Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Open-Front Cardigan

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

This attractive little cardigan comes in black and white at Reiss and is a blend of viscose and nylon. (It’s hand washable.) It looks like a cool-girl sweater that you can layer in a lot of different ways — I prefer the black but the white also looks very nice. It’s got a slight blousing to the sleeves and it’s long and open. I think it’s very chic, particularly as styled — look through the pictures on Reiss’ site to see more. The cardigan comes in sizes 0-10 and is $230. Open-Front Cardigan

Here’s a more affordable option (in black or white) and a plus-size option (three colors).

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  1. Ladies in conservative fields like law and consulting, would you wear the MM LaFleur Casey dress to work? Or is it not “professional looking” enough? I’m a terrible judge of these things and could use an outside opinion.


    • Anonymous :

      I would definitely wear that!

      • I would too. But I’d put a jacket over it.

        • Diana Barry :


        • Anonymous :

          What kind of jacket?

          Most of my jackets are tropical wool suiting material. Would that look weird over a knit? Or does it need to be some sort of artsy blazer (or something that wouldn’t be sold as suiting separates)?

          I can never figure this out.

          • I think you wear a structured cardigan or a knit jacket like mm la fleur sells.

          • I’ll wear basically any kind of jacket over this style of dress. I wear my suiting jackets with them, but maybe it’s not the best look. I don’t mind it though. I also have some ponte jackets that seem to work pretty well. Also, a tweed moto style jacket. Basically anything.

    • Small Law :

      I am in an old-fashioned and therefore more formal firm — and this is definitely okay. I have the Karen Kane Three-Quarter Sleeve Cascade Faux Wrap Dress (Nordstrom) to the office. I usually wear it on days I have a networking event after work and don’t want to be the stuffy lawyer in a suit. Just watch out for the neckline. I have mine stitched to make sure it stays higher.

      • I love the Karen Kane cascade wraps! Now, if they could just make non-weird blouse versions of that dress, I’d be thrilled.

      • KateMiddletown :

        I just bought my first and I am so obsessed. I love the amount of fabric you get to play with – a little here, a little there to cover up whatever needs covering. It’s so soft!

        • Those dresses are my go-to when I’m just not feelin’ getting out of bed. Instant work appropriate pj feeling.

    • I totally agree with everyone with the caveat that, fair or not, if you’re hippy, busty, or both, this may look a bit Va Va Voom without a blazer that hits below the waist (if you have the trunk junk)

      • Even if you are neither busty nor hippy, this dress is curve-hugging. I am 5-8 and my body type is best described as Kate Middleton’s. I ordered a medium and it was skintight. I ordered a large and it was still verrrrrry tight. I looked sexy as hell, which is not what i am going for in work clothes. Returned.

        If i played a lawyer on TV, though, i’d totally wear this.

        • I actually think it looks far more conservative on the plus model as pictured. Clearly fit has a lot to do with it.

    • I don’t think it’s objectively inappropriate–I think it depends on your shape and personal comfort level. I am an hourglass and relatively conservative in my tastes, and wouldn’t feel comfortable in this dress for the office (law). I have the Annabelle, which is similar though relatively more covered up, but only wear it outside of the office context.

      For me the bottom line is you have to feel comfortable in your office clothes–not only physically, but feel that you’re appropriate for the context, whatever that means to you. If you feel great in this dress, then go for it.

    • I’d wear it to work but not to court. Maybe this is unique to my office (law firm), but the conservative part is I have to go to court almost every day and dress accordingly. On days I don’t have court (rare) I’m basically business casual.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I am not an MM Lafleur fan, but I basically live in dresses styled similarly all winter.

    • I wear dresses like this all the time in our business formal office.

  2. Anon Consulting :

    Yes. It’s not a substitute for a suit of course, but on a non-suit day, I would totally wear this.

  3. Reposting from over the weekend:

    My company (non-profit research) is offering to send me through a program by Women Unlimited. I’m slated for the leadership track for women with managerial experience. Has anyone else heard of this company or participated in these programs. It looks like a large commitment with outside work, but the networking and leadership courses are enticing. Thanks in advance!

    • Need a cool name :

      I’ve never heard if it, sorry. For what it is worth I am sending an employee to Leadership New Jersey for professional development.

    • Replying late, but yes, I did the LEAD program 7 or 8 years ago. It was fine, but it was a time commitment. But my company sent four women every year, and it was presented as like this big honor. I think some of the stuff is helpful — but most of the helpful stuff is stuff you can find in books like Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, etc.

  4. Asheville, NC :

    My teen-aged son and I will have a day there soon. From what I’ve seen online, it may be less walkable than I’d hoped for.

    I’m planning to wear a full white linen midi skirt with flat sandals and a simple tank top, and have my son wear a woven shirt with collar (I forget the name for this–it’s the kind that doesn’t get tucked in, has a print around the bottom 6″ or so) with his usual Sperrys and Lands End cargo shorts. Does that sound about right for August in Asheville?

    • Sounds perfect! Asheville is pretty hipster and laid back, but still in the South so Sperrys wouldn’t look out of place. Expect it to be HOT. A car is probably necessary unless you plan very carefully, but I suppose you could use Uber or similar.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in CLT. Asheville can be cooler (but still humid), but going from inside to outside can leave you freezing, so maybe a light sweater also or a coolish large scarf?

      It’s hard to dress inappropriately in Asheville, but it’s more of an REI vibe than Lilly Pulitzer. Your son should be fine.

      The downtown is very walkable. If you are staying out at Grove Park, it’s a short drive there or to the Biltmore or out to where you can hike a bit. It can be a bit spread out, but it’s not like LA where you will be stuck in your car and in traffic. It’s pretty and I hate CLT traffic (and traffic generally — hallooo NYC and DC and LA and Chicago) but I don’t mind puttering about Asheville.

      • Asheville, NC :

        We actually don’t have a place to stay yet–I need to get on it, because we’ll be there through the eclipse. We’ll probably go to Clemson’s eclipse event, so need to be on the south side. I’d love to find a little cabin with a hot tub.

    • Check out the French Broad Chocolate Lounge (it’s owned by some friends of mine). Great desserts and a great place to get an afternoon cup of coffee!

      • +100
        I feel like a trip to Asheville is wasted if I don’t make it to French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

        • Asheville, NC :

          Thank you! All my notes on stuff to do there were lost in an automatic phone update.

          • If you’re staying south of town – like Hendersonville or Brevard (closer to Clemson) you should easily find a VRBO cabin. You can drive up to Asheville for the day, park in a garage (it’s $1/hour) and walk around downtown. Consider the Pinball Museum with your son – vintage arcade games and pinball machines. I’m assuming a teenaged boy will have limited patience for browsing galleries and shops, though we have a lot of unique places. If he wants to hang at the Pinball Museum while you shop, the Grove Arcade is right by it. There are numerous bloggers who have posted travel guides lately so those should be easy to find online. If you can make it to 12 bones for lunch, their new location is in an industrial area that is home to a ton of very cool street art. There’s also a skate park, coffee shop, brewery, etc in the same location but you can walk around that area and look at the graffiti art (again, thinking of what a teenager might like).

    • You’re telling your teenage son what to wear?

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        This was my first thought. I thought it was a troll for this reason.

      • Cornellian :

        That’s what jumped at me, too…

      • +1. I’m lucky if I can get my 13 yo son to put on a clean t-shirt.

      • Asheville. :

        It’s my birthday. He has agreed to accept things he ordinarily wouldn’t.

        The pinball museum sounds like a good idea. Thanks.

        Btw, I’m no troll, but I got hit by some when I asked this question on the weekend thread.

      • Asheville. :

        Yep. For my birthday, he’ll do it.

        I’m no troll, but I got trolled about this over the weekend.

        Pinball museum sounds good. Thanks.

      • Asheville. :

        Repeated replies are in moderation.
        Pinball museum sounds good. Thanks

  5. I’ve never gotten a massage before, but I’ve been having neck and shoulder tension and pain, so I’ve scheduled one for this afternoon. Can someone talk me through this? Do I take off all my clothes? All my clothes but my underpants? Any other info I should know? Tip 20%?

    • For the 45-60 minute full body massages I’ve had before, you are asked to take off your clothes and lay down on the table under the sheet. The therapist will keep you draped except for the part the are working on for both modesty and warmth. Regarding underwear, that’s up to you. I like a good glute massage so I go bare. If that’s not your thing, then leaving your underwear on is generally a signal to a therapist that the area is off limits. Speak up if you aren’t comfortable, want to change pressure, want the therapist to not talk, etc. I’m ticklish on my legs so I ask for firmer pressure since it tickles less. Drink lots of water afterwards.

    • If you tell the massuese its your first time, they’ll walk you through it. You might wear your clothes into the room or you might first go into a changing area where you’ll leave your things into a locker. They’ll bring you into the massage room, talk for a minute or two, and then leave while you take off your robe or clothes- I like to leave a thong on, but a lot of people are comfortable going completely nude. You’ll lie (facedown usually) on the table and hang your robe/clothes on a hook, usually near the door, and pull the covers up over yourself. When they massage you, they’ll make sure that any body parts not receiving treatment in that specific moment are covered by the towel- you wont ever be completely nude on the table. When you’re done, the masseuse will leave you to get dressed, and usually meet you with a glass of water before you check out- 20% tip is appropriate. Make sure you drink lots of water before and after your appointment, as it will help prepare and heal your body. I hope you feel better!

    • cat socks :

      The therapist will take you the room and then leave so you can get undressed. I take off all my clothes and leave on my underwear. Then you will lay under a blanket and wait for the therapist to return. I usually lay on my back and then she’ll let me know when to turn over on my stomach. When that happens, she holds the blanket in such a way that I can turn over underneath the blanket. She will just uncover the parts of the body that are being massaged. When it’s over, she’ll leave so you can get dressed. I usually tip 20% or more for excellent service.

    • I’m surprised by the commenters above me saying that people go nude – I’ve only ever undressed down to my underwear. Never heard of going completely naked for a massage.

      • Oh yeah I think most people go nude!

      • A good friend is a massage therapist – nude is definitely the standard, though she said occasionally people wear their underwear, and it isn’t weird to do so.

      • For a spa type massage I leave them on. If I’m having body work done for a particular complaint, I leave them off so that the massage therapist can do the glutes if he/she thinks it’s needed. Also note that just because it’s a shoulder or neck complaint doesn’t mean that other parts of the body may need work.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      It’s gonna be great! 20% is a good tip. I go full nakeys under the sheet. I tend to go places that are more straight up massage than ~spa~ (read: i go to the cheap places) so there isn’t a robe/change room deal. The person takes you into the room, talks about what you want worked on, then leaves for you to get naked and under the sheet. The best person I ever saw said, “undress to your level of comfort” which is perfect advice. If you’re gonna be uncomfortable with [whatever] off, leave it on. They listen outside the door for the sheets/bed to stop making noise (at least this is what I’ve been told) then knock on the door and come in. Usually it’ll be very quiet while they work (maybe music) and the light will be dim. You can definitely give feedback (especially if something hurts in a bad way!) but there isn’t a lot of chit chat. Definitely drink a lot of water! I hope you feel great after!

    • Yes, I always hear the same thing, too “undress down to your level of comfort.” I also go ‘full nakeys’ (hahahahaaaaaa, Rainbow Hair!) but only because I used to wear a th#ng and stopped because sometimes it rides up, especially as you flip around, and it’s more awkward when they have to touch your underpants in my opinion. Note that I don’t typically get glutes done (and most of the time they are they do mine over the towel) but when they do the full back, they carry out the stroke and it’s weirder to me to have someone adjust my underwear. Other things to note: if you don’t want something done, that’s ok, just tell them. For example, some people don’t do glutes or scalp or face. Most massage therapists know to be rather quiet but you can set the tone for that from the start and they will follow your lead.

  6. I just looked at BR’s sweater section for Fall…and I am thrilled. It’s like old J Crew with the options, colors, and price points. If anyone has any favorites, let me know!

    • Anonymous :

      I LOVE their silk/cashmere blend sweaters. 85% silk 15% cashmere. I bought a few of the elbow-length versions back in the spring and I just bought 2 long sleeved ones for fall. They’re so soft and cozy and the colours are gorgeous. It’s hard to find tops made of natural fibres that are still afforable, which is why I like them so much. Handwash only!

      • KateMiddletown :

        I bought one of these and was so disappointed by the amount of pilling I had after 1 wear. Did you experience anything like this?

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, they do pill which kind of sucks but I have one of those little fabric combs that takes them off.

    • Flats Only :

      I bought three of the merino ones, and they are very nice. I was able to wash them on delicate, tumble dry on low and iron them to restore a smooth finish. They didn’t shrink. I think they run a little big, especially the diameter of the arms.

    • I just bought 3 from BR Factory and I’m super excited to wear them!

  7. In-House in Texas :

    Can anyone recommend a good nail straightener? One that really works? My nails split/peel and I know there has to be something out there. I’ve tried Nailtiques and it did nothing for me. I’ve heard that prenatal vitamins could help, but I know I’ll take them for a week and then forget it. Thanks!!!

    • KateMiddletown :

      Do you mean strengthener? I have ridges and splitting that just won’t go away. (My manicurist has said it’s genetic so prenatals can help strengthen but not make the ridges go away.) I use Malava Ridge Filler (from Ulta) but lots of people love OPI Nail Envy. Both are much pricier than you’d expect for a base coat product but totally worth it. I wear the Ridge Filler almost every day by itself – it’s got a nice pinkish tint to it that makes my nails look “done.”

    • I’ve accepted that my nails are just like that. I take a multi and a calcium every day and they’ve done nothing for my nails.

      To remember to take my vitamins, I buy the fruit gummies and keep them in my desk drawer at work and have them for “dessert” after lunch. The multi and calcium work out to 4 chews that are almost like having Starburst :)

    • Get a crystal nail file and file them down regularly, maybe every other day.
      Eat lots of Greek yogurt.

    • I have similar nails. Nothing systemic has ever worked for me so I either keep them really short and bare (little to no white part) or less short but still short and polished.

      My mainicurist uses a little powder (I think it’s the acrylic nail stuff) on the one nail that tends to split vertically. Gel manicures seem to protect them better than regular polish.

    • I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins and they really do work wonders for nails. I never had particularly weak nails, but now I have claws that grow so fast I feel like I’m constantly clipping them. FWIW I just use CVS brand prenatals.

    • Nail advice :

      Regular old coconut oil (I get it at TraderJoe’s) rubbed into cuticles has done wonders for my nails that use to split.

    • The only thing that has worked for me is getting pregnant…. Do you get gel nails/use acetone remover? That’s what did a number on my nails (and I only did it once!). My nails kept re-splitting for 2.5 years until I got pregnant.

    • My nails peeled and split like mad until I quit drinking. Now they are sturdy as all get out. Not sure if that’s because I no longer nervously fiddle with them all the time or if I now absorb nutrients better or what. Just an anecdotal data point.

  8. Anonymous :

    How far in advance do you plan vacations? I tend to start thinking about vacation ~6 months out and I book flights, hotels, etc. about 3-4 months in advance. Several people have commented that that’s really fast. I keep hearing about people making plans for summer 2018 already (what???). Am I doing this wrong? These are international trips fwiw.

    • Anonymous :

      I usually buy tickets around 3-6 months out and book hotels around the same time. I’m not really sure what I’ll want to be doing next summer yet! I guess if you have to cooordinate with a lot of people it makes sense but I don’t think you’re doing it wrong at all.

    • Eh, I think it depends on your destination, your schedule, your budget. I’ve planned international trips 8-10 months in advance in order to secure deep discounts and to ensure I’d have the time off, but I like to maximize my budget (ie get the most comfortable convenient options for the best price possible, not pinch pennies). Some folks have more wiggle room in their schedules (or, alternatively, find out last minute that they can take 2 weeks off because something settled, ie), or bigger budgets, so booking with less lead time works for them. Great!

      You’re not doing it wrong. You’re doing it your way. Tune out the noise and enjoy your trips.

      • +1 to all of this. I have a trip booked for next May already but I wanted to ensure I could use miles for the otherwise $1000pp round trip flights.

        Typically we plan 3-6 months out, depending on how complicated the trip is (international with multiple cities, definitely more like 6 months out; long weekend in Florida, 2-3 months).

    • Anonymous :

      3-4 months out is pretty much the optimal time to buy international tickets.

    • I’ve thought about an international trip and was in the location within 6 weeks, so that’s probably not super fast.

    • Are those people that have nothing to do in the middle of winter? I mean… there are advantageous and disadvantages to planning a trip that far in advance. I can tell you no one in Europe is planning a trip to another country for summer 2018. Have you heard about Scott’s Cheap Flights? It is one reason to plan ahead because you can get some good flight deals.

    • I just decided on an international trip that will be in 5-6 months, and will probably start booking stuff in the next month or two, so I’m there with you. I did plan our honeymoon about 9-12 months out, although I didn’t book anything until around 6 months before the trip, but that was the first international trip we had taken other than Mexico.

    • I plan for months in advance, but I typically don’t buy domestic tickets until a month or 2 out, international 2 months to 6 weeks. Around the same with hotels although I often book together. I have only not gotten the hotel I wanted once.

    • I begin daydreaming two or three (or ten) years out and seriously planning one year out, but don’t book anything non-refundable at that point. I request time off work and buy intl plane tickets about 4 months out and domestic plane tickets about 2 months out. Then I start working on booking hotels and excursions.

    • I usually plan my next vacation during my current vacation, because I have vacation on the brain at the time.

      We take time off in April, June and August and the holidays. So April gets planned over xmas, June is a conference at a resort that I attend every year so I book it when the email comes out, usually in Feb, and we book the August trip during the April vacation.

      For anything with international flights I’d go further out, mainly because I’m usually trying to book my family’s tickets using miles.

      Right now I’d like to plan a long weekend in January but the calendar hasn’t opened up yet for rental houses. I will do it soon.

      I think we are super regimented this way because the days we take off aren’t flexible. My kids’ school schedule dictates the dates, and my husband has to request his days off in January every year.

    • Wanderlust :

      I book flights pretty early, usually 2-6 months in advance, but for hotels/domestic travel (either in my country, or in the country that I’m visiting), maybe 3-6 weeks in advance?

      I have a trip in October for 2.5 weeks, and I haven’t done anything other than buy flights yet, I’ll probably deal with planning and booking hotels, etc. over labor day.

    • I think when you have kids this is probably more true. We have to plan kids Spring and Fall breaks way in advance so we don’t get stuck with insane costs.

    • Ha, I usually do, like, 2 months max.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Me too, especially girl’s weekends. If we are going to visit my inlaws, maybe three months.

    • My husband and I book all travel within a month of leaving, sometimes (a lot of the time) within the week. And we travel internationally most of the time. I think you should do what works for you. Every time we’ve tried to book in advance, I’ve had to miss part of the trip because my litigation schedule changes. My husband is also a lawyer, and so it’s really difficult to plan ahead. If you are flexible enough to travel last minute, you can get a lot of great deals that way too. We have a general sense of what we’d like to do, then see what works out based on pricing, and we read all about our trip on the plane ride there.

  9. Is it normal or totally outrageous for an employer to make you pay to park at work? My job just implemented a $20/month parking fee and I’m pretty unhappy about it, especially since I make $12/hour. FWIW, I’m in higher education. The reasoning given was that public safety had gotten complaints about students parking in faculty/staff areas and so decided to require faculty/staff to have permits to distinguish us from students and preserve our parking spaces. Couldn’t they have just distributed faculty/staff permits without charging us such an exorbitant fee?

    • Anonymous :

      $20 a month is not an exorbitant fee. Yes, it’s okay and normal to charge for parking. Unfortunate in your circumstances but at least you have parking!

    • Anony Mouse :

      Unfortunately, paid parking in higher ed is the norm, at least in my experience. I’ve worked as staff or instructor at three different public institutions, and two of the three have charged around $20 per month for parking.

      The one university that didn’t charge for parking was a regional school. Salaries were lower all the way around, and free parking was one of the perks offered to try to recruit employees. That said, you had to pick up your parking pass in person from the office. They wouldn’t mail it or allow you to designate someone to collect it for you, which was frustrating as I was an adjunct who had another FT job and taught a once-weekly night class.

      • Yeah, never worked anywhere that didn’t charge for parking. Is there a carpool option? My schools have dropped prices significantly or given free parking to people with 2-3 people in a carpool.

    • The reason given is dumb, but yeah, it’s very normal to have pay for parking and that’s not exorbitant at all. My husband pays $35/month at his university job.

    • Anonymous :

      This happens in higher education and it is normal. At my alma mater, one campus had parking permits for students/faculty but you still had to pay for them. Another smaller regional campus had free parking permits for students/faculty, everyone else had to pay.

    • Anonymous :


      As a transit commuter (unsubsidized), I see the car people getting a lot of resources used to provide them with parking. I get that some people can’t take a bus or don’t want the hassle, but I feel like I get the shorter end of the stick. It’s not unfair. And everything is unfair. If you live in a huge city, things are better for transit, but nothing is paid for (except for places that subsidize). And in the country, parking is plentiful and free (but busses rarer). In between, hot uneven mess.

      FWIW, I do think that what you propose — decals — is less unfair. Maybe no one at your school wants to oversee the policing of them, which would involve a labor cost. But we used to get parking passes distributed with paychecks at the end of each month for the people who park, so that might be an option?

      • If there were a public transit option I’d happily take it! And I understand the disparity in places where some people commute by car and others don’t. But this location is such that there is no public transit that goes here. Everyone drives. So it just seems stupid for employees to have to pay their employer for the privilege of coming to work.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s not exorbitant at all and yes that’s normal.

    • Anonymous :

      Parking at my job is $155 a month so this seems to be the opposite of exorbitant. Sucks when you’re not used to it but over a month that’s what, less than a dollar a day?

      • In response to all the comments saying it’s not exorbitant.
        Fine. It’s not as bad as paying $155/month to park. But when you’re making $12/hour and driving to work is the only option, the $20 stings. There’s also no shortage of parking here. It just seems like a blatant cash grab on the part of the employer.

        • Anonymous :

          People are telling you it’s super common. It’s no more of a cash grab than your employer making you contribute to your health insurance premiums or buy LTD insurance, both of which are also common. Employers don’t typically pay all costs associated with employee benefits.

        • Anonymous :

          No one is saying it doesn’t sting. But it isn’t exorbitant. Might be time to look for a new job.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I think it depends on if you are parking on the employer’s property or not. I’d be pretty annoyed if I had to pay to park on land owned by my employer. If I had to pay a parking garage owned by a separate company I’d be less annoyed.

          I’m always surprised that you have to pay to park to be a patient or visitor at Boston hospitals, even when the garages are owned by the hospitals.

          • Why? That’s completely normal.

          • Wait you get that there is a cost to them offering parking right? Even if they own the land?

          • Yeah…if they’re doing this because students are parking in the lot, then it’s a matter of getting parking passes for authorized parkers, having someone check to make sure only authorized cars are in the lot and then paying to tow non-authorized cars (though that may have to be covered by the non-authorized driver…). Even apart from the upkeep on the lot.

          • @Anonymous at 10:19
            I probably should have clarified- they’re making us pay $20/month for a permit. So they still have to go through and check permits to see if the cars in the lot are students or faculty/staff.

          • Anon @10:19 :

            Right…that $20/month probably helps fund the time of the person that goes thru and checks the permits, right? the permit costs helps fund/offset costs for the program.

            Though, for their sake, I hope they give the faculty/employees different color permits than the students. otherwise…that’s just nonsensical.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            If the parking lot has to be policed, that makes perfect sense. I’m more used to suburbia/rural areas where there is plenty of parking, no policing of parking and thus, no real cost to offer parking except for the lost opportunity cost of the land.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Upon further reflection, I can think of other costs like winter snow removal. As far as paving, lining, that only happens every 10 years or so. There is lighting too and some grounds keeping.

          • On the Boston hospitals, I think there’s also a concern that if they didn’t charge for parking, people would use the parking lots for daily commuting, Red Sox games, etc. But nevertheless they are really expensive ($38/day) and I do wish they offered a more generous validation for patients and their visitors.

          • Universities do police their lots, even if it’s a suburban or rural area because they have to make sure there are no students in the faculty lots and that every car in the lot has the correct kind of permit, since many offer different levels of permits and some garages are accessible to the highest levels only. It’s not 24/7 surveillance, but they do have to pay someone to periodically go by and check it out and ticket as appropriate.

          • You said you were surprised to see paid parking at Boston hospitals Blonde Lawyer/ the value of land is huge there.

          • Anonattorney :

            Don’t forget property taxes.

          • Annony Moose :

            I hear you about the Boston hospitals. Although some of them will stamp your parking ticket and you can get a signification discount–I know Children’s does.

            My city is about an hour north of Boston, and the hospital has a parking garage that is free, along with the coffee in the waiting rooms.

        • It sucks but it’s not going away and is in fact normal for the field, so your options are 1) pay the $20 (which, I will emphasize, could be a lot worse–it’s $75/mo at my current school); 2) find a way to park for free (is there street parking within a 20-minute walk of campus? there’s your $20/mo saved, and the exercise is good for you); or 3) find a new job in a new field.

          And the reason they gave you about students parking in the lot is probably a lie–pretty sure they realized they weren’t following the industry standard and that they could get money out of their faculty and staff, or had to eliminate a benefit in order to make up for budget cuts.

          • Also in Academia :

            Higher Ed person here. Parking lots cost about $500 per space to build, while the figure for a parking deck is $10K per space and up (at least according to my class in such things, and conversations with urban planners confirm). State funding agencies are less and less likely to fund new decks, so costs must be passed on somewhere. Check out the student parking fees at your institution, and they will probably make you feel better about your $20 a month fee. Also, at my institution, our fac/staff spaces are closer to the buildings than the student spaces, so getting them for free seems like poor optics. $20 a month isn’t bad.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Uh, I pay $195 and I live in a MCOL city. I don’t have a reserved space, but I do have a pass to the parking garage.

      • $220 per month, have a reserved space.

        Granted, that is downtown though–not somewhere with ample lot parking.

    • Just commiseration from me over here- when I worked in higher ed at $30k/year, they had us pay 165 for parking and frequently solicited donations from faculty and staff.

      • $165 per year, let me qualify. If I had to pay $165/month on a $1500ish paycheck per month, I would have starved – east coast MHCOL.

      • My first job was at a nonprofit in the DC area and I made $36k/year and parking was $70/month. It sucked.

      • I’m in higher ed at an east coast MCOL city – parking is $66/month for the cheapest option (goes up to $145!). I’m a prof, so I get paid enough that it’s annoying but OK; but our admin staff all pay the same rate, which is ridiculous.

        My last job had free parking, but we were in an extremely rural location; land was basically free.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in higher ed as well and I have to buy a $200/year parking permit. It’s a small college town with a very LCOL, there is no public transit and everyone drives to work. Staff/faculty having to pay for parking is very common at universities. It does come out of pre-tax money at my school.

    • Diana Barry :

      Be glad you have parking! My work has no parking and the nearby lots are approx $20-$30 PER DAY or $400 per month.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s ridiculous for an employer to eliminate an employee benefit and act like it’s necessary for some BS reason and there’s just no way around it. At least own what you’re doing. But really this is the equivalent of eliminating a monthly free lunch, not, like, dropping 401k contributions. It’s annoying but not outrageous. Also… I pay $185/mo for parking so yeah $20/mo sounds like a dream.

      • Anonymous :

        My boss used to have to cut corners like this, esp. in the recession (and every time we don’t make #s). It was usually: management said I had to cut something and I’d rather nickel and dime people than lay off someone. Maybe someone else also finds a new job that pays better (in which case we don’t backfill), but sometimes it’s a kinder cut that someone’s trying to make.

        We just got our monthly lunches cut, but I’d rather do that than have one person have to take a 100% cut.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah I would 100% give up free parking or lunch or whatever rather than have someone lose their job. But then just tell employees you needed to cut something, like your boss did. Don’t be all, well students suck… parking passes… grumble grumble….

          • Free parking at my higher ed institution (MCOL, Midwest.)

            Yes to the budget fan dance complaints, though – it’s a cash grab, and it sucks, and it would be so much better for employees if institutions could say: this is a place where we are shoring up the budget.

            Our last academic year involved a lot of “rah, rah” things are great! at the beginning of fall semester and then mid-semester faculty got a significant pay cut, because things were NOT great, and it was framed as the result of a bunch of research about salaries in comparable institutions, etc. But then it turned out when people complained en masse, it was a straight-up budget cut and did not reflect either employee merit or market rates.

            So yeah, the cash grab plus the dishonesty is frustrating.

    • I’ve worked at two universities, one that charged $50 a year and one that distributes a free parking sticker to faculty/staff. If your university has gone straight from free to $20 a month that’s a cash grab for sure, and I wonder whether it is related to other university cash flow problems.

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s any consolation, I’m making $30,000 in higher ed, and my parking pass is $400 up front. I mean, it’s not a consolation to me.

    • Anonymous :

      Between my parents, my husband and myself, we’ve worked at 10+ universities and none of them had free parking for staff, even hourly minimum wage staff.
      $20/month is well within the normal range for a parking fee. I’d count yourself lucky you had free parking for as long as you did.

    • My employer doesn’t charge for parking but does give priority parking to car pools. (A big deal in our giant uncovered lot.) do you think you could lobby for a free pass for car pools? Saves $ on gas too you only make a modest salary.

      • I like this idea! Mostly I like the idea of offering choices that allow the university to address the actual issue at hand. i.e., if there’s not enough parking, make an incentive for carpooling.
        In my view, if you’re charging your employees to park, parking must be a limited resource in your area. This is not the case where I work. There were some disputes over who could use which parking lots, but there is plenty of parking for everyone.
        Additionally, I understand charging to park if there are viable public transit options. A previous university I worked at charged $600 for an annual parking pass, but it was in a city with public transit so very few people actually bought parking permits.

        • Try it! Pitch it as a green initiative! I totally get being annoyed at your employer charging you but gas adds up too. How cool would it be if you turned this off into a financial plus?

    • Professor :

      All of the universities I’ve been at charge everyone for parking. My current employer charges $450/year. Not sure if you’re public or private, but most public universities are required to have parking services pay for itself- i.e. all costs of lot/garage construction and enforcement have to be covered by user fees. Unfortunately, parking is still a nightmare if you get in after 8 am, so even those fees don’t guarantee a spot anywhere remotely close to where I actually work.

    • Also in higher ed. My parking is $45 per month. It sucks. Better than the $100 per month garage near campus, I guess. I wish suburban public transportation was more connected.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a bus you could take? My small college town has no subway or train but we have a bus system and the bus is free for university students and employees.

      • The university has a free bus for employees, but it only travels around campus. It’s convenient for getting to distant meetings, but it isn’t useful for anyone commuting.

    • I work in higher ed, MCOL city. My parking is $650 for the year although the university does subsidize a city bus pass if you would like to take public transportation to work, and they also run an off-site parking lot with a free shuttle. I prefer the convenience so I pay. But $20 a month seems reasonable.

      • We have 6 parking spot’s allocated to us in the basement of our new office. Only ONE lawyer drives (from Brooklyn), so 5 are always empty. The manageing partner now wants to LEASE them back to the landlord @ a rate of $866 per month. Dad says he will be bringing his car in, so he want’s me to negotiate back one of those spaces for him. Is this ethical for Dad to use a space if he is NOT an attorney at law? I think NOT. I do NOT have a parking space at my current apartement, but will have 2 in my new one. I told him to wait until I move before driveing his car into NYC. What does the HIVE think about all of this. I am a littel worried about doeing anything unethical at this JUNCTURE of my career.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Annoying but normal. However, it can be a tax-free benefit if set up correctly, so ask your employer about that (google tax free commuter benefits)

    • $20/month is super reasonable. I work on a college campus and pay over $500/yr. for a parking permit. So does my husband.

    • I don’t understand your “it would be ok if we had public transit” argument. You know public transit costs WAY more than $20/month right? Most of the people I know who commute daily on mass transit pay $50-100 per month and none of them are in NYC or other super expensive places. $20/month is supper cheap for a monthly commuting cost.

      • I’m mostly saying it would bother me less if it were one of multiple options, i.e. I can pay $20 to park or $80 to take public transit. In the past, I’ve had employers use parking fees as a means of distributing unequal parking, such as pay $$$ for the garage, $ for the nearby lot, or free for the lot that is 4 blocks away. Saying everyone now has to pay $20 without providing a good reason just seems like it occurred to the university that they could squeeze a little extra money out of the employees.

        • It is somewhat unusual that it’s not a tiered system. I can pay $250/yr for access to garages close to academic buildings or $100/yr for surface lots that are far away. You might see if they’d be willing to offer a discounted pass for a remote lot.

        • Okay, but, by your own admission you live in a place where public transit isn’t possible so you have to drive. Your problem isn’t with the $20, it’s with living in a place that doesn’t have public transit. That’s not your employer’s fault. If you want the joy of paying $100 a month for questionable public transit, move.

          • My actual problem is with my employer suddenly demanding that everyone pay to come to work. If there were some element of choice, I’d feel a little more in control of the situation, whether that choice was a tiered parking system, a carpool system, or public transit. My employer is in control of those first two options, so it would have been nice if they had done something similar to acknowledge the fact that switching from totally free to totally paid parking is a leap. But I understand that life s*cks and employers aren’t always nice.
            In case you were wondering, my monthly car payment + gas + parking is well over $100.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m going to assume that since you’re earning a relatively low wage and that paying to park is unusual for you, that you’re either young or new to the workforce.

            That’s okay. We were all there once.

            But, excepting the rare few who can walk to work, everyone pays to go to work. Everyone. It’s either commuter rail passes, subway passes, bus fare, or the cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle.

            Twenty dollars a month is very reasonable for parking but a lot for you. If this is really a problem, consider approaching someone in your department or the administration to discuss the situation and see if they can help.

      • Well, it’s $20+the cost of operating the vehicle. So, transit costs may still be cheaper than gas+insurance+upkeep+apartment with parking spot+work parking fee.

        • +1 not to mention the car payment, which is 15k+ that public transit commuters never had to spend

        • It’s not clear that commuting to work every day on public transit means she could ditch the car entirely. Most subway commuters I know still park (and insure and maintain, etc) a car at their house or apartment so they can use it on weekends. Gas is a really negligible cost, especially with current prices.

      • BodenLover :

        I pay $10 per day plus $2 parking per day to take public transportation

      • My bus pass is $115 a month. It hurts.

        • My train ticket is C$9.60 EACH WAY, or normally C$200-$300 per month. It’s still cheaper than parking, which is C$30-$40 per day, plus gas/wear&tear/insurance. And public transit is a lot faster too. Not in higher ed, but I spend almost $20 per day in commuting…

    • As someone noted above, many universities operate as a set of independent businesses, where each one has its own budget and must cover its own costs. When we ask our marketing department for graphics help, they bill us to cover their employees’ time. When we ask our dining services to cater a meeting, they charge us for the food and their time serving it. And yes, employees who use parking services typically pay for the privilege because parking has to cover its costs like any other unit.
      Universities are different than other large corporations in this way. We all work for one employer but we interact with other units like they are separate businesses.

      • another anoonnnn :

        FWIW The large corporation I work for works this way (as have almost all employers I have worked for). We pay another unit to service some of our contracts that are with shared customers and my OH is “billed” to the subsidiary companies that I do work for. Each business unit has its own budget and cost allocations, and each segment within that business unit has its own budget and cost allocations.

    • When I worked in higher ed, we had to pay $140/month for parking. I wasn’t making much money at the time and had to drive to work. Fortunately I was able to find free street parking in the area most days, but it sucked, and I was frequently late to work because of it.

    • I applaud the fee. No, the rest of society shouldn’t be subsidizing your driving addiction.

      • nasty woman :

        Get down off the cross, we need the wood. OP already wrote that there’s no good public transit option.

      • You’re right. I’ll walk the 15 miles to work. But I should make sure that it’s uphill both ways in the snow, right?

      • This is an actual “cosmopolitan bias” Lol. Assuming that just because YOU live in a city/area with public transit, everyone in the country does! Some places actually *do not have* a public transit system, PERIOD.

      • “Driving addiction”??? That is hilarious.

        • Hey, be sensitive! Anonymous at 10:19 might be struggling and this is a cry for help. It must be tough, shaking and feeling ill if you can’t sit in traffic jams afternoon, constantly searching for gas stations so you can inhale the sweet scent of unleaded fuel, missing your child’s birthday because you just couldn’t. stop. driving. As we’ve seen from this thread, driving addiction can drive people to financial ruin.

    • Higher ed, something like 50 bucks a month. I don’t think that is uncommon on college campuses.

    • Need a cool name :

      My higher ed employer does not make us pay a fee, but I could see one happening in the future as they keep trying to decrease the number of individual car trips to campus. In your shoes I’d be annoyed by the fee, too, since it adds up over the course of the year to what you earn in half a week of work.

    • Oh, don’t listen to all these grumpy people who earn $200,000 a year and pay $2,000 a month parking or whatever and you should think yourself lucky, young lady! There would be a faculty riot at my place if they charged us to come to work. In the situation your college outlines, they should issue the faculty decals and charge the students fines for parking in the faculty spots and make their money that way. That’s how it works here. You pay the gas and maintenance to have a car to get to work, the least your employer can do is let you park on the land they *own* for free.

      Incidentally, it always amazes me how fiercely some people will defend the right of businesses to rip them off. Banks that use your money to make money (of which you get none), and STILL charge you to have an account? Freedom! Phone companies that charge the caller AND the called? Sign me up! Employers that charge you rent for your own office? Blah blah life is tough bootstraps suck it up buttercup!

      • Literally no one has said that.

      • What? No one said they earn $200,000 or pay $2000/month for parking. I commented above that I have to pay $200/year at my U. I earn less than $40k. The janitors who earn $8/hour pay the same parking fee as me, as do the football coaches who earn millions. It’s awesome that your university does not charge employees for parking, but, as evidenced by this thread, 95% of them do, and $20/month is a pretty average fee.

    • I used to pay $8 A DAY to park. I wouldn’t shrug at $20 per month.

    • Wanderlust :

      I don’t know, I live in a HCOL, and parking in my office building in $450/month. And that’s subsidized, the city owned parking next door is $600/month.

      At the university, also in this city, permits ranged from $200-$600 for a semester, and staff didn’t get free parking.

    • Every employer should do it like the Gates Foundation does. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/the-not-so-secret-trick-to-cutting-solo-car-commutes-charge-for-parking-by-the-day/

    • BabyAssociate :

      HCOL and parking in the office building is $355/month. $50/month seems very, very reasonable.

    • Linda from HR :

      $20 a month isn’t that much, and it probably helps pay for things like security, production of the physical permits, and maintenance of the lot.

      Many people need to pay hundreds of dollars per month, which makes sense in a city where public transit is an option, but unreasonable in a suburban area where people have to drive, but sort of fee could, again, go towards building maintenance, and encourage people to carpool or get a ride, and that could be especially important when the parking lot doesn’t have enough room, or barely has enough room, for every employee to bring their car to work.

    • Anonymous :

      Parking for an outer lot–15 min walk to the nearest building, is 300/month. hcol. for comparison.

    • My friend pays $120 a month for the garage they park in.

  10. Will letting an account go into escheat damage my credit or cause other headaches down the road? It’s a join account with a small amount of money, and I’ve tried for years to get the other account holder to help me take close it. Now I’ve gotten a notice it’s gone to escheat, and I would love to wash my hands of the whole thing. Are there any downsides besides sacrificing the money?

    • Credit reports relate to money you owe. Escheatment relates to money owed to you. They are near opposites. Once it escheats to the state (and this depends on whether the state operates on an escheatment or unclaimed property money), you can take steps to try to claim it if you want, or it can stay dormant. Different states have permanent escheat laws where after a certain about of time, usually several years, the property becomes the full property of the state and you lose your claim to it. The state can then liquidate or sell the property and put the money in its general fund.

  11. Streaming device? :

    What do you use to stream podcasts? I have been using my iPhone 5 for this but unfortunately it’s battery runs out really fast. I don’t plan on upgrading or changing it soon but I am considering buying a tablet just for this purpose i.e. podcast listening, Youtube and maybe Netflix. Ideally something with wifi and or bluetooth such that it can interface with a speaker if necessary. Has anyone else done this? Any recommendations, not looking to spend too much but something fairly durable and decent quality. Thank you

    • KateMiddletown :

      Do you download them first or stream entirely? You can change your settings to only download when you have wifi and never stream.

    • Honestly, I think you’re better off upgrading the phone, but what about the iPod touch? It’s $200. I feel like the really cheap tablets aren’t going to give you what you’re looking for. The Fire tablets are decent for under $100, but I don’t think they have bluetooth.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 A newer phone will have way better battery life.

      • Anonattorney :

        Eh, new phones start at $650. That’s a lot of money. I would look into extra battery life before getting a new phone.

      • Rumor has it the iPod touch is going to be phased out. I wouldn’t get one now. Apple will likely stop offering support for it.

    • Anonymous :

      Get a portable phone charger or a battery case for your phone. Way cheaper and easier than a second device.

    • anon a mouse :

      I use stitcher, which let you download over wifi to play later (non-streaming).

      You may need a new battery though, if your battery is dropping precipitously.

    • You can listen on a computer through google play music, if you’re listening at your desk. Or get a $40 Sandisk Mp3 player and load the podcasts on there. That’s a manual process though; it won’t download them automatically. My SO does uses the Sandisk because he likes to listen to podcasts while he runs and doesn’t like carrying a phone because it’s too bulky.


    • lost academic :

      Download them, don’t stream: use an app (I like BeyondPod) to download them when the feed updates. Use battery management/task management apps to cut down on what’s killing your battery. I know it’s harder to do on Apple products vs Android, but it sounds like that’s what you need to do.

    • If you’re mostly streaming at home: Amazon Dot. Usually you can get one on sale around $45-50

  12. Anonymous :

    2 or 3 days ago my cat started sneezing a lot. no discharge or other symptoms, just persistent sneezing. she’ll see a vet today but was wondering if it’s serious

    • Baconpancakes :

      Sounds like your cat has a cold! If it lasts for longer than a week or she stops eating and doesn’t drink water, it’s time to take her to the vet, but just like humans, there’s nothing the vet can do for a viral kitty cold.

      Does she have a water fountain? Cats will drink a lot more water if it’s running, and it will help her get over her cold faster. And generally it will help her be healthier.

      • Agree. I would say as long as they’re still eating/drinking and using the litter box normally, it’s probably something that will pass. If they’re eating, but hesitant, try adding a little wet food if they don’t already get some. When I got my first cat, he had a bit of cold just after he left and we added a little wet food to his dry food as an incentive to eating. The wet food smelled stronger, so he could smell it better.

      • thanks for your advice. She does have a water fountain and as far as I can tell she’s eating and drinking (and litter boxing) as normal.

    • My dog sometimes gets a but of fur or dust in his nose, and sneezes frequently till he gets it out and feels bettet. Just like me.

    • My cat got a cold after staying a couple of days at the vet and it cleared up on it’s own after a few days. You can try adding some Lysine powder to her food, which helps boost the immune system. Make sure she stays hydrated and eats. My big tabby boy loves food, but didn’t eat when he had a cold b/c he couldn’t smell it. I made a slurry out of wet cat food and baby food (plain chicken) and fed him with a syringe a few times. I think he hated that so much that he started eating on his own again shortly afterwards.

      There is a brand called Delectables that makes these lickable treats. They are very flavorful and if she isn’t crazy about her regular food, she might like those.

      Hope she feels better soon!

    • Sometimes animals have allergies!

  13. Baconpancakes :

    How would you style this for a late afternoon-to-evening Austin Labor Day wedding with a super fun and quirky bride?


    • Anonymous :

      With this guy


    • Mint shoes, http://mgemi.com/before-they-go/the–fortuna/00_1276_05.html/#!/color/764

      sassy earrings: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/baublebar-nazaria-drop-earrings/4667157?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLUE

    • Feather earrings (http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/gas-bijoux-buzios-feather-earrings/4493205) and a printed shoe (http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/sole-society-katarina-block-heel-pump-women/4388233?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=PINK%20MULTI) or maybe something in teal (http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/nine-west-mangalara-lace-up-sandal-women/4654238?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=DARK%20TURQUOISE%20SUEDE). Could also see some quirky Kate Spade or Betsey Johnson earrings, maybe a bracelet.

    • I like it so much that I’ve had it in my Amazon cart for ages. It might be a knockoff of that exact dress

    • hot pink or bright yellow shoes/accessories

  14. What should a midlevel associate wear to visit a client’s offices in the south? No court appearances or Big Meetings, just spending a couple of days in their offices to get to know them. Thanks!

    • A dress. In a color (i.e., not black or gray). Bonus if you top it with a blazer with a bit of personality.

      • Agree no black. Navy or taupe if you want a neutral in the summer but bright color is probably going to be best received.

    • I come from the south but work in northeast firm. Personally, I’d just wear what I normally wear to meet clients: a suit. If it’s colorful, fine, but it’s not like people are wearing Lily Pulitzer to work in a business formal or business casual setting.

      • +1. Expect that all office buildings will be air-conditioned, sometimes too much so, so bring layers.

    • What is the dress code in the client’s office? If it’s a “get to know you” sort of visit, then full suits will seem off putting and stuffy, especially because they are so rare in the south, even in conservative environments. I’ve worked at major law firms in a very large southern market and no one wore suits on any occasion, unless they were visiting banking clients or going to court. If it’s a typical corporate office I’d go with a dress and blazer combo, with one being a pattern or light neutral and the other darker.

    • If you will be going anywhere that has safety based dress code (e.g., job site, manufacturing floor, walking the site) it is not unreasonable to check in with the appropriate person at the client for the dress code (e.g., do I need to wear closed toed shoes, etc.).

  15. MML Advice :

    I am an MML devotee and am considering ordering a “suit” of a matching Woolf jardigan and Harlem skirt. I have both pieces in other colors, but none that match. I know my size in the Woolf, and I’d like to go up one size in the Harlem skirt– the one I have is a little clingy, so it needs to be worn with blousy tops. I figure in one size up, it will be more appropriate as part of a suit.

    However, my question is this– I am six months pregnant, so I am just guessing about the size of the skirt. I know before I was pregnant I wanted to possibly size up one size for any future Harlem skirts. I would just wait to buy this until I’m back to normal size after childbirth, but the color I want is, I suspect, only available temporarily.

    Do you think it’s safe to buy this “suit” with the skirt one size up with the expectation that it will fit correctly after the baby? Should I give up on this plan?

    • I recommend giving up on this plan — sorry, IMO it’s just too hard to know in advance what your shape will be like and by when to justify spending decent money on work clothes.

    • Woah no stop. Don’t buy clothes that don’t fit you now in the hopes they might someday.

      • Whoa ok chill. It’s not like she said she’s having gastric bypass and hopes to drop 100 pounds and is buying an anticipatory wardrobe. Losing baby weight– and buying a skirt made entirely of stretch that comes in S/M/L– is hardly the same thing.

        OP, I still wouldn’t do it just because MML is so expensive.

        • Okay, so you’re telling me to chill while giving the exact same advice as me? Makes perfect sense.

          • I didn’t give the exact same advice as you. I would totally buy clothes in the hopes they might fit after pregnancy– just not for almost $200. And I didn’t act like her question was ridiculous by telling her “Whoa no stop” and then giving a blanket edict about buying clothes “in the hopes they might fit someday” as if she were shopping before going on The Biggest Loser.

          • You’re reading way too much into my comment. Maybe chill :)

          • Oh my god why are you all so sensitive??

    • Give up the plan. :(

      I am the same weight pre and post kid, but things shifted around and my hips are permanently larger. There is so much fluctuation not just after you give birth, but with nursing and then quitting nursing. A lot of people don’t get to their new normal size until after they quit nursing– they either retain extra weight or get freaky skinny.

      • +1 My body shape is pretty different 5 mo post-partum even though I actually weight less now than I did pre-pregnany – a lot of things that I LOVED and were flattering before don’t work well anymore even though they do fit.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah. Your body changes in ways you can’t predict. It’s been 30 years plus, but I still remember looking in the mirror the day after I gave birth and thinking “OMG there is not one single thing about this body that I recognize!”

        • Cornellian :

          Agreed. I’ve been back to the same weight and clothing size for months, but my body is just fundamentally different. I’d maybe buy a winter coat or something expecting to use it afterwards, but nothing that was fitted to my b–bs, waist or hips.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 it’s not just the weight, it’s the actual shape of your body that can change, and will not return to it’s former shape.

    • No no no don’t buy anything more expensive than, like, an H&M skirt with plans to wear post-partum. (1) you have no idea if/when/how quickly the weight will come off, and more importantly (2) your shape may change entirely. Even you’re back to your pre-pregnancy weight 6 weeks postpartum, your hips might be permanently wider. Or they might not. Or your butt might be flat and no longer flattered by the style you love now. Just don’t do it.

    • The new color is really tempting, but I’d side with the dissenters and hold off on any purchases until you’re back to work post-partum. Even if you stay the same size (I did), your shape might change and the Harlem skirt is not particularly forgiving (and neither is MM’s return policy). The good news is they put out new and interesting things each collection.

    • Sigh. You guys are right– thanks for talking me out of it. I went back to postpartum size and shape fairly soon after first baby and hope to do so again, but it’s really not worth it. Thank you all!

      • Just wanted to commiserate. I’m in the same boat except I want to buy a bunch of really cute work dresses that I am suddenly seeing on sale everywhere and that before seemed non-existent. A tiny voice in my head says, “you’re not even that far along, you should totally see if it would work!” but there’s no guarantee I’ll go back to the same shape again this time around. So I get it. But this time next year you can buy yourself something awesome and you’ll have a super cute baby to go with whatever it is!

        • lawsuited :

          If it’s not a huge investment then I’d split the difference and order 1 or 2 dresses, rather than a whole bunch, and keep them if you’ll still be able to get some wear out of them right now.

          • They’re all just a bit too much to take a gamble and I am right on the cusp of graduating to maternity clothes so probably should abstain. Thanks for helping me justify though :)

      • BankrAtty :

        Maybe when you’re in a better place to invest the items will be available on ebay!

  16. Interview Style :

    Styling help needed!!

    I just found out I landed a final interview with a company’s CEO. At my first interview, the interviewers wore sweaters, jeans, and sandals; I felt way overdressed in a full black suit. They’re a sport coat, polo, and jeans kind of company. Do you think a colorful sheath dress with a blazer is okay, or should I still go full professional in my suit? Or maybe just wear a more casual jacket? I know I’m way overthinking this but I would be working directly for him, so I want to make a good impression.

    • I’d still stick with a suit, but would wear a less stuffy top. If things feel more casual at some point,e.g., walking to lunch, you can always take the jacket off.

      • In-House in Texas :

        I agree. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. You want the CEO to know you want this job and that you take the role seriously. If you get the job and he feels you’re overdressed, he’ll tell you. Good luck!

    • What industry? I’d go with a sheath or a-line dress in a jewel tone and conservative shape with a conservative black blazer, but I’m in tech so YMMV.

    • Frozen Peach :

      With that dress code, I would wear a tailored sheath with or without a blazer. You just described my company’s dress code and I think suits read as tone-deaf on a second interview.

  17. Not Tax Savvy :

    I am supposed to get a retroactive pay raise for the last one and half years. The last time this happened I was shocked to see my paycheck reflecting the raise largely went to taxes. The back pay is going to be considered “supplemental wages.” I am told that I can change my withholdings for just this pay period. What is one supposed to do in this situation? Increase pre-tax deferred comp contributions? I am not great at this stuff but would like to not have it all go to taxes this time.

    • If you aren’t already maxing out your 401k (or similar pre-tax def comp vehicle) than there’s no reason not to throw it all to that.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I agree with tossing it into the deferred comp if that’s an option.

      Otherwise, yeah it will go mostly to taxes (strangely I got a small bit of a retroactive raise today, too, and that’s where it went). But it all comes out in the wash — it will either reduce your tax liability at tax time or you’ll get it back, so it’s not like it’s permanently gone if it’s withheld form your paycheck.

  18. Anyone want to vicariously shop for me? I’m looking for an all-white or all-black leather jacket, wear a size 10/12 US or 14/16 UK, either US or UK based. I’m an hourglass shape and tend to like my leather jackets to hit above the hip.

    • Allsaints or Joie Aliey B leather Jacket

    • Anonattorney :

      Nordstrom has 158 jackets that match your specifications. Here you go!


    • Constant Reader :

      I’m an hourglass and really like my Reiss leather jackets that I got on sale at Bloomingdales a few years ago:


      UK: https://www.reiss.com/womens/coats-jackets/leather/

      Someday, I’d like a leather moto from the Arrivals (have no idea how they fit, just like the look) http://thearrivals.com/womens-vader-lmtd-spring-moto-leather-jacket

      • Thanks for the specific tips!

        • Anonattorney :

          Oof, sorry about the lack of specificity in my post. I wanted to do the vicarious shopping thing, and then I was just blown away by all the Nordstrom options. I get that my post was unhelpful. Good luck in your jacket search!

      • AllSaints and Reiss are both droolworthy. The Kooples makes cool jackets too, but they tend to be more boxy.

  19. oil in houston :

    wanted to report that I bought the pink halogen jacket recommended by Kat a little while back and love it so much I also bought it in navy and black. I also bought the lace blouse recommended back in April and wear it a lot more than I would have anticipated!

  20. Spanx faux leather leggings :

    I bought these during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because of all the good reviews. How do people wear them in real life? If it matters, I’m 31 years old

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Night out – cream or black tank, strappy heels.
      Casual – fluffy cozy sweater, booties.
      Athleisure – trendy sneakers, active jacket

      Caveat – I do not own these but am kind of in the market for moto jeggings/leggings.

      • Shopaholic :

        I own faux leather leggings and that’s basically how I wear them. Except I don’t usually wear black tops for a night out – I stick to flowy tank tops (in pretty much any colour and/or pattern as long as they’re longer)

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        This is almost exactly how I wear mine (and I love them; got them last year). I love them with Everlane silk tops, in particular, for dinner out. On the more casual end of the spectrum, I got a ton of wear out of them last fall with sneakers, a kind of flowy white knit shirt and a denim jacket. I also loved them with a chambray shirt. I keep thinking they’d also be great for late (SEC) football season with a silk shirt or oversize sweater in team colors, or even a chambray shirt with a team colors scarf.

    • bikerwannabe :

      I bought them too! I’m planning to wear them to a holiday parties, a la the youlookfab formula:

      I’ll also wear them everyday with a normal tunic, boots and a belt. I’m a decade older than you and, because of age and shape, would like my butt covered, but if I were your age (and had slimmer hips) I’d wear them for going-out too.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks all!!

  21. Just one of those days :

    My coworker (senior to me) is talking about her new Mercedes and meanwhile I’m eating peanut butter sandwiches for lunch because the company isn’t doing raises this year and I have so much debt I can barely pay my bills.

    • Need a cool name :

      Good for you for packing the lunch and staying on track. I know what you mean. In my case it is always serious house envy.

      • Yup. One of my friends just bought a new Range Rover and I’m stressing about going out twice this weekend driving a 14 year old car. I just keep reminding myself that we all have our own financial priorities, and I like mine. She isn’t going to pay off her student loans anytime soon and I’m steadily chipping away at mine.

        • I pity the RR owner. They are stunning, even beautiful, for a car.

          But, ugh, your 14 year old car is probably more reliable and won’t cost you 4 figures to fix.

          Feel glad she’s contributing to the economy! Also feel glad that you are good at wallet-level math :)

          • I’m going to use this as a mantra to myself when I find myself envious of the luxuries around me. Wallet-level math.

        • Have you had a chance to observe a Range River in its natural state? That would be riding on a rollback wrecker or in a bay at the mechanic’s. Better to have a friend with one than to own one. Sort of like boats and airplanes.

          • Minnie Beebe :

            Agreed. I laugh at Range Rover owners, especially when I see them stalled out in the middle of a busy intersection. Which happens with surprising regularity in my city…

    • Does your coworker not know your situation or was she never in your situation or is she so much older that she’s forgotten?

      • Nope, she probably doesn’t make that much more money than me actually, I suspect husband’s money bought the Mercedes.

        • I’m on the other side of this (I don’t make that much money, husband makes about double what I do and his salary affords us a much better lifestyle than that of my co-workers) but I have to say, I take issue with this characterization. It’s not her “husband’s money.” If they are married and have joint finances, it is their joint money and they can jointly spend it how they please. I have gotten a lot of flack for purchases that DH and I can easily afford with our joint earnings and it stings. You may be jealous her husband earns a lot, but she hasn’t done anything wrong by buying a nice car she and her spouse can afford.

        • In many marriages there’s not “wife’s money” and “husband’s money,” and it’s kind of sexist to assume her husband’s income is separate. She may have a higher family income than you do. It’s not her fault and there’s no need to come here and talk badly about a woman for being in a different situation than you.

      • Okay, OP doesn’t say she’s been talking incessantly about the car or that she’s bragging or anything like that. I get where OP is coming from, because I am definitely in that position too. But her coworker shouldn’t be banned from talking about her car.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes. Jealousy is natural, but it’s also why it’s impolite to talk about money, which people here also lament.

    • I know that feeling. Maybe it’s her only big splurge, maybe she fantastically wealthy and maybe she’s in debt up to her eyebrows. You’ll probably never know. But you know that you’re getting your financial life together. Good for you.

      • This. I work in a very wealthy part of town and definitely have car envy driving to and from work. You just never know others’ financial situations. I try to tell myself they have tons of debt and their marriages are terrible.

    • She may have a huge monthly payment on that Mercedes. What people conspicuously consume isn’t necessarily a good indicator of their financial well-being.

      Also: I love peanut butter! Peanut butter sandwiches are awesome! If you’re bored of it, try this: https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/54638dbfe4b0c6f7ffe34c49/1249140 Still won’t break the bank, and tastes awesome.

    • Never make assumptions about how other people are affording their lifestyle. I used to analyze small business financial statements as part of my old job, and saw plenty of situations where a person who looked to the world like they were killing it financially had tons of debt and was actually teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. People can have family money; they can have a spouse or ex-spouse footing their bills, they can be deficit-financing their life of luxury, etc. You keep doing you, and be smart, and eventually you’ll end up where you want to be.

      • Yup. My brother-in-law looks much wealthier and has boats, a second home, luxury cars, etc. but is always on the verge of bankruptcy and my husband’s bailed him out a couple of times by $5k or so. My SIL keeps her finances separate for that reason. I have a new BMW — but we finally paid off my student debt five years ago, I just got a gigantic raise and my husband got a new job with higher salary, and we don’t really eat out or go on destination vacations.

    • Linda from HR :

      Ah, that sounds like major stinkage, hang in there!

  22. Ooooh mine are in my fall capsule (not spanx but still). I’m going to wear them on date nights with blocky heels or wedge booties and a longish blazer (with either a drapy shell or tie neck blouse underneath) and with vans-type black sneakers and an architectural white blouse or my Johnny cash tee shirt for running around on weekends and ditch days. Hope that helps!

  23. Also not tax savvy :

    Question above prompted this question.

    Last year I had a $75k salary and received a small federal refund. This year I am commission only and will make $100k. My commission is withheld at a much higher rate due to it being ‘supplemental income’ such that I’m actually making a lot less per paycheck this year (again, with $100k of income) than I did last year (with just $75k of income).

    All else being equal, am I right that I should be expecting a giant refund to make up for the fact that my supplemental income this year is withheld at a much higher rate than it my salaried income last year? I did the math – I’m in finance and understand tax brackets and whatnot – but the $12k result I came up with is just so huge that I’m trying to convince myself to not expect it… thoughts?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, you are right that you should reflect a giant refund. And $12,000 ($1,000 per month) doesn’t seem unreasonable to me given what you’ve described.

      I am personally kind of a fan of income tax refunds but if you are not happy with this situation you can certainly adjust your withholding.

      • Thanks! Honestly, I’m happy about it now that I’m commission only. It’s a nice reserve that I’ll tuck into savings all at once.

    • Anonymous :

      There is an IRS withholding calculator online that can tell you approximately how much you have overpaid/underpaid in taxes so far this year and how to adjust your withholdings based on that. (link in reply)

  24. Paging Sloan Sabbith :

    Sloan, I know you said yesterday was awful. How are you doing today?

    (This is Curious btw)

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      This means a lot. Thank you for checking in.

      Better. Ish. The smoke wrecked my lungs and they’ve decided they’re not just gonna forget about it any time soon. Probably have to call my doctor. But otherwise things are better. Did some research on the surgery I’ll have to have, although not much.

      • Ugh I wondered if that was part of it. Yeah, my skin’s still bad a week after the worst of the smoke cleared. That stuff was BAD. Hope the doctor can help, and I hope the research wasn’t too scary. Keep us posted.

  25. Multiple streams :

    Do any of you have multiple streams of income/Side hustles? If so, what are they?

    • I make a couple hundred a month writing for a blog about my hobby. Drop in the bucket but I mentally ear mark it for fun spending.

    • Investing? Won’t say much more bc this board is always hostile about it.

      • Hostile to investing? More like hostile to the few folks who come here to say “Who cares how many white supremacists Trump inspires or how close we are to the brink of nuclear war – the market is up and I’m feeling great!”

      • You can do what you want. I personally can’t sit around lamenting about BLM or trans bathroom issues or whatever else that has zero impact on me or anyone I know; I choose to be happy about a 10%+ gain in the market. But feel free to go protest anything you want.

        • Wow. Your empathy and selflessness are outstanding.

        • Um, okay, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you don’t know any trans people but really, BLM has no impact on you or anyone you know? Do you not know any black people? Or any minorities at all? Where do you live that you only know white people?

          • It has nothing to do with not knowing black people or any other person of color for that matter. There are a lot of reasons one can choose not to support BLM. I don’t support BLM either, and I’m a black woman. BLM has turned into nothing but an excuse for black people to act like vigilantes. No, thanks. I’d rather spend my time conversing with black people who have common sense and don’t riot in the streets over a thug being shot and thinking every white person on the planet is a white supremacist or calling for the murder of cops.

            As for the trans bathroom point they brought up, I also agree. I’m a cis woman and I don’t know any trans people or any people who are currently undergoing surgery so I could care less about that situation. That doesn’t make me transphobic for not caring what trans people do. I have no problem with trans people and I have no problem with a M-t-F trans using the ladies’ restroom just as long as he actually has the appropriate “part.” It’s not my business what trans people do, just like it’s not their business what I do. As long as I have a place to use the restroom, I don’t care where other people go.

            I honestly don’t see how they are trolling when they are giving their opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean they’re trolling or just looking to post insensitive remarks just to cause a flame war.

        • Amazingly on cue! You have the best let them eat cake schtick.

          Also: You really don’t know any people of color?

        • We will, thanks.

          I think you’re the same person who continually posts insensitive and/or clueless comments relating to trans people, people of color, etc. I used to wish you would just go away. But now, after Charlottesville, I realize that it is much better to have closet racists and misogynists out themselves, so they can be confronted. So please continue to post your shockingly ign orant opinions, so we can keep challenging them. Not so you will get a clue – that ship has sailed – but so it will be clear to others that thinking the way you think about other humans is not okay.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          You don’t know anyone who is not white/cis/hetero/christian/rich? Yipes.

          • Do you really want clarification – it’ll only make you mad? My non white friends are all high achieving Asians. I don’t have black friends or even coworkers or neighbors – they just aren’t/weren’t present in my educational and professional circles – how is that my fault exactly? As for lgbt – sorry but I don’t hang with them; I’ll make conversation w an lgbt person at an event but I don’t befriend them and certainly won’t advocate for their lifestyles.

          • I’m sorry – but as a graduate of HYS, i’ve been around my fair share of high-achievers, and you’d have to go seriously out of your way to avoid high-achievers of every race, color, creed, and preference. If you want to own avoiding them, then that is your (terrible IMO) choice, but do not paint it as a matter of circumstance.

          • You sound like a terrible person. Enjoy your hateful life. In the end we all die and you’re going to die lonely and unloved due to your black, heartless soul.

          • Not having met certain types of people is not your fault. But not caring about them is.

          • To be fair to this poster though – it is MUCH easier to care if you know and like at least one person from that group. I wonder if there have been studies about this. I have an uncle who is a cop in the upper Midwest and always thought of Muslims as the “other,” diluting “American” culture etc. Few yrs ago I sensed a huge shift and wondered why. Turns out a cop in his dept who works with him directly is Egyptian-Am and Muslim and my uncle thinks the world of him, has met the guys wife and 3 young kids, invited them to his home etc. He gets almost teary talking about how unfair it is that Muslims are singled out here, how they’re just trying to pay the bills and raise families just like us etc. And it’s all bc of this one guy.

          • I am really happy for your uncle. I wish the same would happen for my mom.

          • Guess it was important for you to clarify that your non-white friends are “high achieving.” God forbid someone be both non-white AND middle class.

          • Yeah well I wanted to specify that they aren’t trouble makers.

          • Anon @ 11:57, I would encourage you to expand your friend group, it may help you to develop empathy for those that don’t fit into your box of what is acceptable.

            I also find it hard to believe that your professional circles have no black people at all, only whites and high-achieving Asians, but, what do I know.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            You’re right, debating it with you is probably a lost cause. I can’t tell you why you should care about people who aren’t you — you just should… in my value system at least.

            Though I am sorry your world is small, and for all your mindset makes you miss out on, I guess it’s good for the people you exclude, in a way.

          • Yes, do not argue with the trolls.

            “Never wrestle a pig in mud – you’ll just get dirty, and the pig likes it”.

          • Baffling why no one wants to talk to you. Maybe go away? We don’t like you and you don’t belong here.

          • Plenty of black people at all the elite educational institutions I’ve been to, including two out of HYS. If you never struck up a conversation with them, that’s on you (and your racism). If you had, you’d realize that yes, even black people with elite degrees, professional jobs, and lots of money get racially profiled.

          • OP – Are any of your friends, neighbors or colleagues Korean-American? Do they have relatives in S. Korea and worry about their safety? The unofficial Muslim travel ban affected high-achieving people of Asian ancestry.

            People of Asian ancestry have been “troublemakers” in the USA, but it is not in history books because it does not fit the dominant narrative. Grace Lee Boggs is one person of many. As for those who immigrated to the USA after the 1960s and their families, civil rights “troublemakers” contributed to the formation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, when the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 was enacted, there was less bias toward non-European immigrants.

            If not for “troublemakers” regarding women’s rights, our lives could be very different with far less agency.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Jeez, OP. You are the actual worst.

          • Um, guys, where are you getting that this poster is high achieving/went to elite institutions? Sounds more like a sheltered middle of the road private university grad?

            Anyway, to be serious for a minute, it’s sad to me that the only way some people can empathize is if they know someone who is X. I’ve never lived in a war zone (and hope to continue to be ignorant of that exact experience) but my heart breaks for what I see in places like Syria; no one I know died in a concentration camp and yet the fact that something like that could have happened shocks my soul to the core … I don’t know, OP, maybe go read a book about some other types of experiences besides your own? Or if that’s too much, watch a movie? It doesn’t even have to be a sad movie, maybe start with something like Hidden Figures or the Help.

            Also, all these things affect you whether you realize it or not. If it helps personalize it, maybe think of it like this: when people feel compelled to be closeted about their s*xuality or gender identification, you could end up marrying them and having a very sad and unhappy marriage. It’s in your interest to want people to feel free to be who they are.

          • nasty woman :

            Ladies, let’s be reasonable. OF COURSE she’s not close enough with any minorities to care about them or see them as individuals.

            After all, if YOU were a POC or LGBT, would YOU want to be friends with this horrid big0t? I’d get away from her as fast as possible.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Ha! Good point, nasty woman!

        • This comment is the epitome of white privilege.

          • Anon For This :

            I recognize that basically everyone else is refuting this point but this is what makes me so sad as a POC. I feel like we’re on our own and while white people may have supportive words, no one is willing to make themselves uncomfortable to make us safe. It’s just too easy to enjoy your returns on investments and safety

            I also don’t know if it’s the same anon or multiple who have been making the same point lately, and I don’t mean to minimize the contributions of everyone else who do make it a supportive argument. I just had a similar conversation with a white friend who refused to call out any sort of racism (even though it bothered her) because it might negatively affect her. That’s a privilege I will never have.

          • Marshmallow :

            @ Anon for this: this is kind of empty, but I’m going to do it anyway and apologize on behalf of white people like OP, specifically white women. This kind of bs is not for POC to fix, it should not be your problem and your labor. That’s on people like me and other WW who have for too long valued comfort and politeness over having difficult conversations and putting ourselves at risk. At least among my network, there is a growing sense that we have to “take care of our own” and have those confrontations.

            I’m sorry you feel alone. I promise you are not. Lots of WP are coming for the bs within our own ranks so hopefully you don’t have to. I recently put myself physically on the line in a protest situation and I’ll be there next time, too.

            And FWIW I’m pretty sure OP is just the one person posting anonymously, the tone is just too identical.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I just want to echo Marshmallow.

            I’m sorry your friend let you down, and I’m sorry that you feel alone — that sucks.

          • Anonymous :

            I just want to echo Marshmellow. White women do not have the best track record. But Heather Heyer died for the cause this weekend.

        • nasty woman :

          You. You are what people are hostile to.

        • Yes here it is. No one is mad at you for investing, they are mad at you for being a racist. and clearly homophobic as well.

        • Poor uneducated, inhumane you :

          I feel so sorry for you. What a sick, soulless, selfish, cold mind to have. Must be a personal hell to be so close minded.

        • Asheville. :

          Holy crap, how selfish can you get !!,

        • Anonymous :


    • Rainbow Hair :

      I feel secretive about it, but I just applied for a very gig-based kind of creative job/side hustle. Partially because I want money, but mostly because I want validation :)

    • Not sure if this counts, but I rent out the basement in my house.

    • Linda from HR :

      Not much of a side hustle, but I’m in a local dance community and last year I started DJing for local dances, at least once every few months. It doesn’t pay much, but I get a little extra money I can then spend on classes, dances, events, etc. I do this not for the money, but so I can put my passion for the music, and my growing collection, to good use and geek out about the music I love. That said, I hope I eventually start getting booked for special events, and earning free or discounted admission as part of my compensation, that stuff can get expensive!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think there was a post about this awhile back. You might want to do a search. I refinanced my loans w/ SoFi and got a referral link. I referred enough people that they increased what I get to $500/sign up. I wrote a blog post about refinancing and I have it in the signature of a few different online profiles I use on various websites. I have no way of knowing when people will sign up so I can’t rely on the money. I used it to pay off my loans faster and now I use it for investing/savings or other fun purposes, not necessary expenses.


      • Multiple streams :

        ……but most likely the same people wouldn’t be posting right? this site has new posters constantly. thanks!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Yeah. I didn’t mean to discourage your post, I meant that you might find even more answers there.

          • Multiple streams :

            You’re right. Sorry I snapped at you. Was feeling triggered by all the other negative posts :|

      • New Job Who Dis :

        Blonde Lawyer that’s very exciting!
        (I am assuming that the $500 works both ways and it’s also 500 to the refinancer?)

        I have been waiting/working to get my credit score up before applying to refi and I’m heartened by all your posts. I know some commenters complain – but you have benefitted me!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Thank you. The program changes frequently so I update the info on the blog instead of here to avoid annoying people. The last I knew, unfortunately the person applying only got $100 cash back. Not long ago it was $300 though. I know the Mister Money Mustache page has a code too and he had negotiated with them so his cut went to the refinancer instead. (If my lingo is a little weird, I’m trying to avoid mod.) You might want to check there. Also, google The Biglaw Investor. That page has a link to compare a bunch of different companies that do refinances. They are offering $300 back from SoFi but they may have old info. Like I said, I thought it had reverted back to $100. Good luck!

    • I do makeup for weddings on the weekends. It’s fun for me and I love all the happiness, love excitement of weddings.

    • I make a couple hundred dollars a month teaching yoga. The extra cash is nice, but I do it because I find it relaxing, and enjoy helping people get more in tune with their bodies in some small way.

    • I do credit card arbitrage. It’s a lot of research and driving around but so far I’ve flown transpac first class 3 times and have been able to take my parents on vacation, go with my partner to asia, stuff like that taking advantage of miles and points.

      • Can you explain that a little more? What is it, how does it work, and how can I do it? :)

        • ….can you just google it? there are entire websites and forums dedicated to sign up bonuses and points.

          • Of course she could just google it. Most of the questions people come here to ask, they could just google. That’s not the point.

    • I have a blog that has translated to a fair amount of free/hosted travel. It’s not cash, but travel is where most of my disposable income goes, so it saves me quite a bit of money.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Airbnb the third bedroom of our house. It’s great, meet a lot of travelers, get to show off my city. Even with more competition in the area this year, I’ve made a good monthly side income from it.

      • Multiple streams :

        What does your screen name mean? Curious.

        • I’m not this person, but if I had to guess, it’s be the yoga pose by that name – triangle pose.

        • Triangle Pose :

          It’s a yoga pose I like.

          • Multiple streams :

            hahaha omg… not what I imagined. I thought it was a kind of dance. Think Richard Simmons or Zoolander dancing in neon shorts then suddenly posing “triangle pose”.

    • Need a cool name :

      Sometimes I give faculty development workshops on other campuses. I also get $100 a month for my church work. I mostly spend it on exercise gear so I can work off the stress. I wish I could put some of it to use today!

    • Anonymous :

      I teach exercise classes and help my gym with social media/newsletter/etc. stuff. Between 10-20 classes a month at $20 a class and then another $150-$300 in freelance (basically totally determined by how much time I WANT to spend on it.) 1099 so not super lucrative, but it’s fun and I like the people and the work and every penny helps.

    • Multiple streams :

      OP here. Thanks to those who actually answered the question. Sucks that this site gets crappy due to the hostile convos that take over unrelated questions…… humankind has SO far to go. Personally, I skimmed over it because A)trying to avoid being trigged B)these race convos are exhausting C)was hoping cp rette would be a little escape. Sigh* anyway – loved reading about all your fun side hustles. For me – I resell thrift finds and personal clothing items on Poshmark. Its not steady but the cash flow is pretty consistent if you post consistently/promote your page. Its the most least scammy resale app I have come across.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        That’s neat! I’ve also considered a funky/artsy side hustle along the lines of the visual arts you can get from OldMadeGood, but I doubt I have the time/skills/focus/audience/garage space necessary to get it off the ground.

        • Multiple streams :

          That’s awesome!! yes space is definitely an issue with resale. If not the biggest!!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        ALSO did you watch Girl Boss? It was kind of dumb (I just don’t like a lot of TV, tbh) but it’s right on point for what you’re doing!

        • Multiple streams :

          I didn’t watch it – but I have her book! Which I read on a plane. A little junvenile for where I was in life but I am fascinated by people who diverted from social norms and become wildly successful.

      • Anonymous :

        Do you have any tips for selling on Poshmark? I’ve listed a few things but haven’t made any sales and feel like I must be doing something wrong!

        • Multiple streams :

          OH MY do not get me started hahaha I can talk about it all day. Firstly, follow the major influencers like The Deal Queen on her instagram. She and the other thrifter/resellers share tips and tricks daily – along with what they sell items for and what items sell best. The biggest trick is the photos – they HAVE to be clear and appealing. Sometimes staging the photo (think putting the top on a mannequin), helps things sell faster. Be VERY discriptive in the item information. List dimensions, the fit, your size for reference the blend (cotton, polyester, etc), all these things help the buyer make a more informed decision. Find the CORRECT name of the item because many people on Poshmark are looking for a SPECIFIC item and they search it by the style name. So instead of “Beige Vince Blazer Thing” put “Cream Vince Boucle Jacket Size 6”. Share you posts frequently – and definitely in the posh themed parties. So if they have a Ray Ban party on saturday night – saturday night you need to be on there engaging with potential buyers and sharing your post. let me know if you want more details – like I said I can go on for dayssssss. haha :)

          • Anonymous :

            Thanks so much! Very helpful. I probably (definitely) need to take better photos! I’ve never done those parties but now I will!

      • In House Lobbyist :

        My side hustle is a vacation rental house in Florida. We sold our standard rental property and bought a vacation home. So we switched from long term renters to weekly renters through VRBO and Facebook. I have been handling all the social media posts, contracts with guests, legal requirements, and check in requirements. I love it! We will just break even this year with the start up costs but should make a great return next year.

  26. MM Lafleur :

    Does anyone have the MM Rowling top? I’ve been lusting after it, but the material looks so delicate. Does it hold up well/is it generally durable?

    • Delta Dawn :

      I have it in shell. It’s beautiful but did get a tiny snag the first time I wore it. I wasn’t bothered enough to contact MML about it, but I will if it snags again.

  27. need help identifying a brand :

    At a meeting yesterday, I saw a woman with a lovely slim briefcase style leather bag – I didn’t get a chance to approach her to compliment it or ask about it, but noticed it had a small tag sticking out near the bottom on the side that was about the size of a thumbnail – half of it was ivory and half was black. Any one have any idea what brand that might be? (sorry for the somewhat vague question!)

    • … Montblanc? That’s the only logo I can think of that is black and white but the design isn’t half-half but rather like a snowcapped mountain.

  28. A comment above, plus the one a few days ago where someone said they didn’t want to think about slavery when visiting plantations has me wondering- And how diverse is this board? I’m thinking in terms of race and socio-economic status.

    And what about your personal/work life? Do people usually have relatively homogenous groups of friends? Is it important to you to have a mix?

    I’ll start- I’m biracial, and I have a good mix of friends- most are white, but I can comfortably say that I have friends who are latino, black, southeast asian, asian, etc. But, almost all of my friends are professionals, so we have similar SES.

    • Admittedly homogenous in terms of race and money. Mostly white and Asian – one friend who is 1/2 white and 1/2 Hispanic. All lawyers from top 10 schools – so similar income levels though with a range; the “lower” income levels are the ppl making 150k in the gov’t – which is still in the top few percent nationally. A few engineers and doctors thrown in. Hate to say it but I’ve never sought out a mix of people – I’ve befriended whoever was around and they were all in similar boats. I’m not even sure how I’d go about finding an AA friend if they weren’t in the same boat as me life/work wise.

      • Weirder and Weirder :

        This post is… weird. “I’m not even sure how I’d go about finding an AA friend if they weren’t in the same boat as me life/work wise.” what the actual…

    • Asheville, NC :

      Not think about slaves? Just like the plantation owners.

      A couple colleagues of mine (I’m an academic who has written about religious bigotry and racism in the last, now want to move my work towards activism & the present) have written about the ways slavery is presented on plantations.

      I’ve been on and off this board for a few years, agree with you that it seems pretty white, but I’ve never asked. I’m white, my son is biracial and I have friends who are African, black Americans, white Americans, and Arab. My son’s school is majority Hispanic, but his honors classes, the PTA, etc are very white.

    • I am white (with invisible Native American blood, to the point that my siblings and I receive a tiny check from the bureau of Indian affairs every quarter). If you put my smallish friend group together we would be as follows – and I really had to think about this – four white, two Latina, one Asian, one black.

    • Long time commenter. I’m white and live in a very white state (Northern New England). I grew up middle class / lower middle class. I started in law enforcement so I have a union working background and still have many friends that remained in that field. My husband and I both now have white collar jobs and our combined income makes us upper class. We do not have a diverse local friend group because of the non diverse population we live in. We have one asian friend and one gay friend locally. I know only two people of color in my field. We went to college in state and there were maybe 5 people of color in the whole school. My husband went to high school overseas (ex-pat, upper class), however, and has a very diverse extended network of friends. Even though I went to a mostly white high school, my closest friends were puerto rican, columbian and chinese. They are not part of my daily life anymore though due to many moves.

      Our state has a large refugee population and I sit on a board that is very diverse that serves members of this population. I have clients that are of this population. My husband’s work also serves a diverse population but that is unfortunately due to the aspects of our criminal justice system.

      We definitely live in a bubble but it is hard not to in this state. I believe it is 95% white.

      • I am not the person commenting above that she doesn’t care about the plight of others. I care deeply, am socially liberal, and donate to many causes that help oppressed people.

    • White with white husband. Diverse circle of colleagues and friends. We got married last year and ~ half of the 60 person guest list was born outside of the US (in a variety of places). No more than 5 of them have the same type of job.

    • I’m white. My husband is white (but he is often mistaken for a person of color.) the vast majority of my friends are white, some have Latino heritage.

      My dads family was the first Jewish family in our area. My dad literally believes it’s impossible for him to be a racist as an ethnic Jew.

      My brother is gay. My cousin is biracial and 21 years old and lives with my parents (so sometimes feels more like a little brother). I worry about him.

      I have coworkers of all backgrounds and races.

      I majored in American studies with a concentration on African American studies. I still struggle to fully comprehend the vast effects of racism in this country.

      Few of my friends are professionals (except for our law school friends). We’re really, really struggling with the trump supporters in our lives. Mostly because they’re like the above poster. Not economically hurting at all, just greedy and horrible.

    • I am South Asian. My friends are black, South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and white. Currently, most of us are in similar SES, which is middle class or upper middle class, but I didn’t grow up that way and neither did many of them. About half of my group of friends were in a lower SES growing up.

      I can’t say I’ve particularly sought out people of different backgrounds. I was raised in a diverse environment and have been in one for most of my life.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m white but was not born in this country. Have been at various socioeconomic levels throughout my life, though comfortably in the top 3% now and could be described as a “liberal east coast elite.” Husband is also white, but a child of immigrants. His parents are also comfortable now but weren’t always. We are both familiar with such experiences as not having your own room growing up, being embarrassed about where you live, etc. I am also familiar with things like working from the age of 11 and using my babysitting money to buy groceries when my mom couldn’t. Children are being raised with three languages though with admittedly a lot more privileges than either of us ever had. They will go to public school but the diversity there is more Asian/Southeast Asian and certainly less economically diverse than I would like for them. Friends are a mix, though majority white, although many either weren’t born here or are first generation. Not all are lawyers or other types of professionals.

    • Anon regular commenter :

      WASP, born in the US, raised in an upper middle class family (I had a Latina grandparent but she was adopted as an infant by a non-Latino white family and raised with no connection to her cultural heritage, so while it’s something I’m aware of, I don’t identify as Latina to any degree).

      I have LGBT close family members and friends.

      Close friends and family members are of many non-Christian faiths and of no faith at all; I was formerly in an interfaith marriage.

      I was raised in a small religious community that was majority black/Latino and included many people not born in the US and many people who were poor or working class. My extended family includes multiple interracial marriages and my current boyfriend is black.

      My professional world is basically all white, but my social circle more broadly is not, both because of my background and because I participate in some sports and activities that draw people of many ethnic backgrounds and have made most of my friends through that.

      Close family is professional/high SES, but my extended family are generally working-class and live in semi-rural areas.

      Immediate family and most of my friends are liberal Democrats, but my extended family are a mix of Democrats and Republicans.

    • another anoonnnn :

      White and straight. I grew up in a mostly-white community, solidly middle class, but my high school was divers-ish. My three closest groups of friends (all from different geographical areas) are mostly white, with one South Asian. I make the most money out of my closest friend group where I live now and am at the top of the other groups, although a friend’s Realtor husband clears way more than I do, as does another’s husband who is part of the family business. One of my best guy friends is black, although he is not part of either of the above groups for geographical reasons. I also consider my gay and black neighbors to be good friends. I am embarrassed about how white my immediate circle is and make an effort to engage with people of all ethnicities and backgrounds in my every day life. I live in a diverse area of the city, which helps and which I enjoy immensely.

    • AnonSoAsNotToOut :

      Regular poster, not trying to make it completely clear who I am IRL…

      I’m Jewish/white/white passing (I am actually experiencing some confusion on this front, as being non-white is a very recent family memory, but I certainly have a lot of the privilege that goes with appearing/being white for now) cis lady, married to a cis hetero white dude who is atheist-ish. I’m queer but it seldom comes up (and frankly I avoid bringing it up) (more privilege!). I grew up in fancy-ish suburbs; my dad had a high paying job and my mom stayed home.

      Husband had a rural upbringing. His family does ok but they certainly aren’t wealthy. Mom lives in a trailer, brother’s housing isn’t stable, dad is … kind of a mess. Before he became a SAHD, my husband worked manual labor and retail jobs. (He’s a lot of why I bristle about the dismissiveness toward men without fancy degrees on this board.) His friends and coworkers have been from everywhere, but his hometown friends are overwhelmingly white (and blue eyed and blond haired – strange to me!).

      I’m happy to live in a neighborhood that decently diverse/integrated (esp. since surrounding towns aren’t). My friends share traits with me (duh?) but that’s more like how we relate to our parents (by lying!), what we value, and our idea of a good time. They come from all over; lots of first generation Americans or people who came here as kids. Oh, my friends eff whomever they please, of course. I’d say majority hetero, but plenty are queer.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m a white, well below median income for my area but middle-class, and disabled. My work has a good mix of POC, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. My two closest non-work friends are white, middle class to lower middle class.

    • Regular commenter here. I’m about as white as you can get. Straight, married to a man. I grew up lower/ lower-middle class. My husband and I earn a comfortable upper-middle-class living and while I have a lot of student loans to pay off, generally we do fine.

      My public schools growing up were very diverse, so was my college, and I did a few years in a public service inner-city job after college so my friends circle is likewise pretty diverse. That means both racially and in most other ways I can think of: best friends include various combinations of LGBTQ, black, brown, Muslim, Christian, atheist, various income levels, and *gasp* both politically right and left.

      Re the discussion upthread about being silo’d with people who look like you: while I agree that personal experience often leads to empathy, I think empathy more often than not leads to diverse personal experiences. It’s likely that by the time you get to higher ed or the working world, there are at least some choices at work regarding who you welcome into your life and become close to.

    • Anonymous :

      African-American but grew up comparatively privileged from other people of my background- grew up solidly middle class with all four grandparents college graduates, and both parents with undergraduate or graduate degrees, working in professional settings. Attended a near Ivy with about 60 to 70% white students, but most of my friend group was diverse from different countries and ethnic groups, but very non-white. It’s interesting though that, in school my friend group was diverse, but now is about 95% AA, but all of us are in a similar SES (middle to upper class).

      It sounds to me like the general thread is that most people on this board don’t venture to far out of people in a similar economic position. Very interesting.

    • South-Asian, grew up in a relatively poor family (2 minimum wage earning parents) that eventually moved up in the SES ranks to the point that my parents were able to cover the “family contribution” portion of college fees that financial aid didn’t cover (also first in my family to go to college). Minority religion – stating it will probably out me but I’m not Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu.

      My professional circle is mostly white with the most well-represented minority being Asians. My circle of close friends includes people who are queer/white/Asian/Jewish/athiest, but we all have college educations at least. Incomes are a big range from ~30K to $100K+ for those that are not currently in school. I earn ~$50K, which puts me in the middle.

      • oh and should add that upwards of half my friends, myself included, are either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants, with the education level (and thus earning potential) of their parents being a wide range

    • I’m a white female married to a white male. We live in a medium-sized, LCOL city in the central US. Our income is middle class; we live in a neighborhood that is lower-class and diverse. I have a masters and work in higher ed admin; my husband has a bachelor’s and is in IT. We both come from conservative families and live in a very conservative state, but we ourselves are liberal. We are religious and attend church in a mainline Christian denomination.

      In total, I’ve lived in five different states in the Southwest, Midwest, Northeast and Central US, and I spent several years overseas in Europe and Asia. My area of higher ed is international, so it’s more diverse than many facets of education but still skews white and female overall.

      Husband grew up middle class in a majority-white suburb of our current city. I grew up lower middle-class (i.e. parents were well-educated but never made much career progress) in a diverse city in the Southwest. We moved to the central US where I was in HS. (I remember being shocked to realize that my new school was almost entirely white, as I’d never been in that situation before.) At our wedding, guests on my side came from across the US and several countries. On my husband’s side, everyone was from this state, white, and mostly of the same conservative Christian denomination.

      Having moved many times and not being on social media, I only have a handful of friends I stay in touch with regularly. Three are female, all white and straight. Three are male: one white and straight, one black and straight, one white and gay. Several friends earn more than I do, one is about the same level as me, and several earn less. We connected because of common interests, namely music (band and choir), religion and/or reading.

    • AnonForThis :

      Long time reader and infrequent commenter, South Asian with a South Asian husband, born abroad but went to grad school and continue to work in the USA, now citizens. I know only a few whites and virtually no blacks – ha, only slightly kidding!

      – My closest friends are those I’ve known from back home so S Asian.
      – My friends from graduate school are a mix of Asians and a few whites. I had a close friend who was white but she moved away and now we are occasional FB friends only.
      – My friends from work are originally from (now with American citizenship) Russia, China, other parts of Asia/S Asia, and white. Other colleagues are second generation Asian or S Asian.
      – My neighbors are Asian, and so are many of my kid’s friends in preschool.

      Work in a fairly research oriented field and I’m sorry to say none of my colleagues are black. I feel like I should get out more from my enclave but my fulltime job+kid leave me very little time for meetups and hobbies.
      My secret dream is to get invited to a white American wedding or two because I never have been, only seen them on TV! But that seems more unlikely as I age and am less likely to know folks in that life stage.

      Oh yeah, my yoga instructor was white. Irony of ironies.

    • Anonymous :

      White with white partner; my ex is also white, and so are my kids. I have two close friends who are Indian, both men. My partner’s son is multiracial. My larger group of friends is mostly white; one good friend is white, her spouse is Latino and kids are multiracial. My church family is multiracial.

      I have a strong connection to a bunch of LGBTQ people, both personally and professionally, mostly because of church/my broad work community.

      My kids have a very diverse group of friends, racially and economically, even though we live in a majority white politically red state. I feel like that is one thing I have done pretty well for them – provided a school and church context that is multicultural.

      My parents are racists and I am increasingly isolated from them because I am blunt every.single.time they say something racist in front of my kids. Luckily they live 20 hours away by car. I feel like my FOO misshaped me and I spent time in my 20s carefully observing nonracist people to figure out how I wanted to be/live.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      This board seems incredibly white to me. It makes me feel very brown. Not that there is anything wrong with that since I imagine a lot of posters are white and I am indeed brown, but just an observation.

      I am Central Asian/Middle Eastern. My husband is East Asian. Two of my sons are African American, and my two bio kids are obviously mixed. I live in what would best be described as a racially diverse affluent urban neighborhood. My friends are diverse in terms of race (White, Asian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Black), but not socio-economically. Both my husband and I met nearly all my friends in school or at work.

  29. Anon for this :

    I’ve spent some time thinking about how we as a society could have moved so far backwards to see the open racism we are seeing today. Obviously, the current administration is part of that. That said, you look at the faces from Charlottesville and there are so many young people. These aren’t 90 year old racist grandpas or rural miners.

    I’m thinking back on my childhood. I’m almost 40. When I was very young, I remember hearing people use slurs that quickly became not okay to say by the time I was a teen. Being part of the schools LGBTQ-A group was considered rebellious though. Pushing for equality was rebellious.

    I’m curious about those that are half my age, the young 20’s for example, if they grew up being told they are supposed to be respectful of everyone and accept everyone and love everyone. Where bringing home a black boyfriend was rebellious in my day, five years ago that same child may have heard “can’t wait to meet his family.”

    I wonder if young people today are drawn to hate groups as a way to rebel. Their parents want them to love and accept everyone and they want to be different from their parents.

    There is certainly no excuse for their hate. It is atrocious no matter the reason. I just think getting to the reason might help us plan a response and a way to move forward to get back to love and acceptance and away from hate. I by no means think we had solved hate and racism in this country, just to be clear. But it was generally no longer acceptable to openly express that hate. Bigots were now closeted instead.

    • I think a big part of the problem is the internet. I heard a comedian say recently that it used to be lonely to be a pig f&*ker, but now you can google it and be part of a community. I really think that plays a roll. It used to be unacceptable to say the things they said Saturday and now there webs*tes and message boards devoted to it and people saying the vilest things.

      I also think that one big thing that all these people have in common is they feel aggrieved. They sincerely believe that they are the ones who are disadvantaged in our society, that they are in danger of, I don’t know, extinction or something. Part of this is the internet echo chamber, part of it is right wing media like Fox news stoking resentments, part of it is economics and the fact that as minorities visibly do better in society, it makes people who feel like they should be “a rung above” feel inferior about their own lack of achievement (e.g., being told you have white male privilege and not feeling privileged and all that), and part of it is that we have gotten so PC as a culture that people do want to rebel a bit.

      I’m in my 30s and a huge amount of change has happened to our society since I was growing up. I happen to consider it a good thing but I can understand how some people feel like where does one draw the line, what Halloween costume will be inappropriate next, etc. It threatens their sense of self, their understanding of the world. I also think that when people are uncomfortable, they have a tendency to retreat. It’s much more difficult to consider the fact that although most are “good,” some cops might be “bad” than it is to decide that people who have gotten shot by police must have been asking for it.

    • I think technology changes might be a big part of it. Katie Couric did an interview on the most recent episode of her podcast about the impact smart phones are having on children and teenagers and how much time they are spending alone staring into their phone. It seems like maybe these people are ending up on the sort of forums that breed hatred and resentment and then are bringing that indoctrination into the real world. Kind of similar to how ISIS is managing to recruit Americans through the internet. I don’t know – I think it would be really interesting to see studies done on the backgrounds of these people and how they became the way they are. Maybe it would teach us something that would help stop it in the future.

    • Honestly, I think a lot of people taught their kids this hate, and the kids just learned from society not to say it out loud. This level of hate doesn’t come from nowhere. Keep in mind, these young people grew up with and were influenced by Grandparents who were brought up in a time where this hatred and bigotry were the norm.

      Also, people forget the generational components of time. My grandfather’s grandfather was an actual slave, and he would tell me stories of his grandfather’s childhood in that period; my mother was almost a teenager when MLK was shot; it wasn’t really that long ago.

      • Yeah, I agree. We’re not that distant in time from actual slavery, and I don’t think that this kind of hate springs out of nowhere. Sure you may get a few young men who are rebelling against liberal parents, but I bet that’s the exception. Their parents may not have been members of the KKK, but I bet that most of them were raised with a strong sense of white victimhood.

      • another anoonnnn :

        This. I remember going to college in the late 90s in the south and hearing people jokingly talk about how so and so’s dad said he would break out the crowbar if she ever brought a black guy home. I was horrified. While I certainly knew that racism existed, no one was as open about it where I grew up. The people I went to college with learned from their parents and grandparents, and their kids will learn from them. When racism is ingrained in your family and no one teaches you it’s wrong, the learning patterns don’t change until someone smashes them to pieces. It’s absolutely horrifying, but I cannot say that I am surprised.

      • WaPo just published this in response to the “learn it at home” argument. For some, maybe, but I think for many more it’s the internet.


    • This popped up in my FB feed yesterday and I think it’s relevant here.


      About half my family supports Trump. Not just because he was Not Hillary, but because they genuinely believe he’s a good thing for the country. For these relatives, they feel forgotten and pushed aside in the direction the nation is going. They feel like their experiences don’t matter and that their values are mocked. They don’t know many non-whites simply because of where they live. I’m not equating all Trump supporters with racists, but for some, it’s not a far leap from “the Mexicans took my factory job” to protesting in the streets.

      And yes, the internet. My mother gave me “George Soros personally masterminded Charlottesville to make Trump look bad.” My mother’s not smart enough or crazy enough to concoct that nonsense – she read it online and, well, like many average people, doesn’t possess the world’s finest critical thinking skills. I spent 30 minutes with her walking her through why that’s not plausible. But she reads those things and thinks they’re true and if you read enough of that stuff everyday, it starts to sink in.

    • Anonymous :

      “I wonder if young people today are drawn to hate groups as a way to rebel. Their parents want them to love and accept everyone and they want to be different from their parents.”

      I’m not sure why you think this is the way it works. I’m 33. My parents are pretty racist. They’re in their early 60’s. Just the other day my mom told me she’s not racist she just doesn’t like black people because they’re all so uneducated. Seriously, that’s what she said. It’s deeply messed up, it upsets me when she says sh*t like that, and when she does it I push back as best as I can.

  30. Asheville, NC :

    More Asheville questions–just realized I’ve lost the tips gathered from friends. Grr.
    We will have one afternoon there. Is “puttering in the CBD” enough of a plan? Is the Omni Grove Sla worth it? My son loves luxuriating poolside, would consider a good one to be a reward for putting up with my foodie tendencies.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      The Grove Park Spa is definitely worth it. I’m not sure they offer day passes on the weekend, so you might have to get a treatment, but either way, it is fantastic.

      • Anonymous :

        This. It is a really nice spa, with a beautiful view. Funny anecdote – it’s the only spa my father will go to. He’s that impressed by it.

    • For one afternoon, I’d stick with puttering around the CBD. I love the Grove Park spa and their interior grotto pools, but for the price, I’d want to spend most of the day there.

      • AVL local :

        Kids aren’t allowed at the spa – I don’t know the age cutoff. Treatments are usually fully booked out several weeks and even months in advance. I’ve never seen teens there. If you stay at the Grove Park they have an indoor and an outdoor pool.

  31. My husband and I have a handyman who regularly comes to do small jobs for us around the house. He is almost always available same day or next day, his work is excellent and he charges what seems to me to be very little. For example, if it’s a quick fix like snaking a toilet he’ll charge ~$25 even though he has to come out to our house and then drive home (not super far, but still), and he was recently at our house all day installing four ceiling fans and he charged $150. Should we be tipping him? he works for himself, and I know you don’t generally tip a business owner but I’d be happy to give him more money since he’s been so good to us. Would a Christmas/holiday bonus be appropriate? And if so, how much? As you may have guessed from his prices we live in a very LCOL (but a plumber, electrician, etc. would definitely charge more for the same work).

    • Flats Only :

      I like the idea of a holiday bonus. That way you don’t have to worry about each little job, but he’ll feel appreciated and keep you at the top of his customer list.

      • I give my housekeeper the cost of one week’s cleaning as a Christmas bonus (so another $85). Do you expect to use him around the holidays? Because giving him a Christmas bonus when you haven’t used him that month would seem a little odd, but if you know how much you normally spend on his visits ($50?), add that in. FWIW, I always use a separate check and write Merry Christmas in the memo, just so there’s no confusion and they think they were supposed to do something else.

    • A good handyman is hard to find! Especially one who doesn’t gouge you. I’d tip him and do a Christmas bonus.

  32. Q about college financial planning: I was playing around with a calculator online and “student assets” seem to increase the expected financial contribution way more than “parent assets.” Our daughter is still in the womb, but my parents have expressed an interesting in making an annual contribution towards her education, which is of course much appreciated. I’d planned to put this money in a 529 in her name, but now I’m wondering if it will come back to hurt us by upping our expected contribution by roughly the same amount, thus negating my parents’ gift. Should we be putting this money in our names (in a separate account we would not touch of course)? Since traditional retirement funds and primary home equity are typically not counted as assets for this purpose, my husband and I do not expect to have significant assets in our names even by the time our daughter is applying to college.

    • It’s not negating your parents gift at all. Of course she is expected to use a larger percentage of her own assets on her own education than you are. So?

    • anon for this :

      My parents saved in my name and it came back to bite us when I went to one of the ivy league schools that’s always in the news for giving generous aid. This was 5 years ago, and the school was very public about saying that tuition was free if the parents made less than 140K. That was the case for our family, and I did not get a cent.

      I’m not sure that saving in their names would have changed that though – the way the rules were applied, it advantages both the truly needy but also those who have high incomes and live beyond their means. In the end, many of my friends with “millionaire next door” type parents received no aid, while those whose parents made more but also spent it more frivolously got in cheaply.

      Worth it I suppose for my dream school and the fact that I definitely support getting more socioeconomic diversity in there (and recognize that there’s no perfect way to do this), but also sort of annoying.

      • anon for this :

        one more thing: this is obviously more of a cr*p shoot because it is 18 years away, but you could just have them chip in when your kid is going to college and the bills come. Those funds wouldn’t factor into any aid decisions, but as long as it was under the federal gift limit, it shouldn’t cause any problems.

        • Financial Aid Professional :

          Technically it will. Money paid by grandparents or others is supposed to be reported on the FAFSA, and it contributes more heavily to EFC than parent assets do. Based on the rules right now, it takes two years to catch up. IE, money paid for a student in 2015 is reported on the 2017-18 FAFSA. That just changed this year, and who knows what the rules will be like in 18 years. To be fair, I don’t think most students report that info accurately, and I don’t know that many schools have a process to catch it. But if you’re following the rules, it will cause problems down the line. You could get around that by only having them contribute to junior and senior years of college.

    • Financial Aid Professional :

      Yes, assets in the student’s name factor into the EFC significantly more than parent assets. You want to open the 529 in your name with your child as a beneficiary. There’s some good info here: http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/five-things-to-know-about-529s-and-financial-aid

    • Anonymous :

      I believe a 529 will count as your assets, not hers (at least, that was true when I researched it). Caveat that these policies can, and do, change; and individual colleges may have their own rules for non-federal financial aid. I would do a 529 plan in your name, with your daughter as the beneficiary; that would provide more flexibility in the future (because you can change the beneficiary more easily than the owner).

      Your parents can also open a 529 with your daughter as beneficiary. Assets in that plan will not count towards the family contribution, but withdrawals will count as student income (again, under current rules). For maximum efficiency, you would use that income to pay for your daughter’s last year of college.

  33. Anonymous :

    How closely (or not) do you watch financial milestones – like the 401k or net worth or bank account hitting a certain balance? Is it something you sort of track or does it just happen and then you say – oh wow, I just hit 200k in my401k (or whatever)?

    I’m someone who tracks and it always feel like the last 5k to get to the next 100k level in the 401k takes FOREVER and the market never cooperates — so when you’re at X95 and want to get to Y00. . . .Anyone else get like this or are you more chill about it?

  34. No Kids and Confused :

    In law is having a gender reveal party. The e-vite has their registry listed on it. Does this mean I get need to get a gift? I am certainly going to be going to be invited to a baby shower too. I don’t want to be stingy, but I didn’t think gender reveal parties included gifts.

    • How tacky!

      1) Invites should never include info about registries ever. Thats like breaking Emily Post Manners 101

      2) Gender Reveal parties are self indulgent enough. You do not need a party on top of a baby shower. So no, you are nice enough to show up.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Bring some booze? That’s what I would do, with the strong, strong hope that it would be shared with me.

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh, I’m clutching my pearls at this. Registry info technically does not belong on an invitation, and gifts aren’t standard for gender reveal parties. If you feel awkward showing up empty-handed, you could bring a typical hostess gift like flowers or chocolates. If the parents-to-be are hosting the party themselves, it makes sense to bring a hostess gift just like you would going to dinner at someone’s home. But I don’t think a baby gift is necessary.

    • Gender Reveal Party Rant :

      Gah I don’t get gender reveal parties or Sex Reveal Parties as they should be called. I feel like they are so outdated and sexist. Someone was live feeding theirs on FB this weekend and people were saying “I hope its a girl so she can date my baby boy!” Well what if that little girl is into women?!?! Did you ever think of that?

      Another person on my fb had a touchdown or tutu gender reveal party? Really? Because a boy couldn’t do ballet and a girl couldn’t do football?

      The sex of your baby does not decide anything really so why make it into a huge party filled with forced expectations about someone’s personality and interests.

      What if your child decides to transition later in life? What if their sex doesn’t match their gender?

      I realize this doesn’t answer your question at all…but these parties just drive me insane.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 million. I hate everything about them. Stereotyping boys as blue and girls as pink is bad enough, but parties with themes like “tutus or touchdowns” make me have a rage stroke. I am so, so glad none of my close friends have gotten on board with this nonsense and have just sent an email or text that says “It’s a ___!”

        On a related note, I found out our baby’s sex over the phone from a nurse at my OBGYN (we did early chromosomal testing) and her way of telling me was to say: “Is your favorite color pink?” Me: “Is it a girl!?!” Nurse: “Time to paint the walls pink and shop for dresses!” Like, omg, just please tell me the baby’s sex in straightforward English words. I know she was trying to be cute but ughhh. Maybe my daughter will hate pink and dresses!

      • Anonymous :

        Hate to say it but normal people hope their child will be typical – as in a girl who dates boys or a boy who’ll marry a girl. No one except true crazies are hoping for a boy who does ballet and kisses boys. These parties are about hope – the same way that you go to a wedding celebrating hope for a couples future – you don’t get into, well what if they divorce or what if he cheats. These parties are not about celebrating weirdness. That’s what you do begrudgingly when your daughter declares she’s gay at age 16.

        • Go away.

          • Anonymous :

            What a burn – I’m hurt now. Lol. You know I’m right. Show me one parent ESP one dad hoping his son will be a . . . you know what.

          • Dear Anonymous – I think what you mean to say is these parties are a simply a sign of an unexamined life and/or an unexamined mind. To the extent that people think about it, I would say that some people probably do hope that their kids will conform to gender norms simply because it’s easier to go through life that way. Partly because of the bigoted views of others. Try to realize that. There is a difference in being okay with however your child turns out and hoping that it turns out as X. Hoping your kid turns out gay or trans isn’t different from hoping your child straight. They are not opposites. I want my child to turn out happy with whatever it is he or she happens to be. That’s it.

          • nasty woman :

            I dunno, I don’t think that most expectant parents are as fixated as you apparently would be on their future son’s sex life. I can’t imagine that any expectant dad spends lots of time thinking “wow, I really hope my son wants to bang women.” Dads hope to see their kid grow up to like the same hobbies as they do or go to the same college, maybe. They’re not fantasizing that their boys will get boners for the “right” type of person, just like daddy does!

            This appears to be a YOU problem.

        • Anonymous :

          Good g-d I hope you never have children. I disagree that most parents hope their kid is straight and has completely stereotypical interests, but even if you believe that, a party celebrating what you “hope” your kid will be is utterly ridiculous. I think it would awesome if my daughter becomes a scientist or engineer and hope to encourage her in that direction, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to throw a “My daughter will be a rocket scientist” party before she’s even out of the womb.

          • Anonymous :

            This. Also things change once you actually have the kid. You may have a vision of what your child will be – often they’re not like that (different look/interests etc) but you love who they are.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Once my parents threw a birthday party for one of us, with the theme “dress up as what you want to be when you grow up.” Lots of doctors, race car drivers, sports players, whatever. And then my brother, who came dressed up as … a duck.

          • Anonymous :

            Lol!! I have met little kids before who want to be objects or animals – I can think of a bus and a shark!!

          • Anonymous :

            Hahahaha I just laughed out loud at that, Rainbow Hair. Your brother sounds awesome.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I know I’m not supposed to feed the trolls but this is so sad. What a sad, gross way to go through life. I hope my kid kisses people she likes and who respect her, I hope she doesn’t get her heart too broken (but I know a little is unavoidable and will help her grow), I hope she wears as many or as few tutus as she damn well pleases, and I hope she likes sports more than I do so that she can watch/play them with her dad (and trust me, he feels the same way).

          I really really hope she doesn’t take seriously the people (Anon @ 2:20) who would tell her to limit herself because of her s*x or gender, or the people who would be cruel to her because of who she might love. Damn.

        • You are a moron who clearly doesn’t have children.

        • I think this is the same bigoted anon troll who posted about investing earlier.

          I just hope my kids are happy and healthy and kind, caring people. I don’t care about their sexual orientation or gender identification, but I would be very disappointed if they turned out like anon at 2:20.

        • Anonymous :

          You said that wrong, I think you meant “Most people want their children to turn out healthy and have a happy and somewhat easy life”. “Normal” varies from person to person, but no one wants their child to struggle with anything. In my group, being of a non-majority sexual orientation is not common, but it is not a struggle because we are accepting. I hope your kid grows up in a similar environment.

      • Blonde Lawyer :


      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Someone once brought a cake to work to announce this. I looked at the color of the cake and then absent-mindedly asked if we were using modern gender-color associations.

        Fortunately, my coworkers are used to me being the one who knows and supplies random bits of historical trivia (like the gender-color associations switching at some point in the past).

    • Anonymous :

      I think I’m very grateful that I’ve never even heard of this kind of party. Must be because I’m old enough to remember when people just … had kids. No gender reveal parties, no baby moon trips, no special gifts for making it through labor (other than the baby, of course). When did things get this special and this complicated? (Rhetorical question; I don’t expect an answer to that.)

      • Anonymous :

        Agree with most of this but push presents go way back – my moms friends who had kids in the 80s had diamond necklaces etc that their husbands got them as a present for laboring.

        • Anonymous :

          My parents also took a babymoon in the early 80s. I think one last pre-baby getaway has always been common, it’s only the word “babymoon” that is new.

          • An old Mom :

            My kids were born in the mid-90s and at that point, in the crowd I hung with, a babymoon was the 6 weeks post birth where you sat around snuggling your baby and and getting to know them and becoming a family.

    • anon a mouse :

      I’d give a “love is love is love” onesie.

    • I had a gender reveal party each of my kids. I didn’t ask for presents (and nobody brought any). Each time, it was more of a fun dinner party with my family. I’m not sure why gender reveal parties inspire such contempt. It’s kind of cool to find out the sex with everybody together. Otherwise, we would have just done it in the ultrasound room. But we very much raise our kids as part of a large extended family – I have aunts, sisters, grandparents who are super involved in their lives.

      • Because what does ones sex really determine about their life? Its a sex reveal party.

        • Really? We have to pretend that this doesn’t have a significant impact on your life? Ok.

          • I think you are confusing sex and gender.

          • I understand the difference. For the vast, vast majority of people, the sex will indicate gender. I support the LGBT community. If my child was transgendered, I would love and adore them just the same. But this over-thinking, hand wringing is f’n nonsense. If your child is a born with [email protected], there is a very good chance that they will identify as female and you will have a specific experience as a parent of a girl. If your child is born with a p#nis, there is a very good chance that they will identify as a male and you will have a specific experience as a parent of a boy. Yes, kids can surprise you, but let’s play the odds, shall we?

          • But if you open the reveal envelope and it’s says it’s a girl what does that really tell you?
            That she will wear pink?
            Play with barbies?
            It all puts labels on that kid. And all those labels encourage sexism.

            There is just nothing I feel like I would learn besides “this unborn child will get its period sometime in the next 9-18 years”.

          • Anonymous :

            To be fair, I think sex tells you a little more than just that she will have a v*gina and get a period. I know when I found I was having a daughter, I was excited to (likely) help her plan a wedding some day and to hopefully have a close adult relationship with her like I do with my own mom. That said, I know these things aren’t guaranteed for many reasons (she might not have a wedding or she might have one but I might not live to see it, etc.)
            But particularly at a young age, the sex of the kid matters so little. My friends who have sons have basically done the same things with their sons that my husband and I have done with our daughters. Some kids are more into sports, some kids are more into reading, some kids take ballet while others want to do science experiments at home. There’s almost no relationship between sex and the child’s personality and interests. I feel like my experiences didn’t diverge from those of my friends who have boys until at least middle school, when relationships and dating entered the picture. And even then it’s like, if you have a daughter she’s more likely to date a boy. If you have a boy, he’s more likely to date a girl. So what? As parents, the experience of watching your teenager start to date is still largely the same regardless of their sex and the sex of the person they’re dating.

          • Do you have children? I gave birth to a boy. I had gender neutral toys at the ready. I encourage him to cry and express his feelings. He watches all sorts of movies – including ones about princesses. No matter how I direct him, he naturally gravitates towards: wrestling, trucks, Spider-man and swords. Do you think this is all “society”? Really? This is all so unrealistic.

      • Anonymous :

        My main objection is to the stereotyping. If you want to have your friends and family over and open an envelope together to find out if baby is a boy or a girl and eat some pink or blue cupcakes, I think that’s perfectly fine. But please call it what it is, which is a sex reveal party, not a “gender” reveal party. And I’m really offended by themes like “Wheels or Heels” or “Lures or Lace.” I want to raise my daughters to believe they can do everything boys can do and I think it’s incredibly sexist to imply that things like monster trucks and fishing and even football are only for boys (I wouldn’t want a child of either sex playing football for safety reasons, but that’s a separate issue). I also object to the idea that girls should be interested in ballet and tutus and frilly dresses, and think that we hurt our daughters by telling them they should be interested in this stuff just because they’re girls.

      • Outside of the sex/gender issue, these parties trigger eye rolls for a number of reasons. If we’re friends (not family), I’m already celebrating your pregnancy and your baby. I’m going to the baby shower, I’m sending a gift, I’m bringing you a casserole after you have the baby, etc. Please do not ask me to take one of my few Saturday mornings/afternoons to come to ANOTHER party for you. If I’m not close enough to you to be doing those things, then I certainty don’t care about the gender of your baby.

        They can come off as gift-grabby (even though usually most people are clear they don’t want gifts), and frankly just seem a little over the top and narcissistic. Think about it- you’re holding a party for the reveal of your kid’s sex. Why a party? Are you celebrating something? Think your friends think this is exciting enough to merit a party? They don’t. Is that REALLY worthy of a *party* or is it something you tell your friends at brunch. Really, honestly and truly, no one cares as much about your pregnancy as you and your immediate family does.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, this. I love my best friend dearly. I love her daughter. But I attended her shower and flew out to meet the baby right after she was born and spent hundreds of dollars on gifts for the baby and new mom. I really don’t need to feel obligated to attend another party related to the pregnancy. The sex of your child (and the details of your pregnancy in general) are really only important to you and your spouse and maybe the grandparents-to-be. Please just call or text your friends to share the news once you have it. They’ll share in your joy (or listen to your disappointment without judging) and buy you a cute pair of overalls or a dress and you can call it a day.

    • Anonymous :

      Get them a book on the difference between “sex” and “gender”.

  35. Anonymous :

    Totally random – anyone feel allergy like symptoms when it’s super humid/wet out? Rainy on the east coast and the last 2 days my head feels so heavy – like w spring allergies – except there can’t be pollen, it’s being washed away. Is this possible??

    • I have had red, scratchy, and painful eyes since last week (around Thursday or Friday). Definitely feels like allergy symptoms but I never have late-summer allergies and it has also been wet and humid here in southern Ontario. I don’t get it!

    • Professor :

      Mold allergies can be bad when it’s warm and humid. Or ozone/poor air quality, though that’s somewhat less likely if it’s actually raining.

    • I live in NYC and I agree. It has been VERY humid lateley, even tho it is NOT as hot as last year. As a result, I am always tired, and NOT from the work I am billeing, tho that is another story. I have to walk to work every morning b/c my Dad complains about my tuchus, but I have been able to VIA home, since I stay late. I recomend useing VIA if you work late, b/c the cars all have a/c, which is what you need when it is this humid out. Myrna told me about VIA so she is my hero! YAY!!!!

  36. I like that this sweater looks soft and light! A bit pricey though

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