Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Printed Pencil Skirt in Sateen Dot

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

I keep wanting to be a polka dot person … and I am not a polka dot person — but if you are, then this skirt is a lot of fun. The navy and the pops of red dots give it a very spring-y, summery feel. But remember, polka dots are often on men’s ties and even suits, so this isn’t overly feminine (even if you’re looking at it and thinking of Strawberry Shortcake). I like the price — it’s “valued at” $85 and is now $42 at J.Crew Factory — and it’s machine washable. It comes in regular sizes 00-20 and petite sizes 00-12. Printed Pencil Skirt in Sateen Dot

Here’s a plus-size option (also available in other size ranges).

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  1. Yay Kat! It’s a great p’ick for Fruegel Friday’s! I love Fruegel Friday’s, and J. Crew! Morover, polka dot pencil skirt’s make me look svelte, the Judge says. He told me his daughter, who is 45 year’s old, likes pencil skirt’s but cannot wear them b/c she is not svelte enough. But he says I am, and therefore want’s me to wear pencil skirt’s in the summer, even tho they are a littel tight in size 0. FOOEY!

    This weekend, Myrna is takeing me to the Jersey Shore. I perfer the Hamton’s, but she has a freind that has a house in Ashbury Park, which is on the Shore. She says that Bruce Springsteen got famous down there, and I want to see the historical sights down there. We are leaveing early today, so I may have to p’ost remotely from my iphone, which is kind of difficult for me to type anything meaningful for the hive. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    I hope to meet a DECENT guy down there, so I will keep my finger’s crossed. If anyone in the Hive will be in Ashbury Park, let me know where you will be! YAY!!!!!!!!!

  2. Somebody asked about hanging diplomas at home yesterday and it got me thinking along those lines. I had my diplomas framed and hanging in my office for the first several years out of law school. I’ve since changed jobs and haven’t hung my diplomas in my new office. Somewhere I picked up the impression that hanging my diplomas would make it look like I was showing off or bragging or something. I now work with a lot of non-lawyers and certainly don’t want to give off that impression. But I do have these nicely framed diplomas just sitting in a closet collecting dust. I’m proud of my accomplishments and would like to bring the diplomas in to hang, but I’m having second thoughts about how it might come off. Am I over-thinking this?

    • Yes. My diploma is currently sitting behind my garbage can in my office, but I don’t think there’s anything even slightly weird about hanging a law school diploma in your office. Or even a college diploma. I note diplomas hanging in someone’s house as a little strange, but it doesn’t bother me or seem braggy.

      • Legal Canuck :

        Is the diploma relevant to your career? If yes, then frame it. For me personally, I do not have my BA (english/history) up , but I do have my LLB diploma framed and up in my office.

    • I don’t think it’s bad or Bragg, but is that what you acwant to look at all day? I like my office to feel like space I want to be in, and the traditional framed diploma look does nothing for me on that front. If you like the look, go for it.

    • Growing up, my parents hung their masters degrees in our guest bathroom. I didn’t realize that was odd until a few years ago when I was trying to figure out where to hang mine.

    • This is a total know-your-office thing for me. It would be very strange for someone to hang a diploma in my corporate office building (not a law firm), but I have seen it at other companies. I would err on the side of being conservative and saying that if no one else in your office has them hanging, don’t hang them.

      • Yep, I agree on this one. It depends on the specific office you work at.

      • Yes, I work in a corporate office and most of the other attorneys don’t have their diplomas hanging. I guess it makes me feel bad because the framing was a gift from my parents and I really like how they look. But I’m concerned about how it would be perceived in this particular office.

    • My last company (a major international corporation that professionals are familiar with) actually had a policy *prohibiting* the hanging of diplomas because it could make others feel bad about themselves. Yes, really.

      When I got my current job, I came in my first weekend to hang my diplomas.

    • At my former company, I was told not to tell my colleagues where I went to college (which was hard because we won a major sports championship that year) because there were people that didn’t go to college and it would come off as snobby. It was both disheartening and true (and the advice was given in the spirit of helping me be successful there), and it changed over the course of the 7 years I worked there. However, it also was a good eye opener for me in terms of working with a lot of talented people that didn’t have college degrees (or less fancy ones) that worked their way up in our operations and were really valuable.

    • Miz Swizz :

      I decided to hang up my undergrad and graduate diplomas after I completed my master’s degree. I work in higher ed and it’s a bit of a mixed bag as to who hangs up their diplomas and who doesn’t. FWIW, after seeing mine, my boss decided to bring his in and hang them in his office.

  3. I struggle with time management. I get a lot done and on the surface I appear really organized. My friends and family all would all say I am super organized. However, before leaving for a trip, right before the holidays, before visitors come or hosting a party etc I always feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day to get my to do list done. Then I get anxious and get snappy with my husband.

    I have already worked on looking at the list and deciding what is a must and what goes in the “nice if it happens”. ie for a party – its a must to have drinks at the party but ordering a bouquet of flowers is…nice if it happens.

    I also have worked on outsourcing stuff – having a cleaner come, catering part of the meal, making a list for my husband to take responsibility for stuff. etc.

    I don’t know… I always feel like I become the mom Gayle in that “Company is Coming” youtube video.

    Part of it is totally the mental load problem – the “You Should Have Asked” comic story that is going around totally rings true with my husband and I but once I am stressed its really hard to then start asking for more help because that feels like more work.

    Anyways – any tips out there? Traveling, having friends visits, hosting a party are all things I love and I think not having these pre-bursts of stress would make me enjoy them a lot more.

    • I think this is called being human. I think you are placing unrealistic expectations on yourself.

      I don’t think there is anyone in the world that doesn’t get overwhelmed by their to do list at times and get stressed.

      • Anonymous :


      • +1000. This is just life.

      • I mean I know its life. I just don’t want to be a rude person when its life. My mom was the worst when she was stressed before Christmas and I don’t have kids yet…but I don’t want to be that snappy grouchy stressed crazy person around them. I get in concept that people would 90% rather have the ball dropped (like you pick up something from the store rather than making cookies from the scratch) if it means you are a nicer person to be around…but I have trouble doing that when life gets crazy. I just need to re-train my reactions.

        • A couple therapy sessions to learn coping techniques/retraining could be helpful.

        • I think you need to focus on your interpersonal skills and how you handle stress, not your to do list. It’s possible to be stressed at a long list and nice to your family! Therapy.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes, this. Don’t focus on the stress, focus on your behavior towards your loved ones. Therapy could be very helpful for this.

      • +100000

    • I think it’s common and fairly normal to scramble a little bit before going out of town or getting ready for the holidays. Those are extra tasks that go above and beyond your normal day to day life. My trip preparation strategy involves doing all the laundry and then packing out of the clean clothes basket- not sure if that makes things easier or worse.
      We entertain fairly often and we’ve gotten better at it over the years. We’ve got all the supplies now so those are easy to pull out. Our house gets cleaned regularly so we only have to do touch-ups before people come over. I know that my husband wants the yard to look nice, even if it’s an indoor party, so I plan on him doing that while I focus on things inside. It took several years to figure that out, but now I don’t get frustrated when he’s out cutting the grass instead of arranging plates or whatever. I love a fancy dinner party where the host does all the work, but we’ve also stepped up our casual gathering game. Our friends are happy to show up with a side dish or something for the grill and just chill on the deck while the kids run around in the yard. I won’t say it’s an issue of lowering your standards, but one of expanding what your definition of entertaining looks like.

      • “I won’t say it’s an issue of lowering your standards, but one of expanding what your definition of entertaining looks like.”

        I’ll say it: I think you need to expand your definition of what entertaining looks like and lower your standards both. If you were saying you needed a couple more hours in the day that would be one thing (who isn’t overwhelmed sometimes?), but you’ve said you need 30. If you’re _that_ overwhelmed by your to-do list, I think you need to re-think how you approach what you need to be doing.

    • Unless it’s a truly huge occasion, I set myself a time limit for getting the house ready. I try to keep the house generally clean, which helps, but I tell myself that I can only clean/prepare the house itself for 1 hour for friends coming to visit. This forces me to prioritize and makes me much more efficient. My friends aren’t going to notice that I haven’t scrubbed the baseboards and since that doesn’t fit in my hour of time budgeted, I decide it’s not important. I’ve had to tell myself that everything does not have to be perfect, which reduces the mental load a lot. for the mental load issue (loved that comic, by the way!) I might start by asking DH to take care of certain aspects in their entirety- i.e., “Can you handle drinks for the party?” instead of breaking it down for him into “go buy gin and get the glasses out and make sure there’s ice and check the mixers and see if it goes with the hors d’oeuvre.” If it ends up “wrong,” it will probably still be ok, and you will have at least part of the mental load off of you.

    • anon a mouse :

      I’m guessing that your stress is either because your to-do list doesn’t match the time you have, or your list is incomplete. Are you stressed because something you thought would be quick takes an hour? Or because in the process of packing for a trip you realized that you also need to refill your tiny shampoo bottle and you hadn’t accounted for it? Reflect back on the cause and learn from it.

      For travel, I keep a list in Evernote of everything I need to pack (for me and kid) and how many days in advance I can start getting things ready. It varies slightly by trip, but I’m not starting from scratch each time. It’s made a big difference, and helped me realize that I should store all of the travel-related things together (nightlight, travel pillow, etc.)

      Ultimately, don’t be too hard on yourself. Your guests aren’t looking at your corners, they are there to see you. And there’s very little you can’t buy at a destination if you forget it when packing.

      • My to do list doesn’t match the time I have.

        I try to cut out tons of things so it gets down to the basics but I still need about 30 more hours in a day.

        I end up cutting things that don’t feel like they can be cut. And ultimately are the things for me – because I am an obliger so I tend to put everyone first. And then I feel really crappy about it.

        • If you feel like you need 30 more hours in the day, you don’t need more time; you need fewer things to do. You say you end up cutting things that don’t feel like they can be cut– but they can. If you need 54 hours in the day to do them, you don’t need to do them. No one else has 54 hours in the day. We all have the same amount of time. No one is doing all the things– you can’t either.

        • Are we the same person? I’m reading along with interest because I am struggling with this, hard-core.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          “I try to cut out tons of things so it gets down to the basics but I still need about 30 more hours in a day.”

          This is completely untrue. You’ve gotten this far in life with some things falling by the wayside, and presumably few dire consequences. I’ll bet that you won’t be on your deathbed worrying about your baseboards or the lack of flowers on the table, but you will be grateful for the dinners you shared with friends and family. Think of the long game.

        • People above suggested lowering standards, and I would slightly reframe it as letting some things go. Focus on what truly matters, whatever that means to you. If entertaining, for me, it’s about quality time with my friends and good food/wine not a sparkling clean house (and I’m someone who really likes my house to be clean).

        • Senior Attorney :

          Again, therapy for the “obliger” thing. That used to be me and it sucks. Life is better when you stand up for yourself.

          Also, somebody posted on here a while ago that people come to see you, not your house. We just had a dinner party for 12 last weekend. The kitchen and family room were in decent shape, but there is a bathroom vanity in the middle of the living room (awaiting bathroom remodel), and the den is piled high with tools and paint cans and boxes from various projects in progress. And the roofing job wasn’t done so the back yard (where we held the party) featured piles of roofing equipment.

          And you know what? Nobody cared. We had a great time and fun with our friends that we all would have missed if we didn’t entertain unless the house was perfect. Give yourself a break.

          • Anonymous :

            This will out me, but this Memorial day I had people over and literally had a small house fire and had to pry siding off the side of my house to put it out. After we put it out, we finished grilling and ate dinner and everyone had a good time.

            Like, your baseboards weren’t clean? My house was on fire. Seriously, it’s fine.

          • Senior Attorney :

            HAHAHA!! You’ve got me beat! Great story!

        • Why don’t you just start earlier? Maybe I’m missing something. When I travel, I start packing like two weeks in advance for a big trip. A lot of stuff can be done in advance (making transportation plans/reservations, purchasing items needed, packing out of season clothing, etc.). That way I can focus on things that need to be done right before the trip in the week of the trip (e.g., laundry, packing in season clothes, packing toiletries).

          Same thing for hosting. If I’m having guests over, I try to give myself enough time to get ready. So, invite people over 2 weeks later instead of that weekend, and you have double the time to get ready. Similarly, there are hosting tasks that can be done way in advance (purchasing food, moving furniture, setting up place settings, doing a deep clean so you can just do a minor clean right before).

          • haha if only I had 2 weeks between international trips! I think part of the problem is I just live a very full life that sometimes back fires because its very full.

            For example I leave next week and I will be out of the country basically until July with a bunch of back to back international trips. So I actually am planning ahead – making sure my father’s day card is in the mail now because I will be out of the country when its actually Father’s day etc. Its just the list to be prepared to leave is very long and I am running out of days.

          • I agree with everyone here saying to just drop things. Send your dad a Father’s Day email instead of a card. Let some things go. It’ll be okay.

    • I’ll tell you the solution that worked for me. I am a type-A micromanager by nature. And I learned that the only way I can delegate effectively (within the household realm, for things like party planning) is to give away entire categories of tasks completely. So I might sit down with my husband and say “Hey, the party that we agreed to host is 4 weeks from today. The main categories of things to do are invitations/guest list, food and drink, house cleaning & prep, and music. Do you want to pick two of those categories to handle on your own?” And then I stay 100% out of it. If I start to check in or ask questions, this has 2 bad effects: It signals to my husband that he can count on me to remember stuff for him, and it stresses me that he doesn’t handle things the way I would. But if I leave him to it, he gets it done one way or another. Obviously this will vary by person, but we’ve been together long enough now that I know I can count on him (or I know where I need to handle very specific things – like the initial meeting to divvy up the work. For some reason, he has never and will never do that part). The good thing about this plan is it not only cuts your list in half, but you can force yourself to cut the emotional work in half by not thinking about the parts he is doing.

    • I tried to watch the Company is Coming video on YouTube but unfortunately it came with a mandatory viewing of the Trivago guy, and life is too short to watch that creeptastic guy ever again.

    • I think this is pretty normal! That said with holidays/visitors/vacations, I start weeks out so that I’m not scrambling in the last hours or days. The 2 things that help me most are is taking care of the “little” things early on and having written checklists or plans. By little things I mean all the stuff that you don’t think are a big deal until you don’t have them. A few weeks before I host a holiday or a dinner, I’m making sure I have napkins, plates, cups, toothpicks, whatever I’m going to need. I also write down my menu and match each food item with the serving dish it will go on (DH cleans them all and sets them out, plus sets the table, irons linens and vaccuums). That’s saved me a couple of times. With visitors its making beds or washing sheets/towels a few weeks out (I wash, we both make beds). With vacation it’s packing a cosmetics/electronics/medications/little carry on items bag a little at a time a few weeks before the trip. (I have doubles of a lot of things so I don’t have to pack and unpack them all the time.). I also make sure everyone’s passports/travel docs are accounted for weeks out.

      Also, tell your husband before you are drowning that you need his help and give him specific things to do – in advance. Spend an evening thinking about the tasks at hand (while you watch TV or over dinner or something) and which you can give to him.

      Organizing is my favorite. I love spending time thinking about how I can do things more efficiently. It also helps us identify the things that are most important to us (I really want to do X on vacation, or I really want to serve this dish at Christmas) and be able to build plans around those things rather than running around helter skelter trying to do everything.

  4. All About Ironing :

    Yesterday afternoon some people commented that in order to simplify their lives they had stopped buying clothes that needed to be ironed, or made sure to hang up clothes right out of the dryer so they wouldn’t have to be ironed. Lately I’ve found myself with a ridiculous amount of ironing to do and would love to reduce the load, but I line dry many of my clothes so the dryer method doesn’t work for me. Any other tips on transitioning to a no-iron wardrobe?

    • I love my steamer. Yes it takes some time, but I find it takes less time than ironing and I don’t have to set up the ironing board.

      • Love my steamer too! I also find it much quicker than the iron and I am far less likely to ruin clothes with it.

        • All About Ironing :

          Can you recommend a good steamer? I’ve never used one but it sounds like something I should look into!

          • JuniorMinion :

            I have one made by Rowenta that works really well…


          • I’m going to be useless on this because I ordered mine so long ago and don’t remember which brand it is. I went to Overstock and grabbed one under $100 that had good reviews. There are a bunch of Salav ones on there now, but I think mine was probably a Conair or a brand like that. It’s one that has the water tank on the bottom, a rod that comes up from that with the hanger and the rest for the steamer head on the top. I have had it for four years and it still works great.

            The only thing I would do differently is to get one that has both the shirt hanger and pant/skirt hooks. My current one only has the shirt hanger, so I end up hanging the regular skirt hanger on the steamer hanger, which works okay, but not great.

          • I love my Joy Mangano My Little Steamer. Quick, easy, and they also sell a little baby travel one. I just hang clothes on the back of the door, steam it, and then let it dry/cool while I’m in the shower.

            I also line dry many clothes, and once they’re dry our dryer has a “wrinkle release” setting that steams them. Works like a charm for the stuff that’s not too delicate for the dryer and doesn’t seem to cause shrinkage.

          • My Little Steamer was recommended here awhile ago and it works great for me!

          • Senior Attorney :

            I have this one, which was recommended by The Sweet Home. Love it!

      • In the extremely rare occasion that I actually think something is too wrinkled to wear, I use a steamer too. I used to have a big fancy standing steamer but it died and these days just have a little handheld travel steamer that was only like $20 bucks, and I use a hook over the door to hand the item on while I steam it. This works absolutely as well as the big fancy one for me.

      • Jiffy J-2000 steamer. I often turn it on while
        I’m starting to get dressed and then it’s ready to steam by the time I’m ready to put on that silk tank with the crease down the middle from being crowded in my closet.

        I love it so much. It takes up a lot of room, but less than an ironing board.

        If my husband said, “it’s me or the steamer,” I’d say, “darling, I will miss you.”

    • Shoes and skirts :

      Avoid pintucks. But they’re one of my favorite details, so back to the steamer I go…

    • Shoes and skirts :

      Also, I use a clothesline too, but for certain blouses (mainly my silk crepe, but also some polyester), I hang them on the hanger immediately after washing,then hook the hanger over the line. If I space the hangers between tees pinned straight to the line, they don’t all slide down to the middle. It also saves a work later when I can put them straight in the closet ;).

    • This may or may not help you, but I find that throwing my clothes in the dryer for a few minutes gets out most of the wrinkles and then I dry them on drying racks, and hang them when they’re mostly dry. Very few things need ironing after that, though I suspect this depends a lot on what types of fabrics you wear (almost all of my shirts are knits and my pants also seem to be fairly wrinkle resistant).

      • I came to say the same thing, but if she’s line drying may not have a dryer :/. In which case I would get a travel size steamer. Our full size is a PITA

        • Senior Attorney :

          I agree. I finally got rid of my standing steamer and got a hand held and I use it so much more often than I used the old one!

      • Wet a clean washcloth, wring it out, and throw it in the dryer when you do that. Creates just enough steam to mimic a steamer, and if you take the item out immediately and hang and smooth it, you’re good! (ran a laundromat for a few years in college; worst job, best practical takeaways!)

    • I love my Joy Mangano My Little Steamer. Quick, easy, and they also sell a little baby travel one. I just hang clothes on the back of the door, steam it, and then let it dry/cool while I’m in the shower.

      I also line dry many clothes, and once they’re dry our dryer has a “wrinkle release” setting that steams them. Works like a charm for the stuff that’s not too delicate for the dryer and doesn’t seem to cause shrinkage.

    • I air dry most of my clothes, then throw them in the dryer on a low setting for 10-15 minutes. That works for most things and softens them, too. I do iron linen, as I haven’t yet embraced the unironed look for those items.

    • Put the items you line dry in the dryer for 5 minutes on lowish heat, then hang… reduces wrinkles a whole lot and if you still need to iron it will go much quicker.

      • Do this while still wet – they’re not in the dryer long enough to shrink or get damaged, but the steam shakes out most wrinkles.

    • Haha, this is timely as I just ironed last night for the first time in a long time…darn linen clothes, they are so nice for summer, but the ironing. Blech.

      My method is just to take things out of the washer immediately, shake them out really well, and hang them to dry. Then, when everything is fully dry, I throw them in the dryer with a wet, wrung-out washcloth for 15 minutes. That works for 99% of clothes, including washable wool, silk, poly crepe, etc. That last step in the dryer seems to get out pesky wrinkles and crinkling line-dried items can have. But don’t put anything in the dryer that’s not already 100% dry, or throw in a washcloth that’s too wet.

      I also use Dryel for dry-clean-only things, and it works remarkably well.

    • I stick whatever I’m wearing that day in the dryer on the de-wrinkle setting while I’m showering. It probably isn’t the most energy-conscious thing I do, but it’s only 10 minutes.

    • Confession: Anything that actually needs to be ironed, I just send out. My husband’s done it for years for his work shirts and I just throw mine in the bag too…

      • Moonstone :

        Different kind of confession: I really enjoy ironing. It’s the only domestic task I don’t despise.

        • Before kids, I enjoyed ironing. I could stand, watch crappy TV, and iron by myself for a long, long time.

    • What I do is shake out the wrinkles as much as possible then hang. If your washer has a maximum extract to make the drying in the dryer faster do NOT use that function–I’ve found it sort of sets the wrinkles. Let the garment be wetter and it’ll be less wrinkly after you shake and dry.

      • I agree with this. I line dry almost all of my work clothes and never iron. Just shake the wrinkles out and hang or lay flat (for knits or delicate fabrics) to dry. You can steam out any wrinkles, but I’ve never felt the need to. I also use Downy Wrinkle Release in the morning if something I plan to wear looks wrinkly. I literally cannot remember the last time I used my iron.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      So, my oldest is 9 and since she was born I’ve ironed exactly once (and it was a tablecloth). The few shirts I have left that require ironing go to the dry cleaners. I don’t wear them that frequently and so it’s worth a few dollars to me to have them professionally pressed (I was never very good at it anyway).

    • I hang dry my clothing indoors on a drying rack and don’t iron. All my work clothing is either wool or high quality polyester blends that don’t seem to wrinkle. The wool I just febreze the armpits until it really needs to be dry-cleaned (so no ironing there either).

    • Anonymous :

      I’m the outlier here. I don’t mind ironing, my husband’s work shirts have to be ironed and I sew, so I need to press. I recently bought a Reliable 3000IS boiler iron and I’m in love. It’s cut ironing time in half and the quality of the press is amazing. It was expensive, but if you have to iron it’s worth every penny.

  5. Silly question: Are self-inking stamps better than plain old stamps with an ink pad? I’m going to buy an address stamp and inexplicably indecisive because I have no idea!

    • I think so, yes. Much less messy and easy to use, so you’re likely to use a self inking stamp more often.

      • I agree; self-inking is super easy to use and you don’t have to keep track of a potentially messy inkpad + a sometimes-still-wet stamp.

    • AnonMidwest :

      So in my mind self inking is easier as it’s all in one piece and i’m less likely to lose one bit of it. However, I would imagine the better overall value would be a traditional stamp and ink.

    • I ended up buying labels because I found that the stamper wasn’t always even/clear. Maybe with an ink pad you could get more even coverage?

      • I bought an embosser because I am a bull in a china shop and get ink everywhere. Like a child.

        • AnonMidwest :

          That’s me with pens, particularly markers. I am a kindergartner with marker all over my hands and face.

          • Me too. The last time I had to use highlighters on a document I had highlighter stains all over my hands for two days.

    • Do you seriously not get a million address labels in the mail unsolicited from march of dimes, the spca, etc? I use them all year and for xmas cards and I still never run out.

  6. I’ve decided to treat myself and get a long coveted Burberry wool coat. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to buy it? There’s a Burberry Outlet about 90 minutes from my home, and I’m wondering if it’s worth the drive to try there first. I can’t tell online what the outlet carries. TIA!

    • Call the outlet? I do this with my “nearby” (1.5 hour drive) Pottery Barn outlet if I’m eyeing something in particular.

    • Burberry outlets are hit or miss and wool coats may be scarce now. I’d call them and ask if they have what you’re looking for. You may still find a good deal in regular stores now; I bought my trench at half price off-season at Neiman Marcus. Shopstyle dot com is a good starting point.

    • Shopaholic :

      I’ve heard somewhere (can’t remember where now) that Burberry does go on sale in large department stores but you can’t see it online because Burberry’s marketing team doesn’t want to advertise sales. So I think you need to shop in person. I would try on various styles to see what you like and then hunt them in person.

      Calling the outlet is also a good idea. It may be tough to find wool coats now but is this one of those things that can sit on your radar and you can buy it when you find the perfect one on sale?

    • IMO, the outlet’s stock is somewhat off-season. November/December is a great time to buy a trench, while now would be a great time to buy a wool coat. I snagged one at the Massachusetts outlet last summer for around $400 and I’m still so happy about it!

  7. Salary negotiations/attorney :

    I’m a senior associate (8-10 years) considering making the leap to a large firm (500+ attys) in a small market. I’m looking for salary range expectations to use in negotiations. I’m coming from a situation where I was underpaid for a long time so my idea of market value may be skewed but I don’t want to be way off base

    • Something to think about and possibly negotiate is what your billing rate will be. Are you planning to do work locally in your small market? If so, that market may not support the same billing rate that a large city will support which also means that your salary won’t be as high. Are you bringing a book of business that you can negotiate some additional compensation based on originations/collections? That may depend what level you enter at- counsel or associate.

    • Would Above the Law be helpful for this? I don’t know what to expect for a smaller market, but I can only say I’m glad you are doing your homework and planning to negotiate. I asked for a stupidly small signing bonus when I lateralled to my current firm, which I regretted as soon as they immediately agreed :)

    • Anon Regional BigLaw :

      I think we need more information. Can you share the market or type of market? In my regional BigLaw firm, $160,000-$165,000 is pretty much the very tip top of the scale for associates, no matter how senior, unless they are in one of our smaller offices in expensive coastal markets.

      • agree – are all 500+ lawyers at this office? Is it what would be considered “biglaw” or “regional law”? Does the firm have a published salary scale out there — even if not applicable to you but applicable to more junior associates?

  8. JCrew Factory’s “valued at” is total BS, but they can be a good place to pick up items that you know you’d replace after a season or two anyway. Their fabrics can be weirdly stiff, though (causing skirts to ride up as you walk, sit, or breathe), and it looks like this skirt may suffer from that problem.

  9. Shoes and skirts :

    Can anyone recommend a particularly reliable conversion chart for US to European shoe sizes? I’m considering ordering from amazon, so there’s no brand-specific sizing.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Zappos has some great information on this.

    • Min Donner :

      I live in Europe, and find that it varies a lot by the shoe… I’m usually a 10 in the US, but I can be a 41, 41.5 or 42 here (and a 7.5 or 8 UK). Also some brands (ahem… Ecco….) seem to have changed their fit in the past few years in some shoes at least — I have sandals that are quite roomy in 41 from a few seasons ago and the new ones I bought (same style) are waaaaay too small.

      Rather than rely on one of the generic conversion charts, I would try to google the brand of the shoe you’re considering and see if they have any advice on conversion/equivalents. Or if you post the brand(s) maybe someone here will have personal experience. Good luck!

      • Thanks, I’m looking at Viscata espadrilles–as rec’d to me style-wise here on yesterday’s thread!

    • Which Euro shoe company are you looking at? I can probably speak to Boden, M&S and LK Bennet

  10. Anonymous :

    Honestly wish people with families were more open to hanging out. I have a friend who I love to get together with – and she does too – every time we see each other it’s basically an hr of hanging out and laughing. And yet between her busy job (exec level) and 2 elementary school kids – I feel like I’m lucky to hang with her 2x/yr. This time around, we saw each other at a professional event, she was the one who said – let’s get drinks, x week in June looks good; I said I’d email her; and NO response. I don’t expect responses to social emails the same day nor does happy hr need to be scheduled so far in advance. And yet I know how this story goes — if she doesn’t respond that day/next day, it gets buried, I don’t hear from her, I don’t want to reach out again for fear of looking desperate, and we’ll connect sometime in November.

    I also question myself here — why do I so want to hang out with this person that I’m willing to engage in this over and over? Why don’t I have more friends to where I can be like – Jane isn’t available, whatever, these 20 other ppl are around?!

    • Reach out again! If this is your friend and she’s that busy, it’s reasonable to assume that your email got lost in the shuffle and she wasn’t intentionally not answering it. Also, if she’s your friend she won’t think you “look desperate.” It’s hard when people start having families, but it’s important to remember that it’s hard on them too. I’ve found people are actually very open to the idea of hanging out, it’s just more difficult to make the reality of that happen

    • Reach out again and suggest specific times. Also be open to unconventional times; it’s easier for me to meet up for a drink or dinner after kiddo goes to sleep and weekends are just a disaster.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I think everyone has these sorts of feelings as well as those moments where it seems like everyone you know is having this fabulous super social life and you are the only one who isn’t. Could you perhaps send her one more email asking if lunch works better or if there is a better date and then drop it? I have someone in my circle who is like this (no kids, no demanding job) and I think its a personality / self involvement level thing. She’s just So. Busy. All. The. Time. and always mentions hanging out so then I try to set things up and she is either unresponsive / unavailable. I’ve enjoyed seeing her at other things, but have stopped inviting her 1 on 1 to protect my own feelings more than anything else.

      Additionally – random cultural observation – but I work in an almost completely male industry and I have noticed that the guys in my professional circles are always down to grab a drink / lunch / coffee – even if they have 4 kids or a new baby. I do think men sometimes recognize more than women the value of the network (or are willing to put more work into it) and are less likely to disappear into kid land.

      • “Additionally – random cultural observation – but I work in an almost completely male industry and I have noticed that the guys in my professional circles are always down to grab a drink / lunch / coffee – even if they have 4 kids or a new baby. I do think men sometimes recognize more than women the value of the network (or are willing to put more work into it) and are less likely to disappear into kid land.”

        I think (most) men have way, way, way fewer responsibilities on the home/kid front than most women. Even the rare guy who is doing 50% of cooking/cleaning/childcare likely doesn’t contribute equally to planning/organization/emotional labor.

        • JuniorMinion :

          I guess I have just wondered why women who make more of the household share of $$ / work longer hours than their partners are still picking up all these extra other responsibilities – and whether this affects their advancement potential. I really feel for some of them as it seems they are under a lot of stress and sometimes I want to say “but your husband left work at 2 pm why can’t he do x?”

          I’m also biased – my husband has been unemployed for a bit (just got a new job YAY) but he legitimately handles almost all of our home stuff. Me doing well and achieving at work is good for our partnership.

          • Agree with you, but I just think that’s how some marriages work. I think there are constant studies on this — even high achieving/high paid women do more at home in most families than the dads.

            Honestly I think most (not all) guys are more able to “draw a line” and say — I am going to HH, golf, dinner, whatever — whether for their career or just bc they want to (though they’ll say it’s needed for career networking). And then they hold that line. So even if they need to pick up at daycare that day, they are going to HH. If the kid then stays at daycare until 6:30 that day rather than getting picked up at 5 if the mom can’t get there– oh well, it’s one day, the kid will survive. Most (not all) moms don’t hold those lines. They’ll ask DH if he can pick up; if DH says no — then most moms won’t go to the HH or will go for 15 min and be totally distracted the whole time. They won’t hold the line and do what they want the way dads will. In some ways I do expect DHs for that — not ALWAYS putting a kid first in every situation even that their own expense.

          • That’s kind of the second shift issue… that hasn’t really gone away despite being identified decades ago. I completely agree that it’s mystifying and problematic, but sadly it’s not that unusual or novel.

            To give credit, my husband does daycare pickup/sick kid pickup/soccer practice on a weeknight, etc. so I think some families are able to switch the expectation that the mom is shouldering more of the kid/household responsibilities. But… I’m still the first to get the call when a kid is sick at school/daycare, so it’s a very concerted effort to do so.

      • Delta Dawn :

        +1 to last paragraph, and I also think that’s because they’re available because their wives are usually the default parent. DH can make whatever plans he wants whenever he wants, because I work next door to daycare and am the logical dropoff/pickup parent… but if I want to go to a Thursday happy hour after work, I’ve got to call DH, see if he’s free, oh you’re playing golf? Can you leave early? No, you’re only on the 14th hole? Etc.

      • OP here – yep I have friends like that too (not this one — she is a genuinely busy SVP and her twins started full time school just this yr). I have friends who literally work 8-4 in a gov’t job — no taking work home; no travel; and it’s constant – OMG we MUST get together, I never get to see you. And then when you propose a time — well there’s never any desire to meet up at 5 or 6 when people with busier jobs can arrive; and the weekends are all about neighborhood potlucks and the like. With those friends I don’t even get upset bc I see how they are — it’s not like they’re trying and just cant’ find the time. If they wanted to they could tear themselves away from Netflix. It’s more frustrating when you and they WANT to get together and there just isn’t enough TIME.

      • Having nothing to do with kids and family — I did used to notice even back when I was a junior associate, that the male associates were MUCH more apt to get lunch, drinks etc. with other males — peers, seniors, even partners. At that time it wasn’t about needing to get home bc everyone was 26-28 yrs old without kids. But a female friend and I noticed that they were much more “confident” about it in bro-ish ways. Whereas female associates of equal seniority, work ethic etc. — were much more — should I ask this person, will they want to go, will they say no/feel stuck etc. and in that second guessing basically didn’t used to ask nearly as much. So as you can imagine when partnership time rolled around, of course the partners felt that the guys were much more “team players” and “one of us” and “would grow the next generation of the firm the way with the same values as the last gen.” Some of this was also the male female dynamic (but not in all cases – you knew which sleazy ppl to avoid and the rest were all fine), but most was males just being willing to put it out there more with the casual confidence of – what’s the big deal, of course he’ll want to get drinks with me.

        • JuniorMinion :

          I used to be very afraid of rejection but when I started putting myself out there in the way I noticed men were I got an overwhelmingly positive response and often kudos from the relevant guys for reaching out / trying to maintain a connection.

          My husband always says “whats the worst that can happen? You get no response – why wouldn’t you ping someone”

      • “I’ve enjoyed seeing her at other things, but have stopped inviting her 1 on 1 to protect my own feelings more than anything else.”

        Honestly … this. Even super busy people are not completely booked 24-7 3-6 months in advance and can put something in their calendar if they want to. We all have smart phones. It’s an exercise of a few minutes at most to pull it out, look at what you have 3 months in advance, and commit to spending that time with a friend. People make time to spend time with people they want to spend time with. Full stop. If they’re consistently not making time, their protests that it’s been too long! I’ve missed you! Sound like BS to me and I stop trying. Maybe I’m too sensitive, but this is just what I feel I have to do to not spend a lot of time wondering why so-and-so is mad at me or something.

    • My friend who is the best at maintaining friendships even after 2 kids is the one who will say, let’s get something on the calendar, even if it’s 2-3 months away. Then we hold the date. It has blown up a few times because of family illnesses, etc., and it feel ridiculous to say, hey, how is August 11? But my default of thinking that something will simply work out “next week or the week after” just never pans out.

    • To be honest you sound kind of mean and resentful. Are you sure these women aren’t just using excuses to minimize time with you?

      This generalization about working moms not having time for friends is for the birds. I have maintained several close friendships with childless women through 16+ years of parenthood on my part, and an executive level professional role.

      This is a topic that shows up way too often around here.

      The truth is, it’s like the premise of that book, “he’s just not that into you.” If your women friends really REALLY wanted to spend time with you, they’d find a way.

      • Mean and resentful bc she wants to see a friend? Who she has fun with and the friend has fun but she’s acknowledging that it’s hard for her exec friend with her towns to get together?? Okay.

    • Coach Laura :

      Have you tried texting? I’ve noticed I respond better that way as I have to check calendars and talk to others to determine time. Sometimes I forget to email back later. This works better for some of my really busy friends and family like my MD brother with three kids and too many jobs.

      • +1

        I send an email initially, then follow-up with a text a week later.

        Some friends I do text only for these invites.

        But I am also really, really, really flexible and have low expectations.

    • I feel you, friend. I have no answers but I feel the same way. I also find it so rude that people just flat out don’t respond to emails. At least email me back and say, “things are crazy! I’ll check on June but I think we should look further out…to be continued!”

  11. Anon for this :

    Kind of gross gardening question re: yeast infections.. for the past couple of years my fiancé has gotten a small irritation on his p*nis. He went to the doctor and followed up with a derm. They agreed it was a yeast infection and the derm said it was a “natural reaction” to my yeast, i.e. that I didn’t have a yeast infection. The rash comes and goes a couple times a year – they gave him a cortisone cream and an anti-fungal that get rid of it completely in a couple of days. For some reason he is super embarrassed to talk about this and it’s been hard for me to get details.

    He’s never had this with any of his other partners, neither have I. I’m worried it means I *do* have yeast infections, even though I have absolutely no symptoms. I’ve had them before a long time ago and found them unmistakable.

    Nothing on the internet suggests a “natural reaction,” only infections that partners pass back and forth and should be treated for. He has this now and I don’t really want to go to the doctor as I find OBGYNs to be really liberal with medication for yeast infections and BV – – and those medicines have previously messed up my natural balance for months. When I had my annual exam six months ago, there was no sign I had any infections. We aren’t using condoms or anything when he has flare ups. The rash he gets is really mild, no discharge or anything.

    He has good hygiene but sometimes gets fungal infections elsewhere, like athlete’s foot and a rash on his chest. This is not an STD. Nothing to worry about, or should I see a doc?

    • Anonymous :

      Ask your OBGYN about it, but I’d be shocked if you have an infection, especially if you’ve had them before and had noticeable symptoms. It sounds more like he has some sort of freak allergy. If you’re not TTC, can you start using c*ndoms regularly? That might prevent him from breaking out in this rash.

    • Does he eat yogurt or take probiotics? That’s not an effective treatment once you already have an infection, but if done daily it can help prevent yeast overgrowth.

    • Probably unrelated to your actual question (probably), but a HEARTY SECOND to your comment about BV medications. I took the oral antibiotic once and it screwed me up for MONTHS. I would start getting yeast symptoms a day or two before my period, and it would start earlier every month until it turned into a full blown infection that wouldn’t go away after my period (in earlier months the period would kind of reset everything). I freaked out and my gyno wasn’t helpful, but I started taking the RephreshB oral capsules in the two weeks before my period and that totally cured it. I stopped taking them when I got pregnant but I haven’t had a single issue since.

      Does he constantly have them, or does he only get them at a certain point in your cycle? That’s the only way I think it could be attributable to you. I’d mention it to the doctor on your next visit, but I wouldn’t make a special trip for it.

    • We might be going through this. My husband has had something for a few weeks now and the primary care docs kept pushing him off until they finally referred him to derm. Hopefully we’ll get some more info but that’s not for another 3 weeks… :(

    • It is normal to have yeast organisms as part of your normal body flora. I would think if you’re not symptomatic you don’t have a yeast infection, just the normal amount of yeast that is a part of your body’s natural ecosystem. But since whatever is happening is an issue for your BF, I’d probably ask my provider about it.

    • It might not even be you. My boyfriend in college used to get this when we were dating and had never had the experience with other partners. We were not gardening in the traditional sense (no P in V) at the time.

    • I’m no medical professional, but it sounds to me like your fiancé has a recurring yeast infection and you don’t. All people have yeast on their skin and are susceptible to overgrowth, not just women. If you have no symptoms then I think your fiancé needs to keep treating his infection and you shouldn’t worry about yourself – unless, of course, you develop symptoms.

      I used to get chronic yeast infections, and here’s what helped: I switched to an unscented, very mild baby soap (California Baby), I dried myself very throughly after showering, I tried to spend some time every day without undies on, just airing things out (a cozy bathrobe is good for this), I was super vigilant about removing sweaty clothes/wet bathing suits immediately.

      • Spending time without undies is key. I had chronic yeast issues in my early 20s. Since then I’ve slept every night without undies on (either in a nightgown or loosey goosey pajama pants) and have not had an infection since.

    • Another anon :

      Given that he also sometimes has other fungal infections, it sounds like his body chemistry is more prone to yeast/fungus than yours. It’s worth asking your obgyn, but it doesn’t sound like anything you have to worry about. If he is more prone to fungal infections, I second the suggestion for him to up his intake of probiotics.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree. It sounds more like a “his body” issue than your issue. I don’t see the harm in asking your doctor to check you out, but it doesn’t seem like you need meds right now. I’ll also second the suggestion for him to up his intake of probiotics or yogurt (daily yogurt has alleviated so many of my husband’s stomach problems).

        • Yeah, is he always blaming you for this? Because it’s his skin and you’ve already looked into it and there’s nothing wrong with you, OP. I’d be perturbed if my partner did this.

      • +1

        Absolutely agree with this.

        All of us have yeast living in our privates all the time. But we all have our own mix that is normal for us. It only becomes an infection if one strain overgrows and starts causing symptoms or a new one that our immune system is not used to is introduced.

        So he is probably having a reaction to your yeast strain….. yes, he’s a little allergic to you! But clearly he has a pre-disposition to fungal infections to start with so there may be something about his immune system that makes him more prone. Maybe a shower after s3x and wash with a gentle soap (ex. cetaphil) is good for him normally or if he is showing mild irritation. Always dry completely. Save the steroid/anti-fungal creams for worse times. Note – you can’t use steroid creams every day for too long or you start to get thinning and breakdown of those sensitive tissues. Some people simply wash a little bit more carefully daily (not after s3x) and use a touch of vaseline on the sensitive area.

        If he now has a routine for treating these worse times that works for him, no biggie…. he can always have the creams at home to use.

        Urologists are often the most experienced with this.

        Also, it may have nothing to do with you. At all. Some men are just prone to irritation there. I know someone else who is. It has a name “ballinitis”. Often urologists just give you anti-fungal + steroid creams, but honestly they don’t know what causes it and it might not even be fungus!! But it usually works by just throwing the kitchen sink at it.

    • Thoughts On This :

      I had years of on again off again yeast and BV, and i agree about the medications and this is probably a “his body” issue/ The one thing I would say is that you could always use some light natural preventative measures (these are things I do routinely because I have these issues) to make sure you aren’t having alot of yeast. I use tea tree oil suppositories (available on amazon) and take RepHresh Pro B pills and sometimes use their suppositories. These have kept me so much healthier the past few years, and may be worth a try.

  12. My therapist is on vacation, so I’m throwing this out to the h I v e.

    Anyone feel a bit like there isn’t much to look forward to? I don’t think I’m depressed. I have a full social calendar and a lot of friends, but life feels very mundane and meaningless lately. Like we will all get older and die and deal with losing most people we love… so what is the point? And now we put our kids into a world that is beyond messed up…

    Sigh. I guess these are way too big of issues for this space. I need to get out of my own head!

    • No, I feel that way, too. I mean, I guess there are little things to look forward to, here and there (four weddings this summer!). My parents are no help – my mom seems to feel this way about life, too (which does beg the question of why have kids, if all you’re going to do is inflict adulthood on someone else).

    • Find a good deed to do. Even if it’s buying coffee for the person behind you. Better if it’s planting a tree or donating unused items to a shelter. I guarantee it will boost your spirits. It won’t fix the world, but it is a start.

      • I’ve been doing that more recently. I get my coffee at McD’s in the morning and buy a couple extra coffees or breakfast sandwiches and give them to the homeless.

    • I think you sound depressed. I have felt this way too, but I was depressed and when I got over my depression (in my case it was situational not clinical, so I changed my situation rather than taking meds) I felt totally different. Did your therapist leave a contact you can talk to in his/her absence?

      • Yes, I agree that you should speak to a professional. We all face the exact same fate: losing loved ones until we go or going first. If that’s a guarantee, that means you only get one chance at this life, so why *not* make the most of it? If that is a struggle for you to see (assuming you aren’t suffering through a tragic loss otherwise), then I think it is wise to speak to a professional. There’s a lot of vibrant life to live out there!

      • Wildkitten :


    • There are a lot of things in my life that I’m not very happy about these days, and the political situation really isn’t helping, but I get a surprising amount of pleasure from looking forward to new books, movies, tv shows, etc. These are small things, but I think the fact that they have dates attached to them and will be released regardless of anything I do (in contrast to work or personal achievements I’m struggling with) does keep me looking forward in a positive way! I also agree with AB about good deeds- that really helps keep me going.

      • I really second this, as much as I wouldn’t have expected to in the past. I will add that books/movies/shows/podcasts are thoroughly enjoyable when you’re alone, so it’s nice not to feel like “ho hum, here I am doing this alone” the way I feel with, say, going to a restaurant. (But I do aspire to get comfortable going to restaurants alone too.) You don’t need to plan for company or cancel if the company doesn’t show up.

    • Funny, I was going to post something similar. 2017 has been an awful year so far.

      Personally, two of my cats have have been diagnosed with degenerative health issues. I have spent way too much time at the vet the past few months. Close family members have been doing through difficult times with jobs and relationships. I turn 40 this year and as I look to the future, all I can look forward to is my parents and pets passing away.

      World events are beyond depressing.

      Yeah, I have no idea why anyone would want to bring kids into this world.

      Sometimes I wish a giant meteor would hit the Earth and put us all out of our misery.

      • There’s a decent chance Trump will start a nuclear war and end civilization as we know it, so the “giant meteor” thing might not be that far off.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          It really puts things into perspective when I visit with my husband’s Polish grandparents. They’ve lived through war, death, starvation, occupations by the Nazis and then the Soviets, moving overseas not speaking the language with nothing in their pockets (and then moving back), losing their homes… and they’re happy people with full lives. I’m not trying to trivialize your fears (I feel it, too!), but we’re currently living in one of the most prosperous time and places in all of human history. Recognize that you can’t control everything, and enjoy what you have.

          OP, FWIW, your thought patterns sound a lot like mine when I’m depressed.

      • “Sometimes I wish a giant meteor would hit the Earth and put us all out of our misery.”

        I have a kid and I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do. My feeling are coming from a place of, I really don’t understand how the world is going to move forward from the horrible divisiveness we’re experiencing. I feel like in the U.S., we are headed for civil war sooner rather than later and that terrifies me. On a personal level, I feel stagnant. I’m 40 and life’s big events – getting married, buying a house, having a kid – are behind me. “Big news” from my friends is now not about engagements, new babies, fun trips, etc. but more like – my mom just got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. My dad has cancer. I just found out I have a serious chronic health problem. Sometimes I feel like there’s nothing ahead of me now except a slow decline into bad health, the financial insecurity of retirement, and then death. Yes, I know I sound depressed.

        One thing that’s helping me is that we planned a big trip this fall. We can afford it (although there’s always something we could be saving for), and it’s giving me something to think about besides the state of our country.

        • Interesting, because sometimes I’ve wondered if having a kid is what gets most people through, like, hey, this gives my life meaning and most likely I won’t have to see him/her die, and I get to re-experience the vitality of youth through my kid, etc. But I can see the other side, too. Like, wow, I brought a human into this awful world and I am powerless to protect him/her from the awfulness!

        • I don’t have kids, but I can totally relate to how you feel. I know I need to get help because these thoughts aren’t healthy. But it helps to know someone else feels the same way.

    • I feel this way a lot given the political climate (the Paris Accord withdrawal is just the icing on this terrible sundae). I think it’s normal and should in fact be expected to be gravely concerned about the future. If you’re not at least a little concerned, are you even paying attention? That being said, I try very hard to reframe it as “life is short and uncertain, I am going to focus on my family and ___ and ___ and no matter what happens, I will have lived the life I want.” Maybe that will help you as well?

    • This is really trite, but can you take an international trip anytime soon? I find that whenever I start to feel bored/blue about my life, leaving the country for a week really helps. It helps both for being interesting and exciting and something to look forward to, AND it helps by making me appreciate the little things that I like in my life when I come home. (For example – your pillow feels so good after sleeping on a lumpy hotel pillow. And American showers are a.may.zing.) I think international trips are better for this than domestic trips, because the culture shock and language barrier also throw you out of your routine and shake you up a bit.

    • Not to be insensitive, but I think you have to create your own things to look forward to. Figure out what your into, plan and dream. I think society can be really limiting in its definitions of milestones so you have to make your own. Personally, I like having a project going outside of work (I’d out myself with specifics, but things like writing a book or creating a series of illustrations or learning o make something), I like to entertain and planning for that is something to look forward to, and I like to travel, can’t do it all the time but reading articles and plotting my next trip also gives me things to look forward to.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve typed and deleted a bunch of responses, but I think I’ll leave it at this:

      Life is long and there are seasons. Some of them are great and some of them are awful, and none of them lasts forever and sometimes they show up simultaneously. Enjoy the great ones and get through the bad ones and if you really think your best days are behind you at 30 or 40, please get into therapy because that is a definite symptom of depression.

      Do what you can to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem (whatever problem you find particularly pressing). Be kind. Be thankful. One of my favorite scriptures from my former religion says “be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity,” and I think those are good words to live by.

    • Two things :

      Yes, but I have noticed two things. I never feel like this if I have exercised, and working at a major academic medical institution helps me keep things in perspective.

      My own mother is prone to think everyone has a slightly better life even though she has never had a major health problem, raised two health and financially independent children and has an enviable retirement income.

  13. Awkward notice periods? :

    I’m leaving my first job out of college to go to grad school in about a month. Due to a variety of factors I ended up giving my team over a month of notice. I have about 4 weeks left now, and my managers have become abnormally hostile/argumentative. It’s gonna be a long month. Any tips for navigating this period?

    • Be on top of your game and stay professional. All of the normal stuff really. You can’t control how other people act, but you can stay professional and hopefully maintain a long term relationship in case you need it.

    • Do you need the money? If it’s not a $ issue, I think you could ask them if they would prefer you move your last day up. Anything more than two weeks is a courtesy, so you could cut it short yourself and risk the burned bridges.

      • Awkard notice periods? :

        The only issue is that I am working on a “project” that ends the end of June. Honestly, since I’m waiting until the end of the project to leave leaving makes 0 difference to them, so they’re actually being ridiculous, but it would be a problem if I pulled out kinda last minute.

        • Tech Comm Geek :

          If you’re in a place where you can manage the gap financially, here’s what I’d do:
          “Boss, it seems that having me here is causing problems. Would it be best if we moved up my last day?”

          That way, if you leave early, you aren’t pulling out, they are making the decision you are leaving.

          If that doesn’t work, focus on knowing that by remaining professional and getting done what you can, you are being the much better person.

    • Be polite and professional and let them win every argument, as long as it doesn’t cause a problem that will get blamed on you. You’re just there for the ride and can stop caring.

  14. How to lean :

    My company is pretty flexible about WFH arrangements and many people WFH on Fridays whether ad hoc or through a formal request. I have been WFH every other week or so but was wondering if I should officially make it a weekly thing. I don’t have children yet but I know I would definitely want this set up after I have kids. Is it too early or would it be better to have this in place?

  15. Avocado ideas! :

    I am looking for easy ideas for jazzing up an avocado! I’d like to eat an avocado for lunch and want to try different dressings and/or seasonings to go with it. Not looking for anything that requires cooking or extensive mixing (like guac).

    What do you all like?

    TIA and happy Friday! :)

    • I’m all about avocado toast with just salt and pepper (fresh cracked is a must), maybe fancy olive oil if I have it.

    • Guac doesn’t require extensive mixing. I put one in a bowl, add in some salt, pepper, lime juice, and maybe onion powder if I don’t have any other things to add in and mash it up with a fork. If it’s a little firm, add a drizzle of oil. Takes about 2 minutes. Spread on a wasa cracker.

    • A quick lunch for me is half of a chopped avocado, a packet of tuna and a splash of goddess dressing or balsamic.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Ohh, yum! A similar riff I love is a grated carrot salad with mashed avocado and either chicken or tuna. I originally got the idea from here (use store bought shredded carrot), although I just toss stuff together until it looks good now:

      • Wildkitten :

        Do you mix them together?

    • I like a bit of Tabasco on my avocado toast. Feta cheese is good too. Oh, and avocado, hummus, and cucumber makes a really yummy sandwich. Big fan of avocado toast, if you can’t tell.

      If you don’t want to go the toast route, I like tossing a bit of avocado with some lemon juice and pre-cooked baby shrimp and salad greens for a very quick, easy salad.

    • Lime, salt and a spoon. Deconstructred guac, eaten right out of the guacamole skin. No mashing required.

    • I have been making avocado roll-ups with jarred salsa verde. For lunch. HA!

      You could just as easily skip the wrap part and throw the salsa right on the avocado and grab a fork.

    • I buy the harissa from Trader Joes and put it in avocados. It’s amazing.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Go to Trader Joe’s. Get a little shaker of Everything But The Bagel seasoning. Sprinkle some on your avocado. Enjoy!
      Lime, salt, dash of Tabasco? Drizzle of sriracha mayo (ta-da! deconstructed avocado sushi roll)? A sprinkle of Japanese furikake?

    • If you’re just looking to eat the avocado on its own, sometimes I’ll sprinkle on a little taco seasoning, or soy sauce.

    • I just ate my lunch – an avocado mashed with sriracha, lime juice (from the bottle), and salt. I eat it on those Ryvita cracker things (I call them rye boards).

    • I didn’t even like avocado a year ago, but after going on a medication that needed a high fat diet I made myself learn to like it (as one can only eat so much peanut butter). My hands down favorite way is cut up avocado with red pepper flakes, sea salt, and lime juice.

  16. Downtown Seattle Recs :

    I’m going to be in Downtown Seattle (staying at the Hilton) and am looking for coffee shop and restaurant recommendations (particularly interested in seafood restaurants). I’m also wondering if there are any nearby areas for recreational walking (along the waterfront? to a park?) Thanks in advance:)

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’ll reply later when I’m at my computer! Check back :)

    • My favorite coffee shop in all the lands is Oddfellows Cafe in Capital (ol?) Hill, and restaurant is Sitka and Spruce. I would go to Seattle just to go to these two places.

    • Storyville Coffee is downtown, and is one of the best coffee shops in the city. For seafood, Elliot’s oyster house is on the waterfront, and has a great variety of seafood.

      The sculpture park is on the waterfront north of downtown, and connects to a trail that goes for 3-4 miles. It’s a great place to see the waterfront. I highly recommend our city parks, Discovery Park is my favorite. You can take an uber from downtown. They have a wonderful 3 mile trail loop, with the option to go down to the beach to see the lighthouse.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Went into moderation, trying again.

        Agree with Storyville. Get their caramel bun thing. OMG it’s amazing.

        Other coffee shops:
        Caffe Vitas are all over, they’re pretty good.
        Cupcake Royale has surprisingly good coffee and excellent cupcakes.
        Ivar’s is a Seattle tradition. Spud’s fish and chips on Greenlake is not fancy, but it DOES have great fish and chips and then you can walk around Greenlake. 2ish miles.

        I like city walks in Seattle- you really can’t go wrong just wandering around. One of my favorites is Discovery Park, as well. I love the old Fort Lawton houses. I also really like walking around Cap Hill and looking at pretty houses, the Arboretum, and West Seattle. I adore West Seattle, it’s got a great feel.

        Our public library is super neat.

    • The first Starbucks! It’s on Pike street near an amazing historic market.

      • If you want to wade through massive crowds at Pike Place and then stand in line for 20 minutes with a bunch of tourists . . . If you’re just looking for coffee I would NOT recommend this. If you want the experience of visiting the first Starbucks, budget some time.

    • Coach Laura :

      Go to the Olympic Sculpture Park along the waterfront. Elliott’s Oyster Bar is my favorite pier restaurant.

      Also take the newly completed light rail line from Westlake station to the UW stop. It drops you off at the stadium which is right next to the waterfront activities center on Lake Washington . You could rent a canoe or just walk along the Montlake Cut to the bridge. It’s beautiful. If it’s this weekend UW graduation is Saturday at 2 I think so that might not be the best time. I was there yesterday-one of my fav spots. My hubs keeps his sailboat there.

      • Coach Laura :

        Forgot to mention light rail to UW’s only 8 minutes so easy.

        Or take Lake Union streetcar to the MOHAI and sit on their pier, watch float planes take off or go on a boat tour of lake. I like this better than the Elliott Bay boat tours.

    • There are coffee shops on every corner downtown and you probably can’t go wrong with most of them. I like Ladro. I like Local 360 in Belltown.

    • Bensonrabble :

      You can walk to the Starbucks Roastery in Capitol Hill; fancy coffees you dont see in other Starbucks. For restaurants Local 360 is good like another poster said, Serious Pie is good pizza close to you, or Din Tau Fung for Tawainese style dumplings in Pacific Place. If you haven’t been, it’s a real dining experience. You can walk through the makert, take the elevator down to the water off Lenora st, and walk to the Sculpture Park. That would be a nice few hours, not strenuous.

  17. Does anyone have advice for what to wear to your first day at a new job? My first day is Monday and I’m not sure what to wear! I wore a suit to interview, but no one I met with, male or female, was wearing a suit. Guys were in polo shirts or button downs, and I met women wearing sundresses (?!) with cardigans, pencil skirts with heels, and jeans. The suit was the right choice for the interview, but I haven’t gotten official policies from HR yet so I’m a little lost for how to strike a good balance.

    • Wear a suit with an interesting shirt and then take the blazer off.

    • A sheath dress (non-matching-but-coordinating jacket optional).

    • Can you maybe ask HR or someone who handled your candidacy what people typically wear? At our company that’s typical and we have an answer ready.

      • I wouldn’t ask – it suggests a concern with appearances over substance. This seems pretty straightforward to me. At least a skirt, top, and topper, or a sheath type dress. Not a suit. Smart business casual.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          I disagree. This is a really common question people ask when starting a new job. I think most workplaces would get the impression that you wanted to dress appropriately, not that you’re overly concerned with appearance.

        • no one cares what HR thinks about your “style vs substance” (unless maybe your job will be in the HR department). The function of HR here is to onboard you as smoothly as possible, and that includes telling you the necessary information like when and wear to show up, what to wear (if you want to know), where to park, whatever.

        • I highly disagree. HR is there for things like this. OP, I asked HR before my first day about the dress code and they were more than happy to let me know.

        • I should have been clearer – the prior commenter said HR or the person who handled your candidacy. I’m coming at it as a hiring manager, not HR. I agree that I wouldn’t care about asking HR. If I’ve just hired you and you can’t figure out from (multiple) visits what to wear on Day 1, I’d be worried.

        • This is a pretty basic question and shows that you care about office norms, not that you’re too concerned with “appearances over substance”.

      • I’m not sure it’s appropriate to ask, especially since I was introduced to the entire department during my interview, which means I’ve seen what people “typically wear.” It’s just that there was so much variety in the clothing I saw that I can’t tell who was over- or under- dressed that day, or if there’s a dress code policy at all!

        • Which is exactly why you ask HR what the dress code is . . .

          • I don’t know about dress code. There’s the written dress code and then there’s what everyone actually does. My company’s dress code says non management men wear shirts and ties, and management men wear suits. Non management women wear blouses and skirts or trousers and management women wear suits. I have never seen a man wearing a tie at any level, and I’ve never seen anyone in a suit.

          • Anon at 11:20 :

            Anon at 11:20 here – Sure, and you can also ask HR how strictly it’s followed by the group you will be working in. We freak out about this too much IMO. Dress professionally for your industry and as long as you aren’t wildly outside the general dress of the office (which it appears there is a huge range, so she’s highly likely to be safe here), you’ll be fine.

          • @Anon @ 11:34, but you don’t want to break the dress code on your *first day*.

    • Wear a skit, blouse and cardigan. This will be fine in any business casual setting. Don’t wear a suit. You’ll probably get more casual as the days go on.

      • +1. If you didn’t see anyone wearing a suit, then don’t wear a suit your first day. Go the dressy side of business casual, but don’t wear a suit.

    • In ambiguous situations I usually wear a dress (a dark print with a wrap top that despite that description, looks more formal) with a jardigan. Is it formal? Is it business casual? Nobody knows.

    • If it is your first day at a government job, wear a suit because you will be sworn in. According to my co-workers, “everyone knows you wear a suit the first day working for the government,” but I did not know!

      • Not in government, but I might go that route someday so thanks for the tip! I didn’t know that either!

        • biz casual :

          My usual disclaimer: I’m in marketing at a tech company in Silicon Valley, but I think you can wear whatever combo of dress pants or skirt plus blouse and cardigan you like. Or a sheath dress with a cardigan or non-matching blazer. If you interviewed during the week and no one was wearing a suit, I think you’d be over-dressed in a suit on your first day. As for the sun dresses… I worked in one office where several of the older women wore their church clothes because “dressy” was the same for church, parties, work, funerals, etc. It always felt a little weird to me, because I had my work clothes (more muted colors, tailored cuts, simple patterns), my church clothes (modest but more “fun”), a couple of party clothes (strapless or halter), and weekend clothes (jeans). This was in the South, so there was definitely a generational component, but if you’re in the South, that might explain the sun dresses.

  18. Sloan Sabbith :

    Listening to Where’d You Go Bernadette on audiobooks- only audiobook I’ve ever enjoyed. I am laughing out loud a ton points. And it’s really well done. Highly recommend!

  19. Anon in Palo Alto :

    I’m looking for a full-time nanny for the summer for my baby (who starts daycare in the fall). I’ve tried all the usual routes and so far no luck, so I thought I’d try here. A college/grad student or someone else on an academic schedule with the summer free would be great. If anyone here is interested or knows someone who is, please post a way to get in touch or let me know and I can post an email address.

  20. Has anyone ever successfully had a conversation with their partner about weight gain? If so, I could use some tips. DH and I have both struggled with our weight, but kept things in check with diet and exercise. About four months ago, my husband cut back on his workouts (he was having knee issues, so understandable), but didn’t adjust his diet, and so has gained about 25 lbs. It’s a little alarming, how fast he’s put it on and I’m worried about his health. He’s in his late 40s and I think some of this is metabolism slowdown, which warrants some dietary changes. I’m also trying to adjust to getting older, and am trying to cut sugar and carbs, but when I try to talk to him about food he kind of shuts down. Weight is a sensitive subject for him and I don’t want to hurt him. This also isn’t about looks – he’s taller, so the weight didn’t really change how he looks profoundly (and he’s still very attractive, to me). But he has a family history of heart problems and I’m worried about losing him. Is there any way to broach this in a way that won’t hurt his feelings?

    • Tread lightly. Your husband knows he has gained weight, and no amount of you wanting him to lose it is going to make him lose it. It is just going to make him feel unloved and unattracive.

      Even in a marriage, someone else’s weight is not your business.

      Support him if he decides to go on a new eating plan but don’t try to force him onto one. If you decide to do something like whole 30 for health reasons, not weight loss, do it for yourself and ask if he’d be interested in joining you. You can frame it to be more about him supporting you in healthy eating.

      • “Even in a marriage, someone else’s weight is not your business.”

        Disagree. His weight may not be my business, but his health certainly is. This is the father of my children and I want them to have a dad. He’s also the love of my life, and I don’t want to lose him, or see him suffer through bad health.

        • Anonymous :

          But is this really a health issue? If he has heart issues in his family, then talk about that but keep it independent of his weight gain. Weight and heart health aren’t all that correlated. I know super skinny people who do high-fat, low-carb diets that can’t be good for their hearts. And likewise there are plenty of heavy people who eat decently and exercise. They may have slower metabolisms, so they don’t look as fit, but they may be in perfectly fine health.

          Does he go to the doctor regularly? That’s probably far more important to his life expectancy than his weight is, so if he’s not going to the doctor I’d start with encouraging that.

          • Anonymous :

            Also to add to this, but my husband has a BMI that puts him in the “obese” range. He doesn’t look obese, he just looks sort of stocky, but because he’s wide-boned and has a lot of muscle the number on the scale is high and he’s short so that sends the BMI through the roof. He can run a five minute mile and I guarantee you he is in better health than me even though I would be described by most people as slender.

      • + 1

        Feel free to talk about health changes YOU are focusing on, or an article you read that made YOU decide to avoid certain foods, but don’t start policing his diet.

        The best motivator seems to be living with someone who is a great role model. We all know that one coworker/family member/friend who is into healthy eating or running and they just are happy and open with what THEY are doing, without commenting on what other people should be doing. After you hear them gush about feeling incredible, or hitting a better run time, you feel inspired to try something similar in your own life. BE THAT SPOUSE.

        We also know that really annoying health freak who spews scary health news and tries to strong arm everyone to eat better. Anyone remember Emily Gilmore buying crates of frozen fish and forcing the family to eat it, because it’s heart healthy? DON’T BE EMILY GILMORE.

    • Nope.

    • Health, not looks. Why not even say directly — look you’re a tall guy so it doesn’t matter if you can weight, it’s not noticeable (even if it is a little) BUT let’s talk about health. Health issues can crop up even though you still look FINE and given the heart health history and the fact that we’re getting older, it makes me nervous. Then listen to what he says. Hopefully he sees it from a health point of view too and you guys can figure out a plan that allows some exercise despite the knee issue — maybe some physical training sessions at a gym if he’s open to it? Those guys see people all the time who want to work out but don’t want to aggravate x or y injury and they can come up with alternatives generally.

      • Anon in NYC :


      • The personal trainer/physical therapist thing is a great idea. He’s brought this up himself, that maybe he should see someone. Ultimately he’s going to need a knee replacement (he wants to hold off until he’s 50 if he can, per what his doctor told him), but until then there have to be some ways to modify his workouts so he doesn’t aggravate his knee.

    • This conversation would not work out well. Instead of talking to him about it, can you limit the junk food that is brought into the house and maybe offer to cook more and pick healthier options?

      • I already don’t buy junk food, and we cook healthy dinners. He eats out almost every day for lunch (he has a lot of business lunches, and that’s also the focus of his office’s social life) and I think there’s a fair amount of snacking at work, from the kind of food people bring to work, which is generally not healthy. He’s terrible at ordering in restaurants and will default to ordering the least healthy thing they have. Which would be fine if he was only eating out once a week, but he eats out way more often than that.

    • I don’t think you discuss it. Instead, discuss cooking more heart-healthy foods when you eat together, eat more vegetables, etc. Stop buying junk foods, etc.

    • Slip some spanx into his underwear drawer…he’ll get the message.

      • Please remain anonymous, you are a cruel, cruel person.

        • To me it read like a joke, but if not I agree.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m quite sure this was a joke.

          • Perhaps it was, and I missed that. It just felt inappropriate given the fact that everyone else who replied tried to give helpful, sensitive responses. If my partner did this to me, I would be crushed. Suggesting it even as a joke just felt cruel. Sorry if I missed it.

    • Do you know what the cause might be, as decreased exercise along is not the explanation.

      Do you guys eat breakfast together? What it is it?

      Do you bring lunch to work? What is it?

      Do you eat dinner together? What is it?

      I would continue to facilitate healthy eating at home, not keeping binge-able foods in the house, eating healthy breakfasts and dinners together, and encourage bringing lunches and snacks to work to avoid eating out on unhealthy stuff. Otherwise…. look for other causes (ex increased work stress with secret eating at work) that might need to be addressed head on, with eating just a symptom.

  21. I loved the Man Repeller article on wearing the eileen fisher system. I’m an unrepentant wearer of EF. I know it does not get a lot of love around here but I’m frequently complimented for how I dress and honestly it’s so easy. I hand wash everything. Link to follow.


    • Wildkitten :

      I don’t love the cut of these particular eight items, but I love the concept. I absolutely plan to have a capsule wardrobe when I start working again – like four pencil skirts, ten tops, three sweaters – the end.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Ha! Love this article! (“The large pants were a touch too large, and I feared that the medium would be a touch too medium!”)

  22. Birthday gift ideas for my sister?

    She’ll be 41. Gets pretty down around her birthday (always has) but moreso now that she’s gotten older and is single with no kids (so am I but I tend not to care as much about my birthday). She also gets mad if you don’t acknowledge her birthday (whereas I hardly notice the day). She’s in NYC and I’m in DC so I’d have to mail her something. Just don’t know what. Did flowers last yr for her 40th so I don’t want to do that again. Experience gifts won’t work bc she won’t do anything alone (will barely do it if you force her to go with you), so it needs to be an item. She basically goes to work and comes home (and thus the misery). She bought an apt in NYC recently — it’s a nice apartment that still looks fairly empty bc she hasn’t really decorated; it has a lot of built in shelving that could use some nice pieces/artwork etc. Thoughts on something along those lines that would look nice but could be mailed without breaking (and where would I buy it in DC as I’m new here). Looking to spend ~$100.

    • Go see your sister and take her to a show. She sounds lonely. She doesn’t want to go alone so spend time with her.

      • OP here — I will be up in NYC this summer to visit her. Unfortunately not on her exact birthday (and not even this month) due to work, so in the meantime I need to acknowledge her birthday.

    • Gift certificate for a massage at a nice spa? Expensive candle? Home decor gifts are nice, but some people (like myself) hate being given that stuff. I’d rather pick it out myself.

    • How about a Barefoot Dreams throw blanket? Available at Nordstrom (and sometimes the Rack).

      • Delta Dawn :

        I like this idea– a nice luxe blanket, a spendy candle, maybe a couple more homey items but not décor that she’d have to commit to completely. Like a new apartment care package: blanket, candle, some cashmere socks? A thick and pretty coffee table book that she could put on her built in shelves?

    • A minted gift certificate for the artwork styling service would be nice. Or a birchbox subscription?

    • Wildkitten :


    • If you know the color scheme or that she needs personality in her home, what about printing a few photos of you two as kids or photos of things that remind you of fun things you did together as kids (so a print of a specific ride at the amusement park you always went to or of a building in the city where she has vacationed or where you went together, etc.)? You can often find free prints online, you can send them online to a drugstore photo printing, and get inexpensive nice frames from a craft store, frame them, put a post-it on each frame to explain why you chose that image, wrap them together, and send. Cheap, meaningful, and dresses up the place she spends most of her free time!

      • I think this is a really lovely idea, *if* you know her style very well. An album/photo book may be an alternative choice if you’re not quite sure what she’s like displayed.

  23. Looking for crowdsourced permission to just throw up an out of office and take some time for myself this afternoon. My (narcissistic) parent and siblings have been particularly aggressive this week, a close relative died last week, I’m going through a rough patch with DH, I feel fat and ungroomed, and I feel like all I want to do is go shopping and get a manicure and send around an office email that I have an appointment for the rest of the afternoon. Obviously, I’m a perfectionist and highly valued at my office so I feel guilty doing this, especially because it’s not like I’m taking time off for a memorial service or anything. Can I go?

  24. Any tips for getting started when there is So. Much. To. Do? I create these mental roadblocks for myself when I have an overwhelming number of tasks at work and end up just staring at my emails wondering where to begin. There isn’t a strong sense of priority with most of these tasks which is how I get into the slump.

    I find the same thing happens with housecleaning – I look at these big messes and can’t motivate to clean since it’s just too much.

    • The biggest hurdle for me is just starting. Once I get the ball moving with something, no matter how small, continuing is so much easier. So I just pick something, anything, and start. I also like telling myself I only have to do the thing for 25 minutes and then I’ll take a break. More often than not, I hit the 25 minute mark and want to keep going, but it’s just telling myself that I can take a break if I want to that takes the pain out of starting.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Having an errand partner – ask a friend to run errands with you and both of you get coffee, hang out and cross off going to the post office, tailor, doing store returns, getting a light bulb from the hardware store et
      Doing Power Hours of tasks that have no “due date”
      For house stuff listening to a podcast really helps me
      Change the scenery – go to a coffee shop with the goal to do emails or go write in a conference room
      If the house is really bad 1) schedule a party so you have a reason to get it better or 2) Call a housecleaner to jump start it!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Set the timer for 15 minutes and dive in. Give yourself permission to stop after 15 minutes if you must. Most of the time by the time it goes off you will have found your momentum and will be able to keep going.

    • For house cleaning, check out Unf*ck Your Habitat.

    • Sometimes I just make a list of every tiny thing that has to be done (send email to X, check Y for Z, labels for A, B, and C, etc.). It lets me focus on just one task at a time without feeling like I’m splitting my attention between four things.

  25. I started a new job and the office coffee is HORRIBLE. Recommendations for the best thermos, so I can bring 2-3 cups of coffee and have it stay warm til lunch?

    • Wildkitten :

    • If you have access to hot water at work or a microwave, you could get a small coffee press like this:

    • BabyAssociate :

      Are you me? I put a whole French press of coffee that I make at home in this guy:

    • Contigo Snap Seal 20 oz travel mug. I have found them the least likely to grow mold/easiest to keep clean. I dishwash them (despite the instructions) and the paint starts to peel after a few years, but I would rather replace than handwash. Coffee is still hot well into the afternoon and I have dropped/rolled a few through the parking lot and other than some scratches and dents, they held up fine and do not leak. Pre-pregnancy, I used to bring one full of cold milk for breakfast and one with hot coffee for later. Since my pregnancy caffeine ban due to irregular heartbeats in baby, it’s still milk and then the second is ice cold lemonade. I still have ice at the end of the day.

    • Thermos brand. Pre-heat the inside with hot water for 10 min, dump, then pour in your coffee. It will still be hot enough to burn you at dinner time.

    • Klean Kanteen. I have a mug at work I pour my tea into from my thermos.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I like tervis tumblers – they might not make it until lunch but are dishwasher safe and microwaveable.

  26. Sorry for the gross question but I think some moms will know the answer. Let a visiting small toddler nap in my bed and he wet the bed. His mom took care of the bedding ASAP. As for the mattress bc he really soaked it, she told me to leave it w/o bedding to let it air out. First few days when you walked into the room you could smell it. So I threw some baking soda (powder? Figured out which one is for odor and did that) on it. That seems to have helped a LOT. But when I get my face right in the mattress I can smell it a bit still. What should I do? Febreeze? I live in a high rise so letting the mattress sit in the backyard sun isn’t an option – nor do I get a ton of direct sun anywhere that I can move the mattress to. Need to figure out something this weekend – have slept on the couch the last few nights for fear of getting that smell on me if I shower at night; but my neck isn’t loving night 3 on the sofa.

    • Get a wetvac and see what you can do. I am so sorry. I have twop kids and every single bed in the house has a waterproof thing because of this situation.

    • Wildkitten :

      Nature’s Miracle

      • Yes, check at your local pet store for this or a similar enzyme cleaning product. The enzymes break down the components of urine instead of just masking the smell. I’ve also used Urine Off.

    • What about sprays meant for when pets have an accident on furniture? Pet stores or @mazon probably have things and there’d be recommendations on which works best. Otherwise, maybe there’s a company in the area that can come in and deep clean it? Not sure your friend’s situation but if she can afford it and you can’t, you could discuss the cost with her.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Bissell Stain and Stink – it is for pet accidents but it completely cleared up multiple vomit episodes from the shag rug in my kid’s room. Spray on, cover with a towel and leave a few hours. Repeat as needed.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Resolve Pet Forumla High Traffic Carpet Cleaner Foam. It’s for carpets, but I use it on everything. It says pet, but I use it on kid stains/messes. I’ve never used it on a mattress, but it has worked great on a couch, some chairs, car interiors….

    • Shampoo it with a carpet shampooer.

      • Or put a lot of vodka on it and let it dry – but the pet accident solutions are probably less expensive!

  27. Old lady question: any recommendations for sandals you can somehow squeeze orthotics into? Not even sure if this is possible.

    • I’m not sure about adding orthotics to a sandal, but I really like sandals from Vionic and Dansko because they have a lot of built in support.

    • Wildkitten :

      Birkenstocks also have great support.

    • Agree with the above. Dansko has a few non-hideous styles. Vionic is great. Or, of course, Birks.

    • Get the kind of sandal that has a solid back and an ankle strap. Use a dress orthotic. You’ll be able to see the orthotic on the inner side of your foot so you have to be ok with that.

      I use an orthotic with closed shoes but skip it when wearing sandals. My sandals are Birkenstock and dansko, primarily. They seem to be fine without the orthotic.


        Closed back sandal with ankle strap example.

        And now I want these.

    • I pretty much have to wear Dr. Scholls inserts in all my shoes, but I have found the Rockport/Cobb Hill line of sandals to be sooooo comfortable. Only sandals I’ve found with good support that don’t also give me blisters. They’re more on the chunky side, but I think they’re cute.

      I will neither confirm nor deny that I bought 4 pairs when had a 30% off deal over Memorial Day weekend.

    • Naot Paris has a removable footbed to insert orthotic. Other styles have removable footbeds too, though I find the cork bed comfy without and orthotic.

  28. Was asked to give two current professional references for a job I’m applying for (and they’ve contacted my past ones) but they also told me they are still interviewing others. Is this the norm now? I’d have no problem with it if they said they were planning to offer it to me, pending a current references check, for example.

    Not really sure how to respond to them! My current employer doesn’t know I’m looking and (I’m in law) worried colleagues won’t want me staffed on deals with them if they know even though I’m sure they would be discreet!

    • Wildkitten :

      No, that is not normal.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s more common to ask at the stage when they’re ready to make you an offer, but it isn’t unheard of to ask for references when you’ve narrowed it down to a handful of candidates. I wouldn’t use your current employer – do you have contacts at any previous employer you can use? I’m 32 and recently used a boss from my 1L summer internship when I was 23 because I’d had only one full-time post-law school position and couldn’t use anyone there as a reference. Normally you don’t want to use a reference from 10 years ago, but in this situation people are more understanding of it because everyone knows you can’t use your current reference.

      • I gave them three references from former employers and they called all of them already and received positive feedback… All three were superiors too and kind of a big deal!

        • Anonymous :

          Ohhh sorry, I misread and didn’t realize you’d already given past references and now they want current references. That’s bizarre and I would probably decline.

    • I’m a bit confused – have you already provided references and they’ve already contacted them, and they’re asking for more?

      I’ve applied for plenty of (political/policy) jobs where you have to provide a list of 3-5 references with your resume. They’re never contacted until/unless you’re a final candidate.

      • Yes, I provided three but the most recently I had worked with any of them was 3 years ago (before my current job). I gave them a partner at my previous law firm with whom I’d worked closely, a senior associate who is now an AUSA, with whom I’d worked closely, and a professor from HYS whom I was a teaching assistant for.

        I think this job may not be right for me. They are one of the most interesting places in town, but this is asking A LOT.

    • anon a mouse :

      Does it have to be a current colleague, or just someone who knows you in your current capacity? Is there anyone who’s left your firm in the last year that would work? Or if you have done anything relevant for a nonprofit — say, written an article, or presented at a conference?

      This is frankly insane. Be direct that you can’t compromise the confidentiality of your job search and give them what they are requesting.

  29. Postpartum swimsuits? :

    (Cross-posted from the moms site too) Anyone have recommendations for bathing suits to wear postpartum/while nursing? I don’t necessarily need it to be like a nursing bra, but I’m having a really tough time finding something that might be appropriate with my 32G chest these days. Thanks so much in advance!

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think I bought a Freya bathing suit, where I could order by cup size.

    • Veronica Mars :

      (Not a mom, but…) I found some really cute bikinis on amazon that were high waisted with a ruffle top. There is one color here with a ton of reviews– “Cupshe Fashion Women Falbala High-waisted Bikini Set” and one that’s the same with more color combos “Angerella Womens High Waisted Bikini Flounce Top Bathing Suits Swimwear.” Lots of moms in the reviews said it was perfect. I just want to have a more modest option myself.

  30. Sloan Sabbith :

    I wore my slippers on a walk with my dog this morning. Not unheard of, except for that it was after 9 AM, I was otherwise dressed and I didn’t realize it for a quarter mile after talking with my front office, renewing my lease, and going to Starbucks. On top of the rest of my morning (fire alarm went off in the building and my dog jumped and fell out of bed, I dumped the majority of a coffee on myself, missed barre, and I left a package on top of the trash can outside my building), I vote we just redo this morning. #covfefemorning

  31. Anonymous :

    Kind of a weird question, but did/do you let your teenagers ride in cars with friends or dates? When I was growing up, I got my learner’s permit and then driver’s license as soon as I was legally allowed to (14 and 16 respectively) and then I was allowed to drive to meet my friends and I could give rides to friends that my parents knew, but I wasn’t allowed to ride in cars driven by other teenagers. My parents were pretty overprotective so I don’t really have a sense of whether this rule is batsh!t crazy or good parenting. I was never asked on any dates in high school and for meeting up with friends driving myself worked pretty well, so I never really pushed back against this rule as a teenager, but I could see how it would really put a crimp in the social life of a teenage girl who is asked out on dates by a boy with a driver’s license. At the same time, I trust my daughter behind the wheel a lot more than I trust some random teenage boy I don’t know very well.

    • Meg March :

      My parents rule was that I could be in a car with another teenager if we were the only two in the car. Allowed for dates or for a friend to pick me up and take me to the mall, but aimed at not being in big group (aka SUPER DISTRACTING) situations. This was the rule whether I was driving or my friend/date was driving.

      • Anonymous :

        How do you enforce this though? Certain kinds of kids won’t push the limits bc they know if elderly Mrs. so-and-so up the street sees them once with multiple kids in the car, the car is gone and they’ll ride the bus until the last day of high school. These days you can prob get a camera in an car. But I’m amazed how many parents have no rules/enforce no rules. Their kids know that if they go pick up 5 other friends, at most they get a slap on the hand – if the parents even say anything.

    • It was pretty common in my circle that you weren’t allowed to ride with other teen drivers.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly – I would make a rule that the teenager can drive him or herself and meet their date but they can’t ride with their date. I honestly don’t think it crimps social life that much and if it does – oh well. I still have visions of high school where you’d get in a car with one person, that one person would pick up and drop off random other friends and soon the car with full with so much talking, laughter and loud radio that it was shocking that things went ok. It’s bad enough to have to trust one’s own teen driving (even if they are the most responsible teen ever, their brains just aren’t fully developed yet, they don’t have experience etc) but another teen – no way? Teens nowadays are mature and probably richer so they may not have 7 friends in the car as they have access to lots of kids with cars – but with texting and driving being what it is, I prefer my kid rides alone knowing my rules on texting and driving. It’s shocking but there are “responsible” parents out there who aren’t checking in on kids once they give them a car so I think there is a lot more texting happening that people admit.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I was a year younger than everyone in my class. I was allowed to ride with others because I lived in a rural area with no public transport or walk-ability and I was involved in 100 activities. My parents were thrilled having a break from being my personal taxi service. Also, if kids want to have sex, they will find a way. Car or no car. My current concern would be cell phones and driving.

      • Oh yeah, my concern is not s*x at all. I don’t think who drives has much relevance to that. It’s about her being in a car being driven by a teenage boy that I don’t really know and will he be texting, will he maybe have had a beer before he picks her up, etc.

    • Dealing with this right now, but fortunately live in a state where teens have to have their driver’s licenses for a full year before they can drive another teen so that is the rule I am enforcing. It is frequently inconvenient and leads to the absurdity of having four people take four cars, but there is apparently evidence that it is safer.

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