I hope everyone is having a very very happy holidays this season! Just a head’s up that the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale has just started. I’ll do a few of my top picks below, but do note that you can use this tag to see ALL of the reader favorites and best-sellers included in the sale.
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Pictured above, all on sale with lots of sizes left (* = lots of colors left)
row 1: yellow camisole* / polka-dot blouse* / red cardigan / black sweater* / beige cardigan / pink cardigan (see also*) / white cardigan
row 2: sweater* / gray cardigan / dress / plaid blazer / green dress / long cardigan / gray pants / printed skirt / blue pants*
- lingerie deals: don’t miss the sales on Natori, Wacoal, Hanky Panky, Chantelle and Commando
- Huge selection of shoes on sale, including AGL sale items, as well as Tory Burch, Marc Fisher LTD, Sam Edelman, Stuart Weitzman, and Kate Spade
- Specific workwear brands of note: there’s a wide selection but lucky sizes for Theory, Boden, Hugo Boss, Halogen, 1.State, Tahari, L’Agence, Rebecca Taylor, Lafayette 148 New York, DvF, CeCe, and Nic & Zoe. Lots of cute dresses for work and play from Maggy London and Eliza J. If you’re hunting for designer workwear — tons on sale from Akris, Max Mara, McQueen, D&G, Stella McCartney, Smythe, and St. John.
- loungewear from Free People, Splendid, 1.State, and Honeydew, including lots of joggers, sweatshirts and slippers
- workout duds: great sales from Zella, Alo, Sweaty Betty and Beyond Yoga
- outdoor gear: Sorel, Merrell, and lots of hiking shoes and trail shoes
- jeans from Paige, AG, Wit & Wisdom, NYDJ, and more
- beauty sales: great deals on T3, and they’ve price-matched a ton of YSL products on sale
- If you’re expecting (or have small kids), there are lots of nice strollers on sale! I always stock up on kids’ shoes in the sales since the Nordstrom return policy is so amazing.
Readers, what are you hunting for on sale this year? (Also, Merry Christmas if you celebrate!)
Workwear sales of note for 3.31.23:
- Ann Taylor – 30% off full-price tops and sweaters; up to 40% off all sale styles
- Athleta – All sale up to 60% off
- Banana Republic Factory – 50% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off; 20% off sale & new-season styles
- Brooks Brothers – Friends & Family Event: 30% off almost everything
- Express – All women’s jeans $49 + styles from $20
- Everlane – Up to 30% off spring essentials
- J.Crew – 40% off your purchase; swim from $24.50
- J.Crew Factory – 40% off entire site & storewide, plus extra 20% off orders $125+ with code
- Loft – $29 everyday shirts
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – Buy one get one 50% off! Free shipping on $150+
PSA for Chase cardholders that you can now get statement credit (it’s called “Pay Yourself Back”) at the higher rewards rates that normally only apply to certain things like travel (e.g., for Chase Sapphire Reserve, it’s 1.5 cents per point just like for travel). It’s only certain categories of spending that you can apply credit to, but it includes the annual fee and restaurant expenses (including Doordash) so I was able to wipe out $3k worth of points in one go.
I am all about this feature. I think it’s a way better deal than using the points for travel, because I’m using them for 1.5x on things I already bought rather than being guided to book hotels/cars through their Expedia booking engine.
I keep thinking I’ll cancel that card, but they keep adding benefits that I really get value out of. The Peloton credit, the Lyft and Grubhub premium service and credits…
Agreed! They have been really good about offering alternative benefits these last two years when people aren’t traveling as much. I always feel like statement credit is a better value not only because you aren’t incentivized to buy things you might not have otherwise, but also because you can put new spending on the card and earn rewards for it so using credit card points to buy things has always felt kind of wasteful to me.
Ohh, thank you!!
This feature is definitely my favorite, and might keep me from closing my Chase account. I agree with others that I much prefer this to booking travel with points.
Has anyone had experience with successfully getting an airbnb refund because of Covid? I myself have not tested positive, but a member of my family has, so I cancelled an upcoming trip. Host has a 50% back policy, which is something, but ideally I would get a full refund.
It’s up to the individual host whether they want to or not. But they’re absolutely entitled to stick to their refund policy. I’m sorry your family member is sick.
See thread above about Chase credit cards – do you have one? The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a trip cancellation policy where this would be covered. If Airbnb won’t fully refund, I would look into any benefits from your card.
You can try to ask the host, but no, since Covid is a known risk at this point, you shouldn’t expect Airbnb to override the host’s own policy.
FWIW we are filtering and booking only “flexible” cancellation Airbnbs for exactly this reason. Anything that has us lose money for a cancellation more than a week prior (ideally less) is ruled out.
Yeah this is one reason we book hotels instead of AirBNB since they more often allow cancellations at the last minute. I agree with checking with your credit card company to see if they have any travel protection.
AirBnb doesn’t stand by anything—it’s always up to the host. I rented a place in Sedona that was inaccessible due to a mountain river knocking out the road after a thaw and it took numerous calls and e-mails with the help of a lawyer friend before I got any money back. Will NEVER go through them again. The Airbnb rep has a script that they just keep repeating and never let you talk to anyone else.
we had the oppos-te experience with Airbnb – when a host hadn’t emailed us access instructions and we were due to check in within 2 hours, they escalated and got in contact with them.
For situations like yours I would also raise a dispute thru my credit card.
But that’s a totally different situation than the host following their policy that both parties agreed to when it was booked. OP just wants to get something for free that she isn’t entitled to here.
1:28, not sure if you were replying to me or Anon at 10:57, but I agree with you – this was a known risk at the time both host & guest agreed to the cancellation policy. Nothing wrong with the property here.
Try using trip insurance. I was able to get $5k back on cancelled Airbnb reservations a few years back because a family member got sick. it took awhile and the process was tedious but worth it because we were fully reimbursed.
We are in the same boat this week, with a two-night stay at a place booked through Air BNB and a 5-night (much pricier) stay at a place through VRBO. Cancelled both due to getting sick with covid. The VRBO host refunded every penny (a wonderful shock!) and the Airbnb folks gave us something like 50% off the second night and a discount on the cleaning fee? Next time we’ll use chase cappgore and stick to VRBO and hotels.
Anyone else at work today?
I am very corpor e t t e basic b today: Rothys shoes, MMLF pants, Boden shirt, Lo & S bag…. and a Johnny Was mask earlier. Realized it once I got to work I am a walking Hive ad.
Does “at work” include on my laptop, propped up in bed in my sweats and wool socks?
This is me, just on the couch instead of in bed. (If I try to work from bed I just fall asleep again.)
Also, anyone else have leftover cookies for breakfast?
Leftover cinnamon rolls here. In workout clothes with a polar-fleece bathrobe over it because I’m freezing. A workout is planned on lunch break. It’s a record cold snap here in Seattle, where it was 19 degrees this morning. I have the fire going, all the space heaters and the main furnace to keep up.
I’m at work. My parents are on their way into town, and I’m supposed to be off the rest of the week. My boss and assistant have called out sick, and my team has a deal closing on December 31st. I’ve been excluded from this deal for the past 6 months, but I may need to cancel my vacation (which doesn’t roll over) to handle it. And I just found out that DH and Kiddo had a close contact on Friday evening with someone who tested positive for Covid today. They’re on their way to get a PCR test at a healthcare facility that will give them immediate results. Everyone is fully vaccinated, but my parents may have to cancel their visit after driving 10 hours to see us.
They might need to test again in a few days if they get a negative result. This is a bit early for testing for a Friday evening exposure, although I understand the dilemma posed by your parents’ visit. You might want to be cautious, even if they test negative. Sending you good wishes.
Oh my gosh that stinks! Hoping for negative tests and a rapid resolution to the deal.
Update–DH, Kiddo, and the other 4 family members who attended Friday’s gathering all tested negative. Fortunately, everyone at Friday’s dinner was vaccinated if eligible, and the majority of the event was outdoors. (The buffet was set up indoors, and DH was apparently in the kitchen helping with the sauce for a few minutes.)
Unfortunately, we learned of another exposure, from a close relative we spent about 1.5 hours with indoors on Saturday. My parents arrived before we knew about FIL’s positive test result and seem content to stay despite the risk.
I talked to my boss, and the deal will close Wednesday morning or sometime next year, so I’ll be able to take Wednesday afternoon through Friday off. He’s going to let me roll over my missed vacation days and give me extra vacation next year.
So, not a perfect resolution, but my week looks better than it did this morning.
Anon in PHL
I am. Office is empty. I’m wearing ON pixie pants, Aquatalia boots, and an oversized ON sweater. It’s cold in Philly today.
Working from home on days I said I would be on vacation, but as a single woman with no kids I’m obviously the sacrificial lamb. I am so tired.
Not “obviously”? If so, you have a terrible employer or need some boundaries!
Yep, I’m at work. I work for state government, so we don’t do week long holiday office closures. I have very little pressing work, but lots of longer term stuff it would be nice to do, but will be very hard for me to accomplish because there are no pressing deadlines.
Yep. Office is open and serving the public (I’m not public facing unless the day takes a real turn). Govt doesn’t close for the week and my deputy has the week off. Very casual today. High waist black Madewell skinnies, black combat boots, cropped orange sweater (but no skin showing bc pants are high waist). Plaid mask.
I have known people who have had covid scattered over the past few years, including several who lost parents fairly early. But now, it is just a tsunami. Pretty much everyone I know is either sick themselves or has a household member who is sick. Most have tested positive with home antigen kits and literally cannot get an appointment for a real test, and this is about a week later. And now the home test kits are impossible to find, too. As horrible as the numbers look, I think they are the tip of the iceberg. I live in a very blue state, high vax numbers and good masking, so if seems this crazy here, it must be awful everywhere in the US.
I am Le Tired
omicron baby! I’m just waiting for science to catch up and figure out how long viral period is, a la medical professionals and the new 5-day data. omicron for all so we can burn it out.
It’s fine in my rural Midwest red state, for now anyway. I know a lot of people who had Covid this summer during our big Delta wave (everyone I personally know who had it is vaccinated and had a breakthrough case, though many people here aren’t vaccinated) but I don’t know anyone who is sick now or had to change holiday plans. NY and other major coastal cities are big travel hubs and will get any new variants before we do, plus I think population density in cities generally makes it spread faster.
Yeah. Local wokeness isn’t saving anyone from Omicron. Look at the map.
I’ve barely known anyone who had it for almost 2 years now. In a red state with low vaccination and barely any masking. But this month, just about everyone I know has someone in the household test positive but not the entire household. Very few have any symptoms. One of my unvaccinated kids (too young) and my husband (vaccinated but not yet boosted) both tested positive last week. Yet my other unvaccinated kid and I are both negative on PCR tests taken 7 days later. We have not been staying apart from the two positive people. The only one with symptoms is the toddler. He had a runny nose for two days. My takeaway based on the sample size of my family and about 7 other families I spoke to this week, is that this variant is super contagious (but yet not for everyone in the household!) but not all that dangerous. These 7 families have not really changed their lifestyle this month. We’re all back in the office to some extent, socialize, have multiple kid activities, kids in school/daycare with limited masking, attend events like NBA games and holiday parties, etc. Yet no one has had it before this month.
Your takeaway may need a reality check from your local hospital. I’m also hearing “not all that dangerous” but it’s currently taking our system down. Heaven help you if you have a heart attack or stroke right now much less cancer or other “elective” surgery.
Yeah the best estimate is that it’s *maybe* half as severe as Delta (which was itself more severe than OG covid). If 10 times as many people get a virus that’s half as severe, you have 5 times the hospitalizations. It’s just math and even a “mild” virus can totally overwhelm a hospital system if many people get it at once. We’d be in big trouble if we all got the flu at once too, but we don’t because the R0 of flu is much lower.
Right. My ER nurse cousin sent me the bed count for her hospital’s ER, and it is almost entirely red (covid positive) or yellow (suspected covid, pending test results) with just a few beds that are shown in green (everything else). And this is before any post-Christmas surge. I think it will get pretty ugly in the next month or two, but I hope all the optimism shown by several of the posters above is well-placed. We’ll see.
I know tons of people who are positive but no one who is actually sick. It’s been mild sniffles at worst. I’m in GA.
Actually sick here! Started feeling sick yesterday and tested positive today. Count yourself lucky that you and your acquaintances are asymptomatic and/ or not sick, but that’s not universal. Fully vaxxed and boosted, very covid careful here, but I’m immunocompromised and freaked out. Hoping it doesn’t progress beyond these terrible body aches and cough.
Also, regular old colds are going around. Husband and I tested because he had a sore throat, post-nasal drip, and mild fever early last week, and I got it a few days later. Both negative.
I know a lot of people who made it all two years without catching it until now.
I have a family member who is pretty sick (though as expected w/in a young triply vaccinated person, not sick enough to require hospitalization).
Firing Realtor Question
Hi all – First time homebuyer here and am looking for advice on whether to fire my realtor. I understand this is a tough market and this is my first time so I am not sure if my expectations are unreasonable. To add a wrinkle, I am very seriously thinking about buying my friend’s house, which hasn’t been listed yet, and whether to use him in that process. If I fire him, he will be cut out of that deal though he did not help me find this house in any way.
Here is what he’s done for me:
– He set up a automatic alert via OneHome with search criteria and then i look through the daily digest and/or Redfin and I let him know what I like and he sets up a showing.
– Introduced me to my mortgage lender.
– Shared a lot of interesting insight into the home buying process during our house tours.
– We’ve looked about 6 house tours since October. I’ve looked at about 10 on my own via open houses.
– We lost the only house I’ve put an offer in for – unclear why.
– Took me to lunch once.
– I told him I am interested in new construction but he has not recommended any communities – I found them on my own by driving around and calling the home builders.
– He hasn’t sent me any listings that he’s personally identified and hasn’t sent any off market houses.
It doesn’t feel great to give him nothing for the effort he has provided but he hasnt really done much in my opinion for me to want him involved in the purchase of my friend’s house. I am willing to keep him on if its the “right” thing to do, though.
That sounds about right honestly and not like a reason to fire them. Buying a house requires a lot of legwork by the buyer. I’m living in my third home and I’ve found each one of them myself, using three different realtors. Realtors really make themselves worthwhile in the actual buying process (putting an offer in through closing), or in the selling process.
Also, not legal advice, but really look at your agreement with the realtor. You may not be able to terminate the agreement and buy your friend’s house without still compensating your realtor.
Do people sign agreements with realtors when they start looking at houses?? I never did.
Thanks for your advice – much appreciated!
As an aside, should have mentioned that we didn’t sign an agreement so that’s not a factor.
If you haven’t signed an agency agreement with him yet (which I don’t know what state you’re in, but it would be surprising to have been able to put in an offer without doing that IME), then it’s likely he may not feel very invested in your buying experience. Maybe find another agent then, but don’t feel bad about it if you don’t have any signed agreement.
If he’s not sending you listings or finding new construction for you, he’s not doing his job. I would use someone else. You should be signed up for the automated emails, but he should also be reaching out and sending you individual ones that he thinks fits your needs.
He’s doing his job and you’re considering screwing him over.
No she’s not.
How is it screwing him over if they don’t have an agreement and she buys her friend’s place?
He’s actually doing his job very badly, and he didn’t find her this house so I see no reason he should be compensated.
the only reason you may want to keep him around is to preserve your friendship. Do you really want to be the one calling your friend asking for $10k off the price you agreed because their roof is overdue for replacement, etc?
What’s a good meal to bring new parents as part of a coordinated meal train?
Not homemade, but I thought greek food or barbecue were the best to receive in a meal train. Greek food (chicken kabobs, salad, rice) seem healthy-ish and reheat well. And barbecue and sides are so homey and easy to reheat.
I was nursing around the clock, so I preferred eating small meals around the clock as well. I never wanted to take out and defrost a huge casserole, just to have a few bites (though casseroles are good to feed a crowd if they have family staying with them). I loved things that could be eaten with one hand, were good cold, and were easy to make into smaller meals. One of my favorites was a pork tenderloin, some Hawaiian rolls, and a fancy mustard. Another favorite was a roasted chicken and bag of Caesar salad mix and dressing. Similar ideas–components of a grain bowl (quinoa, chicken, roasted vegetables), taco platter, soup.
I’ve done freezer burritos for friends that can be individually heated up. I’ve done them as either breakfast burritos or I found a nice black bean and quinoa burrito that was highly rated.
I had a baby this summer and out of all the food we gratefully received from friends (seriously, we devoured all of it), the freezer burritos were probably the best. When I was starving at 3am after nursing, I would heat one up. :)
Fruit platters and veggie trays from the grocery store were big hits for me – it was all precut and I felt like I was at my own little party in my kitchen! You could pair these with a sandwich tray or a quart or two of soup with some crusty bread.
Agree-especially in early days when you are recovering and then for longer if you are nursing you get so dehydrated. Very helpful to have fruit and veg to replenish liquids.
i bought a couple bags of groceries for a friend a few times, she and her husband were appreciative. I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up beef jerky sticks, trail mix, bagged salads, and some frozen meals that were easy to eat one handed like a grain bowl. There were also microwave protein muffin cup, microwave oatmeal packets, and some cereal bars. Snacky stuff, but not junk. A variety but also stuff that could go in the pantry as well as the freezer.
If it’s just the parents and new baby, a small casserole or a large casserole divided into smaller portions that could be frozen for later or heated and eaten separately would be good. If it’s parents plus extended family, a large casserole is good and I add a bagged salad and/or a take-n-bake French bread.
The freezer burritos someone said above would be good, as I also ate most of my meals one-handed. They can be made with eggs, sausage/meat sub, cheese for breakfast too.
Another idea would be a cheese, meat and veggie tray, which is good to eat as lunch and snacks.
Chili or curry with rice and a bagged salad, cornbread muffins or rolls would be good if you know whether or not the mother is able to eat spicy foods. Chili and curry last a long time and can be reheated and still taste pretty good.
I loved a chicken pot pie with a bagged salad mix. Also good was a pasta salad with chicken, pre-made from Whole Foods.