Coffee Break: Fitness Kit

Cute! I had not noticed these little kits from Pinch Provisions before, but they’re very clever. They’re stocked with provisions that would be great if you want to keep an easy bag at the office for “just in case” kind of incidents involving the gym, including blister balm, headbands, earbuds, and more. (The brand also has a number of “will you be my bridesmaid?” types of products.) It strikes me as a great gift for someone who’s returning to fitness — including yourself if you need one. The kit is $22, at Nordstrom; Amazon also has some kits from the brand. Pinch Provisions Fitness Kit



  1. Ugh Pregnancy Skin :

    I’m almost due with my first baby and I have been dealing with skin issues my entire pregnancy. I luckily haven’t been breaking out, but I have such intense discoloration and hyperpigmentation all over my face. The dark patches are darker than my darkest tan has ever been, next to my pale, midwinter skin. I never used to be a big makeup person, but I’ve been wearing heavier full coverage foundation to try to hide the discoloration… except now the foundation is settling in the wrinkles in my forehead that have somehow gotten much worse over the past 6 months. I’ve gotten tiny amounts of preventative Botox before and one treatment would make a huge difference for like 18 months.

    I have a consultation with a dermatologist next week so that I can have a game plan for after delivery. I want to be able to address it during the spring because I know a lot of treatments are off limits once the summer rolls around and the sun is strong. Has anyone had similar issues / how did you treat them? I want to be able to ask intelligent questions during my consultation! Also, I’m a little embarrassed to ask if it’s ok to get Botox while (hopefully) breastfeeding. Has anyone asked before?

    I know this seems shallow, but I’m feeling a little dumpy right now between the extra weight and skin discoloration- I used to be so low maintenance and feel so confident! Just having a game plan to get back to my usual self is making me feel better. Thanks!


    • Anonymous :

      Some of it may fade on its own. I got an IPL (laser treatment) for my dark spots, and it was a game changer. I got three treatments, and my face looks so much better. It didn’t get rid of everything, but it was huge.

    • The hyper-pigmentation is quite common with pregnancy. Some will fade as your hormones change, but you might need derm intervention too. Your derm is there to ask questions – you don’t need to go in with a suggested game plan, since that is her job to figure out, and depending on skin tone, pattern of the pigmentation, skin texture etc, your treatment might be very different than someone else’s. I think the big things to ask would be about when her suggested plan can be done taking your breastfeeding plan into consideration, and downtime for any lasers, peels, etc. Most treatments aren’t ‘off limits’ in the summer, though you would want to limit sun exposure and vigorously use sun protection (which everyone should do anyway).

      Since you say your wrinkles seem more prominent right now, you probably have some hormone related skin changes (like being much dryer than usual). So ask about what moisturizers your derm would recommend for right now and any topical treatments that can safely be used during pregnancy that might help skin texture.

    • This is seriously the dumbest thing to be worrying about. Focus on your new baby.

      • Anonymous :

        Die in a fire? Her baby is fine. It is possible to both grow a baby and care about your skin.

      • Delta Dawn :

        It is not dumb AT ALL to be worried about this. I have been there and completely understand. My derm told me you cannot get Botox while you are breastfeeding. I don’t know if that is universally true, but I think so– and I understand why it’s not a good idea, so I waited until I weaned. I would recommend that.

        Try your best to breastfeed (at least, if you want to, which it sounds like you do). You may be able to do so for a long time, or you may try really hard for three months and realize that it is just not going well. I wasn’t able to breastfeed for as long as I would have liked, but I decided to view Botox as a silly silver lining. Wish I could have breastfed longer, but hey, now I can fix the forehead wrinkle!

        You will feel much better just taking a proactive step and talking with your derm even if you can’t do much during pregnancy/breastfeeding. Everyone gives pregnant women and new moms a big pass on these sorts of things, if that helps. Good luck and enjoy your new baby!

      • It’s not dumb to worry about but I did laugh at the “I used to be low maintenance” after two detailed paragraphs obsessing over skin and saying that she’s gotten multiple Botox injections before. Definitely a different definition of low maintenance than mine.

        • Anonymous :

          So what, then, was the purpose of passive-aggressively shaming her here? If you can’t say something nice, be quiet.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I read it as gentle teasing. But I like to assume good intentions.

        • This is so interesting – I get Botox every 6 months and would totally describe myself as low maintenance, because the wrinkles were one thing I was self conscious about and once they were taken care of, my morning routine is under 5 minutes.

          I was just having a conversation with a few of my girlfriends about the difference between more expensive, more long lasting treatments vs temporary ones. A friend told me she does all sorts of lasers for her skintone and has done laser hair removal for 100% of the places she wants hair removed. Aside from the lasers to smooth skin tone, she doesn’t wear makeup or do anything and now she never has to shave/wax. At first I was shocked by the expense and time, but then I started tallying how much time and money I spend on make-up and shaving in the shower and realized maybe I was the one wasting time and money!

          I always used to roll my eyes when I would see the sections of tabloids that are all “stars without their makeup!!!” When the reality is they’ve probably had all sorts of lasers and fillers and eyelash extensions. But once I heard from a “normal” person who had some of this done, it got me thinking maybe I’d rather commit to a few big appointments where a professional takes care of whatever bothers me instead of spending 15 minutes *every* morning of my life applying makeup.

          Would be curious if anyone does any of this cosmetic things that are more expensive/time consuming up front and then allow you to be low maintenance from there on out.

          • +1 to all this. I call it “chunking.” Epilators, waxing, botox, lasers all make my daily routine short and upkeep appointments for 30-45 minutes a few times a year (except the lady baldy epilator, I do that myself. I can do both legs, top and bottom in 30 minutes. Lasts 6 weeks. Worth the $60).

          • Anonymous :

            This is keratin for me. The idea of spending ANY energy worrying about my hair makes me want to shave it all off, but I can handle the aggravation in chunks of time twice a year.

        • Ugh Pregnancy Skin :

          I guess part of it is that I’m realizing maybe I was low maintenance because I was very lucky to not really have things that bothered me! I was on the swim team through college and still do an adult team for exercise so for me, it was totally normal to hop out of the pool, put moisturizer on and go to work. I admit I used to sorta roll my eyes at the people I would see in the locker room blowing out their hair and putting on so many layers of makeup… now I realize I should never have judged because I was very lucky to have hair that air dries straight and skin that was clear. I guess if I had been a teen swimmer with acne I probably would have been the girl applying makeup after practice.

          The Botox I started after my eyesight took a big hit after my first year of big law- got glasses for the first time ever and a friend recommended it so I would stop squinting at my computer screen all the time!

          So I guess I can’t take credit for being low maintenance because I don’t care about superficial things, but I miss being able to walk out the door for the day right after a shower and feel confident.

      • Have you ever even had a baby yourself? If not, I’m gonna ask you to take a seat over there ——-> and be quiet while the grownups talk. Thanks.

        • I agree with all of the OPs. Goeing thru pregenecy is VERY trying. I have NOT myself, but my sister Rosa has 3x and we are like twins in many ways, so I lived through all of the dificulty she had with her 3 pregencecy’s. Also, we are more emotional when we see changes in our bodie’s, even if we are NOT pregenant. I know that when I was worrying about my partnership, I put on alot of weight, and most of my clothe’s were VERY tight. Once I became a partner, I calmed down and lost alot of weight, and now I am abel to wear alot of the clothe’s I could NOT when I was overweight. That is where freind’s and family come in. To SUPPORT you. FOOEY on people who do NOT understand this.

    • I don’t know jack about skincare (relishing in “less is more” as my 30’s slide into my 40’s and I will prob have to change that) but I do know that you can expect a lot to change in the month or so after birth. A lot of pigmentation things, and other things, will probably undo themselves. I just wouldn’t want you to go overboard trying to fix something that will end up fixing itself.

    • For the short term, have you tried using Smashbox primer before you put the foundation on? I have tried several of their different ones and prefer the original one (Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer). It helps prevent the foundation from settling into any wrinkles. They have travel sizes in case you want to try it first before buying a full size. Both Ulta and Sephora carry it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I know I’ve mentioned this ad nauseum, but Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel is pretty much the same exact thing as Smashbox Primer (I’ve used both) and it costs, like, six bucks for a 1.5 oz tube.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe something like Vitamin C serum would help with the melasma? You are probably aware, but a lot of pigment correcting potions are no-no’s while pregnant or nursing. Make sure to slather on the sunscreen and wear hats if you can. My plan is to just get some kind of laser something to hopefully take care of my hyperpigmentation once I’m done having kids.

  2. Anonymous :

    What do you all think of Flexjobs . com? Is it worth the fee to find an online job?

  3. Am I the only one who can’t vacation on the cheap. I am wanting to get away for 2-3 days from DC to a city like Nashville, ATL, or West Palm or Miami. I feel like I’m looking at $350/night for hotels plus $300 for a roundtrip flight. I feel like other people go away all the time — and I obviously don’t know what they spend — but I have a feeling people are better at planning/budgeting trips than I am. I try to “splurge” on hotels – but we’re not talking crazy Ritz and Four Seasons splurges, we’re talking about staying in a nice location at the brand new Hilton or whatever. Is it that I don’t book flights/hotels soon enough? Or do others also spend $1000+ just for flights/hotels for a 3 day/2 night trip?

    • Anonymous :

      Well, I don’t do it by spending $350 a night on a hotel, that’s for sure! I stay more Holiday Inn Express level. That’s about what I pay for flights though.

    • Anonymous :

      $350 a night is really high for hotels, especially if you’re not trying to stay in Four Seasons-type places. I like decent hotels but I usually find something in the $200/night range (Nashville is an exception because there is a crazy hotel shortage there now).

    • Priceline Express Deals for hotels and cars. For airfare, I charge everything to an airline miles CC.

    • No, I don’t spend $1,000+ per long weekend for a trip.

      Hopper is a good app to find the best prices on flights — it looks at pricing trends to recommend when to buy tickets based on when prices can be expected to go up or down. You can find cheaper flights using that, but $300 isn’t actually unreasonable. You might get a lucky deal for $200 or something, but you might not.

      $350/night for a hotel though seems astronomical to me. I would never pay that much, and have only extremely rarely paid more than half that. What are you getting from these hotels you couldn’t get from a cheaper hotel? Or from an Airbnb?

    • That’s too expensive. I also like decent hotels, but I never pay more than $150/night if I can help it. We use booking dot com and hotels dot com to find deals. Booking well in advance also helps.

    • That’s not an insane price for flights, at all, but rather than staying at a splurge-y hotel, husband and I will typically do an Airbnb instead.

    • $300 or more for a round-trip flight is low for me unless I’m planning well in advance, although I live in a city with a small airport that’s not a hub. I save money by having a good travel credit card and using points for flights whenever I can.

      For hotels, my budget is usually closer to $200-250/night unless staying in NYC or San Francisco. I weigh a variety of factors but often compromise on destination (for example, Memphis instead of Nashville, Fort Lauderdale instead of West Palm or Miami), dates (avoid big events/peak season), ideal location within a city, and/or quality of hotel (Hampton Inn instead of Hilton). Obviously, you don’t have to compromise if you can afford not to, or if you’d rather travel less often and stay where you enjoy staying.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband and I usually spend about $1000 on a long weekend getaway for two of us. $300/person for flights and about $400 for 3 nights of hotel. Your hotel numbers seem really high.

    • Hostels 4 Life :

      In general lodging is what I cut the most corners on, with the justification that it’s not like I’ll spend much time there anyway. I will happily stay at hostels if I’m traveling without an SO (late 20s here; if you look for ones with reviews that claim they are quieter, you’ll often find a lot of travelers in their 30s or older). In the US, they will be $40 per night. I also do a lot of Airbnb – in most places I’ve found decent (not indulgent) places to stay for $120 or less.

      For flights, I try to stick to my airline alliance to build miles for free flights, but if there’s a large price difference I’m happy to fly Southwest or Spirit (imo, Southwest is just as good of an experience as the mainline carriers).

      • When I did hostels at 19 I just went for the cheapest one I could find. I don’t do that anymore, because that landed me in some real sh*tholes. But I’ve learned from my mistakes and found that hostels can be really nice! You just have to read the reviews carefully. I always book a room with an ensuite bathroom and only even consider places that have _recent_ and good reviews for cleanliness and quiet. With those criteria I have stayed lots of perfectly nice but unfancy places for well under $50/night.

    • Anonymous :

      I usually stay at a nicer hotel, but don’t pay $350/night. You can probably do a little more searching for hotels to find more affordable ones that are just as nice.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried Priceline name your own price for a hotel?

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, and make sure you guess lower than their “suggested” range!

      • Just be aware that Priceline and some other online booking services are non-refundable, and AirBNB depends on the host’s policy. If you have a job with an unpredictable schedule where you may have to cancel some weekend getaways, it may be worth it to pay a little extra to book refundable hotels and rental cars. Obviously, it’s cost-prohibitive to book fully refundable tickets for flights, but you can avoid Spirit (no refunds within 7 days) and the new Basic Economy fares.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I seem to be the only one here (which surprises me a bit), but I don’t think $350/ night is too much (caveat, if you can afford it). I am past the point in my life where I want to stay somewhere less nice just to save money. If it is a place that looks good to you, just go for it. I hate the notion that you “must” spend less just because there is a cheaper option. Luxury anything exists for a reason – as long as you are spending within your budget (whatever that may be), go ahead and enjoy the experience.

      • Anonymous :

        THIS. And I say this as someone who travels rarely — may 2 2-3 day getways/yr — so maybe 6 nights total. If I was splurging on 2 solid 5-10 day vacations per yr, maybe I’d try to economize more. My view on this has always been — go in style or don’t go. Like the OP — I don’t splurge on the Four Seasons and the like – bc then you’re looking at 500+/night in most cities. But a brand new Hilton – where everything is nice and clean, modern, beautiful shower, sometimes a view — yeah — that’s not asking too much. I’m just at the point where Holiday Inns aren’t that exciting; and I don’t like the concept of AirBnb – staying in an individual’s home – who knows how it’ll be when you arrive.

        • The OP was asking about people who travel “all the time” (or seem to) and whether they’re better at budgeting/planning than she is, implying that she’d like to spend less. So people chimed in with ways to save money on flights and hotels. If you (or OP) can afford to spend more on a hotel, either because you make more money or travel less often, that’s fine too.

      • I love nice hotels and I’m along your lines. Also, I just stayed in the Four Seasons in Houston for under $300/night, so…

      • Senior Attorney :


      • Sure, but don’t then b * t c h about not being able to go on a cheap weekend getaway.

        • We apparently have some folks (more than likely, just one person) who were having a bad day today and decided to work out their aggressions on Corporette. As our new president would say, that’s SAD. :-)

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Meh, I agree with you too. I am sure others do here as well. I don’t want to deal with sub-standard accommodations on trips and I want the hotel room or condo to be on the same level as my home. I know I live in a HCOL area, and I guess we generally travel to HCOL areas. We generally pay 250-450 a night for a hotel or condo rental. It took me a long time (and being annoyed with crappy hotels) to be OK with this though.

    • Nashville has gotten expensive. But, if you stay somewhere out of downtown and go at a time that there are not big events, it can be reasonable. I recently booked a room at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel (West End- Vanderbilt Univ area) for $170 per night.

    • I’m also in DC, I travel very frequently, and I spend way less than $350/night on lodging. I typically use Airbnb, which is generally more in the $75-100/night range. And I use Hotel Tonight if I’m going to be staying only 1 or 2 nights and want the ease of being able to check in whenever. Hotel Tonight has really good last minute deals on boutique hotels, and I never pay more than $250 a night, even in NYC. It’s usually more like $150/night.

      I guess what it comes down to is whether you’d rather travel less expensively or pay more for nice hotels. For me, traveling less expensively means that I can take as many trips as I want, and that’s a trade-off that’s worth it for me. Everyone’s different though.

    • Anonymous :

      I do travel deals to places that have WAY cheaper accommodations, like the Caribbean, or I do AirBnB.

    • Anononope :

      My expectations were set through a year of travel in SE Asia, so I can’t help feeling guilty (or like I’m super indulging) if a hotel room is more than $120-ish a night. So I tend to do AirBnBs, or shop for deals, or go cheaper places.

    • That’s a lot for a hotel. I just quickly looked at Kayak and there are a few 4 star hotels in Nashville for about $250.

  4. How long is usual between the second interview and hearing back? I’ve been on pins and needles since my interview last Tuesday!

    • For my current job? 6 months.

      It varies. You can’t focus/dwell on it because it could be a long process. Good luck.

    • It completely depends on the industry/position – I’ve never heard of 6 months like Anon at 3:07 says…

      For me (research associate at a think tank) its anywhere from 1-3 weeks tops.

    • Anonymous :

      At my current employer (state govt) we usually bring in several candidates over about a month but then decide promptly after the last one. So if you are the last one, probably one week, two at most, but if you were the first one it could be 1.5 months or so.

  5. Anonymous :

    Two people on the weekend thread said that if you voted for DJT because of the SC pick, you are “dumb” and “not very well informed.” I just want to say, you both should get out of your bubble more. I am very well informed — I listen to podcasts from both sides and read extensive articles from both sides. It is ridiculous for you to say that someone who weighs things differently from you is not very well informed. Dare I say it makes YOU seem not that well informed!

    • Anonymous :

      Oh, if you voted for Trump and you were well informed about his campaign promises but decided a conservative Supreme Court was more important you are absolutely right. You are not ignorant. You are racist. Totally different.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re right. You are well informed. Your values are immoral and you’re a bigot.

      • Anonymous :


      • a millenial :


      • The new intolerance on the so-called left is nauseating and 100% counterproductive. Whenever anyone disagrees with you, they’re just a dumb old bigot, right?

        • Anonymous :

          No, whenever someone votes for a bigot because they like his economic policies or SCOTUS picks, they’re a bigot.

        • Anonymous :

          No, whenever someone decides they are okay with a candidate who promises to ban people from the country for their religion and force Muslim to register, they are a bigot. The resurgence of white supremacy as something polite company openly embraces is nauseating and counter-productive.

        • Anonymous :

          And while we are talking about counter productive, posting here about your sad Trump voter cry baby hurt feelings tears is super useful.

          • I voted for Hillary! Nice try though.

          • Anonymous :

            Ok. I still don’t think that calling racism racism is the thing that is a problem here.

          • My point is that you are not going to change minds or help uneducated people improve their lives by calling them idiots or bigots. This seems like a basic fact, not a flash point for an argument.

          • Anonymous :

            My point is I don’t care about changing their minds or helping them improve their lives. I care about identifying racism where I see it because only by doing so can we actively fight it.

          • Seriously though, do you think that your method is going to fight racism? This is a real question. I want to fight racism too, but I think the answer is education and honest discussion to uncover biases, find common ground, and redirect energy towards a common goal. I do not find it effective or helpful to “call out” racists and then abandon them.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes I do. Social shame is an incredibly useful tool. Telling someone that voted for Trump for lower taxes that you find them morally repugnant isn’t going to change an individual mind. A widespread campaign to make these views socially unacceptable can and will work.

            Racism is not new. People are not just uneducated. They are hateful.

          • Anonymous :

            This. He is a racist and I’m tried of people pretending like racism is just a different opinion that needs to be respected.

          • Single-issue voting like this is tricky. You are trading one “moral” (I use this word loosely, and note that does not reflect the majority of the nation) for others by voting that way. Sure, you may be very smart…and also entitled at the same time. I disagree with single-issue voting, especially when we all have so much else to lose as a nation. If that SCOTUS pick helps you sleep at night, by all means, continue to vote that way. Just remember that others can disagree with your voting opinion, how it reflects on civil rights overall, as well as how you came to make your decision.

          • Anonymous :

            As the OP, I fully agree with ann. It’s tricky. But it doesn’t make you dumb, ill informed, or a bigot. (Btw, everyone assumed I voted for him, but I didn’t. And I have said since election night, I will not defend a single thing he does or says, but I will defend (most of ) his voters until the end because they are good people. Almost all I know who voted for him are against the refugee ban, for example.)

          • Anonymous :

            Lol what?!? Good people?!? Are you kidding me? Good people against the Muslim ban didn’t vote for him. It was easy to do. You’re gonna pick Trump supporters as your people to defend? Please.

          • Anonymous :

            You’re wiping away an entire lifetime of giving to charity, mentoring poor kids, supporting the schools, etc etc. Yes, they are good people. Of course they are.

          • all about eevee :

            No, they aren’t “good people” by any measure that I can tell. They’re pretty selfish people, in fact. I hope they love losing their charitable tax deductions and Betsy DeVos completely destroying “the schools” because of their choice to vote Trump.

          • Anonymous :

            Not all Trump voters are Trump supporters. I know of more than a few people (including family members) who voted for him because, according to their perspective, he was the lesser of two evils. I may totally disagree with their position and their decision, but that doesn’t mean they’re racist. I might be right if I call those people mistaken or short-sighted, but it’s a logical fallacy to make the immediate jump to racist.

          • all about eevee :

            They thought he was the lesser of two evils? They were very, very wrong and I hope that the last few weeks has made them very, very regretful. And sorry, they ARE probably racist and/or sexist. Most people are.

          • Anonymous :

            Literally words have meanings. If you voted for Trump, you are a Trump supporter. In reality land which he apparently doesn’t visit

        • “Whenever anyone disagrees with you, they’re just a dumb old bigot.” #FAKENEWS.

          Whenever someone supports a white-supremacist, immoral, inexperienced, incurious, unqualified, intemperate, sexist, vulgar beast, that person is a dumb old bigot.

        • Tired Already :

          Sigh. It’s not new, it’s not intolerant, and what do you mean by “so-called left,” anyway? Lots of people aren’t Trump fans. Some of them are even Republicans.

          • Anonymous :

            That’s my point. Some of them are Rs and aren’t fans of his but voted for him anyway because of the SC pick. THey hated it, but they did it. Literally everyone I know who voted for him feels this way.
            Can’t you get out of your own head for a second to realize that there is an argument for that choice? You may disagree, but if a person sees abortion as ending a life, THAT is the issue. You might disagree but it doesn’t make that person a bigot.

          • Anonymous :

            My point is literally every single person who decided the Supreme Court was more important than not discriminating against people because of their race, religion, or origin, is a racist. That choice that they struggled with? In the end, they made a racist decision. They are responsible for the Muslim ban. On their heads be the Mexican wall. If your pro-life stance is confined to my uterus, you make the choices you make. But they are still racist, whether that was your goal or an unintended consequence.

          • Uterus Anon :

            Yes to anon 2:49. People who decided they wanted to put blinders on to every other issue and who decided that they were going to ignore what the consequences would be to a LOT of other people on anything other than their one issue of a SC pick are people I don’t care to have any sort of discussion with.

          • There is an argument for that choice. And i don’t think that people who voted for Trump are necessarily bigots (though many I know out here in my rural area kind of are — but I have a lot of area-based bias for that).

            What I do think: If someone voted for Trump because of a SCOTUS pick and their one issue was abortion — they’re not actually pro-life, because many of Trump’s policies are not pro-life in the broader sense. And if they voted for him for the SCOTUS pick for some other reason: OK. I get it. But they also have to own that they voted for a racist, authoritarian xenophobe, and that they are associated with that.

            Again: They aren’t necessarily bigots. But bigotry and hatred mattered less to them than their issue of choice. I find that really disconcerting, given the religious affiliations that cause many people to be pro-life/anti-choice, if that’s the reason you’re highlighting.

            And I’ll just say this: This is not, for me, an issue of party. This is an issue of morality and not electing someone who really appears unstable.

          • Tired Already :

            @Anonymous: if that was your point, I don’t think you made it well in your original post – it came across more like you were saying, “Nah nah, I’m not ignorant, YOU’RE ignorant!”

            I know people (friends of my parents) who voted for Trump supposedly on the basis of the pro-life issue. I don’t agree with that choice.

          • Of course there is an argument for that choice, but it’s still a hard argument to base voting for a man who has been pro-choice as well as pro-life at various points of his adult life (and mind you, he’s no spring chicken at 70).

            There is a reason there are a lot of Catholic nuns that attended the Women’s march as well as the Pro-Life march and why many of them did not vote for Trump. That choice of conscience isn’t just about abortion. It’s about acceptance of refugees, decriminalization of nonviolent acts, investment in education and healthcare, care for the poor and children, support for working families, fervent belief that all children (no matter, disability, race, socioeconomic status, or gender) are perfect in the eyes of God… in other words, a sanctity of life from the very beginning to the very end (anti-death penalty). These are also reasons why many Catholics vote for Democrats and still feel uneasy about it.

            I have never liked one candidate 100% – I think it’s nearly impossible to agree with one person on every single decision. Even if I or my fiance ran for President, we still disagree on things. The impasse comes because most of us vote on a calculus of factors. Clinton was a bit too much of a war hawk for my taste, but based on a calculus of factors, I supported her overwhelmingly over Trump. There is no doubt that both candidates had (and every candidate will always have) flaws. The impasse comes (and why both sides simply can’t see how anyone would vote otherwise) because of a value judgment. It is a fact that Trump said hateful statements many times. The difference is that those cons were outweighed by his pros for his voters. And for Clinton voters, her cons were outweighed by her pros (or opponent’s cons were outweighed by his pros so they voted for what could stop him and vice versa for some Trump voters).

            When we vote for someone, we vote for all of what they campaign on, even when we don’t like all of it. When you vote for Trump, you endorse the good and the bad. Just like when I voted for Clinton, I endorsed her good and bad. In Trump’s case, it doesn’t make you a bigot per se, but it does make you a voter that endorsed bigotry, because that con was outweighed by the pros in your mind.

          • Anonymous :

            If that is your one issue- you should consider that your choice of a candidate who may eliminate access to free birth control through both ACA and Planned parenthood, was not your logical choice. Easy and free access to BC is more related to abortion rate than legality, across the world.

        • nasty woman :

          You appear to be confused. Conservatives like to charge the left with “intolerance,” which is based on a false assumption: that the goal of the left is to tolerate everyone’s beliefs. The resulting conclusion conservatives make is that those on the left are hypocrites if we do not “tolerate” your gay-bashing, woman-hating, Islamophobia, racism, et al. It’s a little “gotcha!” attempt that fundamentally misunderstands the concepts of *civil liberties* and *equality.*

          The goal of the left is not to “tolerate” everyone’s beliefs. The goal is to fight against discrimination and oppression of marginalized groups and defend everyone’s civil rights. Let’s do a little example. How about gay marriage. To a conservative, legalizing gay marriage reads as forcing you to “tolerate” someone else’s s3xuality. Then you whine that your homophobia isn’t being “tolerated” by liberals and that isn’t fair, whaaaa. But what liberals are actually doing is protecting the right to marry. You don’t have to like it- you just have to respect someone else’s rights and leave them alone.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

          It is not worse to call someone a bigot than it is to be racist.

          It is not worse to call someone a bigot than it is to be s3xist.

          It is not worse to call someone a bigot than it is to discriminate against someone based on their religion, national origin, s3x, s3xual identity, race, age, or disability.

      • +1,000,000,000,000

      • Anonymous :

        I am starting to dread coming on thosming on this s. i. t. e. I keep expecting fashion or work discussions like before. A few liberals have hijacked it and every day is a fight. I voted for HC but this is hateful. I’m done.

    • Jesus, can we just all stop attacking other people? Not just the OP, I get that it comes from the left a lot too. Everyone just stop. None of this is helping.

    • For those who voted for DJT because of the abortion issue, then they put the life of a 6-week old squirmy fetus above the life of every refugee, Muslim, scientist, women who don’t care to be judged on their looks, disabled people who don’t care to be mocked in front of a crowd, and too many more too count. You put the right of a 6-week old squirmy fetus above the rights of everyone and everything else. It might not make you a bigot, but it certainly makes you peculiar at best, and anti- the rest of humanity at worst.

      • Anonymous :

        Not true. None of the people you listed above will be “terminated.” Like I said, think outside of your own opinions and just try to understand how a pro-life person feels. If you see it as a life, that is of critical importance. All of that other stuff is AWFUL and I know SO upsetting to all of the DJT voters I know. They’re all sick about it.

        • Anonymous :

          Uhhh yeah. They will they are refugees they will die they are sick they will die without health care. If these people are all just sick about DJT doing exactly what he said he would that’s not a problem I feel an iota of sympathy for.

        • Anonymous :

          A pro life person feels like their religious beliefs about fetuses are more important than refugees dying. They are horrible narrow minded ignorant selfish bigots.

        • A refugee sent back could be terminated. The people on death row will be terminated, as DJT believes in the death penalty. A pregnancy could very well terminate the mother’s life.

          Such a person is putting a 6-week squirmy thing over and above everything else. Life is important, but so is the quality of that life.

          • …cont.

            His determination to repeal Obamacare on DAY 1! which is what he promised, without having a care for the millions who are on it, will indeed result in termination. A disregard for environmental issues will eventually result in termination as our ecosystem breaks down. His support of the coal industry results in termination…have you SEEN the numbers of lung-related deaths within that industry?

          • …cont.

            Simply put, people who are pro-life yet support the death penalty and torture are hypocrites. Supporting a candidate who is mentally and emotionally unfit to be the commander-in-chief of the most powerful army in the world has the potential to be a death sentence. Just ask the Navy SEAL and 8 year old girl who died in the Yemen attack.

          • …cont.

            On top of everything else, DJT has been proven time and time again to be a liar. He will say anything his audience wants to hear. Like, how many times did he promise to release his taxes if so-an-so did what he wanted? First Obama released his birth certificate. But suddenly that wasn’t enough. It kept going through several challenges before DJT finally admitted he never had any intention of releasing them. So basically anyone who voted for him under the belief that he is pro-choice are seriously deluded, because he is consistently inconsistent in his lack of moral compass. Anyone who voted for him on this issue alone just allowed their own belief to cloud their judgement and in doing so, put the rest of us at risk. I can’t speak for anyone else, but if you did this, I despise you.

        • nasty woman :

          Ya know, I’ve spent a lot of time examining how an anti-choice person feels. On the whole, your movement is rotten with people who are more interested in curtailing women’s autonomy than protecting life. I’m not impressed. I have no pity or empathy for people who are so butt-hurt that a fetus might die that they’re willing to *force a woman to bear a child against her will* but who can’t muster up an ounce of humanity for someone fleeing a war zone.

          Further, I know that you do not equate abortion to murder, because if you did, then you would not whine and slobber and bawl when asked to raise your taxes slightly to pay for planned parenthood or decent health care or s#x ed. Unless you’re telling me that you don’t think the life of a fetus is worth that cost? But isn’t life *critically* important?

          Basically what I’ve seen by carefully observing for many years the “pro-life” community and politicians who call themselves “pro-life” is that the only thing they’re willing to sacrifice to “save a baby” is another woman’s life and body. Not a few tax dollars. Not having to live with the knowledge that a refugee came to live in this country. Not having to live under the tyranny of a health care system that provides for everyone, not just the rich. The only logical conclusion is that you either a) don’t really value “the unborn” or 2) you think that women’s bodies and lives are worth less than a few tax dollars. Not sure which is worse.

          You don’t get nobility points for offering up another person’s life and body to do the hard work. You don’t get to pat yourself on the back and say that you “saved a baby” when all you did was force a someone else to do the physical work required to gestate and raise that child. I do not care how you feel about how I should use MY body. Forced gestation is slavery.

          • College Prof :

            Brava, lady. Well said.

          • Anonymous :

            Yasssss queen

          • anonypotamus :

            This may be the cynic in me talking, but it seems to me that many (not all) so called “pro-lifers” are not really pro-life, but rather “pro-fetus” and DGAF about said fetus once it is born…

            (See also common stances by “pro-lifers” on torture, accepting refugees, access to affordable health care/birth control, the death penalty, welfare, etc.)

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed with the responses above. There are quite a few people who will likely die because of his policies (not even including his impulsiveness on military actions). Most of them have brown skin, so DJT voters don’t care much. But a fact is a fact. #alternativefactsaren’tfacts

        • Polls show that the travel ban has like a 48% approval rating. So there are a lot of people (presumably DJT voters) who aren’t sick over it.

          • Are these the same polls that predicted Hillary would swoop to victory and that Obamacare was very unpopular?

          • Anonymous :

            Hillary did sweep to (popular vote) victory by almost exactly the margin the national polls said she would. This election was many things but it is not evidence of a massive polling error.

      • Agreed. Weighing one “moral” issue over another is one person’s moral dilemma (and often unfairly equated as a religious right), but unfair to the living, many of whom are disadvantaged and struggling throughout our nation. It’s weighing one life against many others. It goes to the larger issue of not protection or encouraging our entire nation to thrive AFTER they have been born. I wish the focus was on that aspect of life, instead of such an intense focus on other people’s bodies and medical access. I would understand the anti-choice perspective much better if that was ever addressed. Life should mean life for all, if that is your position.

    • Yes, you are ignorant as hell if you voted for Trump. He showed himself to be an incurious and dangerous demagogue long before the election, and the chaos that has ensued was entirely predictable to anyone who wasn’t too greedy, racist, or brain dead to pay attention. But by all means, let’s destroy the environment and become the laughing stock of the world so you can feel better about forcing other women to give birth. Even though the abortion rate is way down and improved access to contraception is the far more obvious (and safe) method.

    • “Two people on the weekend thread said that if you voted for DJT because of the SC pick, you are “dumb” and “not very well informed.” I just want to say, you both should get out of your bubble more. I am very well informed — I listen to podcasts from both sides and read extensive articles from both sides. It is ridiculous for you to say that someone who weighs things differently from you is not very well informed. Dare I say it makes YOU seem not that well informed!”

      Am I the only one who feels like this comment is deserving of the “show me on this doll exactly where the Internet hurt you” meme picture? (or, alternatively, the oldie-but-goodie “Internet b u t t hurt report.”) This is the second comment I have seen lately where someone has come back into a new comment thread and posted about a comment in a previous thread that hurt their pwecious widdle feelings. Come on, people! Grow a spine already. If you don’t like what you read here, go read something else!

  6. Just missing that one thing :

    How do you deal when you face disappointment after disappointment in areas of your life that are somewhat out of your control? For me, it’s dating. I moved to a new city for a dream job. I’m settled now – I have a full life and new friends and routines and hobbies that really fulfill me. But I’m missing the relationship more and more as time passes. I’ve followed all the usual advice to no avail. I was really hopeful because a friend told me she was going to try to set me up with a guy in her social circle. I met him a few times and there seemed to be mutual interest. I think we’d really hit it off and so does my friend…but she asked him about it today, and he said he’s not ready to date right now. I’m so discouraged that I’m taking that as a kind rejection (he just doesn’t want to go out with me) instead of the actual truth (he’s not ready). It’s hard. I feel like the one thing I really desire most is so out of my control and it’s jading my view of the rest of my wonderful life.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh it’s so hard! So hard! I remind myself that love is by and large luck. You don’t get a relationship because you deserve one and you can’t earn one by doing everything right.

      • TO Lawyer :

        It is so hard. I try to remind myself that it is out my control and doesn’t reflect on my worth because I can’t seem to find a boyfriend.

        If you really want to date someone and find a relationship, I think you have to work at it i.e. dating apps and putting yourself out there. There are no guarantees but at least you’re meeting people and giving yourself a shot.

        Take breaks if you feel frustrated and disillusioned (I’ve been there many times myself). I don’t know if you find this reassuring (I do) but it only takes one… I still have hope that eventually things will fall into place.

        Good luck! Hugs (and wine)!

      • Yeah I feel you :

        I’m with you. I am so happy but it’s hard when you feel like you have so much to offer and there’s no one interested that interests you.

      • Thank you – to all three of you. Your kindness has really made a difference in my day. I certainly know I can take certain actions to help my cause – trust me, I’ve taken them all (I think). I’ve been on weekly dates. I’ve tried ALL the apps (openheartedly). I’ve networked. I’ve said “YES” enthusiastically to any and all social invitations. I’ve pursued my own passions, made my own clubs and joined others. I’ve asked friends to set me up. I have tried as hard as I have it in me, personally. It’s possible some people could try harder. I’m also happy that I’ve taken all of these actions because they’ve made my life more rich, boyfriend or not. But as I say below, it’s just unsettling to feel like I’m grieving over one void and at the same time extremely grateful for everything else I have. Romantic companionship and intimacy is just such a deep-seated need and priority for so many of us and it’s painful to go without.

    • Anonymous :

      I used to cycle between not thinking about it, despair, and then trying proactively to make it happen. Dating is laregely out of your control, but you can take some proactive steps like messaging lots of people regularly on dating apps.

    • Wildkitten :

      You also focus on being grateful for what you do have, because it’s so easy to focus on the things that go wrong and so much harder to remind yourself of the good stuff. Also, I wouldn’t assume that the guy is lying. I’m not ready to date at this time in my life, so I know it happens.

      • +1 – you can not kid yourself about his interest (don’t wait for him!) and also accept that it probably had more to do with stuff on his end. You only met once, after all.

        (I’m terrible at not taking rejection personally, so I do know where you’re coming from ).

    • I totally understand what you’re feeling, but one piece I would challenge you on is the in/out of control part. It’s definitely out of your control whether you meet someone you really click with and have a lasting relationship with – that’s so much just luck. But with games of luck, you can improve your odds. I am a firm believer that if you want a relationship, you absolutely must get out and date. All the time. It’s not easy, it will feel pointless, it will be exhausting, but it’s the only way to improve your odds. I wish I’d kept track, but a back-of the napkin calculation of my first dates that never led to any relationship was somewhere in the neighborhood of 200+. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack. But if you want it, you’ll feel a lot better about doing something about it by actively dating. I know a lot of people who had success a lot sooner than I did (in other words, it might not take you over 200 first dates) but if you want something in your life, you have to get out there and go for it. It might not happen, but it certainly won’t if you don’t try.

      • +1

        I’m not sure my number is 200+ but it’s probably in the neighborhood of 100. The vast majority of those dates were boring and felt pointless. But if I hadn’t spent those years going on boring pointless dates I wasn’t sure would work I would not have met my SO.

      • So I actually AM keeping track because I needed a way to feel like all the boring, pointless dates were adding up to something. I have a spreadsheet. I’m at 28 guys (not dates — a few turned into a couple dates, but not any long-term relationships) since my last relationship and I feel like I’ve been looking forever. I joked to friends that I’m aiming for 100 or a boyfriend, whichever comes first.

        Several of my friends in their early 40s have totally given up and I suspect they look at my dating woes as a fruitless waste of time (as I sometimes feel, too). But at least I’m getting out there and my odds are better then zero, which is what they’d be if I didn’t force myself to go out with people.

        200 sounds like a LOT. Maybe I need to go on more dates more often. I average 1-2 a month. Those of you who went out on wat more, did you make dating your main hobby?

        Scarlett, I find a lot of hope in your story because I remember you saying you met your husband later in life, right? How did you approach dating without getting discouraged?

        • I love the spreadsheet idea. Maybe take notes and turn in into a memoir? I would totally buy it.

        • I’m mid-30s and have been divorced for a couple years and have been honest with myself about my desire to be married again. After a bad breakup in spring 2016, I kinda moped around for a while and thought the universe would send me Mr. Right. Aaaand then I snapped out of that and laughed at myself and downloaded every dating app known to woman haha. And oh my word, dating was absolutely my main activity!! I live in DC (so a pretty large pool to choose from) and I went on 2-4 dates per week for about 6 months. Exhausting, absolutely. Full of hilarious/sad/no way stories, you bet haha. Almost nobody got a second date with me – I just had this sense of who I was looking for, and if it wasn’t there, it wasn’t there. There was a blip of a relationship for about 4 weeks where I was sort of seeing somebody, but he was kind enough to show his crazy early, so that ended quickly. I finally met someone amazing around Date 75.

          I think it’s really about 1) getting out there and kissing those frogs, so to speak and 2) being your authentic self. My faith is very important to me and was a deal-breaker for me in finding someone, so I found a “me” way to talk about it even in a Tinder profile. And I firmly believe that what’s for you will not pass you by, so if I was rejected by a guy or was unsure, I just accepted that he wasn’t the one for me and moved on. Applying that mentality to everything from right swipe matches to flaky messages to bad dates helped me keep my sanity.

          Good luck out there!!

          • Oh so much “be your authentic self” – once I stopped sending my representative on dates and just let me be me, things got SO much better!
            & PS – I love the idea of keeping a spreadsheet. So wish I’d thought of that!

        • Anonymous :

          There were times when I went on 2-3 a WEEK (mainly through OKC) and it was totally exhausting and disheartening. What did it in the end wasn’t dating, per se, but forcing myself to actively find and pursue any opportunity to meet new people. Old acquaintance sends a FB blast about a party? I’d be there, why not. Interesting event happening? I’d send the blast and tell people to invite friends. Once you start doing this, you kind of get a pipeline going and the social opportunities build because you become known as a person who shows up to things.

        • Oh it was *so* hard to not get discouraged. And I did get discouraged a lot. In fact, the night I met my husband (and yes – it was later in life, I had just turned 40 and he was 41) I was moaning and groaning to a couple of friends about going on another “probably terrible/boring/awful” date. I felt like I was going to be alone forever. I thought all the things I see people write on here at one point or another. Somewhere though, I always had a little hope that maybe things would work out & I put a lot of faith in the fact that I’d never followed a completely traditional path on anything I did, so why would finding my “forever person” (I wasn’t even sure I wanted to get married until my now-husband suggested it) be any different. I think it also helped that I just genuinely like people – I’m more extroverted than introverted, so dating wasn’t the same kind of slog that I could see it being for some. In my less frustrated moments, I just tried to look at it as a social experiment & if things weren’t going well romantically, I got a lot of mileage in talking about dating on a date – it was really interesting hearing about the experience from the other side. I got better over time at refining how I was screening online dates (I finally came to “no dealbreakers on paper/don’t compromise before you meet” as my main rule & that really increased the quality of my dates). It’s just hard. For me, what kept me going was that I really wanted a relationship, but it had to be amazing – I wasn’t going to settle and I thought it might take a long time to find that. It did take a long time, but it was worth the wait.

      • I tend to agree. How many times did you do something before you were good at it? What do they say like 10,000 hours of something to be an expert. Don’t see it as hopeless? FWIW I am so there with you and by no means and speaking from experience or success but pure commiseration. One of my good guy friends told me the other day it’s impressive how many different types of men I’ve seriously dated. He tends to date white, educated, well to do women with good (not necessarily well paying) careers. Whereas I am all over the map. And I thought to myself, well at least I am trying! But after this last one bit the dust for me this past January… It’s so hard. You aren’t alone!

    • Anonymous :

      I think you’re at least smart not to kid yourself. If he was really into you, he’d be dating you. So don’t waste you time on him and worrying about why. Are you doing things to meet guys who have similar interests? Join a running club, cycling, some kind of political activity? That’s where I met my husband. We were both volunteering at a local animal shelter and one day, walking out of the shelter I was overcome with sadness at the dog I knew wouldn’t make it to the next time I was there. I sat in my car and cried. He’d see me get emotional in the shelter and came up and knocked on my window. We went for a smoothie and have been married for 10+ years.

      • “I think you’re at least smart not to kid yourself. If he was really into you, he’d be dating you.”

        Meh…. I want to push back against this a little. I see this sort of reasoning a lot and it doesn’t resonate with me, and seems sort of hurtful and just sets you up for self-doubt. It could be true, but it also could be needlessly self-punishing to think that way. Sometimes people really just are not in a place to date. It could be less that he thinks you’re amazing but is “too busy” to date you, and more that being busy/other factors aren’t letting him see how great you are/the potential of a relationship with you. I know I’ve been there.

        That said, you’re right to be skeptical and not hang onto this guy- for whatever reason, he won’t give you need.

        • I’m so glad someone else said this! That’s become my problem with the “he’s just not that into you” philosophy. I guess there are people with thicker skin than I have, but somehow “he’s just not that into you” always translated into “he didn’t think you were good enough,” in my head.

          That said, in the actual book, there’s a line like, “Life’s hard enough as it is – why choose someone who makes it difficult to share it with?,” and I think that’s solid advice. And I also think the OP is right to move on from this particular guy.

      • Anonymous :

        As a dog lover, I just LOVE this story! One of the best how-we-met stories I’ve ever heard.

    • shamlet96 :

      i could have written this post myself – the rest of my life is wonderful and full and I have so much to be grateful for. But it pains me deeply that after 38 years, I still haven’t been able to find the right person (come close a few times, but alas it didn’t work out). This will sound crazy, but I’m close to calling it a day and having a semi-arranged marriage (common in my culture, and what my parents had).

      • Anonymous :

        Please don’t give up on finding passion in your life.

      • Anonymous :

        I wouldn’t accept an arranged marriage, but why not ask your parents to introduce you to sons of their friends? You might spark with one of those people. Several Indian-American friends have met spouses this way. I think it’s a more modern version of the traditional arranged marriage.

        • Semi-arranged can refer to that – parents introducing you to people with the goal of marriage in mind. So at least you know everyone is on the same page with the same idea in mind. Not so different from being introduced to the sons of someone at church, synagogue etc

          • shamlet96 :

            yep, this is semi-arranged – we’re meeting this week and if things go well, we would have a 2-3 month courtship with engagement at the end of that. I’ve decided to put less of a focus on immediate attraction and more on long term companionship and commitment. As long as I’m not repulsed by him, I’m going to give this a chance. It’s a far cry from how I approached dating up until now – when I was always looking for that spark and whether someone fit all my requirements. It’s just not working for me anymore.

      • Yes, what I find hardest is trying to reconcile my concurrent feelings of deep grief and gratitude. I know I am so fortunate and that my life is absolutely wonderful. But I can’t pretend to myself (or to others, anymore) that it isn’t heartbreaking that I’ve gone on weekly dates, joined clubs, networked, become my best self, tried every app in the book, etc. and still not happened upon even one viable relationship. I feel like I have tried as hard as I can personally possibly try. The odds haven’t been in my favour and maybe they will be soon. But I’m with you and want to send love to you over the internet.

        • shamlet96 :

          aw thanks OP. I send hugs your way too. I hope it gets better, I really do. You sound like a person who deserves all the happiness in the world.

        • You can have a fulfilling life, fun hobbies, great friends, a good job, etc., and still have days where you are sad and lonely for a partner, and that’s OKAY. Ask me how I know. Hugs!

    • Be thankful you get to choose to find passion instead of the generations of women before us that married not by choice to men they didn’t know before, twice their age. It’s one of those things that we get the luxury? Sorry if this is not at all helpful. Trying to think of any way to support that hasn’t already been said….

    • Goodbye Kat - too bad :

      And this is why I’ve stopped recommending this blog to everyone. It is now a liberal political sheet. What a shame, Kat. I did like the working world, fashion, and everyday helper information for lo these many years. What a shame.

  7. Retinol Recommendations :

    Best otc retinol face cream? I have combo oily/dry skin. I’m in my early 30’s and mostly concerned about uneven skin tone (redness), and of course wrinkles. I can’t afford top of the line/designer type products, but willing to spend a little money.

    • The best is the prescription stuff. You will need to see a derm for the prescription. They will most likely start you at .025%.

      For OTC, the best value for money is Paula Choice’s 1% retinol serum. 1% retinol is equal to about a .020% retin-A prescription.

    • Wildkitten :

      Is there a reason you don’t want to get a prescription for Retin-A? My prescription was super cheap and extremely effective.

    • Retinol never did much for me, especailly at OTC strengths. I then tried azealic acid based on several recommendations I saw on this site, and its like a miracle. Reduced melasma, improved skin texture, reduced redness, reduced breakouts, plumped fine lines, brought my skin cheeks and oily forehead both into a ‘normal’ range. Basically, a miracle. I buy it for $15 a tube on Ebay.

      • I have heard this from multiple sources. Only disadvantage is that it isn’t approved in the U.S., so you have to buy it on Ebay and so forth. I thought of asking my cousin to send me a tube from overseas…

        • Ebay has always been really easy and affordable, so I haven’t found it a deterrent. You can actually get it in the US, but you’d need an rx. I talked to my derm about it and she had no issue with me buying it online, since the US rx version is really expensive for the same product.

          • Oops, my bad. You’re right, you can get it here, but only by Rx. What makes me mad is that it is available OTC everywhere else in the world. Do you have a preferred seller or brand?

          • The fact it is rx available here made me feel ok about ordering, since it has been through our FDA process. Brand preference, yes. Seller, no. Skinoren. Its been identical from all the sellers I’ve used so far.

    • I’m mid-30s and have been using the Help Me from philosophy for several years. I’ve been really happy with it and notice a difference when I don’t use it for awhile. However, I’m not using it for wrinkles, just skin tone and congestion. It works great for that.

    • I would hesitate a bit on going straight to retinols, due to possible side effects (dry, flaky, irritaded skin) and with the same breath I add that yes, they are effective when it comes to signs of aging.
      If you want to reduce redness and keep your skin clear of dead skincells, there are other ways (my preferred choice is the Azelaic acid – it is so effective for reducing redness that it is recommended for rosacea and it also helps with acne). These might have less (severe) side effects and be more forgiving to your skin.
      If your concern is wrinkle prevention (in mid 30s, you probably have first mimic wrinkles, not wrinkles due to changes in skin matrix), I would focus on hydration and using a moisturizer or liquid foundation with SPF 30+ every single day. I have naturally very fair skin and choose to wear SPF everyday (also, I do not sun tan and prefer to wear sunglasses to avoid squinting my eyes) and I swear this makes a huge difference when I compare my skin to those of my friends (mid 30s). You may try botox for mimic wrinkles if they appear and be of some concern to you.
      If the above routine will not work, I would then try topical retinol (but then I would go straight for Rx strength, not to waste your money). Btw, I have also seen Neostrata has an antiaging range with retinol content. Haven’t tried it, it just popped to my mind.
      Good luck!

  8. How do you put your hair up when you can’t deal with it down at work?

    I usually wear my hair down at work but if I’m intently focusing on something I cant stand it getting in my face. I usually kinda just braid the top part. What do y’all do?

    • Anonymous :

      Ponytail or bun.

    • Low ponytail with bobby pins for face framing layers. Or to the horror of some, a sock bun :)

      • Anonnynonny :

        I love my sock bun, and I get compliments all the time. I wear it low, at the nape of my neck. Why the horror?

        • I was trying to be funny. There have been threads here where a few people have noted how unprofessional sock buns are. I think they are speaking to the ones on top of the head (which I also rock). I see nothing unprofessional about a sock bun at the nape of your neck!

    • Anonymous :

      Twist into a bun and secure with a couple of medium/small claw clips. Or a low ponytail.

    • French twist, Gibson roll, low bun, high bun, very rarely a ponytail. French twists and Gibson rolls are both really easy once you get the hang of them and it looks like you put in effort, but I swear it takes me longer to do a high bun than a French twist these days. But then I also alternate hair up/down–all of those require pins and hairspray for me. If I’m already at work at my hair is enraging me, into a sloppy high bun it goes. Haters gonna hate.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Low pony, regular pony, or just twist it up and clip it with the ends loose. Or if it’s totally bugging me for some reason, I’ll do a low bun.

    • I twist it up in a rubber band. Nobody cares.

    • I use double claw French Luxe clips. I have curly hair but even when I straighten I get a ponytail line. I usually do a french twist type thing or half up. Then it can go right back down. They have lots of clips. I have them everywhere similar to nail clippers. My desk, my car, etc.

      I still use a rubberband when I workout. But I have to read a lot and I hate my hair in my face.

    • Ponytail or pulled back in a barrette. More often in the summer.

    • I either use The Claw Clip of Stress or The Claw Clip of Shame, depending on whether my issue is wanting to kill everyone around me including my hair, or the issue is that I haven’t washed my hair for four days.

      PS It’s the same Claw Clip.

  9. Cleaning Q :

    I am such a wimp and I need help figuring out what to do or say. I had someone clean my house for the first time a few days ago. Whatever chemical she used to clean the oven dripped out when she was cleaning, onto the cabinets and eroded some of the paint. Otherwise she did a good job. The cabinets are old and in not super great condition, but this is somewhat noticeable. What would you do in this situation? Not have her come back? Just let it drop? Talk to her about it? I need to touch up some other spots on the cabinets anyway, so I’m going to paint over the damaged area. I feel awkward about it because I know I’m way more well off than she is.

    • Just nicely tell her about it and ask that she either be more careful or not use that chemical. I wouldn’t ask her to be paid for it, nor would I accept her money if she offered.

    • Why would you feel awkward about this? If you’re otherwise satisfied with what she did, just tell her the oven cleaner caused damage to the paint, that it’s not a big deal and is fixable, and that in the future you want her to use a different type of cleaner instead. I would specify the exact thing you want her to use. I’m sure it was an accident.

      • Cleaning Q :

        I’m sure it was an accident too. I’m new to the whole cleaning lady thing (this is the first time I have ever had a cleaning lady) and I wasn’t sure what would be a reasonable thing to say or do about it. Thanks, y’all.

    • Anonymous :

      How do you function in the workplace if you can’t nicely ask a cleaning lady to use a different cleaner?

      • a millenial :

        rude af. it’s a totally different situation when youre interacting with someone who you have power over v. peers

        • Anonymous :

          I have the weirdest hunch that this is the same anon who called the pregnant woman ‘stupid’ for asking a skin care question…

      • Cleaning Q :

        I’m a kind and friendly person and good at my job. Thanks for asking. I hope you have a nice rest of your day.

  10. In-House in Houston :

    Can anyone recommend a place to stay on the Outer Banks? I prefer a resort-type of hotel, no airbnb. Any tips are appreciated. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Two come to mind. Moderate budget: There’s a Hilton Garden Inn very centrally located in Kitty Hawk. Splurge: the Sanderling Resort.

    • Where specifically are you looking to go? Do you know? The Outer Banks are a chain of islands that all have their own unique style. Because they’re thin, constantly shifting sandbars, they don’t really support resorts/large hotels. If you’re looking for a resort, your options are going to be limited. Even toward the south, which is more built up, you’re looking at Holiday Inn/Marriott genre.

      From roughly north to south, you’ve got Corolla, Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Roanoke Island (not quite OBX but whateves), Rodanthe, Hatteras, Cape Lookout, Morehead City/Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Ocracoke, Topsail, Wrightsville, Carolina, Cure, and Bald Head. Most of your options in the northern beaches (after Hatteras) will be cottage rentals or smaller hotels- not resorts.

      You might like going to Duck or Corolla, where you can rent a very nice beach house- those are more upscale areas. Last I checked, tho, you need an offroad vehicle to get to most places in Corolla.

  11. Any suggestions for brands of healthy, decent tasting frozen food brands? Bonus if they’re vegetarian-friendly!
    I’ve only ever heard of Lean cuisine

    • Anonymous :

      Evol is really good!

    • Amy’s and Kashi are two good brands for vegetarian meals.

    • Two Cents :

      I agree that Amy’s is really tasty (all vegetarian).

    • Amy’s is good – I tend to find it much cheaper on sale at the grocery than other times but sometimes it seems more pricey than just eating out. Also not sure how it works everywhere but it’s in the health food frozen area which is on the other side of the frozen food area at most the stores where I grocery shop.

    • Trader Joe’s has a lot of appealing frozen vegetarian dishes. They vary as to how healthy they are, but then some of Amy’s have pretty high fat content, also.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 for Trader Joe’s

        I love their Reduced Guilt mac n cheese (the regular mac n cheese is great, too, but it’s close to 800 calories per package!)
        They have a lot of good vegetarian Indian entrees, none of which I can think of right now, of course
        They have delicious Korean scallion pancakes
        Lots of good vegetarian Mexican options like bean taquitos and tamales
        Several good veggie pizzas and pastas
        You name it!

      • Anonymous :

        Trader Joe’s sells some Amy’s dishes under their own branding. The veggie lasagna and pesto tortellini are definitely the same.

    • I love Amy’s. I’ve heard that Trader Joe’s has good frozen meals, but I’ve never tried them.

    • +1 Amy’s

      Also check out their canned soups. Lots of varieties, some more to my taste than others, all reasonably healthy. Some are a bit high in sodium.

    • Anonymous :

      Amy’s is delicious and I lived on their products when I was growing up as a vegetarian. I’m still mostly vegetarian, but now buy Trader Joe’s frozen products which I find are consistently good. (My only fail so far has been the falafel.) I’d buy more Amy’s if it were cheaper, if only to mix it up a little.

    • MargaretO :

      I like evol a lot, although some options are healthier than others. I generally get them on sale at target.

    • Wildkitten :

      Evol is my favorite.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I don’t know exactly how healthy they are, but Saffron Road for more international-style dishes. They have some vegetarian options, too. They’re in the organic section at my grocery store.

    • If you’re still reading: I like Sweet Earth, in addition to Amy’s Organics and Trader Joe’s. Most of the Sweet Earth items are vegan.

      And I’ve found the best prices, oddly enough, in the grocery department at Target.

      • +1 for Sweet Earth. I’ve only tried the burritos (all I can find–grocery store or Target as Jules suggests), highly recommend the lentil/seitan/curry one. The Target by me actually has a great selection of frozen vegetarian & vegan items.

    • The Amy’s ones can have lots of calories, depending on which one you get, so definitely don’t assume that organic = healthy in that sense. I actually end up eating a ton of Lean Cuisine, particularly the ones that come in the black boxes.

    • Oh, and if you don’t just mean single-serving things (I live on Amy’s and Sweet Earth for at-my-desk lunches so had that on the brain) try Trader Joe’s for larger-portion frozen foods. Their frozen pastas and risotto (in bags) are really good, if sometimes a bit rich/calorie-dense, and their pizzas and flatbreads are excellent. And I love the Japanese fried rice, so good. (I pan fry it for best flavor.) When I was in a three-person household, a go-to dinner after a long day was a double-package of TJ’s Japanese fried rice in the work, TJ’s teriyaki baked tofu (from the fridge) and steamed TJ pre-chopped kale with sesame oil.

  12. I asked about the flex time plan and he seemed hesitant to comment on it but said it’s a case by case basis. Also, they are more willing to work with already established employees than they would be to hire someone new with a schedule/accommodations they had not tried with others previously.

    • I’ve heard Fenwick & Seyfarth have reduced hours/contract type employment units to handle agency charges – I missed the original post with any background, but if you’re looking for a big firm doing employment with less hours, that might be worth looking into.

      • Fenwick has a program called FlexbyFenwick where we put experienced attorneys we’ve screened into clients on a contract basis. The contracts may be to cover someone in house who is on leave, or to cover a spike in work in house, or because a young company is just building out a function.

  13. Anonymous for this :

    Looking for advice on a semi-delicate topic. I think my friend is misusing prescription drugs, but I am not a physician and don’t think it’s my business.

    My gut-instinct tells me something is amiss. This friend very often talks about medications she is on- everything from mood stabilizers to antibiotics to headache medicine or blood pressure medicine have been mentioned over a matter of months. When she talks, sometimes she talks very, abnormally slow. Her hands regularly shake.

    On the other hand, she is always groomed and dressed and appears to get through her obligations as far as I can tell. She does not live alone, so presumably someone else knows what’s going on with her.

    Are these red flags? Or maybe just yellow flags? At what point do you say something vs. butt out?

    • Wildkitten :

      I think if she is bringing up all those meds in conversation with you, it is at least an invitation to discuss what her health problems are. Maybe there is a good explanation? Maybe there is not? But she’s definitely inviting you into a conversation by bringing them up (at least until she says she doesn’t want to talk about it.)

    • If she’s a close friend, I think you can ask about this one time, along the lines of, “Hey, is everything okay with you? I’ve noticed recently that you’ve mentioned a bunch of different medications and it has me a little worried.”

      Unless you have a specific reason to think she’s abusing prescription drugs, it sounds slightly more likely that she’s having some medical issue that she’s trying to conceal, possibly trying to head off questioning by mentioning that she’s taking various medications.

      None of the meds you listed are ones I would be particularly concerned about someone abusing – opioids and stimulants are more commonly abused – so I think an open-ended question stating your concern might yield a different result than you’re expecting.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with AnonZ. Another possibility is that these are side effects from new medication (even though it’s being used properly). I know the shaking can be (been there). So it doesn’t necessarily point to misuse. Is she aware that it’s happening, and has she discussed it with her doctor (probably)?

      Maybe you can bring it up next time she discusses her medications, or when her hands are shaking (but not when the speech is slow in case she isn’t processing things quite right at the time) … if you’re going to address it definitely start by bringing it up as a health concern and not as an accusation of misuse.

      • Anonymous for this :

        Good points. Thank you both. I will try to pass the kindness you two used in your replies along if/when a conversation comes up.

    • Anonymous :

      If this is a good friend, I think you can ask (once)about a symptom like shaking hands or the slowed speech, but you should not assume medication is a cause. if this isn’t a good friend, butt out- and also don’t assume she’s abusing prescriptions.

      • Anonymous for this :

        You’re absolutely right that I should not assume. I am a little surprised I didn’t call myself out on that assumption, so I appreciate your unbiased perspective.

        • I had slowed speech from a medication I was on to prevent migraines. I was using it as directed and the speech issues were a known side effect. No abuse in play. So even if something is “off” it doesn’t mean she is abusing anything.

    • She’s got a lot going on for a young woman.

      And the issues you notice absolutely sound like medication side effects. My vote is on the mood stabilizer, and I could probably tell you which one she is on…

      I would take her out for (decaf…) coffee soon, sit down, and ask her how she is doing, and just listen.

    • What others said…

      And also some thoughts from the patient side of things:

      It can be hard for patients to discern medication side-effects from the effects of the medicated conditions, especially if the same thing that’s causing slowed speech, etc., is also slowing down perception in some way.

      Even if that’s not happening, many young patients who look put-together have gotten some version of “it’s all in your head” or (once diagnosed) “you’re making it worse by dwelling on the negatives.”

      So your friend may might be able to more confidently report what she’s experiencing to a doctor with your testimony to rely on. “My friend told me that I…” also makes the point that the symptoms are impacting relationships (and potentially work), which usually gets doctors to sit up and listen. <3

  14. Biglaw and vacations: as a 3rd/4th/5th year, how much vacation did you take? Did you go anywhere where you couldn’t be available quickly if you were needed (a cruise, a remote location, etc.)?

    • Anonymous :

      1 in those 3 yrs for a week (like 1 total, not 1 per yr), plus a few 3-4 day weekends per yr. No where remote – could always log in.

      I’d advise you to take more than I did — my way was the recipe for burnout.

    • Took one vacation in the end of my second year, was told if I didn’t cancel it I was “sacrificing [my] future at the firm” — didn’t cancel it, quit before they could fire me. But I did log in from that vacation quite frequently.

    • Anonymous :

      First year – two week vacation for wedding + honeymoon. I had wi-fi everywhere, but no one contacted me at all (ahhh, the “sacred vacation”)
      Second year – one week vacation right after a big trial, had wi-fi access but didn’t get bothered at all because a huge project had just finished.
      Third year – two weeks, one of which was a cruise. I had a lot of wi-fi access for a cruise though since it was Alaska and I was able to get cell signal sometimes on the ship, plus we were in port a lot in the US. I don’t think I ever went more than about 24 hours without checking email. People definitely gave me grief about taking two weeks off, and I ended up billing at least four hours a day every day and some days more like eight hours.
      Fourth year – didn’t take a vacation because I left at the end of my fourth year.

      I always got very good reviews and bonuses, but people did comment on my “excessive use of vacation” (yes, five weeks in four years is excessive in BigLaw) and I believe it would have become a bigger issue had I stayed much longer.

    • Anonymous :

      What you can take is going to be so situation specific. I’m a fifth year. Last year I took just over my allotted four weeks. I probably took three and a half weeks when I was a third year. I’m getting married this year, so I’m sure I will take four weeks (or more). I also bill 2,200 to 2,400 hours a year.

    • Anonymous :

      These responses are out of line with my Boston big law experience. Every year, I’d take a week in February or March, a week plus the following Monday sometime in the summer, 2-3 long weekends for weddings or family stuff, and sometimes 2-3 days off around Christmas/New Years. Transactional practice billing ~2100 (our bonus target). No one ever commented on my vacations, and I got great reviews. I typically did not work on the week long vacations but would work through (or reschedule) long weekends when necessary. I frequently traveled to Central America or remote US National Parks.

      This is very much a know-your-firm topic. In my firm in the corporate practice, taking 2 weeks once a year was far more likely to raise eyebrows than two separate one week vacations plus long weekends. Likewise, we had unsuccessful associates (usually 1st or 2nd years) who never took a full week but hadn’t gotten the “no life” memo and were continually trying to get out of weekend work because of an out of town bachelorette party, or baby shower, or mom & dad in town, nephew’s birthday, etc. – they couldn’t understand why more senior lawyers were annoyed because they “hadn’t even taken a vacation.”

    • I’m a sixth year and I’ve always taken about 4 weeks total each year. I typically take a week in the summer and I try to take a week at Christmas and then a few long weekends throughout. I’ve always been available (except when I was on my honeymoon) and have always exceeded my billable hours target. I’ve had some vacations where I worked every day and others when no one bothered me. I have also had to cancel a few vacations due to work. I think others are right who have said its a know your firm/practice area issue.

      • I think it helps to time your vacations around peak demand. Our corporate M and A associates are swamped at year end due to deals, while things slow down for litigation at year end because judges set fewer hearings. If you work with the rhythm of your practice you can find times to go that aren’t peak demand times. I don’t think you need to broadly advertise shorter trips as vacation, like long weekends — just note an unavailability for a day or two at a time and check in by email for emergencies. I similarly don’t advertise if I’m out sick, unless I need help managing work that day. If most folks who get my Out of Office assume I’m out for business and just my team knows the details then they can work around them.

  15. Wild and free :

    What are your favorite ways to really work on yourself / improve yourself / treat yourself / celebrate your independence?

    I’m single and have been for awhile, but lately I’ve been in a mood of trying to really better myself. Not for guys, just for me. I want to work on really being the best me I can be, taking advantage of this time where I can focus on myself and not another person. I’m thinking of things in the realm of taking classes for random new hobbies (I took fencing over the weekend!), practicing instruments that I’ve neglected for awhile, working out more, reading more, listening to lots of nonfiction audiobooks to try to learn about interesting things…etc. What are your favorite ways to really invest in yourself?

    I like “treat yourself” type stuff, but for me that doesn’t mean relaxing with a bath and wine, that means going out and doing fun things without waiting for a friend to want to do it with me.

    • a millenial :

      I went through a bad breakup a few years ago where the best thing to come out of it was my focus on myself, which has lasted through multiple relationships since. Here’s what I like:

      – learning french (rudimentary french, but enough to feel less lost around france!)
      – setting fitness goals that work for me (gym 3x a week, generally more active with hiking and walking places and took some cool national park vacations. tried rock climbing, trapeze, crossfit, yoga, pilates, spinning which were fun but didn’t stick)
      – meditating and making it a habit. i really enjoy my 10 min a day now.
      – cooking fancy meals once a week
      – learned how to bake a cake! i do this for my friends’ bdays sometimes
      – learned how to knit, knit my family hats and scarves
      – made lists of touristy things to do in my city and had nice solo staycation-ing
      – read all 3 of the jk rowling robert galbreath crime thrillers
      – volunteer at a shelter to walk the pups
      – experimented with a bunch of DIY foods: sourdough bread, yogurt, kefir, gravlax. all pretty low tech and cheap in terms of actual supplies needed.

    • Anonymous :

      Two best indulgences recently were hiring a personal trainer for the first time ever, and paying someone to clean and organize my closet. She also helped me decide which clothes to get rid of, how to best pair the remaining clothes, and pointed out (inexpensive) gaps in my closet. It’s so much easier to get ready in the morning now…

    • Senior Attorney :

      The best thing I did after I left my husband was to join my local Rotary Club. I made a ton of new friends, one of whom became my new fabulous husband! It gave me lots of opportunities to serve the community as well as have fun, and I’m going to be the president in 2018. Highly recommend looking into Rotary or similar.

  16. NYC = small world after all :

    A manager in my department just commented that he saw me over the weekend! I was on a run, far away from the office but near a major transit hub. One big small town.

  17. I need a normal-people reality check. Background: I have a chronic illness and generally assume that unless I’m literally hospitalized or on quarantine, not feeling well isn’t an excuse to cancel, miss obligations, etc. I’ve always been this way- I went school the day after surgery if I could get myself there, even if I was miserable. More often than not, the only reason I went home was because someone ordered me to.

    I work in a nonprofit and am scheduled to give a 3 hour presentation on Wednesday morning about a complex area of law. It’s been scheduled for 3ish weeks.

    The first week after it got scheduled, I got the flu. Spent an entire day in the ER and was out Tues-Friday. Last week, due to said chronic illness and some lingering scary flu issues in my lungs, my medical team and I decided to put me on IV antibiotics. I was incredibly sick all week (at work- no longer contagious) but trying to work on the presentation, went in Thursday afternoon to have a central line put in (which TECHNICALLY should have been an easy hourlong procedure) and….ended up in emergency surgery on Friday morning. Missed work on Friday.

    Saturday: in too much pain to do anything.
    Sunday: still an issue, but worked for a few hours
    Today: realizing I probably had good reason to reschedule this thing, no? I’ll be able to pull it off, but not without a ton of stress I don’t need right now.

    No one was pressuring me to keep it scheduled. I know that everyone would have been totally okay if I had rescheduled it. I’m so mad at myself now- it’s too late to reschedule now, and I’m not at all done with the prep for it. Normal people would have rescheduled this like, last week, right?

    • Is it really too late to reschedule? You have all the reason in the world. I think the emergency on Friday is justification enough to reschedule as late as today. Please please please do yourself a favor and reschedule.

    • I probably would have been optimistic until the emergency surgery on Friday. FWIW, I do not think it is too late to cancel. I think you can say that you have had complications from chronic illness for the past several weeks, which led to an emergency surgery on Friday, and that you realize you are not up to it. I have found that people are much more understanding/forgiving of illness than I anticipate them being.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Cancel it. Right now. We’ll wait.

      Then come and report back that you’ve done it!

    • I canceled it. People were understanding. Thank you for the permission, Hive- I really just needed people to say that I could do it.

      That being said, I’m grumpily eating Twix right now and scowling about the injustices of chronic illness after throwing a slight “I HATE BEING SICK” tantrum on the phone to my best friend. #adulting

  18. Anonymous :

    So, I have a successful career, husband is doing well and child is healthy but I am fat.

    I’ve been fat for the last three years and it’s been sad. I feel worthless a lot of the time.

    I go to the gym regularly, stepped it up two months ago by adding personal training twice a week and it’s shown results. Today I tried to fit in to a size 12 evening gown, failed and I’m just sad. I know this is very pathetic but I had been looking forward to fitting into the typical store sizes so much. It was close, maybe another five pounds for the dress to zip up all the way but it was still so sad.

    • I am so sorry you are feeling down and glad to hear you have a few things going really well.

      Good luck keeping on with your gym habit. I know how frustrating it can be to make good choices most of the time and not see results when and how I want. Keep up the good work! You can do this!

    • I am very proud of you.

      One step at a time. You can do it!!!!

    • +1 on the good luck wishes. Hang in there! You are now only five or so pounds away from your desired size range. That may seem frustrating, but you are probably a lot closer than you were before you began going to the gym twice a week.

      You are not pathetic at all! Losing weight is difficult. Repeatedly summoning the resolve to go to the gym demands willpower and determination. It’s not easy to choose long-term over short-term satisfaction over and over and over again. One can eventually shift one’s preferences, stress responses, desire for particular foods, etc. but it takes time to get these changes solidly established.

      Sigh. All we can do is keep trying. If we fall short on one day, we return to the struggle the next.

    • Wildkitten :

      You might want to go to a doc and see if going on low-dose antidepressants would help. If you feel less worthless, generally, you might feel better about getting exercise. I’ve been many many weights and the only thing that makes me feel less worthless is anti-depressants.

      • Some anti-depressants can cause weight gain. Side effects lurk everywhere.

      • Wanderlust :

        +1. As an anecdote, I just switched my anti-depressant after a long time, and the new one has given me the boost I needed to get off the couch and go work out.

  19. Wildkitten :

    I have a job interview tomorrow and would love to be in your prayers, if you’re a prayer!

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