t done.

        • Then you may have to be the person who does the organizing for him…for your sanity. Sometimes marriage is like that.

          Skinny clothes, ok, whatever, put them in rubbermaid tubs in your cellar or attic. I have a few pieces I’ve kept from my heavier times. (Helpful this time of year when there are too many treats…) I suggest working through things and doing a donate/keep system. Ask him if he’s ok with you donating the items in the donate bin. If not, put them away for 6 months and ask again in 6 months.

        • I’m the Kondo poster from below. I was the one who started reading the books and organizing and it got my husband involved and we do some things together (although when his involvement stresses me out I ask him to step away). Maybe if you just start doing your stuff and he sees how that looks then he will be inspired. I started with my own clothes and was ruthless. I understand his emotional attachment, though, and it’s ok to keep things that he genuinely likes and enjoys however getting rid of my “skinny” clothes really improved my attitude. Even if I lost weight (which I later did) I wouldn’t wear those old clothes when they fit again anyways. There really is something about opening up your closet/drawers and only seeing things you can like and wear.

    • I wouldn’t do it. You’ll never use the stuff you put in there again. I’m a Marie Kondo addict and evangelist now, although it is still so, so hard it’s sooooo worth it. I’ve had storage units over the years and the stuff always just gets moldy. If I don’t need it enough to have all the time, then I just plain don’t need it. You will get more stuff to replace that stuff and the cycle continues. Kids should get rid of stuff. If stepson is in college he doesn’t need toys. Next time he is home make him go through and get rid of it or move it. Don’t need dvds at all. I live in a pretty small house and you would be surprised at what you can still keep and be perfectly happy.

      I know this isn’t what you asked, so I apologize, but I sincerely think that everyone can benefit from just purging unwanted items. It is so freeing. I’m not a minimalist by any means, but getting rid of stuff has improved my marriage (my husband is the minimalist) so maybe your husband needs to start meeting you in the middle, too. If he is a horder, or has those tendencies, he will just accumulate more stuff.

      • Talk to me about storage units :

        This is helpful — if stuff will get moldy in a storage unit anyway, then it can get moldy in our root cellar for free then. I guess I have high expectations of clean / dry / bug-free / critter-free space.

        I was overjoyed yesterday to find out that our Goodwill takes stuffed animals. Watch out toy boxes, WINTER IS COMING.

        • Climate controlled units are the norm in many areas (e.g., the hot and humid south).

        • HA! I love the ‘winter is coming’ comment. I’m really glad you’re tackling this now, as another thing to think about is who is going to have to go through this stuff someday? My grandpa has kept all manner of things in the attic above his garage which is 1) full of critters, 2) hard to access and 3) due to the rafter angles, you can’t stand up in it. And there’s stuff all the way to the back. Our plan is to go though it while he’s still here with us, as there are some items of value and we want to make sure everyone knows his intent for those items. Are those items worth 5-6 adults spending an entire weekend pulling stuff down, trashing the junk, cataloging what might be worth keeping, making sure no one’s personal stuff gets tossed if they wanted it, inevitable family drama over junk, paying a extra dumpster fee? No, no, no.

        • +1 on purge, don’t store, and adding that I have a couple of friends who moved for jobs, put things in storage and came home to rats having taken up residence in their things.

          • PS – if the task is overwhelming, I’ve used TaskRabbit to come organize my purges/clean out storage space (you still have to make the final call, but getting someone to do the organizing initially is amazing), and then I’ve had 1800 junk show up – I love using them because you can book them same day and avoid that “‘maybe we should just keep this” impulse.

          • Talk to me about storage units :

            The task is not overwhelming at all (to me). I can mini-purge drawer by drawer if I only have a little bit of time each day.

            But I have mice, roaches, and a damp cellar already (that periodically can have a few inches of water in it), which is why I feel like I can’t store things in my house (and why the living space has more stuff in it than it should).

            Also have learned the hard way: easier to beg for forgiveness than as permission.

          • Good luck – I’m also a huge fan of forgiveness not permission (especially since most things you toss could be replaced if it is reallllyyy an issue later). If you pose the 2k/ur that you’ll save as shopping spree money if H loses weight, maybe he’ll get on board?

      • I agree with this, and I am not a minimalist at all. For $2k/year you can buy your husband new clothes if he he goes back to his old sizes. Donate the rest and take a tax write off.

        You should tell any children no longer living in the house that they get X storage boxes OR they get to keep as much [email protected] as will fit (neatly) in the bedroom closet and under the bed. They have to deal with the rest.

        Old DVDs? Donate. If he can’t do that, put them in a sleeved case and throw away the bulky boxes.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I don’t have a storage unit but I can tell you that the answer will depend on if you mean hoarding in the colloquial sense (not wanting to get rid of stuff that’s memorable) or in the clinical sense – doesn’t even want to get rid of junk. Old boxes, bottles and cans, carpet remnant, etc. If it is the latter, you are right that getting a storage unit will likely make things worse rather than better. If it is the former, it might be a good idea. There is some stuff that I just can’t part with even though I never even look at it. It lives in a large Rubbermaid container now in our basement. But, it was a process to get it down to so few things. Will your husband be comfortable moving the giant DVD collection to storage? I would suspect his response will be “I keep them in case I want to watch one spontaneously and I can’t watch it if it is in storage.” Can you show him that all of the DVDs are on a streaming service you subscribe to so he will always be able to watch it?

      • We got big binders for our DVD collection and so now instead of the DVDs taking up acres of shelf space in our living room, they take up the equivalent room of two big photo albums. We just had to be careful to save the artwork in cases where the DVDs themselves didn’t say what the movies were. If folks still have CDs (we got rid of most of ours eons ago after ripping them), this also works.

      • I agree with Blonde Lawyer. I have the day off, and I am cleaneing out my closet to give to Goodwill. It is VERY important to remember the unfortunate people who do not have good jobs like we do. Dad says give EVERYTHING away I can this year b/c of the IRS law on giveing next year will NOT help unless we itemize. He said that I have SALT deductions’ but those are capped, and that my morgage will be dedecutible, but after that, he is not sure. He has to get the Turbotax program to be sure. He is VERY mad at the Republican’s for doeing this to him. He said he would NOT have this problem if I were MARRIED, b/c he would be liveing outside of NY and would have dumped his house on LI b/f the price went down b/c of the Republican’s. FOOEY on the Republican’s he says! I wonder if Dad will follow Grandma Trudy’s lead and vote Democratic next time! I hope so, b/c he said he really took it in the tuchus from the Congress, and he blames that little guy with the toupee mostley! FOOEY on him, whoever his name is.

        I now MUST get married and get a deduction for my husband. Dad says find another Sheketovits, but NOT him. I agree. Who needs an alcholic drunk who vomits on my shag carpet and stains my 1000 count Egyptian Cotton Sheets? Not me, no way, Hoze!

        I am now goeing out to dump my stuff @ Goodwill, so Happy New Year to the ENTIRE HIVE!!!!!! YAY!!!

    • Anon in NYC :

      I live in an apartment. I have pretty much always had a storage unit. It is great for things that you don’t need regularly. I only put things in our storage unit that we want to keep – so purge excess first, then store what’s left. Christmas decorations, extra table/chairs for when you have guests, pieces of furniture that you can’t find a place for but aren’t ready to get rid of, old toys, seasonal clothes, etc. We just moved, so we’ve been there a lot recently, but I generally say we access it about 1x a month (or 1x every 2 months) on average.

      And yes, most efficient way to organize a storage unit is to pack things in clearly labeled boxes like during a move.

    • We got one a couple months ago to start moving things in preparation for a move/new baby. They should generally be a temporary arrangement, unless you’re using them as Anon at 9:51 is suggesting. Even then, the cost should be less than replacing those items every year. Storing a snow blower and lawnmower during the offseasons might make sense if there’s truly no storage at home, but storing old DVDs and clothes doesn’t.

    • Hmmm… my usual thoughts on storage units are pretty negative. $2000/year is a lot of money, and if you have no timeline on renting this storage unit, think about whether you could make some usable storage space in your house for, say, $20,000. Plus, there’s clearly no logical argument for hanging onto DVDs and old toys for $2000/year.

      On the other hand, it sounds like the stuff in your house is causing a lot of tension in your relationship with your husband–I may be reading too much into this, but you called a storage unit a potential “marriage saver.” And you have two kids sharing a room while your stepson who’s away at college has his own room? Not cool. I’m guessing you’re living in the house that he and his son lived in before you got married? It’s hard to enter that situation and just start Marie Kondo-ing someone else’s stuff. If you can’t win this battle, it may be worth $2000/year to rent a storage unit if that’s the only way to make the space usable for all the people currently living in the house.

      Your plan for what to put in a storage unit sounds reasonable. I’d push for a timeline on getting rid of things like DVDs and toys–when you pack them up, label boxes and add something like, “give away if unopened by 2020.”

    • First off, $2K a year seems really expensive to me – we have one in Brooklyn NY and it isn’t anywhere close to that – way less than half. You probably can use a smaller one that you think. Ours contains Christmas decorations, the massive oil pan my husband uses to change our oil, old tax files, and some stuff we are emotionally attached to, never use, but are not ready to part with yet – artwork I made (I’m no longer making art but considered myself an artist for many years) and my husband’s college teaching files and related books. He’s now teaching high school but isn’t ready to let go. We got the storage unit initially when he moved in with me 10 years ago, and its contents have shifted over time as our needs and lives have changed. I kept a couple boxes of maternity clothes in there for a couple years until I was ready to close the door on kid 2. I can see myself getting rid of the artwork soon. I’m sure we could get rid of everything in there if we needed to but it’s not a high priority for what it costs us. We’re both pack rats to some extent, although my husband is worse. My husband has slowly gotten rid of things over time, but it works better if it is on his schedule, not mine.

      I haven’t found any mold or bugs but I live in NYC and have low standards about vermin.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Just a counterpoint to the cost – 2k/year is ~$167/mo. I’ve definitely paid more than that for a storage unit in Manhattan and Brooklyn. But I think it depends both on the size of the unit and location.

        • Yeah ours is I think the smallest size available. But it’s still probably more than the average usable space in a closet.

    • Marshmallow :

      My husband and I live in fewer than 1000 sq ft with hardly any closets, and we love our storage unit. It’s $50 per month, climate controlled, within walking distance of our home, and about the size of a large walk-in closet. We keep one or two family furniture pieces we’re saving for our next (hopefully bigger) place, seasonal decorations, leftover bridesmaid/ evening dresses, and REALLY seasonal clothes like coats, snow boots, sandals, and swimwear. Everything else seasonal I try to keep in my drawers year-round a la Kondo.

      As posters above said, it can’t be a dumping ground or else it gets out of control. I find that I’m much better about rotating the stuff in there now that we have a unit so close to our house. Our last unit was not climate-controlled and it was a 30 minute drive, so it became a moldering dumping ground. This is so much better.

    • Linda from HR :

      They’re good for temporary changes in living situations, and/or to help with moving. My boyfriend got one for a couple months when he moved. My family got a storage unit after my sister moved back from school and I moved into the house temporarily, and we were storing stuff the two of us didn’t need at the house but will most likely want when we move out, like furniture and kitchen stuff. My guess is that once she and I have moved out, they’ll give up the storage unit.

      • Linda from HR –We DO have something in common — my ex-boyfreind, Alan, also had a storage unit — my apartement — that is until I dumped him and his dirty laundry OUT of my apartement. FOOEY on men that use our places to store their dirty laundry and other gross stuff and expect US to clean it for them! What are they thinking, that we are their endentured servents? DOUBEL FOOEY on that! DOUBEL YAY for us that have dumped their ex’es and have a clean apartement!

    • We’ve had a storage unit in the past when we needed to store some inherited belongings from my grandmother’s house that had to leave her house so it could be sold. I was too emotional to go through her stuff at the time, so we put it in a unit for a few months. Time passed; I went through her things and got rid of 90% of it. What I wanted to keep we made room for in our house (by purging) and then we cleaned the unit and stopped the rental agreement.

      I would not get a storage unit for things your husband “just can’t get rid of.” He can get rid of it, and he should. We did a major house clean-out this spring and my husband, who by nature is not inclined to purge possessions, got into it and ended up getting rid of a ton of stuff he swore he needed. It actually feels luxurious to have just what you need and know where it is, and let go of old stuff with old memories attached to it. I honestly believe that physical clutter creates mental clutter and it makes it harder to live day-to-day life, because you’re always having to look for things or sort through stuff to find other stuff. I find that particularly true of “thin clothes” – getting rid of the reminder that I used to be 10 lbs lighter actually helped me mentally move forward, and now I am 7 lbs lighter again! And guess what – those old clothes wouldn’t have worked for me because they were out-of-date. And I have figured out I don’t actually need as many clothes as I once thought I did.

      I know this is a tough struggle, but it’s worth it. The extra expense, in your case, could go to so many other things. $2k is a pretty decent vacation somewhere, and IMO it’s a shame to spend that money storing more stuff. If you’re in a small apartment, I can understand it, but if you have a reasonable amount of storage space that just happens to be packed to the gills, it’s way better to clean out and really examine what’s necessary. And your husband will eventually thank you for it.

    • biglawanon :

      I’d address the underlying stuff instead. This doesn’t sound like stuff worth keeping, and your house honestly doesn’t seem that small anyways.

    • He’ll just fill the space and want more. You’re not solving any problem just throwing money at delaying it.

  2. I am hosting a little toddler and parent party and am looking for food ideas. I know there have been posts in the past but my search attempts always fail on this site! Group is approx. 10 toddlers and 16 adults. TIA!!

    • Anonymous :

      What time of day? You could do breakfast foods – mini quiches, bagels and spreads, fruit platter, bacon (my 2yo loves bacon a little bit too much, heh). At the last birthday party we went to, the dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets from Costco were an immense hit, and you can always balance it out with fruit, veggies and dip.

    • Pizza is a staple for a reason. If you want it to be fancier, everyone can make their own pizza with a pizza toppings bar.

      Tacos are similar, although a tiny bit messier.

      Trays of assorted small sandwiches from a local deli. I’ve also heard Costco has good sub trays.

      Noodles are good. The best is when you provide a few noodle options, a few sauce options, and a meat topping. So maybe spaghetti, rotini, marinara, alfredo, sliced chicken, and meatballs. Lots of parm cheese. People can mix and match depending on their preferences. You could also include a fancier stuffed ravioli option for adults.

      (Clearly I like the choose-your-own style with groups that big, esp when kids are involved. It’s just so hard to accommodate all the random food preferences otherwise.)

    • Anon in NYC :

      Depends on the time of day, but assuming a brunch, mini muffins and mini quiche are great for both adults and toddlers – easy for an adult to hold if they have to chase after their kid. Sandwiches are good for adults, too. I like to have bowls of snacks for the kids (or adults) that they can put in little cups. So, a bowl of pretzels, a bowl of goldfish, cheerios, fruit, etc.

      • It will be an evening shindig. We are ordering pizza so I am looking for ideas for sides, desserts, etc. The simpler, the better.

        • Anon in NYC :

          In terms of dessert, my MIL makes these cheesecake bites that are a hit with my toddler and older nephews. Very similar to this, although I think she omits the graham cracker crust:

          My toddler loves chocolate, too. So a chocolate dessert would be a hit.

          For sides, I would do crudite plus dips like hummus and ranch dressing. Red bell pepper, cucumber, and carrots would probably be good for the kids, and maybe broccoli or cauliflower for the adults.

        • I would just do a big salad, a fruit tray, and then something like cookies or brownies for dessert. My kids also LOVE to make root beer floats when they have friends over. Or a sundae bar.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Cookies for dessert! Have an assortment including bar cookies and everybody will be happy.

    • Workwear: MM LaFleur Etsuko dress

      Casual: Cropped cardigan from Boden

  3. Best thing you bought this year, that you recommend?

    Casual wear?

    • Work: the hot pink suit from Banana. Never worn together, but as separates they rock and make me so happy.

      Casual but I don’t care and wear them with tights/dresses anyway: Sorel booties. So much more comfortable than I thought they’d be. Cute and very warm.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I bought that suit, too, and loved it. And I wore the pieces together a time or two.

        And I loved the Banana black and white gingham suit even more. Mostly wore it as separates (it was fabulous mixed up with the pink pieces) but I rocked it together occasionally and have no regrets.

        Casual: A great pair of lightly distressed roll-up jeans from the Nordstrom in-house brand Caslon.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Workwear: Boden Elsa Ottoman dress. Machine-washable. Slightly stretchy, smooths bumps. Love it.

      Casual wear: Dark sage turtleneck from Madewell. I feel like a Cool Girl when I wear it with gold hoops.

      You didn’t ask, but Formal wear: Navy blue Celebrate Success Lace Dress from Modcloth.

      Also great: MM LaFleur jardigan and Greenpoint skirt.

    • casual – cashmere cardigan from Neiman Marcus last call, smartwool socks

      workwear – I can’t think of a single thing.

      travel – throwing this in here since I love getting recommendations, Merrell Women’s Ostrova Dress. Nice ponte, doesn’t wrinkle, flattering and great mid-weight that can be dressed up or down. Perfect.

    • Workwear: Classiques Entier blouse.

      Casual: Garnet Hill 100% cashmere turtleneck (on a tip from here!).

      Shoes: I finally broke down and bought a pair of Bean Boots for myself for Christmas and I think I’m in love.

    • Workwear – revisited Ann Taylor after years of not shopping there & found some cute pants that seem to be better quality than the usual stuff.
      Casual – the Uniglo heat-tech high-rise skinny jeans – comfortable & warm, I’ve been living in them.

    • biglawanon :

      Work wear – Boss skirt suit, MaxMara bow blouse, Helmet Lang rust colored satin cap sleeve shell

      Casual – Stateside sweatshirt and T-shirts. I LOVE this brand now! Joie booties.

  4. Yesterday, I posted about uterine polyps. Reposting here just to get more people’s experiences.

    I had spotting pop up recently and it turns out that it’s a polyp. I’m going to have it taken out soon (which I guess either is a D&C or is like one). In case it matters: not in connection with any fertility treatments. I’m in my 40s and had children in my late 30s.

    • I had a couple of polyps found a year or so ago, when I was 56. (I had just passed the one-year-without-periods mark that signifies menopause is complete, when I had what seemed to be a full-blown period. I didn’t even mention it to my GYN until six months later at a routine visit and she was upset I hadn’t told her at the time. She has now impressed upon me that profuse bleeding after menopause is Bad. But fortunately it turned out to be only polyps.) She did a D&C, but apparently one of the polyps was tenacious and required some kind of unpleasant-to-think-about tool. Still, the procedure was no big deal. I don’t think I had full anesthesia but the “twilight” type, although it made me sleepy most of the rest of the day. I had some minor cramping but did not need the prescribed Vicodin, just some ibuprofen; the procedure was on a Friday and I was back at work on Monday. I can’t say if the polyps have returned, but I’ve had no symptoms since then.

      Sending good vibes for getting through this comfortably.

  5. Any tips for hosting a mock interview? My alma mater reached out to alums and asked if some of us would be interested in helping students with mock interviews and I said sure. Turns out, I was paired with an international student who wants to move back to his non-European home country and work in a field I’m only passingly familiar with. The career office is out of course out for winter break, and I’m supposed to meet this student next week. I have no idea what the professional norms are in his country or this industry, so I’m really not sure how I’m supposed to be helpful.

    • Don’t worry about it. Just perform the mock interview as if it were happening here. Nobody expects you to figure out the interviewing norms of another country to assist this student. You’ll be fine.

      • +1 to Godzilla (RAWR). The purpose of the mock interview is likely to help the students develop their interview skills overall, so they can practice their elevator pitch/narrative for the interview and work on overall presentation skills. I don’t think the career office is expecting you to be familiar with the other industry or the other country.

        (Source: friend who works in higher ed. On behalf of career offices everywhere, she is grateful for your assistance).

  6. Bring it 2018!! I have been at my new job for about a month and was just asked to be the project manager for a multi-BU software platform/application implementation that will span almost the full calendar year of 2018. I am thrilled that my new boss and grandboss have enough confidence in me already to ask me to take this on. It’s a new area for me, so it will be very challenging and include a lot of learning, but I am really excited about the opportunity!!

  7. Baconpancakes :

    Anyone hosted a soup swap? They seem to be all the rage lately (someone else posted about attending one a while ago), and I’m having one in January. Any tips to make it go smoothly? I’m a little worried people will end up with soup they don’t want, or someone’s feelings will be hurt because their soup isn’t popular, but I’m not sure what to do about it.

    • I haven’t, but these things seem perilous to me. I’d rather stick with a regular potluck, or do something where everyone takes home a small portion of different soups. The semi-competitive element just seems ughh to me.

      It probably would work fine in a close-knit group where people know each other well enough not to take offense if no one wants their soup. But still just not my idea of fun.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I was under the impression that a food swap was just, invite x people and have everyone bring that number of containers of soup and then everyone gets one of each and you just hang out and have cocktails for a few hours. Not like a clothing swap where you hold up an item and people say they want it… ?

      • The one I’m familiar with was a bidding-type system where you write down your name for the soup you want. Anyway, if it’s done this way instead I think it sounds great!

    • I thought the idea was that you pack up soup in containers for each family, and everyone gets one of each? Is there more to it than that?

    • Maybe some general rules? Like say one tomato-based soup, one chili, one stew etc so you have variety. Also try to consider dietary restrictions (lactose intolerance, celiac etc). Maybe also some extra containers and ladles?

    • Baconpancakes :

      I was originally going to do it with a “everyone takes home everyone else’s soup,” but once I got into the weeds of logistics, it’s silly to do a soup swap where anyone takes home less than a quart of one type of soup, and everyone I talked to was immediately excited by the swap idea, and wanted to bring their SO, who would be making a second batch of soup, so in order for everyone to have a quart of each soup, everyone would have to cook over ten quarts of soup. Since most standard soup pots are only 6 quarts, max, it’s a bit much to ask.

      I am also guilty of rarely throwing parties for fewer than 8 people at a time. I get too excited about parties and invite everyone I know. It’s a problem.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Wow that was an embarrassing run-on sentence. Somewhere, my 10th grade English teacher feels a sudden chill wind, and shadow passes over the room. He feels a great weariness, and decides he needs to lie down for a few minutes. I am ashamed.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Ha! Somewhere your 10th grade English teacher is churckling gently and shaking his head and saying to himself, “Baconpancakes hasn’t changed a bit!”

          • Senior Attorney :


            Apparently my second grade spelling teacher isn’t having the best day, either…

      • I see. In that case, I’d probably ask everyone to pack up their soup in 1-quart containers and then have a drawing that accommodates any dietary restrictions (so vegetarians only draw for vegetarian soups). If you have 8 people and 8 soups, maybe each couple could draw for 4 soups. Obviously, your guests would then have to make enough different soups that accommodated various dietary restrictions, so hopefully you don’t end up with a difficult combination of restrictions.

    • Clementine :

      HI! So I’m the one who went to a soup swap.

      I ended up bringing 1/2 vegan (curried squash) and 1/2 non-veg (the chicken gnocchi soup that was recommended here).

      It was a FABULOUS event and here’s a few things that made it awesome:

      -the host had tons of great apps set out – cheese, crackers, charcuterie, veggies and hummus, etc. She also had a pot of soup kept hot in a crock pot that everyone was welcome to have a bowl of.
      – most of us brought small tester portions so people could sample your soup
      -We had maybe 14 people there? We picked numbers out of a hat and selected soups in that order. No duplicates were allowed, but we had a rule that if there were no soups that matched dietary restrictions left, someone with restrictions could pick duplicates. We went around and chose in order. Honestly, it was a good mix.
      -Everybody gave a little speech about their soup, explaining why they made it and ‘selling’ it. That was a fun part.

      Thanks for the reminder- I have some (delicious) Lentil soup in my fridge waiting for me when I get home. It’s from the soup swap!

  8. Sorel boots? :

    Anyone have the Sorel Joan of Arc or Winter Carnival boots? I recently moved, semi-willingly, to a much colder climate, and I need something that will keep my feet warm in the cold and snow.

    • I have the Joan of Arc and I love them. I was originally looking for something that looked less obviously like a snow boot but couldn’t find anything I liked and bought these instead. But they are warm, have good grip (I’m in an icy city) and keep my feet dry. I wear them more than I thought I would (I wear them to walk the dog any day it’s below 30 plus all day when it snows or is icy).

    • I do! I live in the Northeast, which has been pretty snowy and is very cold (like 0F) right now. I have the Winter Carnival boots and they kept my feet warm for a couple of hours playing with my kid in the snow at Christmas. I’ve also scurried to the subway in current temps and they’ve been fine. Your street shoe size is fine; no need to size up.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I have Joan of Arc boots. I love the way they look, and they keep me plenty warm, but I live in Virginia so YMMV.

    • They sounded awesome and I checked them out when someone posted the coupon code but ultimately didn’t buy them as I have hiking boots that worked fine in iceland this month. I think it’s all about the socks–make sure you have good wool socks.

      The reason I didn’t buy the sorels was because people complain about mobility. I’d like to have both warm and mobility but if that’s not a concern of yours, people seem to love them.

    • I bought fake Sorels on Amazon for $30 and love them. I wear them in Boston, and I wore them in Iceland last year. They are lightweight enough to be comfortable. I also have LL Bean duck boots, which are heavy to walk in.

      • OH wow! Thanks for this link – knockoffs would never have occurred to me & I haven’t been able to justify the real deal living in a mild-ish climate.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I live in Toronto. I found the Joan of Arctics a bit hard to move in (as someone noted above). I have Tivoli’s and they are perfectly warm and waterproof but a bit more streamlined and therefore it feels easier to move around in them.

    • Just bought the Joan of Arctics (kid size 6 as I wear a woman’s size 7.5/8) for about half the cost of the adult ones. They are VERY warm and I’m in love, but too soon to say how well they hold up. I also ordered the tivolis and agree that they are easier to move in – I just liked one style over the other.

  9. Looking for any insights or advice. I know this is a pretty high-earning community, but I still bet you can help.

    I just took a very painful pay cut with a new job. I work in a low-paying field, and just relocated to a low-paying area. I knew this was a sacrifice I would make, but it still hurts. I turned down some other offers that were too low. I got the ideal job I was targeting with the most prestigious employer. I negotiated the rate up as high as I could. The benefits are very good. But now, in my mid-30s, with 2 grad degrees, I will be making about the same rate as I got in my first job out of college, adjusted for inflation. I love my home and my field, but I’m very embarrassed and sad to be making this little.

    I’ve already been cutting back in almost every way I can think of. I don’t know if I’ll be able to save at all, or contribute to my retirement. This job will be great for learning, contacts, and eventually moving up to something better, but any thoughts about what to do while I’m in this situation? I’m a single homeowner with no kids and very low student debt (about $3k left). I moved here because it is the only place where I have support/community.

    • Set tangible goals, make sure that you are mentally checking out when you are done with work and supporting yourself emotionally and physically (working out). Also, setting and end date helps me, so knowing how long you will put up with this low pay and budgeting for that. Also, look into a side job if possible.

      • I should have mentioned, I do have a side job that I work at as much as possible. But it is also a low-paying thing, and taxed at 1099 rate. It will bring in about enough to pay my monthly utilities, maybe a little more.

      • +1 there is nothing shameful about waiting tables at night, etc.

        I know plenty of people who have their resume job and their money job, even with >1 degrees.

        Plenty of teachers teach, coach, tutor, babysit, and/or work holiday shifts at Macy’s. I know one friend who dropped back to only having one job once she had kids and she has always had 2 degrees (and low debt). It’s OK and doesn’t have to be forever.

    • No advice, just commiseration. I recently made a similar move and am still in mourning for the money/perks of my old job. There’s just nothing similar here, and people and businesses are much tighter with their money where I moved (my home state). It’s frustrating. I’m trying to trust that I will adapt – and to remind myself that I’m not defined by my salary – but it is a hard adjustment.

    • Only half kidding, date and get married to someone who earns more. Or figure out a side hustle or higher paying gig. Pretty tough to save more when you’re on a shoestring.

    • Congrats on having such low student debt! That’s huge, in my book, plus you own a home! I’d look into a side hustle (assuming you do not work super long hours already) so that you have some extra money on the side to either stash away, or afford yourself a few small luxuries without feeling guilty. Can you give lessons on the weekends or evenings, for example? (SAT or GRE tutoring, foreign language lessons, tutoring undergrads or AP students in whatever your field is, etc).

      • Thanks–I do have a side gig and just wrote a bit about it above. I appreciate the encouragement.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Unrelated to the side gig, but some yoga studios and gyms (like a cycling studio) have some sort of work/class arrangement, where if you work the front desk you can take free classes. Group fitness always feels like such a luxury to me (as opposed to a standard gym), so perhaps a nice way to treat yourself, even if you have to put in a few hours of work.

    • Are you willing to have a side-hustle? I’ve done both bartending and been a barista as a side job in the past. Or perhaps something seasonal, like picking up summer evening/weekend shifts at a golf course. You could do occasional pet-sitting, baby-sitting, cleaning, pick up shifts with a local caterer, or something related to weddings or events. Depending on where you are, posting on the Nextdoor app is popular in my neighborhood with both people seeking odd jobs and people seeking help.

      • Sorry, I see you have a side gig already – but perhaps there are some others out there that would pay better? Or pick up some other occasional jobs?

        Also, do you have an extra bedroom you could rent out?

        • +1 on renting a room if you have space, or listing your place on airbnb if you travel or can vacate your place on occasion. Since you own it, this might be a good option for you.

          • I’d also suggest consider whether you have a skill that would lend itself to a higher paying side gig – there’s a lot of online services for bookkeepers, personal assistants, virtual assistants and that kind of thing that may pay more than what you’re currently doing (I believe you get to set your own rates and schedule with things like that).

    • Remember you made this decision for very good reasons. You chose this strategically, not because you couldn’t do any better. Keep the long-term plan in mind. The number on your paycheck is not a measure of your self-worth.

    • Good move on many levels :

      You have made a good move in so many ways. I understand everything you are feeling except that my lifestyle did not change much since I am married (however, I still felt like throwing up when I saw my first direct deposit which barely covered my daughter’s summer camp). In my case, I really wanted to work at a particular place after a move across the country. The benefits were great but the salary was not. After four years, I have been promoted twice (had to transfer to other departments) and now feel satisfied with my income. I felt sensitive around others with similar qualifications at higher levels in the organization but kept my eye on the prize and cheerfully did work above my level. It was not easy at times – I knew I was doing the smart thing but it was still very hard to swallow. Good luck to you!

    • Are you kidding me lady? You have a job you love. Bam! You have TWO grad degrees. Bam! You are at the most prestigious employer in your field/area. Bam! You successfully negotiated a salary increase. Bam! You own a home. Bam! You have almost no student debt left. Bam! You are killing it.

      • Aww. Thanks for this.

        • You also live in an area where you have support and community. Bam!

          Are there people in your community who are handy, and therefore can offer car repair, home repair, etc. services at a discount? There are plenty of people who don’t have much money, but they can get a discount or trade goods and services w/ others so that it’s cheaper than going to a stranger.

      • +1! You’re rocking at life right now, enjoy it!

    • Another perspective…

      If you would have told me several years ago, “my goal is to work super hard, even if it’s a job I don’t love, to pay down/off my debts and then to transfer into a job I love where I can afford not to earn as much,” I would have been in love with that idea and envious to hear you’d just done that.

      No one who knows/loves/understands you sees this as a set-back except you and your expectations of how we all see this. Isn’t the dream to pay off debts and then get a job a person actually loves?!

      You are living the dream, congrats!!!!!!!!!

    • Save. Figure out a way. You must do it. If that means you waitress, do that.

  10. Recommendations for best makeup removing wipes?

    • I am happy with the Costco ones which are a very reasonable price and get all of my makeup off except for waterproof mascara.

    • Skip the wipes and use Sensibio micellar water on a cotton pad. You’re welcome.

    • Micellar water (I personally don’t think the brand matters) and cotton pads are really amazing.

      • Anonymous :

        I totally disagree that brand does not matter. I’ve tried a few — simple is the worst, garnier is a tad bit better, and Sensibio (which you can get on amazon) is the best. Simple didn’t take off as much, garnier is weirdly oily and leaves some residue on your eyelashes. Sensibio leaves no residue and takes it all off.

        • Anonymous :

          Thanks for this. I used the Garnier micellar water and was weirded out by the oily residue on my eyelashes – which then caused a problem when I used my lash-growth serum and the two things apparently reacted with each other and irritated my eyelids. I quit using the micellar water because there’s no way I’m giving up the lash serum. I’ll try the Sensibio.

    • The micellar water ones from Trader Joe’s are THE BEST. I’ve tried other micellar water wipes or just micellar water by itself in a bottle and it doesn’t work as well. It’s something about the texture of the Trader Joe’s wipes plus the micellar water. I have relatively sensitive skin and eyes and it takes off eye makeup wonderfully without irritating the sensitive skin around my eyes.

    • biglawanon :

      I like the various ones from Sephora, particularly the coconut water ones.

    • Related – has anyone ever noticed any eye sensitivities from using the Bioderma micellar water near eyes? I’ve been experiencing eye inflammation recently and I’m trying to track down the root cause. I thought it was contact lenses but now I’m not so sure.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t like Bioderma. It’s just not very good if you compare it to luxury micellar waters like Lancome, Dior, or Koh Gen Do.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed. I don’t get the hype. No sensitivities that I can tell, but it mostly just smears my eye makeup without fully taking it off.

  11. Anon in NYC :

    What is the best way to get rid of large furniture? I have two large chairs that don’t work in my new place. If I wanted to sell it, is Craigslist my best option? Any recommendations for a place to donate them?

    • Unless it is something fancy/valuable I use Craigslist . For donations in NYC, I often default to Goodwill since they take anything and are reasonably convenient. Housing Works is picky about furniture. No one picks up without many weeks of advance notice, so if you need someone to come take it away fast I think the best bet is to list it on Freecycle or for free on Craigslist.

    • I’ve had pretty good luck with facebook marketplace. Fewer scammers and fake responses than on Craigslist, in my experience.

    • Boredandfrozen :

      I had a couch that I couldn’t pay anyone to take away. Tried Craigslist, Goodwill, and Freecycle. Ultimately had to schedule a special bulk pick up on trash day. Luckily, we get three free ones a year.

    • Salvation Army might pick something up for free if it’s in good condition. Got rid of my in-laws oversized bedroom set that way.

  12. Leota perfect wrap dress :

    Has anyone tried this? It seems to be a faux wrap.

    I have some DVF wrap dresses. I’m a modestly-endowed pear-shaped and they always gape, so it take a lot of fashion tape (and still, they are a bit dicey if I’m moving around a lot of it is a windy day) and a cami to make them not indecent on me.

    I’m willing to try these. FWIW, I am 5-4 and seem to have a high natural waistline.

    • I haven’t tried this particular style from Leota, but I have several other dresses from the brand and I LOVE them. They drape really well, are machine washable, and never wrinkle. If you like that kind of thing, my other favorite dress is the ‘Ruby’ dress by Karina Dresses – it’s a faux wrap with a little more coverage at the neckline so I don’t need any tape to keep it closed.

      I’m 5’8 and also have a high waistline.

    • I’m also a pear, and honestly…. wrap dresses don’t work well for us. You may get away with faux wrap with a camisole.

      Do you really want to be so at risk in your clothes?

      I finally gave up on the wrap. I need anxiety free dressing.

      • Leota perfect wrap dress :

        This one is a faux wrap and that’s the only reason I’m considering it. Otherwise, loads of 5* reviews and the thing apparently does not wrinkle.

    • I have one and am a pear and they fit me well. I wear a camisole when I wear them to work, but can wear without a camisole for a dinner out. There is clev a g e but not an obscene amount or anything. I find the fabric thin, so I would look for them on sale.

    • I love wrap dresses; I use a small safety pin to ensure no cleavage issues and i5 always works great. Isn’t visible and never have gaps even when moving around.

  13. Poll – how much do you give to charities as a rough percentage of your TAKE HOME pay?

    I just realized that we are only giving about 1%. I would like it to be more, but it would be helpful to know how much others are giving.

    • It might be 5? It’s like a semi-tithe (not all to churches, but I think that that is a helpful benchmark — surely I can live on 90% of what I make)? About half of that I will donate b/w now and new years — I like playing santa a bit.

    • I give less than 1% if we are talking strictly dollars. I donate more time than money because it works better with my life and budget.

    • We give $5000/year, which works out to 4% of take-home pay. My husband would like to do more; I’d like to save more for our kids’ college. We’ll probably meet in the middle.

    • 2%…I should give more, but I have $125k in SLs I’m trying to pay off and every bit helps.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Maybe 1% in charity donations (like to formal charities) but I do not track the money I give to the guy who plays guitar in my building and so forth. So maybe 2%.

    • About 12%

    • about 15-16%

    • Cornellian. :

      about 2%, plus another .5% via my employer’s matching. It was more before I got married and had a kid, but maybe only 4 or 5%.

      • Cornellian. :

        Oh, plus religious donations. I don’t really view that as the same thing as charitable giving, though.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I just calculated it and it’s about 9.2%.

      I’m not religious so tithing is not a thing to me, but we’re so close that now I want to bump it up to 10%.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Heh just read Never too many shoes at 11:34 and realized that we give a lot to a couple of individuals that isn’t included in the numbers I used, so if you count that we’re over 10%…

    • About 10%.

    • 4.76% this year. Looking at that number, I’m embarrassed. We have so much privilege. Time to plan better.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Make it easy on yourself! I make a lot of my contributions automatically, directly to the organization every month. And then I have a “charitable contributions” savings account that gets a direct deposit every month, so the money is there when something comes up that moves me to give. Basically my planning does itself. Just a thought…

    • Anonymous :

      Less than 1%. I subscribe to the “pay yourself first” model though, so I am hoarding my money now to save for worst case end-of-life scenarios like spouse or myself needing 10+ years of 24/7 care. Assuming these worst case scenarios don’t happen, we should have plenty of money to enjoy our retirement and still give a sizeable gift to charities when we pass on. Assuming our children are grown by the time we die, we don’t feel like they’re owed a huge inheritance. We’ll pay for their educations, and the rest of our significant savings will go to charity.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      My SO and I do 10% of our gross, so closer to 18% of take home pay. We are religious and have always done this when we didn’t make much, so now it’s just easy that we make quite a bit more. (Though it doesn’t all go to our church anymore.)
      We also set aside 5% of take home pay to give to Family and friends throughout the year.
      I don’t have time, but I have money. So, I think it’s my duty to give.

  14. Decisions Decisions :

    Hi Hive!

    I need help figuring out a career-related move…

    I have been at a new job as a law clerk since August. I started off with a “training salary” and got bumped up to my full salary within 2 months. I was hired with the understanding that once I pass the bar exam I would be bumped up to an attorney’s salary. I am scheduled to give the bar exam in February and been studying pretty vigorously for it.

    Yesterday, my boss requested I take the bar exam in July and offered to increase my salary in the meanwhile. The increase will also be reflected in my base salary once I am licensed. It is a decent increase from where I originally started. I don’t want to stay at this firm long term but will be there for at least another year and a half either way.

    I have to check what the cost of moving my bar exam/course would be. Boss has agreed to pay up to a few hundred dollars. My immediate reaction is to get the bar over with because I have studying momentum and want it to be over with. I’m wondering if I am thinking too short-term and giving up a raise and potential to negotiate a higher pay scale when I do start applying for new jobs.

    Other considerations/factors:
    – May TTC starting end of next year
    – Have not yet cleared my character & fitness and expect it to take a while (required to be licensed)
    – I am already licensed in one state and the bar isn’t super crazy this time around
    – I am getting paid on the lower side at my current job

    Am I missing something?

    • The only reason I can think of that your boss would want to push out the bar exam is that he/she wants to save money on your pay. That’s a red flag for me. Do you have the prior agreement in writing? I am guessing no, so I am not sure how much leverage you have to push back on this (although I would want to).

      Not that I am particularly worldly, but no one I know has ever been asked to delay taking the bar exam. Most employers want you to be licensed ASAP. Something seems off about this request.

    • What is the motivation to move your exam to july? Does Boss not want you in a full att’y role?

      I’d say take it. If you don’t pass, you’ll take it again in July!

    • My biggest question is why your boss wants to move it. It’s almost here and you’ve got momentum and the studying is AWFUL. I’d keep going unless s/he has a compelling reason why.

    • Watch out for you, the further you get from law school, the harder the bar is. Do not put it off because your boss is being selfish.

    • I can’t think of any good reason for your boss to ask you to push off the bar exam. I agree with others that that’s a huge red flag. Did your boss give you any explanation or reasoning? It seems like a completely unreasonable request.

    • Take the bar and get it over with! You have momentum, and so much of the bar is learn-and-forget — you’ll have to backtrack a lot if you move it to July.

      Honestly, I’d be really skeptical of an employer that would ask you to do this. The offer to pay you more for moving it strikes me as odd as well (and would signal to me that they’re underpaying you).

      I don’t think this person has your best interests at heart.

    • Truth Bomb incoming: Your boss wants you to delay taking the bar because you are really good at your job, and a great value. Boss understands that once you pass the Bar you are immediately upwardly mobile. By delaying the Bar, it gives Boss more time to “institutionalize” you into the firm along with associated guilt of helping you through it. You are in a very good position to negotiate right now–as in–I am on the low side right now–and so more pay to delay and then much more pay upon passage…plus whatever else you need.

    • What on earth? You’re already licensed in another state, so you’re already an attorney. Full stop. He should be paying you as one, and should not be able to kick that down the road by asking you to delay getting admitted in your current state. Agree with the others that this is a huge red flag, and you should proceed with taking the February bar. You may find you want to look for a new firm sooner rather than later, and it will help you to be as far along as you can be in getting admitted in your state.

      Also, don’t let pending C&F be an excuse to wait. In my state, they prioritize C&F based on what exam you’re signed up for, and the vast majority of clearances are granted by the exam. I know in other states it drags on for months after the bar results, but in any event, it doesn’t make sense to delay your bar because C&F isn’t done yet. Let the bar handle that, and you handle passing the exam ASAP.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Also, don’t let him/her make you feel like they’re doing you a favor by paying you more to put off the bar. If they really were trying to help you, they’d pay you what you’re worth (which is obviously in their budget) AND let you go forward with the exam. Something’s up here, and I’d be very wary.

    • What?! No! Don’t do this unless there is a compelling reason — and honestly, I’m having a hard time figuring out what that would be. You’re prepared for the bar, study up and take the bar!

      Also – I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but spending May, June, and the 4th of July studying is miserable. It’s nice out, everyone’s relaxing and taking vacations. Get it over with when you can bunker down in January and February.

      The bottom line is that the bar exam is not something people just move on a whim. They should not be asking you to do this. What if you fail, and have to re-take it in January? Not saying that’s likely, but things happen.

    • Decisions Decisions :

      OP here-

      My first question was why he asked me to delay as well. I work for a small-firm so his reasoning was that we have a number of upcoming deadlines/trials etc. and he would rather I take the week off in July instead of February.

      He said he likes the work I do etc and the raise is to compensate for the delay and to accommodate for the possible long hours I may be working to get caught up on all the deadlines.

      My current pay isn’t that of a fully-licensed attorney but slightly lower- not an hourly but a first year associate instead of the third-year I would be after my license.

      • Yeah…no. He knew you weren’t licensed when he hired you, right? So he knew he was going to have to let you be gone for a week at some point and that point would probably be inconvenient no matter when it occurred? And what’s to say that there won’t be more deadlines and trials in July? No. Look out for yourself here.

        And I’m still not getting the pay thing. If you’re a 3rd year, you’re a 3rd year regardless of where you’re licensed. You just need someone else to sign off on your work, right?

      • No, no, no, no, no. Do not get sucked into this. You need to get licensed where you are & there will ALWAYS be something in the way that makes it “not a good time.” You do not need to be beholden to this employer & you will be if you cave on this. I would not even consider his request.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. If they didn’t plan ahead this time, what’s to say the same thing won’t happen in July?

          Don’t fall on your sword for an employer like this, not for something so important.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think it’s normal to pay someone less just because they aren’t licensed in that state yet. You are an attorney, you just can’t sign pleadings in that state, right? I think this firm is taking advantage of you, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I’d tell him that I am committed to being in a position to contribute fully to the firm as soon as possible and that pushing back the bar is not an option.

        Partners often try to make associates feel important and like they’re indispensable/the world will fall apart if you leave for a week. But you aren’t, and deep down, they know that. You have to look out for yourself here. You can’t rely on the firm to look out for you.

      • Wow you’re that gullible? Take the bar now. Then find a better job. He’s screwing you and you’re letting him.

    • Anonymous :

      It strikes me as very abnormal to pay someone a law clerk’s salary just because they aren’t licensed in that state yet. A law clerk salary is for someone who is not an attorney. You are an attorney, just not admitted to practice in this state yet. I moved from State A to State B and practiced in State B for about 9 months before I was licensed there (started work in August, took February bar exam, got results in April, sworn in in May). There was never any suggestion from my firm that I would be paid less until I passed the bar exam, and to be honest my role didn’t change very much either once I was admitted. The main difference was being able to sign pleadings. This whole situation seems very off to me.

      • I think a lot of employers are playing this game these days. I have a friend who was hired as a clerk, (not yet admitted in any state), took the bar exam in July 2016. They kept stringing her along with promises of an associate position. One finally came “open” and they hired someone else, leaving her as a clerk. Still. Now.

        She’s trying to find something else but it is tough out there. So she’s been barred 18 months and they’re still paying her as a law clerk. And not a bumped up-almost associate salary. Hourly. As a law clerk.

        It’s bull.

        • I think it’s different if you’re not admitted in any state yet. My understanding is OP is a full blown lawyer (who presumably could practice PHV, etc.) just not admitted in this particular state yet.

    • Piling on :

      I’m trying to resist piling on, but I feel like you’re in a movie and everyone is the audience is screaming nooooo!! Don’t do it.

      Please don’t make this mistake. You’re instinct to go ahead with the bar exam is 100% right, stick to your guns! If this guy is a decent employer at all, he will understand. And if you give in, you’ve just announced to him that you’re willing to be his doormat and he will never respect you anyway. Stand your ground on this!

  15. Heading to Paris for work in January (just in time for the sales!). Any recommendations on shops, other than the big department stores? I’m looking for well-made workhorses of the business casual variety. TIA!

    • Not business casual, but check out Sezane! They are my favorite dressy casual clothing store.

      • +1 & I wear a lot of their stuff mixed with jeans at my casual office. I think it’s pretty versatile & the quality is great.

      • Anonymous :

        Sézanne is fantastic, although their shoes seem to run oddly wide. They have a spot in the Bon Marché as well as their store in the 2nd (I think) not too far from rue Montorgeuil. Now that I think about it, there’s a new location in NYC as well.

        I also like Comptoir des Cotonniers and Eric Bompard has 30% off their cashmere until Jan. 9th.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love Comptoir Des Cotonniers.

      • Equestrian attorney :

        I second Comptoir des Cotonniers. Also Pablo by Gerard Darel (slightly cheaper/younger than the parent brand), Claudie Pierlot and Maje. Some items skew party but there are often some nice business casual clothing to be found and the mark-downs make it worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      Check out Rue du Commerce (metro stop Commerce) …. its a great little street with lots of the type of shops you are asking about.

  16. Knit Suits :

    For a long time I’ve wanted a basic black knit skirt suit for those occasions when I need to travel with a suit. I’ve looked at St. John and Misook. In general, both brands read a bit older than my style but I am usually able to spot some basics that I imagine being comfortable in but the cost is holding me back. Are knit suits as good for travel as I imagine? Are there any other brands that I am overlooking (more sleeker and minimal styling is a plus)?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Respectfully, I think a knit suit is going to read “older” no matter how plain.

      • biglawanon :

        I am in my 30s and like knit suits and other styles that read “older.” In the summer, I fairly regularly wear pastel St. John suits to work. I like the look so ymmv, but pairing it with edgy shoes and bright makeup cuts down on the old lady vibe.

      • Anonymous :

        LOL. My very first “real” grownup outfit was a black knit suit that my mother bought me when I turned 18. I loved it and wore it for years. Of course, it was the late 80s!

    • Wow – I didnt know knit suits existed. In the technology area knit suits would be fine – comfortable yet polished for the rare occasion when it’s needed.

    • Anonymous :

      I yearn for a basic black knit suit… I found a St John basic top on Poshmark for very cheap and wear it all the time. Why don’t you try ordering one piece, like a blazer, in your size second hand and see how you feel and how it travels? You could mix and match it with other pieces before taking the full plunge, and maybe a knit blazer with regular work pants wouldn’t read as old.

  17. Dating advice: am I being racist? :

    An acquaintance I know through a former work-freind is flirting with me. At first I didn’t realize he it, because I didn’t know he was single, but he texted me last night that yes, he is flirting, and he’s been divorced for two years.

    He’s from Mexico, which brings a couple of questions up that I was hoping for advice on:
    1. The language barrier alone (he speaks little English, I speak no Spanish) makes a relationship seem impossible. What do I say to him? In 50-some years I have hardly any dating experience.
    2. Am I being racist to assume that a guy like him wouldn’t like a raving feminist like me once he got to know me? Horribly shallow that I don’t want to go out with a guy 8″ shorter than me? Even though I don’t think we could make it work for other reasons, I’d like to take the opportunity to examine parts of myself I’m not pleased with.

    • This is just me. but I don’t think it’s racist to not want to date a person. You don’t have to say yes to every date on which you are asked. And I’ve said no to plenty of short men of my own ethnicity because I’m not interested in dating a short man.

    • I think it matters what you mean by a “guy like him.” If I am reading between the lines correctly, you are assigning characteristics to him based solely on the fact that he is Mexican without any other evidence that he carries those characteristics. Yes, that’s racist.

      The rest of it, to me, is personal preference. You can decide you want to date someone who speaks English fluently or is your height or taller without being a terrible person. Everyone has preferences and each preference someone has can shut off the possibility of a great thing, but that doesn’t mean preferences are inherently bad.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Your first concern is a legitimate one. Your second concern is unfounded – how do you know what he would and wouldn’t like? My friend married a guy from Panama, who’s a more vehement and outspoken feminist than most of my lefty-liberal pink-hat-wearing female friends. And he walks the walk as well as talking it. Making an assumption based on his county of origin is racist, yeah.

      Shallow to not want to date a guy 8″ shorter than you? Eh, maybe, but that’s ok. You have to be physically attracted to the person you’re dating, and you don’t owe anyone a date, whether your reasons for rejection are physical or personality-based.

      I’d suggest you unpack your assumptions and examine what is actually important to you, and separate “I am not attracted to this person” from “I am not attracted to (insert arbitrary assumption).”

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The assuming a Mexican man would not like a feminist is certainly stereotyping him without knowing him, so maybe a bit. The language barrier may be a real, practical issue but you could definitely try dinner and see how it goes. The short thing, well, you are entitled to like what you like.

      I was once given some pretty sound dating advice which was to never say no to a first date (this was in an era before unsolicited junk pics were a thing which is obviously a red-card) – you do not have to go out on a second date if you are not interested, but you never know what you might find, even if it is “just” a friend or a pleasant evening.

    • I’m 6’0 and I could never get past the idea of not wanting to date a shorter man. An inch or so, maybe, but not significantly shorter. I never thought of it as shallow, but in retrospect maybe it was? It honestly never came up much because I always got the impression that shorter men weren’t particularly interested in me either. Now I’m happily married to a man whose only slightly taller than me.

      In any event, you like who you like. It sounds like you know this guy well enough to know you aren’t interested, and that’s completely ok.

      • Anonymous :

        I know someone who is also 6′ tall who has flatly refused to date anyone shorter than she is. She’s always wanted to be married and have a family, but is still single at 44 and dates rarely. I’ve always wondered how different her life would have been if height hadn’t been such a deal breaker for her.

        • Anonymous :

          She could be miserably married to a guy she doesn’t find attractive? She gets to decide what she’s attracted to and I’m a little offended on her behalf that someone thinks she needs to compromise on that. As a fellow tall women, I totally get the impulse to have a height requirement. Have you ever been on a date with some 4 inches shorter than you? 1-2 inches aren’t as noticeable, but more than that can feel weird.

          • Anonymous :

            She can skip dating anyone she wants, but if your #1 priority is to get married and have a family, limiting your dating pool to the over 6’1″ crowd is going to make it that much more challenging.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m 5’11” and after I moved from the Midwest (where there are more tall guys) to the East Coast, I pretty much threw height requirements out the window. I’m sure I’d still be single if I required a man who was literally taller than me. Most guys I’ve dated have been 5’8” to 6’, and my DH is 5’9”. I don’t think I’d want to date someone under about 5’7” or 5’8” though, I’d just feel too weird and giant. But I never understood women who are bothered by a couple of inches.

        In my experience shorter to average height guys love tall women but really tall (maybe 6’2” and up?) guys like much shorter women and won’t date tall women. My theory is that really tall guys define themselves by their height (in a way that average or tall-ish guys who are 5’10” or 6’0”) don’t, and they feel threatened by women who are almost as tall.

    • 1. You don’t have to have a chatty relationship, you could do stuff together instead e.g. hike, ‘garden.’ Would you be interested in learning Spanish, not because you want to be with this person, but because it’s great to know other languages? If yes, this could be a great opportunity.
      2. Yes, it is racist to assume that a Mexican man (that and he’s shorter than you are all you’ve told us about him) would not be interested in a ‘raving feminist.’ Yes, it’s a little shallow (so is all physical attraction, no?), but mostly a cultural expectation that a man is taller than the woman, it can be hard to get away from those sorts of ingrained beliefs.

      If you’re not use to dating, but are open to the possibility, this could be a nice way to get to know someone.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I wouldn’t date somebody who wasn’t fluent in my language. I am a talker and that would be an absolute deal-breaker.

      You are absolutely allowed to not want to date somebody a lot shorter than you are.

      Yeah, it’s kind of racist to assume he wouldn’t like you because you’re a feminist. That’s literally what “prejudice” means — pre-judging somebody based on his ethnicity.

    • Not wanting to date someone shorter than you or who doesn’t speak your language well enough to converse with him (when you don’t speak his language either) is not racist. Assuming a man won’t like you if you’re a feminist because he’s Mexican is most certainly racist.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I agree with this. Also, I am married to a (tall, FWIW haha) Mexican man and he is a raving feminist as well. He put his career on hold to stay home when our children were babies and I was a new lawyer who appreciated that support as I started my career. He has gone back to full time work but does just as much, if not more, housework and child care then I do. There are many other ways he is a feminist, but just wanted to share that being Mexican does not mean he will not want to be with a feminist.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, this. Physical attraction and ability to communicate are important to a relationship and it sounds like his height and the language barrier might be impediments to those so it’s totally fair to consider them. But yeah that whole “he’s Mexican so he won’t like that I’m a feminist” thing is racist and very uncool.

    • Thanks for all the responses so far; I’d be happy to hear more.
      I just wanted to clarify that when I mentioned feminism, a big part of what I meant is that I’m not sure I could be a good partner, because I’ve become so angry and reactive about cultural and political issues. So, it’s not just assumptions about him, it’s also self-knowledge. I realize my first post didn’t say that at all.

      • Anonymous :

        That is your problem right there, not the height or language issues.

        I don’t want to diagnose you as being in need of fixing because you are older, single, and lack dating experience, but spend some time engaged in self-reflection in 2018. Give a lot of thought to why you don’t have a lot of dating experience, what you want out of a relationship, what you are willing to put into it, and what is holding you back.

        If you want permission to not date and just be yourself, just do that and stop making assumptions about men, feminism, etc.

        • Anonymous :

          Wellll… there are a whole lot of reasons one might be older, single, and without a lot of dating practice, that aren’t about needing to be “fixed.” signed, older single woman.

          That said, I would suggest taking a look at the level of anger and reaction. It can’t be enjoyable for you to be living that way, and it’s hard to build friendships (much less a dating relationship) when you’re feeling angry and reactive all the time.

          • Anonymous :

            “Wellll… there are a whole lot of reasons one might be older, single, and without a lot of dating practice, that aren’t about needing to be “fixed.” signed, older single woman.”

            As I said,

            “I don’t want to diagnose you as being in need of fixing because you are older, single, and lack dating experience[….]”

            Need a New Year’s resolution? Work on your reading comprehension.

    • Yeah maybe you are. But also you aren’t attracted to him don’t want to date him and can’t communicate well. So don’t date him.

    • You are not being racist!!! I previously commented about the struggles of dating someone from another culture and we just broke up. His mother always came first no matter what! It’s not racist. We wanted different things and didn’t see eye to eye. This guy may like you and think you’re attractive, but when push comes to shove, can you see yourself with him? New Years Eve is really the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. He’s spending it with his mother instead of me. That’s his culture and his mom will always come first. I don’t care about New Years Eve, but if I did, it wouldn’t matter to him. I could have spent it with them, but I would have had to go home alone. I couldn’t sleep over even if it was on the couch and he wouldn’t go home with me. The language barrier sounds like a definite deal breaker and they may say they are okay with dating a modern feminist, but in my experience, they still want to be able to focus 100% on their own career and yours to take a backseat. When it comes to these difficult decisions, they’re not feminists and will not sacrifice for you. Sometimes stereotypes come from certain realities and truths. Don’t waste your time.

  18. 1) it can happen, but I think it’s rare and there needs to be a strong connection or spark. I have a good friend who is now almost fluent in Spanish, after dating someone for several months and they couldn’t fully communicate in the beginning. With words, I’m assuming, lol. I also know a couple married over 50 years who spoke French and Portuguese, respectively, but were drawn to each other.

    2) Maybe not racist, but making assumptions that could be wrong. Shallow? No, you need to be attracted to someone and that is something that you can’t force. However, think about what bothers you about shorter men. Is it an assumption that people will comment? Are you self-conscious about it? It doesn’t sound like he is, so what should it bother you?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Just remembered I know somebody who married three separate women who couldn’t really speak English when he married them. And each and every one of them divorced him as soon as they learned enough English to actually have a conversation with him!

    • Anonymous :

      As a tall woman, it would most definitely bother me to date someone significantly shorter than I am. I love my height and am not generally self-concious, but feeling like a giant next to a man does not feel good.

  19. Drugstore night cream :

    Hi all–I’m looking for tons of moisturizing in a night cream, but inexpensive. Recommendations?

  20. Nordstrom Rack return :

    Can you return items to Nordstrom Rack with just an order confirmation email? I didn’t receive an invoice in my package and can’t find anything else.

    • You should be able to log in with your order number on the site and initiate a return there. They’ll send you a slip to print out.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think you’d have better luck going to a store and doing that, but they have a Live Chat feature, so I’m sure someone can answer this for you.

  21. Follow Up - Boss Communication :

    Thanks to those who responded to my issues with boss communication that I posted yesterday. It really made me feel like I’d tried all the good ideas (like texting, setting check-in meetings, asking how they wanted me to handle certain things if I couldn’t get a response, etc.)

    I have been sending daily summary emails where I basically list all the things that I am waiting for their decision, direction on, with the closing, ‘with your okay, I plan on moving forward with these’. When boss responds ‘Fine. Tx.’, I just do what I want.

    I’m pretty sure that the real answer is that I should find a new job where I don’t fantasize daily about quitting my job and doing literally anything else.

    • Good luck. But also, continue to do what you think is best and push aside his ridiculous feedback if it doesn’t help your overall function as a unit. I would never waste my time sending daily summaries. Go on, be a boss, and move up.

      • Follow Up - Boss Communication :


        Weirdly, right now my fate is slightly tied to this person’s fate. I’ve been in a ‘better to ask for forgiveness than permission’ phase lately and it’s actually going well.

        Sentences that I’ve said lately: ‘Well, which is more important to you, getting things done in the timeline we need or doing all things 100% according to our Ideal Process?’

        Yesterday, I just got reminded of why this job is Not Normal and why I need to move on in my career. This morning, I set up coffee dates with People who can Do Things. It’ll be good.

    • Not sure if you will see this, but when my boss gets very busy, e-mails can fall off his radar in that he will not respond timely (certainly not at the level of your boss). Strategies I employ to cover myself when this happens: Sending an e-mail saying, “X motion is ready for your review and due for filing on Thursday. Please let me know of any revision you require. I will be filing x motion by 2:00 on Thursday unless I hear otherwise.” I also will sometimes write a question in the subject of the email and leave the body of the e-mail blank. That way when he receives the e-mail in his inbox, he knows exactly what it’s about and can quickly respond with either yes or no. Example: “X motion due for filing tomorrow-okay to file?” in the subject. He replies with “Yes, thx.”

  22. I have a credit to a Bon Ton department store (Boston Store) and am not a big department store shopper. It’s about $80. Thinking I can do some damage at the Clinique counter. Any must-haves from this brand?

    • Anonymous :

      I like the quickliner pencil eyeliners. Smoky brown is a great brown-taupe color that I think is universally flattering, and it stays on pretty well and goes on easily. They are about $18 each and last a couple months with daily use. The moisture surge gel moisturizer is good, especially in the not-cold months but even in winter can be okay if you don’t have super dry skin.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I could spend my whole paycheck there. I love the moisture surge moisturizer, the all about eyes rolling ball stick thing, the eye serum, the repair serum for forehead/mouth lines. I use their concealer, powder, blush and eyeshadow and mascara. I’m still loyal to Avon for eyeliner though. They just discontinued my favorite lipstick. I had been using the same color sine 2005.

  23. Bored Attorney :

    Posted on yesterday’s thread when I meant to post here…

    I’m a government attorney in a niche area of law. The work coming in is incredibly inconsistent – some months I’m happily busy and other months I twiddle my thumbs waiting for work. The work flow problem has existed for three years and shows no signs of changing. It has always bothered me, but I had my first child right after the work flow problems began and am about to have my second child so the built-in lean out has been tolerable. I’ve talked to my manager about the problem numerous times and have been told that he can’t give what he doesn’t have. I know some people would kill for this job – low 6 figure salary, good benefits, decent vacation, and a flexible telework policy. OTOH, there is very little opportunity for upward mobility. What do you ladies think? Should I ride this out until I am eligible for promotion (in maybe 5+ years) or move to the private sector (and give up my lovely 45 hour work week)? Talk me out of making a decision that I may regret…

    • Anonymous :

      Can you move within government? Can you get a leave of absence from your permanent position? It can be really hard to get another government position once you leave (hiring process is hard, they don’t want to waste it on someone who might leave). I’d explore options for lateral movement within government before giving up your 45 hour work week with two young kids.

      • Bored Attorney :

        Unfortunately, in my particularly niche area, I’m at the only place I can be in the government. A move anywhere else would require a subject matter change. I may be able to get detailed somewhere in the same organization but it would either be a non-attorney position or a litigating position, neither of which I am remotely interested in – it would just be a temporary Band-Aid on the situation.

        • Anonymous :

          are there any secondment opportunities available to outside organizations? That’s a popular option for some who need a break from their permanent position jobs.

    • With your second child on the way, I wouldn’t give up this job until you’ve fully made that adjustment to your household. After that, evaluate with your partner and see how you’re both feeling about it. It doesn’t have to be “five years or right this minute.”

      • Senior Attorney :


      • Bored Attorney :

        Yeah, I won’t make any major moves until after the kiddo is born and we get through at least the first six months. I had some health challenges after the last pregnancy and am expecting the same this time. I’m just so effing frustrated… I actually like being a lawyer and I love my work (when I have it). But, with things not improving in this position, it seems like a good time to start some transition planning.

        • Anonymous :

          How about using the down times to write articles on your area of expertise, get active in professional groups, take online professional development courses, and/or volunteer?

          For me, it wasn’t until my second child was out of diapers and sleeping through the night before I felt ready to start a new job.

    • What are you wanting to be different? In the 5ish yrs til your possible promotion, you’ll have one or two kids in ages not yet in school and at more needy ages. Use the thumb twiddling time to lean into them and into your relationship/hobbies/etc. Unless you have some huge reason to job hunt now or need more income, this sounds like a great set up for 2 young kids. Then, after you find out if there is a promotion and what it means, you’d have both kids in school, might have more free time, and you could begin to consider hunting for a move then, without working/hunting/raising tiny humans all simultaneously.

      In the meantime, what about using thumb time as networking and mentoring time? I know I’d be thrilled to find someone at that level who had the time to even be an e-mentor (as would many) and networking now could mean an easier transition into something new later.

      • Anonymous :

        Late reply but I agree with the above response. I also agree you and your husband should talk things over after baby #2 is here and you’ve both had time to re-evaluate. I am also a mom of two (second one born in Aug) and the hive talked me out of making any career moves until after the baby was born and I’m glad I’ve waited. For me, it hasn’t changed my desire to switch jobs, but has completely changed the direction of my job hunt.

    • I will be a dissenter here. I don’t think it would hurt to look around. You aren’t going to make a decision to leave unless you actually have another job offer. So do some networking, out out feelers, and figure out what are your must-haves if you were to make a move. I have two very young kids, and I’d personally prefer to work my tail off now, pay off mortgage, and have more financial flexibility when they are school aged.

  24. Vicarious decision making time: I have a pair of light purple Ugg rainboots that I love. Not only are they waterproof but they have the fleece footbed — so comfy! They’re about a year old and in good shape.

    My SIL also gifted me with a pair of mid-height shiny black Hunter rainboots for Christmas. They came with the Nordstrom gift receipt. I live in the Midwest and car commute/walk the dog, but otherwise don’t REALLY have a need for two pairs of rainboots. Husband thinks the Hunters are a classy/fancy upgrade. Keep? Or use the credit for something better?

    • Anonymous :

      I’d keep the hunters. Also because of the color difference, light purple vs shiny black are two very different looks.

    • Hunters are too heavy for me to walk around in so I never wore mine. Have you tried them on? That might solve your problem already.

      Is there another weather-specific accessory you could trade them for? Nice winter boots? Fancy touch pad gloves? A better umbrella? If you need something similar, I would exchange them with no second thoughts because you’re honoring the spirit of your SIL’s gift – a fancy weather-related accessory you probably wouldn’t buy yourself.

  25. NYE ideas? :

    Late in the day, but in case anyone else is still at the office..

    For those of you who stay home on NYE, with or without kiddos, how do you make the evening special? Champagne/sparkling cider aside, I’m coming up short for good ideas.

    • biglawanon :

      We are going to visit a couple who also doesn’t like to go out on NYE, and then coming home around 10 to spend NYE together at home. I think it is going to be hot chocolate for the kids, and hot chocolate with pepperrmint schnapps (classy) for me and the DH.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Fancy dinner. Some years we’ve gone all out and cooked things way outside of our comfort zone, like dim sum or Middle Eastern cuisine. Last year we purchased caviar and made blinis. Or surf + turf, or making an elaborate cheese plate. Post-kid, we’ve really dialed it back in terms of effort because we just can’t spend the time to cook 4 recipes from scratch, but we still try to do something that is fancy (and/or out of the norm) for us.

    • Anonymous :

      I never do anything special but a friend posted on facebook they traditionally get caviar or something similarly fancy and have that and champagne while watching a movie.

    • This may not be at all what you’re thinking, but I do a tech detox in the late afternoon/evening and turn everything off and journal my thoughts about the past year and my hopes for the coming year. The journaling and reflection lasts about 2 hours. I later grab a good book and take a bath and go to bed before midnight.

      • This. We go tech-free from noon to midnight, other than the 15 min around the ball drop. We play board games, tell stories, read books, and have a nice long meal where we’ve each picked a dish. (For instance, DD picks the main dish, DS picks a side, DH picks the drinks, and I pick the dessert.) At the meal, we talk about our highs and lows from 2017 and what we hope for 2018. We don’t do official resolutions, but it’s nice to talk through ways to be kinder or ways to save up for something special. We also pick where our annual vacation will be for the next year, and divvy up “chores” to prep for it. The kids are still small, so they do things like finding books about it at the library, or coloring pictures about the vacation, or “sign up for swim lessons again” if it’s beachy.

        • Anonymous :

          I love this so much and am mentally filing it away for when my kids (currently only 3 months and 2) are a little older. Enjoy your day!!

    • BeenThatGuy :

      During the year, my son (9 yo) and I keep a jar of notes of memories. We open them up together on NYE and talk about all the great things we did this year.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband and I always stay at home, because we can’t stand the crowds/expense/logistics of a night out (particularly because we live in a rural area, so someone would have to drive).

      We always plan and make something special for our meal, and despite being at home, we dress up (not to the nines, but usually I’ll put on some sort of sparkly top). As far as meal, last year, for example, we went all out: my husband made surf and turf (steak and scallops – bought at a butcher and a fishmonger, no less), we had asparagus spears baked with a spiral of puff pastry and bacon, we bought fancy cheese and made a cheese plate as an appetizer (with fixings! on an actual cheese platter and nicely arranged), and I made a special dessert – Mary Berry’s Queen of Puddings (custard, jam, meringue). We eat at the dining room table with candles, and champagne to start, nice red wine with the meal, and port with dessert, and make sure to take our time to eat together with the TV off. We toast and talk about the year that passed and the year that is coming, and the things we appreciate each other for). Then usually one or both of us falls asleep (we’re early risers, add wine, that usually means snoozing pretty early) but we set an alarm so that we make sure to have a midnight kiss (my husband was my first ever midnight NYE kiss actually).

      To me, that at home is much more special than going out.

    • Honestly, we hang with the kids (4 and 2) and make silly NYE snacks (pigs in blankets! Bagel bites! More adult apps for us). They go to bed “late” after blowing horns and saying happy new year. I crunch all the numbers and tally up our net worth (we have a goal set by the time we hit 35- DH is 8 months away, I’m 18 months away and we are SO CLOSE!). DH and I have a glass (or bottle, or two) of champagne. I’m pregnant this year so probably half a glass.

      Last year we got drunk and paid off my student loans (a $7500 expense, which we had cash for, it was just a bit bold…). We really whoop it up.

    • Anonymous :

      This year we are staying in a hotel with our kiddos, but most other years we have stayed home and we usually make lots of snacks and have horns and poppers we let the kids use. We watch the Rocking New Years Eve show or whatever it is on TV. We make a fire in the fireplace and we all usually sleep in the living room, which started because the kids were small and would end up falling asleep out there anyway and has transformed into a planned event haha. Last year we even set up our camping tent indoors and let them sleep in there. As my oldest has become a teenager I always let her invite whoever she wants over and let them have the loft upstairs to play games, watch movies, and eat snacks. I figure a bunch of teenagers home with me is better than any alternative!

    • Anonymous :

      We never go out for NYE.

      We make an awesome dinner (we’ve done lobsters, crab legs and steak, seafood boil with trimmings, etc.) that would normally cost a fortune if we had gone out to eat the same thing. We get a special microbrew beer (we’re not wine people) we drink with the meal. Usually I get a cheesecake from Trader Joe’s for dessert. Then we watch silly movies and play board games until we feel like going to bed, which is very often before midnight. Our son has gotten old enough to stay up later and so last year we had a Nerf war in the house at 11 p.m. Basically we treat it like it’s a “no rules night” and it ends up being a ton of fun, much more fun than if we introverts had to get dressed up and make small talk with people we didn’t know at a big party.

    • Next day comment, but maybe you will see it: DH and I make/buy an assortment of our favorite apps/hors d’ouevres (crab cakes, shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, etc) and have small plates for dinner with champagne. If we have friends over, we do the same and will also play board games. On years we have gone out for a late dinner, we also do a smaller version of this as a midday lunch. One year with friends over, I had each bring a bottle of wine, covered the labels, and had a blind wine-tasting/competition where everyone guessed the wine.

      Every year, we also make a list of 12 things we want to do together in the new year (with the assumption we would do one a month in the upcoming year-does not always work that way). For example: take a cooking class, try Vietnamese food, go skiing, etc. We post the list on the refrigerator and on those weekends we are free and making a plan of what to do, we pick an item off the list to check off.

  26. Anonymous :

    I have a friend who’s TTC, and I remember reading a comment on here about some sort of game changer device, I think beyond a regular basal body temp reading. Does this ring any bells? Right now she’s tracking her hormones each day, I think.

    • Anonymous :

      Probably an Ovulation Prediction Kit. Pee on it every morning. Tells you when ovulation is approaching, and then your two hot days. Game changer if you are a normal with a normal cycle.

      • Seconding this. For all the crazy tracking I did during initial TTC, ovulation test kit readings were game changing when it came to making a case to my OB that something was wrong. Not to say there’s anything wrong with her, but it’s really meaningful data to have.

  27. Need Coat Help :

    I’m looking for a black or charcoal wool/wool-blend coat to wear mostly over business casual work outfits. Ideally hip-length. I find most coats to be heavy and restricting. I am in SF Bay Area so I just need a semi-light topper layer. Are there brands that use thinner wool? Or is there some other fabric altogether I should be considering?

    • Since you’re in SF look at J’Amy Tarr. She is a local designer. Not cheap but gorgeous coats and jackets. Her Blanket Coat is perfect!

  28. LA hotel for February :

    Can anyone recommend an affordable but nice, clean and cute hotel in LA near Santa Monica, Mar Vista, or that general area? I am coming alone and visiting friends. How is the Pali Hotel?

    Anything else good in this area? I would prefer to keep it under $250 a night if possible. Or should I just do an AirBnB?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love the Georgian Hotel. Right across from the beach. It’s about $300 a night but charming and they have a great bar on the front porch.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I like the Le Meriden in Santa Monica when I can get it cheap-ish. If you catch it at the right time or with the right deal, it can be less than $250. It’s a couple of blocks up from the beach.

  29. In the interest of buying time I’ve been thinking of getting Botox, micro blading and upper lash permanent liner this coming year. I figure with this trio I should be able to cut down daily make up to mascara and under eye concealer and be out the door in 5 minutes. Am I missing anything here? Totally okay with looking a bit wonky for a week after I get it all done, I don’t have a public facing job.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve personally never liked the look of permanent liner. I’d sooner go for a combo of Latisse + lash tinting to emphasize and darken the lashes, rather than liner, then ditch mascara from daily routine and keep concealer.
      Botox, yes, just go to someone who really knows what they’re doing (injectables are an art as well as a science, their placement is very nuanced) and get the bare minimum you need. It will in no way replace under eye concealer- are you thinking of something more like juvaderm? Some doctors will put it in the tear trough, but I tried it once and didn’t like it. The skin there is way too thin.
      I’ve heard good things about microblading. Try to get a personal referral.
      I’ve done a lot of research and some experimenting with beauty treatments. There is a rather expensive learning curve to figuring out what works for you, so I’d try one thing at a time and see how it goes with your entire look rather than trying to do a total makeover. If you find a fantastic, experienced doctor with a good eye for aesthetics, you can ask their opinion and let them do one thing at a time.

  30. Am I the ONLEY one p.o.’ed at APPLE for slowing down my iPhone? I just learned they were doeing this to save my battery? I have a Model 7+ that I paid alot of money for, and all of a sudden, my battery is goieng down down down, and I was NOT even useing it! FOOEY!

    I do NOT think Steve Job would have let this happen. They are already the biggest company in the stock market and now they do this? DOUBEL FOOEY on them! I do NOT want to have to switch to a Samsung, but am sereiously thinking that Mabye I should try one of them out.

    I think I will get a new battery at the Apple store, but it STILL costs $29. Is that even fair when I paid so much for it last year? Grandma Leyeh said I should NOT patronize them any more, but all of my home computers are Apple. TRIPEL FOOEY!

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