Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Ravello Top

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

I’ve heard wonderful things about the v-necked Ravello top from Boden for years (as well as its sister, the crewnecked Ravenna), and may have to bite with the current sale — the colorful silk blouses are as low as $29 in some instances. While I always like a good pattern (particularly beneath suits!), note that they come in solid colors (and even longline blouses as well). The pictured pattern, “blues trailing floral,” is still available in sizes 2-16, for $29. V-Neck Ravello

Ladies, I know a lot of you shop at Boden for work — what are your favorite things to get there?

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. OL Dating Anon :

    Yesterday, I gave my phone number to a man I met on a dating site so we could call/text. He texted me a bunch throughout the day, then asked to call. We spoke for about 45 minutes (I ended it abruptly because I had lined up a call with another man from the site). There was no silence throughout the call but I wasn’t sure whether we had a good rapport or whether he was just a motormouth. He follow-up texted that it was nice to speak to me and that he wanted to meet in person. I agreed, but as we went through the logistics it became clear that it wouldn’t happen right away. Then he texted several times on various topics throughout the evening after I stopped replying. The topics are all related to things we discussed during the conversation but it annoyed the hell out of me. It felt like pestering and after a really long day with work issues, homeownership issues, etc., I wanted a break from the effort of connecting with a new person. Then after an 8-hour hiatus (still no reply from me) he texted again to say good morning. This makes me think that maybe we aren’t compatible in an introvert/extrovert way. Am I over-thinking this or is it an early sign that we move at different speeds?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think it’s an extrovert/introvert thing so much as him being kind of clingy and creepy. That’s so offputting. Don’t message him back again.

      • OL Dating Anon :

        Thanks. I do think more and more he’s got that kind of issue. He mentioned how much he wanted to see the new Star Wars movie but hadn’t because he didn’t have someone to go with. Not being capable of attending a movie alone as an adult isn’t a red flag by itself but it’s not appealing to me either.

        • Oh come on. He’s dropping hints about potential dates. It amazes me that you’re reading this many psychological issues into this person whom you haven’t even met. I highly doubt that this one line is his desperate way of revealing to you that he’s so tragically alone and too emotionally frail to go to a movie by himself. Sometimes people just prefer going to movies with their friends/dates. There is nothing wrong with that.

        • Also, unless he’s just moved or something, an adult with zero friends willing to go see a movie with him is a bit of a red flag to me.

          • Veronica Mars :

            OK in that case, I see your point!

          • KateMiddletown :

            Unless said movie is Star Wars. Not a super fan, but my guy is and all of his Star Wars friends live in different states because they went to high school and college together. (He’s going today on his day off by himself as a result.)

        • Veronica Mars :

          That sounds like more of a dating line than anything else. He probably was waiting for you to jump at the chance to go with him. I wouldn’t red flag it, personally. I’ve been guilty of saying things like, “Oh that exhibit/restaurant/event is really interesting but I’ve never been there….” Which opens the door for the guy to know exactly what I might be interested in for a date.

          • OL Dating Anon :

            It wasn’t a dating line. He mentioned seeing the early movies as a favorite childhood memory so I said that I didn’t like them much, but had seen the new one, and how did he like it? It hadn’t occurred to me that he wouldn’t have seen it if the series meant so much to him. It’s not much of a dating line if he’s asking me to see a movie he knows I’ve already seen and didn’t enjoy!

        • Some people just have this personality! I used to work with someone like this, and at first, was thankful for a work buddy. Over time, however, it became exhausting to constantly communicate, and the person became needy and fairly manipulative about my lack of responses. I was really happy when they finally moved on to a new organization, and it gave me some space. Periodically, the person still communicates with me in rapid bursts of texts/calls/messages, and then becomes pouty and frustrated via text when I don’t respond enough/at all/the right things. And it’s been two years! And we weren’t a couple! I would have torn my hair out if a person I dated acted this way.

          Know thyself. If you felt compatible in other ways, then give it a fair shot in person (but possibly mention that your work environment doesn’t really allow for personal messages to see if it tapers off). Or, give it hard no and shut it down.

      • I have read thru ALL of the p’ost’s, and haveing done so, the answer is simple. YOU and He are just NOT compatable. You are more independent, and he is clingey. He is also a littel to childlike for me, watching Star Wars movies. FOOEY! I stopped doing that when I was 19 year’s old, tho men are alot slower in growing up.

        There is one good thing. You have NOT done anything s-xueally with him before figureing out he was a doosh. I was not so smart with Sheketovits. I wound up being his hand-servant b/f figureing out that he had to go and that we had NO future. You are SMART to be dateing others. I did NOT have much choice, as no other men were lining up for me, as they are with you.

        Keep up the good face, and let the HIVE know how your future dates make out. Hopefully you will be MARRIED in 2017 and will not have to deal with dooshes any more. That is my NEW YEAR’S resultion. Find a decent guy, MARRY him, and be done with the SINGEL’s scene for 2017! YAY!

    • Anonymous :

      He seems overly chatty. Some people get a little weird when they’re trying to impress someone, but it sounds annoying and like he might expect to chat all the time with you. I think it’s fine to tell him that you’re not up for texting so much and see how he handles it.

      • OL Dating Anon :

        Thanks. Maybe I’ll do that if I can think of a way that doesn’t sound like “OMG BACK OFF!!” which is what I’m feeling.

      • Veronica Mars :

        My Ex was a complete motormouth on our first date, so I can see that being probable. Nerves can amp up habits. He was fine after the next couple of dates–very talkative, but not as obnoxiously so.

    • This isn’t a question of introvert/extrovert, or really even a question of clinginess. It’s a question of different desires/expectations regarding frequency of smalltalk. My source: Have gone on 40+ online dates.

      People approach online dating in so many different ways. Some people *love* to text and talk before meeting, thinking that they are continuing to develop their connection and rapport with you, and wanting to show interest. Some people want to exchange long messages about life, the universe, and everything, and some want constant chatter about what their favorite mexican food place is. Some people *hate* texting before meeting a person (other than setting up logistics). I’m one of those people- like you, I find it bothersome and invasive to keep up a conversation over text with someone who a) I don’t know and b) is likely interpreting everything I say via the lens of “do I want to date this person.” I totally agree that it’s effort to keep trying to connect with someone new. But, for every person who doesn’t want to do these pre-date texts, there is someone who will say “oh wow, then I didn’t hear from him for 5 days, he must not be interested” or who will forget about him.

      The problem is that people don’t discuss their expectations for texting/pre-date communication. Also, people have such different expectations for texting in general- some people just want to be in contact or share jokes all day, no matter how serious the relationship. Some people don’t.

      It’s definitely not an introvert/extrovert thing. Nor is it a sign that he wants too much commitment too fast. And, like most men, he will likely come off totally different in person. If I were you, I would either explicitly tell him you don’t like texting prior to meeting, or say something to the effect of “[nice response to thing he said]. I’m really looking forward to meeting you next week! I’ll follow up on Tuesday to confirm time/place.” That ends it on a positive note, and also clearly says “hey, the next time we speak will be next week and that is ok with me.”

    • Aren’t good morning texts normal? I’m not dating, but my office mate is and it seems like lots of text contact in the beginning is standard. She actually thinks the guy lost interest if he DOESN’T text her good morning.

      I’ve been married for 14 years. Today’s dating with always being available/reachable by text and social media sounds completely exhausting.

      • I think it’s definitely more common, but may vary by age group also. For me, I like it once it’s been clearly established that both people are interested in dating and there has been a rapport established, also post-meet up. I also have found that I find it off-putting from a guy I am not really into, but I welcome it from a guy who I am excited about.

        OP – it doesn’t sound like you are really excited about him, I think you’re okay at this stage answering when you want to answer and otherwise ignoring or saying something about how you don’t like to text too much prior to meeting. I have used that before.

        • Yes, this exactly.

        • “I also have found that I find it off-putting from a guy I am not really into, but I welcome it from a guy who I am excited about.”

          This. I met my SO online and we were obnoxious teenagers with the texting for a couple of months initially. Now that we live together that’s fallen off quite a bit cause we see each other every day but when we didn’t, good gravy there was a lot of texting. I know I would have found it irritating from other guys because I HAVE found it irritating from other guys.

          Trust your instincts OP. It sounds like y’all just didn’t click, and that’s OK.

      • Word to your last paragraph. I’m always reading these things and thinking “This world makes no sense to me!”

      • Good Morning texts – if you’ve actually met someone in person, I would think it was less weird. But doing it this early on (combined with all the other texting) feels like a lot of demand for attention based on very little interaction.

        For OP – Respond as much as you are interested in doing so. Every text (aka bid for attention) doesn’t have to be responded to. You don’t owe him that.

        • KateMiddletown :

          +1. You get to decide if you want this kind of interaction. If you text him back all the time then you’re telling him you will text him back all the time. If you don’t want to talk to him that much, just don’t!

      • Veronica Mars :

        It just depends on the people involved. Some people love texting and want their SO to be their go-to texting buddy, every single day. I’d find a good morning text sweet but it would be kind of off putting to be expected to have long, daily texts. Or that the good morning was an obligation instead of an expression of being really happy to be in contact with me.

      • OL Dating Anon :

        If it had been a good morning text after a physical date, or certainly after we had known each other for a while, I would have thought it was sweet. But after no in-person contact it felt a bit invasive to me. Maybe I was born in the wrong century.

        • Nah, you’re allowed to have the comfort level you want to have! It would probably oog me out that quickly too with no in-person meeting and not all totally good vibes after a call.

      • It’s SO exhausting! I hate good morning texts. Other things I hate: what I had for lunch texts, detailed recounting of what one is watching on TV texts (especially if it’s sports), constant commentary on the weather, mansplainy texts, and texts that would be more appropriately directed to one’s mother.

        (Admittedly, the above have come from guys I wasn’t really into… but the overreliance on texting also seems to mean I am more likely to be into guys who aren’t that into me, because they are not bombarding me with texts about things I don’t care about).

        PS – Carrots, good to know there are still guys out there who will limit themselves to “hey, this made me think of you” texts, which I agree, are nice.

        • Yes! It’s a much chiller thing and it sets a really nice tone then for when we actually get together because I don’t know every. single. thing. that happened to him since we’ve been apart.

      • Not when his most recent several texts from the night before were still unanswered. It would’ve been totally different if the communication from the night before ended naturally or just sort of trailed off.

    • There was actually a brief discussion about this on the latest “Awesome Etiquette” episode about how there seems to be a swinging of the pendulum around electronic communication and how people now aren’t wanted to be so connected.

      But related to your situation, this happened with an ex-boyfriend. He was constantly texting (and got super paranoid one day when I accidentally left my phone at home and we were Facebook connected yet). It definitely dropped off once we got more serious and started seeing each other much more, but was a thing a questioned when we first started dating. Current boyfriend is much less about consistent texting and more top of mind “hey this made me think of you” and it’s definitely the way I prefer.

    • I had these thoughts about a guy, and I went ahead and dated him anyway. He was, in fact, needy, clingy, and boring. It’s easy to write off your instincts about these things as being too picky, but I’m resolved to stop doing that this year when I just *know* there is something amiss.

    • I think he likes you and is trying hard to not let the connection due out because of the time gap before an actual date. I think it’s worth trying just telling him “hey I’m really excited for our date in two weeks, but I’m not much of a texter.”

      I don’t think this is a red flag.

      • I have found that guys like this respond to a message like the one with you suggested by saying that they’re not really into texting, either, and then they continue texting at a fairly high volume.

        (Also, friendly reminder: you have to like him, too!)

    • I’m so glad I’m not dating.

      I’m exhausted just reading this thread.

    • This is red flag behavior to me. He’s needy at best and disrespecting boundaries at worst. I can forgive being overly chatty (maybe he’s nervous) and even some follow-up texts after the phone conversation (maybe he’s excited? or just bored?). But once you stopped responding to his texts, that should’ve sent the message to him that you’re not available for the evening. Instead of picking up on that he continued to text to get a response out of you. When that didn’t work, he pinged you in the morning. It’s all about him wanting attention from you, not about trying to build a mutual connection with you. This sort of behavior this early on would make me wonder if he’s going to have trouble with boundaries once he actually has a reason to feel entitled to my time and attention.

      • No no. She has not set a boundary for him to disrespect. People are not mind readers. You do not get to conclude they don’t respect your boundaries unless they tell you what those are!!

        • I strongly disagree. Why should he put her in a position where she needs to directly say “Please text me less frequently; you are overstepping my boundaries”? The appropriate thing to do this early on is to be considerate enough to mirror each other’s texting frequency; he’s either aware that he should be mirroring her frequency and chooses not to (entitlement issues), or he lacks the emotional intelligence to pick up on the fact that she’s texting less frequently (harmless but not dating material). Either way it’s a red flag and she should go with her gut.

          OP, there’s a reason this is making you annoyed and uncomfortable. I used to online date a bunch and there were several times when someone turned me off like this before I even met them, but I met them anyway, and I was NEVER ever ever glad I went through with the date. Trust yourself, cut your losses.

          • “hy should he put her in a position where she needs to directly say “Please text me less frequently; you are overstepping my boundaries”? ”

            Because they don’t know each other and he can’t read her mind!!! How on earth is he supposed to know that he’s violating some huge boundary or doing something she doesn’t even like? He’s supposed to “mirror her frequency” (an exact science, I’m sure, especially with someone he just started talking to) but he’s also supposed to be the pursuer because #patriarchy. He’s supposed to magically divine that she doesn’t want him to text because she’s not responding, rather than just assume she’s at dinner or the gym. What he’s doing may not be what she wants (and that’s totally ok) but it’s really not unusual in the online dating context. I can’t believe everyone is making this guy out to be some emotionally stunted, entitled boundary pusher and that *texting her more than she likes even though she didn’t tell him to stop* is a huge red flag.

            As opposed to the woman who can’t simply use her thumbs to say “please text me less” and obviously just doesn’t like this guy (which is also totally cool).

      • “But once you stopped responding to his texts, that should’ve sent the message to him that you’re not available for the evening. ”

        Lol. No. People are not mind readers. Unreal. Communication via texting is phenomenally easy to misinterpret. You don’t get to expect perfect communication and mindreading from this guy, especially not while letting OP off the hook for not actually telling him she didn’t want to text.

        “It’s all about him wanting attention from you, not about trying to build a mutual connection with you”

        You have no basis on which to conclude this. Would you say this if OP texted some guy twice?

        • Without demanding that I be let off of any hook, let’s be clear that it was a lot more than “twice.”

    • I agree with the other commenters – it really is a personal thing. This would exhaust me (unless I really liked the guy but even still, it’s a bit early for this level of contact) but I have friends who would love this level of communication. It seems like you’re not that into him (if you liked him or at least were interested, you wouldn’t feel so annoyed) which is okay but maybe it’s not a good use of your time to even bother meeting up with him? See how you feel. You don’t have to!

    • dating anon :

      I completely agree that this is clingy and annoying. I need a LOT of space in the early dating period, maybe more than most, but I think you can kind of train people to see what you like. I used to think that if the guy wrote back right away, then I had to also respond almost immediately. But you can set your own pace. They’ll see that you do respond consistently — just not like every five minutes.

      I find online dating extremely overwhelming unless I play by my own rules, which include:
      1. I only check the apps once a day.
      2. I do not have any notifications on so it’s a pleasant surprise when I log in and see a new message. I use the apps on my terms; I’m not a lab rat responding to signals all day.
      3. I put a limit on the amount of time I spend on the apps. Sometimes it’s 10 minutes, sometimes it’s 30, but after that I think it’s diminishing returns. There are only so many people I can correspond with meaningfully and I only have so much time in a week.
      4. If someone gives me a weird vibe for any reason, I stop communicating. You don’t owe these people anything, especially if you haven’t even met them yet. It sounds cold, but it’s true. You don’t have to explain why the person makes you feel weird.

      All this means that I do not go on five dates a week or anything. More like one or two new guys a month. However, the ones I go on are usually with pretty good guys because I weed out a lot by the time I get to the in-person stage. Good luck! I know it’s tough out there.

      • Thanks for these – I am like you in terms of needing a LOT of space in the early dating period. I think I will try these tips next time around.

    • I wouldn’t say it’s a red flag, but it’s a yellow flag. I would respond as much or as little as you feel like. It turns into a red flag if he gets upset about you not being as chatty as he would like.

      I would find this annoying too, but I think he probably just wants you to realize that he is Into You. And sure, maybe trying to continue getting to know you before the date.

      I like the idea above of cheerfully replying with “looking forward to next week, I’ll follow up with you on Tuesday to confirm” and setting your expectations.

      Right now he doesn’t know he’s annoying you. Some people love the constant chit chat.

    • OL Dating Anon :

      Thanks everyone! The discussion of different tastes in texting really helped me. I have done online dating before but have never given my number to someone until we had already scheduled a date by email, so this wasn’t an issue I’d dealt with. It really is very important to me to be able to control when I’m “on” in that way until an actual in-person relationship starts, and since I’d already done my mandated 45 minutes that day I got a little loopy.

      Those of you who said I didn’t sound very in to him were correct. There were no red flags of the “this is a bad person” sort, but there were about five yellow flags of the “this is the wrong person for me” sort. I was going to stop communicating with him– we’d exchanged 3-4 emails in 3-4 days– but then he wrote something particularly intriguing and asked for my number. Since I’d already given my number to the other guy I spontaneously gave it to him too.

      One of the yellow flags was logistics. He lives 25 miles way which in this area easily means an hour by car. No, I don’t want to drive an hour in the snow to see your favorite restaurant on a blind date when there are four other reasons I’m not sure about this. That’s why giving him a chance in person wasn’t as easy as it would have been in other circumstances. I wouldn’t have been emailing him to start with if I’d noticed the location right off but I didn’t.

      So I did tell him we weren’t a match, not because of the texting, but because of the cumulative yellow flags that I should have heeded before he got my number.

  2. We recently bought an apartment and are having a bit of work done before we move in. Nothing crazy, but for those with experience with this sort of thing is there anything that you wish you did before moving in that we can ask our contractor to do?

    Related question: can anyone recommend good, reasonably priced places for ceiling fixtures, bathroom cabinets & fixtures, and the like? TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      If there is any chance you will want to have any wood floors refinished within the next few years, do it now. Floor refinishing is messy and smelly, and the finish has to cure for several days before you can put your rugs and furniture back.

      • +1

        Also, if you have popcorn ceilings and hate them (as I do), see if you can have them scraped before you move anything in. Removal is not difficult, but it is ineffably messy (picture a Jackson Pollock-esque splatter of oatmeal-like substance all over the walls and floors). I wish we had done this before moving in to our house last year.

        Caveat: If the apartment was built before 1978, the popcorn will need to be tested for asbestos before removal.

        • lost academic :

          God yes, get rid of these. Even if you like them, because if you have a problem and need to paint or patch it’s really hard. We redid an entire bathroom ceiling due to it.

      • +1 to airing out the house after hardwood refinishing. Spouse and I moved into our house a week after the hardwood floors were refinished, and the smell hadn’t gone away since it was early spring and too cold to keep windows open all the time. We got accustomed to the smell but guests noticed it immediately. We both developed terrible sore throats and coughs that wouldn’t go away after two weeks. Looked it up – polyurethane poisoning. We opened all the windows for several days and our symptoms went away.

    • Anonymous :

      My contractor recommend Lighting Direct, but I found what I wanted there and then purchased it on Amazon to get the rewards points. My dining room chandelier is George Kovacs brand and I love it.

    • We’ve used Lumber Liquidators for flooring supplies and Lowes/HD for some fixtures for DIY tasks. Your contractor may be able to get better pricing at some places so ask them for their recommendations as well. For paint, we used Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore (again, check for online coupons or contractor discounts)

      • We found styles we liked then used Amazon to get them cheaper or even better from Amazon warehouse. Got a sink that was $1000 in the fancy kitchen showroom and $750 on Amazon via the warehouse for $300 because it had a small scratch on the bottom. We bought it since I knew I’d inevitably scratch the bottom (it’s a sink!) but as it turned out there was no scratch that we could find.

    • Ebay

      • Thanks for the suggestions so far. I think floors are definitely on the agenda.

        What about window shades? Where does one get them if the windows are not standard size but you don’t want to spend thousands on some fancy custom job?

        • Home Depot has a range of options for custom-ordered shades from different manufacturers. You can do it online or in-store, and they have samples in the store.

        • JC Penney

        • Next Day Blinds

        • Budget Blinds. They gave me 40% off for being a new customer (make sure to ask for the discount). We were able to replace all the shades in our house (because we prefer blinds) for less than $1k. We ordered faux wood blinds, but they have many options and will come to you.

        • For a number of styles of window shades, they can just cut them in the store–no need to special order. I’ve always worked with Lowe’s.

    • Meredith Grey :

      Get them to re-do the caulking in your bathroom. I don’t know if they scrape the old stuff and put down fresh, or just caulk over the old, but this helps reduce mold (around fixtures, tub, shower door etc).

    • For Bathroom vanities, we found what we wanted on Wayfair, which has good filtering/searching features. For lights, we used CB2, Lighting Direct (sometimes purchased on Amazon but searching there is a PITA), IKEA, and Home Depot. Our brass MCM-ish chandelier and a cool sconce came from Etsy. We used Home Depot’s Behr Premium Plus Ultra for most paint (note: Ultra is important; covers much better than regular Premium Plus). Lumber Liquidators for wood floor, and a local tile store for backsplash and quartz countertop (cheaper than IKEA!). IKEA cabinets with fronts from SemiHandmade, which ended up charging us an insane surcharge for delivery inside our apartment building so watch out for that. Most faucets and bathroom fixtures came from Amazon – check the warehouse deals, there’s a lot of open box faucets and such that are majorly discounted.

      I agree redoing floors is definitely best before you move in. If you don’t have a lot of space, painting is also hard to do when furniture is in place. Painting doors and door trim is best done before moving in. We just finished our reno and moved in, but in hindsight, I am really glad we ended up doing just about everything we wanted to do in the next few years now instead of later. We now have a lot of credit card debt, but I’d rather pay that down over a year with no interest financing then embark on a bathroom renovation next year when we have the cash saved. You have no idea how much sawdust even seemingly simple projects create, and drywall plaster dust is insane. We got a Home Depot credit card and used them for as many big purchases as possible to take advantage of 0% financing. Lumber Liquidators also has a 0% financing offer.

    • If there is a Ferguson or other kitchen/bathroom supply place in your area, I highly recommend. The quality of the bathroom fixtures was much higher than what you will find at HD/Lowes. No matter where you go, ask if they will price-match — you can often find cheaper prices online.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        At Ferguson, if they have a showroom, you can make an appointment and have someone walk you through all the options for a bunch of different brands. Second the point that the quality is often nicer than the pieces you can find at Home Depot. They may have the same brands but most of the products are a different level. You’ll only see the retail prices, but your contractor likely gets a discount and even with markup you’ll pay less than retail.

        Heads up, faucets, etc are more expensive than you might expect. People are often shocked at first.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 for Ferguson.

    • Veronica Mars :

      If you’re looking for statement lighting, I love Pottery Barn and PB teen. I ended up getting the Piper hanging pendant light from PB teen recently and it’s gorgeous (it says it’s plug in, but came with the hardwiring). I also ordered the swag kit (excellent quality, I’m renting, so I put the hardwire in storage). With a coupon, it was about $130 shipped which I think is pretty reasonable for a statement lighting piece. Home also had some of the PB-like chandeliers in the sub $200 range as well.

    • Between moving in and them finishing the work they’re doing, clean EVERYTHING and then replace the air filter. The dust from my bathroom remodel was unholy. How did it get in the kitchen cabinets on the other side of the house?! How was it on all the windowsills?!

      I got pretty high quality custom blinds installed in my house for only a couple hundred dollars more than home depot by going to a local (Houston), online only retailer with good reviews on Google. If you can find something like that where you are, you might be surprised how affordable it is, and the quality is much better than a hardware store.

      • cake batter :

        In addition to deep cleaning and changing the air filter, get your ducts cleaned also so you’re not blowing renovation dust back into your clean house. Shouldn’t be more than $200 or so.

      • Yep, +1 to what everyone said (paint, floors, lighting, etc.), but a deep clean was huge for me. I’m talking cleaning baseboards, the oven, tops of kitchen cabinets, ducts, scrubbing tubs, all of it. It might be the germophobe in me, but I like knowing that any subsequent dirt is mine and not someone else’s :)

    • Painting! For logistical and financial reasons

      It took us 9 years to paint after moving in, and even then it cost so much more because we had to pay the painters to move our furniture around and properly cover it, etc. If you think there’s a reasonable chance you’ll want to paint any of the rooms, do it now before you’re settled in.

    • Definitely install any lighting you might want. 10 years into owning our home, we still haven’t done the lighting installations we decided to hold off on until we had more money. Now we have the money and no motivation or time . . . .Basically, do anything now you can before inertia sets in.

  3. Curiouser and curiouser :

    The other day there was a discussion on here about financial planning/investing and a lot of people said they just put their money in an ETF. That sounds appealing to me for many reasons, but on the downside you don’t get to choose what exactly you are investing in. Do any of you have ethical / religious / environmental concerns about what you are investing in? Weapons manufacturing, private prisons, oil sands, mountain top removal coal mining, are a few things that come to mind as things that might be problematic for some people. Thoughts?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Not for me. I buy the market, warts and all. Ethics of companies has never factored into my investing strategy.

    • There are many many mutual funds, and there are some that cater to certain ethical issues. Google “ethical mutual fund” or “sustainable mutual fund” or similar. They may have poorer returns than a larger market fund though.

    • People were talking about index funds, which are actually not the same as ETFs.

      I generally will not pick an _individual_ stock where I disagree with their views, but I am fine with indexing.

      There’s unfortunately a lot of research that shows that long term, socially-responsible investment funds (usually actively-managed, so that’s slightly different than an index or ETF) do not outperform broader-based funds (like a total-market or S&P index fund). Although this has not been true in the past few years, as oil prices have fallen, for many years, natural resources (oil, gas, etc) was a sector that outperformed the market and juiced overall index returns. Leaving that sector out is what made socially-responsible funds underperform. However, as oil prices have fallen and many natres companies have done worse, that is less the case than it was.

      If it’s important to you, there are several mutual fund families (and I am sure ETFs–there are ETFs for literally everything) that you can select instead of a broader-based index.

      • anonshmanon :

        I am confused by the info at the link. Please tell me if I got this right.
        I know what an index is and that an index fund tracks an index. Are some index funds traded at exchanges and therefore they are ETFs? But not all index funds are exchange-traded (Vanguard you buy through them directly)? What I have already found through my own research is that not all things that call themselves an ETF are ‘proper’ index funds. All kinds of products are sold under the label of an ETF.

        • My vanguard fund is available as ETF or mutual fund. My understanding is that the main difference is trading – go with ETF if you want to be able to do instant trades (other than end of day). I have the S&P 500 mutual fund. If you have more than $10k you can convert to admiral level shares, much lower fees.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. Not only are index funds the smart strategy, if you’re a lawyer who works for a big firm it’s a lot less risky than trying to keep track of every client your firm represents so you don’t do something that appears shady when managing individual stocks. So I don’t really feel like I have a lot of choice and I focus on doing good in the areas I can more easily control (donations to charity, etc.)

      • I wanted to sell 3K worth of stock to capture some losses for tax purposes after the crash and was barred from doing so b/c of my firm’s insider trading rules. For years! For this reason, I’m never again buying an individual stock until I leave BigLaw for good.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t invest in oil/guns/cigarettes etc but accept that a consequence is that my returns are lower. I view it as putting my money where my mouth is. Other friends chose differently on the basis that more money in their pocket means they have more to donate to causes they care about.

    • Stuck in moderation so trying again – I don’t invest in guns/oil/tobacco etc. I view it as putting my money where my mouth is. Other friends invest more broadly on the basis that if they earn more money, they have more available to donate to causes they care about.

    • anonshmanon :

      There are indeed indices tha specifically track world market or US market excluding certain companies. Oil and gas are not typically excluded, but alcohol, tobacco, guns and adult entertainment. They might not perform exactly as great as the index with everything included, but they are still reasonably diversified in my opinion. I also have the impression that providers have decided that they can charge higher fees for those products/from the customers that are willing to buy them.

    • No.

    • I have thought about this.

      Most of my $$ is index funds (esp. Vanguard). But I also have a significant chunk in Berkshire-Hathaway stock, which has done very well. I have debated divesting because of their heavy investment in the oil industry etc.. All of the other individual stocks I own (in small $ amounts) are in good companies that I respect, that have a great outlook on benefits they can create for society, and that treat their workers well.

  4. pugsnbourbon :

    Frugal Friday PSA: Zulily, a generally annoying online clearance site, has Frye footwear on offer today. No returns, but if you know your size you might be able to find a good deal.

  5. winter chic :

    OMG I was so cold this morning that I have worn something unbelievably mumsy to work (heavy wool belted long cardigan sweater jacket, cotton turtleneck, jeans, hiking boots). I am at least warm (cold outside and office is arctic)!

    Any good style sites or easy style upgrades from warm to Chic Snow Lodge Lady (but in a city worker sort of way) or even chic winter office attire (but for really cold weather where you are outdoors / walking a lot in your commute)? Like maybe our Canadian friends are much better at this and have things we don’t see (like WAGS of hockey players or something?)? HELP! AYUDAME!

    Half of the blogs I look at now feature some sort of bare feet and exposed skin in pumps / flats /wedges / OT booties that I want to scream and give up and throw on a snuggie.

    • Anonymous :

      Canadian here – this is what I’m wearing today – booties with short merino wool socks inside, jeans (casual friday), black camisole (layering is key), long sleeve blouse, wool blazer. I keep a cashmere wrap thrown on my chair to use as a scarf or leg warmer on days that I fail on the warm dressing.

      • Anonymous :

        adding that this is my in – office wear. I actually wore warm knee high winter boots and a parka to the office.

    • If you want to be warmer, add a layer of underclothes–heattech or thin polypro long johns or silk long johns. If you don’t want to do full-sleeved underlayers on top, even adding a cami makes a huge difference. Cords and stretch fabrics are warmer than cotton jeans. I also like wearing wool or tweed skirts with thick fleece leggings over tights for my commute, then remove the leggings at work. I also have a few heavier ponte/sweater dresses that I wear only in colder winter months, using the legging method).

      You have the right idea wearing wool or other warmer fibers–cashmere, silk, polyester, acrylic all hold heat better than cotton. If your office is cold, (and casual) have an “office down vest” that you throw on over what you are wearing. You can definitely find cuter versions of all of these fibers in sweaters.

      Make sure that the coat you have is windproof and down (or equivalent). Make sure you are not wearing too many clothes under the down so that you don’t actually warm up from the down (sometimes you can “heat-sink” where your body is just trying to warm up all your clothes).

      For your feet, there’s tons of cuter warm boots–check out Uggs or Blondo or LaCanadienne.

      But seriously, add the underlayer–it’s key. Good luck!

      • +1

        Yeah…. I’d skip the hiking boots and get La Canadienne.

        Then again, your workplace is very different than mine. If you can wear jeans to work, then shoot…. wear hiking boots if you want!

        • winter chic :

          I’m in the SE US, so people are so nervous about the coming storm that we look like Weather Channel anchors right now. Hiking books would otherwise not be OK (and no one here seems to own snow boots). I do have some LaCannadienne tall boots, but have to wear them with thin socks and just wanted to wear thick wool socks to stay warm (it’s more my drafty 65 degree office than the outdoors, to be honest).

          Will try to figure out how to do winter better.

          • You need thick socks at work under your LaCannadiennes? Then get a space heater and a cashmere throw, and change to thin socks at work.

            Under my LaCannadienne’s, I do well with fleece tights and on the cold days I put a thin extra sock on top. No need for a thick sock. I am in Chicago and it was 4 degrees this morning during my commute.

          • Falke soft merino knee high socks are the answer. Cotton inside, merino outside, thin but warm and not at all scratchy. They’re expensive, but totally worth it.


    • On really cold days, and I walk on my commute, I’ll make sure I wear tights (you can do wool or fleece lined tights), a knee-length skirt, knee-high boots, a tank top, wool sweater, and then a coat (that goes mid-thigh or lower). Then with a scarf/hat/gloves I’m usually fine! For whatever reason the tights/skirt/boot combo keeps me warmer than pants because I don’t want to wear long-johns under my pants.

    • Michelin Man :

      Any advice for avoiding the Michelin Man look?

      I find a turleneck to be indispensible. Much better than a long-john shirt and a neck scarf (which is never tight enough to keep me warm).

      Long johns are problematic b/c I’m a pear and scraping the edges of what my bottoms can accommodate. And if I wear Mom jeans and long johns under, it’s Michelin Man levels of sad and sorry.

      If I wanted to look both hot and be warm, how do I do that? I have a bowl game party Monday night and more football playoffs and then March Madness and I want to look awesome and yet not freeze. How do I do this?

      Little desert flower relocated to snowpocalypse

      • I have a cashmere wrap/scarf (not quite as wide as most wraps) & a cute warm winter hat that will usually do the job if I have on a warm coat and knee high boots with a wool or cashmere sweater. I try to keep all the layers thin to avoid the Michelin man feeling. But I can’t imagine being warm without the big scarf and hat. I actually forgot the scarf recently on a very cold day and even though I was wearing a wool turtleneck sweater and my warmest coat I was noticeably colder. I really think the key to looking ‘cute’ in cold weather is layering and accessories. For the most part I avoid anything that looks too land’s end/Eddie Bower and stick to more interesting cold weather gear.

      • Just wear tights under your jeans. It makes a big difference even if they’re fairly thin tights.

      • I completely separate my “outside in the snow look” from my “when I arrive” look, in my head. I don’t do tights under jeans or long underwear or any of that, because when I get to wear I’m going, I’ll be warm! (And I hate sweating inside for hours because I dressed warmly for the 5 minutes I’d be outside). So outside in the snow I look like a hand grenade, poofy coat (possibly layered over a fleece or hoodie), scarf up to my eyeballs, hat or hood, clompy boots. And inside I’m wearing jeans and a long sleeve tee.

        • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

          I have to tell you that I literally laughed out loud at the “I look like a hand grenade” comment. Thank you so much for that mental image.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      As a Canadian, I am often amused by the footwear discussions. If it is cold or snowy, we just wear boots and change into something else when we get where we are going. It is freezing here (it was -11 when I left the house which translates to 12.2 for my American friends) so down parka and tall Sorel Tivolis to the office). I am presently wearing knee high burgundy riding boots (with wool knee socks), jeans and a black honeycomb knit cashmere tunic. Toasty!

    • I love Smartwool NTS 150 stuff. I wear the long sleeve tshirts underneath my sweater. If you put one underneath a cashmere sweater, you will sweat to death.

    • Knee length down coat, cashmere scarf, gloves, hat, knee-high boots and warm tights. Otherwise, typical office wear.

    • I keep shoes at my office– I think changing out of snow/hiking/rain/weather boots is key. I have like 6 pairs here (black flats, nude flats, striped flats, black heels, navy heels, nude heels) but you could also just bring a pair every day.

    • It’s cold and snowy in the Boston area and I’ve been suffering from migraines all week.

      Here’s what I’m wearing: the original Halogen skirt in red, a black and white large polka dot tee shirt from White House Black Market, and this amazing charcoal grey wrap/cardigan with thumb holes from Athleta:

      The wrap was a xmas gift from my sister.

      Plus, tights which I just discovered are blue and not grey (Yikes!) and grey boots. And over everything my big puffy, thigh length red Land’s End coat.

    • Also in the Boston area. Here’s my sugerencia (you asked for ayuda!): LAYERS! You can always take things off, but you can’t put on nonexistent clothing while at work, in a cold office, in a hot cafe, on a stuffy bus, etc.

      Today its snowing and I’m wearing long underwear bottoms (CuddlDuds brand) under dress pants. I’m wearing black waterproof fur lined boots. They are dressy enough and fit under my dress pants, so it just looks like a black boot peeking out.

      I’m wearing a short sleeve long underwear top with a deep v neck so it doesn’t show. I hate how many are crew necks. Then, a button down topped with a cardigan. If I get hot, I can take off the cardigan.

      I keep a scarf/wrap in my office in case I get cold.

    • Marshmallow :

      It’s snowing here and I was quite warm (almost too warm) on my commute. It’s Friday and the boss is working from home, so I’m wearing: black jeans, tank top, gray dolman-sleeved cashmere sweater, a chunky necklace to spiff up the sweater/jeans combo, and Sorel Slimboots with wool hiking socks underneath. With a wool trench coat, scarf, hat, and gloves, I was fine.

      The thick socks are key. The tank top under a sweater thing always helps because the layer underneath traps heat. And I find jeans warmer than most work pants, but if it wasn’t a casual day, I’d do the same thing with wool pants or a wool pencil skirt and tights. Then I’d change the boots at work.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Ayudame! Have you seen The Light in the Piazza?

    • Closet Redux :

      Same question, but add in that you’re pumping at work. IMPOSSIBLE!

    • I finally broke down and got the HeatTech long underwear from Uniqlo, and am wearing it for the first time today–I can see why it got so many recommendations. I like that the neckline is low/wide enough that I should be able to layer it without exposure (that said, I don’t wear much low-cut stuff to work, YMMV). it seems to strike a nice balance between being close fitting without creating the dread uniboob

  6. Veronica Mars :

    I bought 2 of the Ravelos, I’ll report back. FYI free returns over $49 and 15% off with code 3B3K

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have this pattern in the crewneck version and love it. I may have to try the v-neck–I’ve got I think 5 of the crewneck ravellos in various colors? They’re my go-to work top under jackets/cardigans.

      • Veronica Mars :

        Oh that’s awesome, I’m excited to get it then! I got the clearance v-necks, so I’m glad this pattern looks nice in person! One of the reviews said the Vneck was a little low, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get by without a cami. The crewneck then might be better, but we’ll see.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I have the green version of this pattern in v-neck and like it a lot. The crew neck isn’t flattering on me but the v works nicely.

    • Ugh. I love them. If only I weren’t on a spending moratorium post-Christmas

    • I have three of the crewneck Ravellos (which are still called Ravello, Ravenna is different – not gathered I think) and I loooove them. I have 2 different sizes and both look good. One tip – the prints hide wrinkles better; I machine wash delicate on cold, hang dry, and skip ironing on the printed ones. Note that they also have a longer length version.

      • If you iron on low while they are still damp, there will be zero wrinkles.

      • Veronica Mars :

        Are they packable? I was hoping the material would be forgiving. I try not to pack iron heavy things for conferences just for the convenience.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          They do usually need an iron after being in a suitcase (or steam; I bring a travel steamer with me when I travel because I’m too lazy to iron anything). Anon is right, the print versions do hide wrinkles better. I usually don’t bother steaming the pattern Kat showed, for example.

          • Veronica Mars :

            Thanks! This is helpful. I might look into a travel steamer then too because I hate ironing so, so much.

  7. My older dishwasher has stopped effectively cleaning dishes. It runs through cycles without any visible problems, but dishes come out dirty. It’s an older model that doesn’t have a filter to clean, but I’ve tried every other tip I can find online that doesn’t require actually disconnecting the machine. The last thing that might be worth a try is disconnecting the water supply and checking for clogs in that hose (we have well water and don’t have a filter, so it’s possible), which is more than I feel like I can do so I’d want to call in a professional. I can’t decide whether to spend $100 on a fix that might get this old machine working again, or just spend the money on a new dishwasher. What would you do?

    • Spend the $ on the fix.

      My new dishwasher doesn’t even dry the dishes (despite multiple settings all suggesting that it will dry them and the presence of a heating element).

      • Mine doesn’t dry dishes either! I freaking hate drying dishes by hand!

      • If you haven’t, make sure the heating element works. We had similar issues until we realised it didn’t work and it was a cheap fix! You can test it by just opening the door mid-cycle, the water should be hot.

    • If you have the funds for a new dishwasher, I’d say go for that. Switching out our 10 year old model was life changing. Our new one is soooo much quieter, gets dishes cleaner, has better organization, uses less water. Although to be fair, we also upgraded from a middle of the line to top of the line model. But I did get the sense that there have been some good innovations in dishwashers in the past few years.

      • I had the same experience. Bought the new one because of one problem with the old one, and couldn’t believe how much quieter and generally better it was!

      • Agree to focus on quality. I say that as someone with an cheap dishwasher. When we bought our house ~5 years ago, it had a brand new dishwasher in the kitchen. The manual was still in there in its little plastic wrapper. But it was a low end GE dishwasher and from the very first time we used it, we’ve had to run it on the longest and most heavy duty cycle just to get the dishes clean. It takes hours. 2-3 hours? and is loud.So… yeah, if you’re going to replace it, get something nice rather than something cheap. If you can’t afford something nice, maybe try to repair what you have now.

        • Be careful — my new quiet dishwasher takes 2-3 hours if you want the dishes to be dry. Otherwise, you have to dry everything (utensils, b/c the nylon/plastic baskets are still wet; glasses; sometimes even plates/dishes)

          • Can’t you just open it after it cleans, and let it air dry? Helps humidify your home.

            I never use the dry cycle.

          • winter chic :

            Hells no!

            I’m in the SE US and the thought of a roach getting in my clean dishes gives me the vapors.

          • What?!?

            Sounds like you have bigger problems.

            Drying dishes in the washer is a waste.

            Great roach killer …. Borax (cleaner) + sugar + crisco. Roll into little balls, or leave in a small accessible bowl /holder. Place in critical areas/corners. Non- toxic for you

          • winter chic :

            Outside here is like a buffet for roaches. It doesn’t matter how well you roach proof inside, they will always come in an older house. They probably survived in Chernobyl. They will find a way.

            This is not a roach investation (which you can probably do something about in a SF house at least). I didn’t grow up with roaches and even a stray a year is too many for me. But a stray a month is about where we are in the winter. Summers it might be every other week? Still . . .

        • Just have to go on the record on Borax–it is “natural” but NOT non-toxic! Less than a teaspoon can be fatal for a child

    • If it’s more than 10 years old, I’d buy a new one. It has probably reached the end of its life. Have you tried running it through a cycle or two with a couple of cups of white vinegar? Mineral buildup can affect performance.

    • Do you own or rent? How old are the rest of the appliances in your kitchen? Basically, if this is the oldest appliance you own, I would probably just get a new Energy Star one. If it’s not super old, or if you think you are going to update the entire kitchen in the next 5 years, or if you rent, I would try to fix it.

    • I would definitely fix for that price unless you know it is extremely energy inefficient.

      Because you are going to spend a lot more than $100 on a new one. And these decent older models/Kenmore etc.. are often more reliable than new ones and can last for many many many decades.

      • Yep. Planned obsolescence. It’s such a soapbox issue for me.

        • I was totally convinced that it was time for a new dishwasher until I saw the pile of discarded appliances in that article! That helped me reframe the cost of a service call as an investment in the environment instead of a potential waste of money if they aren’t able to fix it. Thank you!

    • Get a new one but stay far, far away from Samsung appliances. We just moved into a new house and replaced all of the appliances with Samsung and I absolutely HATE them. Ugh. I have to press the “start” button on the dishwasher about 5-6 times to get it to actually start, I hate the way the dishwasher is organized, and many, many other issues with the other appliances. Our appliances weren’t top of the line but they are mid-range so I’d expect better.

    • Try a couple things first. Run the dishwasher with

      1. Affresh dishwasher cleaner
      2. Vinegar
      3. Bleach (not if you have stainless inside)

      Separate loads, not together!

      If that doesn’t work, then I’d get a new machine.

      • I tried another dishwasher cleaner that didn’t help, but the Affresh looks like it has much better reviews. I’ll pick it up tonight! Vinegar hasn’t done the trick so far.

    • I have to chime in to say how much I’ve loved the 2 Bosch’s I’ve had (2 houses). Both were so quiet!

      • I love our Bosch! Our bosch dishwasher is great and the tumble dryer is also very good, hoover is mediocre. It has this amazing top tray so cutlery gets cleaner and is so much easier to sort and put away.

      • Have had Bosch in 2 homes. Both great. Both 500-800 range. The newer one (in our current house) as a super annoying control panel, but the rest of it makes up for it. It’s silent. It cleans well. It does take a while to run a cycle (2 hrs) but you can do it faster on econo mode.

      • Another vote for Bosch. Super quiet. But for yours, have you pulled off the sprayer arms and made sure the little holes aren’t clogged? The one downside to my Bosch is that I seem to have to do this several times a year.

    • If you buy a new one, definitely do your research (I like Consumer Reports)–I don’t understand why there are so many dud dishwashers out there, but there are! I bought a Bosch Ascenta two years ago, love it, and have recommended it to friends who love it as well. I’ve been able to find them at around $400 on major holiday sales (e.g., Black Friday)

    • hi–my expensive, highly rated dishwasher is three years old, and has been a pain in the neck. However, I recently did the following, the dishes are not getting clean. SO HAPPY! Iran it once empty with a small amount of drano in the DW. This is probably not recommended, but I don’t care. I switched to Cascade’s highest grade, most expensive packets, I think called Cascade Platinum, and the dishes are now getting clean! I think the drano clean out debris in the drain and the interior, and the new detergent is super powerful.

      Good luck!

  8. 'Jeans Friday' HAALP! :

    My (non-law) firm just told us Fridays going forward are Jeans Friday. We are business attire – suits and nothing but suits – at all times up until this point. My closet is dress/pants suits and sweat pants, and virtually nothing in between. I’m also one of two women, so the guys will inevitably have on a Brooks Brothers uniform with dark jeans. What’s a girl to do?

    I’m a 12/14 (on WW and getting smaller by the day – yay!) and carry it all in my hips/thighs, and I don’t know where to start, including footwear! FWIW, I have a $150 Nordstrom gift card burning a hole in my pocket. I’m in the NE and it’s a cold, snowy winter. Ideas?

    • Do you have to? Could you do a slightly more casual skirt, maybe a denim or cord? I’m a similar size and have never found jeans that I liked so I’d rather just wear a skirt or dress and booties.

    • Would it help to think of the jeans as suit pants? When we have jeans Friday I just replace my suit pants with dark wash jeans (I’m a pear so I’m typically in flares or trouser leg cuts)and wear the same heels I would have worn with the suit and don’t wear the suit blazer. I have picked up a couple fun blazers to wear with jeans. One is black and white with leather trim and I have a dark purple tweedy type fabric.

      • +1 this is what I did in my firm that was business casual with jeans Fridays. I replaced dress slacks with jeans but otherwise the top, shoes, and even the blazer/suit jacket (if you want) is the same.

    • Jeans on Friday does not necessarily mean jeans pants. You can wear something that’s casual, like a corduroy skirt or a jean skirt. You could also wear a cuter skirt (one that’s more flippy than a suit skirt). If you are continuing to lose weight, I would look into dresses that flatter your shape–they can be worn “longer” as you change sizes.

      Talbots has a number of A-line skirts, and coincidentally, Boden does too.

      If you need footwear, Nordy’s has great shoes! Congrats on your weight loss.

    • Fat Bottom Girl :

      Buy 1 pair of jeans for now and just wear them with whatever top you’d normally wear with your suit until your weight stops fluctuating so much. Recommend Ann Taylor Curvey fit pants. Lot’s of stretch and friendly to pears.

      • +1. Go for a dark rinse and wear it with your regular tops plus a blazer. Wear your regular shoes, or maybe some nicer flats.

        I’m very hippy and losing weight, and have been using Gap jeans for now. Relatively cheap and stretchy so they look nice until I need the next size lower. Use your Nordstroms card for some blazers, and maybe a cute pair of flats if you think you’ll skip heels on jeans days. (But decide this first so you’ll know what length your jeans should be.)

    • Senior women at my company also have loosed interpreted this as cords, which can be easier to find in a looser fit than jeans. I’m going to do navy cords from Talbots – I’ve seen dark brown cords done too. Never found jeans that looked good for this purpose

    • Ugh, I used to attend a church that did Blue Jeans Sunday once a month. People hated it, and the pastor dropped it, because people generally dressed up to attend church. It was like, ok let’s all waste money buying a jean skirt or a denim button down that we’ll only wear to this church once a month.

      My office is no jeans. Men generally wear suits, and women wear suits or the equivalent (separates, or a cardigan in lieu of a blazer).

      My suggestion is a cheap pair of dark (navy or black) colored denim. I have a (weekend) pair of Jones NY navy jeans that were like $25 at TJ Maxx. I could totally wear it with a blazer or nice top.

    • NYDJ jeans (from Nordstrom) in a trouser or boot cut style may be your solution here. Agree with others it should be in a dark wash. Actually, NY & Company had some dark wash jeans in a trouser cut a couple years ago – maybe they’re not as “in” now but they could work if you’re trying to lose weight and not want to spend too much money on these jeans.

    • Old Navy curvy boot cut jeans in a dark wash with no whiskering are inexpensive, flattering, and look nice with a blazer. And if you drop a size or two, you won’t feel bad about getting more.

      Similar shape. When I worked at a jeans Friday office, I would wear slim-fitting bootcut jeans with heels, a blouse, and a blazer.

      • Agreed! Old Navy Denim in whatever they are calling their curvy cut fits me really well. I also really like the curvy cut at loft for my anywhere from size 10-14 pear shaped backside.

      • Was just about to chime in and say Old Navy dark jeans. I am wearing black jeans today actually! With a plaid cashmere scarf/wrap belted over a black top.

        When I was at my old firm, which was a little more formal, I would wear black jeans with a tweed jacket or any obviously non suit jacket.

        • Junarose Jeans from Denmark have completely changed my world! Seriously, I adore them and they are the first jeans I have owned in many years that are comfortable, fit very well and are flattering. I’m a size 12ish hourglass with no torso so I have to have low rise pants. Chico’s has an acceptable alternative, but for me it’s completely worth the money and effort to get new ones from Junarose. I have another Danish pair that fits nearly as well and their equivalent of size 12 (usually around 42) is actually a very common size there. I bought two new pairs on a trip to Denmark this summer and I wear them all the time. Which amazes people who’ve known me for years and had never seen me in a pair of jeans

    • I have a business casual office and wear a lot of suit-appropriate tops (blazer + something like the Boden shell in this post) with jeans on the bottom. Boots in winter, flats in summer but you could wear heels too.

    • I like black jeans for Friday casual days as they work better with my black, grey and Cabernet colored capsule wardrobe. I wear blazers and tweed or Chanel type jackets as opposed to jackets from a formal suit and shells or whatever tops you normally wear. NYDJ black jeans are my favorite. Just wear booties or regular pumps with them.

    • Our company has no strict dresscode and I see coworkers wearing outfits varying between casual [literally hoodies/sweaters], business casual [mostly sales & marketing people], business [if there is a meeting with customers/government authorities]. We do have casual Fridays, since majority of people are leaving the office at lunchtime in order to leave for early weekends out of the city [pretty common in our country]. But I feel better in business casual [most of the time] and wear what-the-h***-I-want-to-wear on Fridays – even a suit, or a smart dress, or jeans [if I feel like it]. I would never consider “casual/jeans Friday” to literally mean jeans-compulsory-Friday. You do you and you should wear what you like, what fits your figure and personality best. We are all adults and not kids who need to be told what to do.

      • I agree about not considering it compulsory. I’d probably just show up in my regular work attire, minus the suit jacket, for the first few weeks and see how things are shaking out.

  9. I would love some suggestions on board games to play with two couples. We have scrabble but otherwise nothing. I feel like there have been related threads but can’t find them. The only caveat is that the age range of the two couples is 26-43 so anything heavy on pop culture might be tough. Thanks!

    • If you’re into card games, my family really enjoys Phase 10, which is kind of mix between rummy and UNO.

    • I am neutral on board games in general but people love Settlers of Catan. If I have to play a board game, I like yahtzee since it is quick.

      • Settlers, all the way. People are *devoted* to this game, myself included. It takes a little bit of effort to learn, but it’s very engaging and good for groups. Just don’t try to sell it as a “resource trading game,”like the person who got me hooked on it did, because that sounds super lame ;)

      • I have a strong hate on for Settlers of Catan (despite being a part of a social group where it is beloved). I just feel like each turn takes WAY too long.

        Instead, I would suggest Ticket to Ride — it’s a lot quicker but includes a lot of the same strategic elements (including, my favorite, the ability to make strategic choices just to mess with the other people).

        I also played Quirkle recently and found it quite enjoyable.

        • Catan and Ticket are great, but they all are for up to five players. I understand that you need a game for six people? Is it correct? Then you could try Mascarade, 7 wonders or Saboteur.

    • Pandemic (cooperative and nerdy), Settlers of Catan (classic strategy game), Cards Against Humanity (vulgar and hilarious), and we just got Code Names and really enjoyed it.

      • KateMiddletown :

        +1 for Code Names. Lots of fun for our group of 8 ages 15-60

      • Just got Pandemic for Christmas and it’s really fun!! I like the cooperative rather than competitive aspect of it. My SO and I can be … a bit competitive. Don’t be intimidated by the length of the rulebook; it’s not a simple game but neither is it that hard to learn/understand the rules.

      • Another +1 for CodeNames! Lots of fun, and the game doesn’t last long, so there’s no huge time commitment.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Love Code Names!

        I personally hate Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, but it seems like I might be the only one.

    • WelcomeToMyCult :

      Is this a total of 4 or 6 people? There are a lot of board games that max out at 5. I, personally, prefer resource allocation games (where you collect points) and this list reflects that. My husband loves war games – everyone plays a team and you try to kill each other (virtually, obviously). There is a great website for this kind of thing: and many board games stores can make good recommendations.
      Settlers of Catan (It’s the first serious boardgame many people play, because it’s awesome.)
      Paperback (it’s attack Scrabble)
      Dixit or Apples to Apples (Both these games are pretty social but still engaging. Thoughtful party games.)
      Ticket to Ride (Build trains across the US)
      King’s Forge
      Patchwork (I love this but some may find it too girly.)

      • I have no idea what the draw of Apples to Apples to is. I found it mind-numbingly boring!!

        • Because it’s fun to see how people match adjectives and nouns and doesn’t have a lot of rules to explain. It’s the same draw as for Cards Against Humanity, but less offensive.

      • I was just about to suggest Dixit. It’s easy to teach and you can include kids or older people as needed. And if you like Dixit and want to get a little more serious, we LOVE Mysterium!

      • Agreed on Ticket to Ride. I like that once you learn the rules for one (Europe, America, etc.) you can buy different ones that have slight modifications.

    • Set – it’s a deceptively simple card game, and $10 on amazon. There are several others that the same manufacturer produces (five crowns and Quiddler come to mind) but set is a favorite. Ticket to ride is also good. If the total is four, two classic card games are Euchre and Pepper. Love those.

      • Also a big fan of Set. It’s a relatively simple concept, but be prepared to do some teaching on what constitutes “sets”. I have run into some adults that just couldn’t figure out the concept, though.

        I’m also a fan of Ticket to Ride – it’s a little more complicated than typical board games (which I usually hate), and there’s a few ways to earn points that need to be pointed out. You can get different versions for different geographies – US, Europe, Asia (I think), depending on what sparks your interest. Just be prepared to laugh at some of the cities on the map being in not quite the right place – like, Duluth, MN is located where Minneapolis/St. Paul are in reality, and Chicago is in Indiana.

    • anonshmanon :

      Seconding Pandemic and Ticket to ride, great games! They max out at 4 and 5 players, respectively.
      Settlers of Catan and Dominion work for six people, but can get lengthy. Ligretto is a hilariously chaotic version of Uno, each edition works for four players and you can combine editions for more players (our record is a game of 12).

    • Kingdom Builder is fun and different every time you play it, plus it goes somewhat fast (15-30 min for a game) so you don’t get bored.

    • Another vote for Ticket to Ride. The North America 1912 version is the place to start. Pandemic is fun too. I’ve only played Apples to Apples Jr with the lad but can see how not Jr would be fun with adults.

      Speaking of adults, I bough the hubs a “How to Host a Murder” game for Christmas. Be warned-there is some pretty intense over-the-top stereotyping in them. The set I bought requires 8 people.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Another vote for Settlers of Cataan, though it can be long, and Pandemic. Also Balderdash is fun and easy to learn (easy to learn rules are important to me). And even as an adult, I’m still a fan of Clue.

      • Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all of the good ideas.

        To answer the above questions: It will be four people.

    • What about Punderdrome? I’ll admit I’ve only been playing it over text with some friends, but it’s been fun.

    • Since no one has mentioned them yet, the classics: Monopoly, Life, Pictionary, Clue, Risk.

      • WelcomeToMyCult :

        I have great memories of playing those games, but modern games have a lot more to offer in my opinion. In many classic games it’s possible to get eliminated very early (and spend the next 1+ hour just waiting for everyone to finish) or it becomes obvious early on who will win. Also, it’s nice to have a good mix of luck and strategy, which is sometimes missing in older games. I will say, though, that playing Monopoly with lawyers was a new experience for me – it would never have occurred to me to suggest such complicated real estate deals in the game.

    • Telestrations – it’s like broken telephone, but with pictures. Alternating one person draws, one person guesses, next person draws that guess, next person guesses the new drawing. It’s really fun!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Mexican train dominoes.

    • Blokus if you like puzzles/logic. I also like Set. If you have a Marbles store near you, I’d go there and ask them what they recommend – they have lots of brain games for multi-player.
      Quick Wit is a fun game too.

    • Have you tried Bananagrams? Get the double set

    • scattergories! good for short attention spans and hilarious.

  10. I kept seeing “year of yes,” by Shonda Rhimes, finally bit the bullet and started reading it. It’s great. (she has way cooler things to say “yes” to than I do!).

    Anyways, not sure how I missed them back in 2014, but the book includes powerful speeches she’s given. The one about the glass ceiling spoke to me.

    • New Tampanian :

      I just finished reading it the other night. So good. I did get a tad jealous about all the cool things she gets to say “yes” to but it’s already helped me. I’ve said “yes” to a speaking opportunity at my law school in March and some introduction invites that I may have passed down because I’m happy where I am. However, I recognize that by saying “no” I may be passing up good opportunities down the line.

  11. vicarious shopping:

    I have a $200 gift card to spend at Macy’s. Interested in a nice tote bag (doesn’t have to be name brand or shoulder bag.

    also, could do delicate gold necklace.

    help me shop!

    • Macy’s is hard to buy nice things anymore – most of the upscale brands are at Bloomie’s. I think they carry some Coach, though.

      I use Macy’s gift cards for makeup, home goods (new sheets, replacement for broken plate, iron…), and underwear.

  12. Thank you to whoever recommended MealPal! I tried it and am so excited about it!

  13. We’re going to a friend’s house this weekend. Friend has Celiac’s and is gluten free. What would you bring?

    • Wine.

      • Late to this, but my mother w/ celiac was told (by someone in the liquor business) that only US-wine is assured to be GF. Wines from abroad are often shipped in barrels sealed with wheat-containing glue (or something like that). She thinks she may have had a reaction from drinking foreign wine and has since switched to only domestic.

    • Must it be food? Something like flowers or something for the house is easiest. If food — then wine; chocolate – pure chocolate with nothing added to it. Ideally if you’re bringing food, make it a box of something packaged with the ingredients on it; rather than a box from a bakery of items that you picked out that are GF but she has no way of verifying it.

    • My sister also has Celiac’s. Basically any veggie-based side dish will work. You could make a nice, fresh salad (no croutons and let your friend add her own dressing).

      Hard cider is also naturally gluten free because its made from apples.

    • Fruit salad with a honey-lemon-mint dressing.

    • Agree on the wine front or simply ask. Individuals with Celiac’s have different levels of sensitivity to gluten, so while a dish prepared in a facility that also processes wheat may be ok for one person with Celiac’s house, it could make another incredibly sick. Our house falls into the later category.

    • Wine. I would never bring a side dish uninvited, it’s rude to ruin someone’s dinner plan, and certainly not if they have dietary restrictions

    • All of the other responses assumed you’re going to a friend’s house “for dinner” but you didn’t mention that. Are you staying the weekend? Or just dinner?

      • Actually, we’re going to watch a football game. Which is a) not something I do a lot and b) I’d generally bring a 6 pack of good beer to.

        • I have celiac–honestly, people can really over-think gf food. ( I remember the first time my now-mother-in-law cooked for me–she went over the top trying to find gf substitutes, before I helped her realize that lots of things she already cooked were gf–roasted chicken! baked potatoes! steamed veggies with butter! etc) Lots of choices are naturally gf–chips and salsa, hard cider, veggies and almost any dip, etc.

        • If you don’t want to stray too far from your usual course, you can bring over a 6-pack of gluten-free beer! We are a gluten-free home and we think it is so awesome when our friends bring things like this. I love Groundbreaker or Glutenberg if they are available in your local store. I’ve been told they are enjoyable to those who drink gluten-full beers as well…

  14. Separate beds :

    Does anyone here sleep in separate beds/separate rooms from their spouse/SO?

    I think we’re heading in that direction (we’ve been there de facto for a while), and it’s making me sad for reasons I can’t quite rationalize. I know that there is nothing inherently right about married couples sleeping in the same bed, or wrong about them not, but it makes me sad to think that I’ll be alone in a bed for the rest of my life, despite being part of a couple.

    In case it matters: the reasons are sleep-style driven (I like quiet and dark, my husband grew up falling asleep to the television and can’t do without it)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      We have before and as soon as we have space again, we will. We’re currently trying to figure out if we can reconfigure the office in our apartment to fit a queen bed in there. We’re both light sleepers and don’t sleep as well with the other in the bed, he snores, and good sleep is really, really important.

    • Does it help if you make an effort to touch more outside of sleep time? Not just the maritals, but hand holding, snuggle on the couch, etc. That can fill your physical connection quota. We slept in separate bedrooms for a while because we didn’t have a big enough bed (and still do separate beds in hotels sometimes). Visitations were always welcome, but we both like our space when actually sleeping.
      Also, do you have a pet that can sleep with you? I know that sounds trite, but it helps you not feel so alone. When we do sleep apart like if someone is sick, we sometimes split up the dogs so each of us gets a cuddle buddy.

    • If you go to sleep before him and the root of your feeling sad is feeling alone in bed, can he lie with you for a few minutes when you get in bed?

      • I had a cat that did this. Curled up and cuddled and when she thought I was sleeping, she’d go hunt imaginary bugs.

        Has H tried to sleep w/o TV? Or something like earbuds and an ipad that’s less invasive? Have you tried an eyemask? Do you feel like you’ve each really tried? Or tried a king bed (that is like another zip code if the person is curled up on the far side)? It would make me sad if no one tried (if one thought it was important to try).

        But I get it. Separate is practical.

      • Oh so anon :

        My spouse and I used to sleep separately due to different back pain/mattress needs. We would cuddle before sleeping, which made it much more bearable.

    • Your husband has very unhealthy habits, and this will cause him problems with his sleep with aging. For this reason alone I would push him to try to change.

      Can he transition to trying headphone in one ear? Then transition to falling asleep to music/sound machine (again via earpiece if it bothers you).

      I agree that I would be very sad in your position otherwise. This is a big deal. Is he happy with the idea of separate bedrooms?

    • My husband and I have at various points in our marriage. There was always a legitimate superficial reason, but there was also generally a deeper relationship issue that drove us apart.

      Can you address your needs through a blackout mask and great earplugs? Set the sleep timer on the tv so that its only on for 30 minutes?

    • Except for when we have guests, my husband sleeps in our guest bedroom and I sleep in our master bedroom with the dog. I go to bed earlier and he sleeps in later and we’re both tall people and restless sleepers who are really most comfortable sleeping alone. Two of us and the dog is just too much, even in a king size bed. I don’t feel like it’s affected our relationship or how connected we are. The hardest thing has been almost slipping up and saying “my bedroom” or “your bedroom” or things like in front of friends and family because we haven’t really advertised we sleep separately since it’s kind of socially taboo. But it works for us so whatever :)

    • I think it’s really sad. It brings so much distance. He needs to get over it. His sleep habits are wrong and bad for him. I can’t imagine choosing to sleep away from my wife because I’m addicted to TV.

      • Anonattorney :

        I think it’s highly unlikely that he’s addicted to TV. As someone who has dealt with insomnia and anxiety throughout my life, using television to distract your brain enough to stop ideating sometimes is the only way I can fall asleep. I need the sound to drown out my thoughts. Because blue light is bad for sleep, I put a show on my phone or computer and dim down the screen until it’s effectively turned off. It’s not perfect pristine sleep hygiene, but I’ve tried all those things and the sound is often the only thing that truly works for me.

        • If you think sound is the key, what about music?

          • Anonattorney :

            I’ve tried music too. It’s weird, but actually the thing that works best is a tv show with lots of dialogue, so my brain can half-heartedly focus on a story — like The West Wing. I’m usually asleep within 5 minutes of having it on.

          • I do this exact thing! It’s the only way I can stop the anxious thoughts. I would love to watch West Wing for this but that ending music is so lively it always wakes me up.

          • I am another chronic insomniac who relies on a particular TV show to fall asleep. Better TV than drugs.

          • If you’re still reading… have you tried sleep stories? I’m trying to break my tv habit at night (exactly what you said – need to district myself from the lists in my head!), and they have been life changing for me. I get them through the Calm app.

        • I have what I think is a solution for you.

          I am a deep sleeper and need darkness and quiet and so does my SO. The problem is that I ALSO get terrible nightmares and sometimes am so spooked and troubled by them that I cannot fall back asleep. Dialogue really helps to distract me enough from the terrible nightmare, so here is what I do. I pull up a show on netflix on the ipad and close the cover so there is no light (you will have to adjust the ‘sleep’ function so the show doesn’t stop when you do this – it actually stops showing the visual and plays the audio instead only). Then I tuck the ipad on my side of the sheets with the volume very low. Then, only I hear an indiscernable lull of people talking and he doesn’t hear a thing on his side. Both of us get our darkness. (I also like West Wing or a movie like Good Will Hunting for something like this – at most it has soft music – whereas I mistakenly did this with Game of Thrones and woke up to a battle scene with screaming. Go for a show that doesn’t have a laugh track or commercials or a movie without a lot of shouting or loud songs. Some podcasts can also accomplish this.)

        • I do a similar thing, but with podcasts in earbuds–not eery distracting to my husband (I like BBC shows on marginally interesting topics)

      • Meh, for some people sleep is this emotional bonding thing. For others, it’s just daily routine. There are other ways to bond. You do you.

    • Lazy lawyer :

      Yes. I am a very light sleeper, am pregnant (also have a 3 yr old), and am tired all the time. My husband snores and wakes up very early (4:45, 5 am) during the week, and I usually cannot fall back asleep when I hear him. He frequently sleeps in our guest room during the week so that I can get a full night’s sleep. This is a purely practical arrangement; married 10 yrs, happy in our relationship.

    • Anonattorney :

      Okay, first things first: there is no one size fits all for marriage. If you and your husband are happy, well connected, intimate, and you otherwise feel that your marriage is healthy, then it’s not inherently bad for you to sleep in separate beds. LOTS of couples have to do this as they get older because lots of men snore. Both my parents and my in-laws (36 years and 35 years of marriage, respectively) sleep in separate beds at times to deal with snoring.

      If you want or need the intimacy of sharing a bed with your partner, however, then there are lots of options to keep that. Obviously, you can try and get your husband to change his sleep habits, but I get that it’s hard to do. You can try a good sleep mask and ear plugs; those may work. You can also cuddle with him for 20-30 minutes before going to sleep, and then leave to go to your own room. You can also ask him to reserve two nights a week (Friday and Saturday) where you share the same bed and he doesn’t use the tv to fall asleep (or vice versa).

      • This. No one says you have to share a bed or your relationship is doomed.

        That said though, I do think your sleep style issues are fixable. I used to hate sleeping with earplugs but I’ve gotten used to them and if my SO starts snoring I just pop them in and go back to sleep. I suspect I could also get used to a sleep mask.

    • What is the state of your marriage otherwise? If you’re both truly happy and have no reservations, then whatever works for you. But it sounds like you’re sad about this, which means there’s something underlying that isn’t just sleep style related. Are you as connected as you want to be?

      I think this is a Date Night conversation. Hash out if there are any compromises you haven’t tried. Hash out if there are underlying things going on. Hash out what you’ll do if you start to feel disconnected. Hash out when you’ll revisit the arrangement. Hash out what happens when/if you have kids or if they ask what’s going on. Hash out whether you tell others, and what happens when you have guests. If you both walk away from that conversation feeling enthusiastic about the plan, then go for it. If you don’t, then maybe look at a marriage counselor to help you walk through whatever is keeping you from being happy about the plan.

      • Ugh. I’m guessing maybe it’s the h a s h part of “h a s h out” that is putting my comment in moderation?? Annoying.

    • This may be the worst advice ever, so I’m expecting it to be shot down, but if I were in your position… I think I’d try compromising by sleeping in the same bed once or twice a week, with him watching TV on a tablet with headphones, and you wearing a sleep mask and popping a low dose of ambien. Then you can sleep well and drug-free most of the time (and therefore not develop any sort of dependency on the sleep aid), but still get the connected feeling of sleeping in the same bed on a regular basis. If you stick to a schedule, it can be the best of both worlds, no?

    • My aunt and uncle have slept in separate rooms for a long time due to his snoring. They are an exemplar to me of a happy marriage. After decades together, infertility, health problems, you name it, they both genuinely have the affection for one another of newlyweds. Where they sleep is irrelevant. I think your marriage when you are awake is the marriage to be concerned about.

      • +1 million.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        My grandparents have done the same for at least as long as I’ve been alive. They are so incredibly in love. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with it.

        My husband and I sleep in separate rooms occasionally. I talk in my sleep and hallucinate as I fall asleep sometimes so he’ll go sleep on the pull out sofa if I’m preventing him from sleeping. We also do it when one of us is sick to try and prevent passing it to each other and allowing for better sleep.

      • My parents have always slept in separate bedrooms and are one of the happiest couples I know. I think some couples make a big deal about how sleeping together = intimacy and some people just see sleep as a practical thing your body needs in order to function and want to do whatever is going to get them the best quality sleep. Couples that fall into the latter camp (assuming both people agree) can be perfectly happy sleeping apart long-term.

        • This is me and my husband, 100%. I adore him. He adores me. We have been together a decade. We are happy, in love, and have a lot of affection and respect for each other.

          We also very rarely sleep together.

          The reasons are several. He is a snorer and I have terrible insomnia/am a light sleeper. My reading light keeps him up, his snoring keeps me up.

          He’s also a shift worker, so our sleep schedules rarely line up even remotely (last night he got home at midnight. I go to bed by 10pm because I get up at 6am every morning). We live in a small house with a small bathroom, so my hair and makeup are done in the bedroom at my vanity. This is invasive for his sleep.

          So, most days he sleeps in the guest room. We hang out and cuddle, we do almost everything together when we’re both home/off work. But for some very practical reasons, at least right now, our sleeping arrangement is best separate.

    • We basically do. He has a terrible snoring problem and refuses to go to the doctor for treatment. I have begged, cried, threatened, and upped his life insurance seeing as how he’s intent on dying from sleep apnea, but he just won’t go. I started waking him up every time he snores, which caused a lot of arguments that ended with him storming off into another bedroom for the night. Now he usually sleeps in a different room. The whole thing makes me sad but I’ve sort of accepted it as the way things are going to be. Overall I’d say our relationship is better than it was when he was waking me up all night with his snoring because at least I’m not chronically sleep deprived.

      • I hope you keep nagging him about the apnea, but not because of the separate bedrooms. My dad finally sought treatment for it in his 50s and the doctor said he had basically been putting a huge amount of stress on his heart for many years. He has a CPAP machine now and barely snores at all. I’m still worried about all the damage he did, but at least he’s fixed the problem going forward. I hope you can convince your husband to do the same. It can be a really serious thing.

        • +1. My father for a CPAP at 55 and after the first week said he never knew he could feel so well rested. He had a NYC-> burbs commute plus travel so was often out of the house 6am-8pm, and run ragged most of his life, so he didn’t realize he also was a lousy sleeper. Life changing.

        • Thanks. I’ve honestly give up at this point. He has a close friend who is a doctor working with sleep apnea patients. The friend has explained all the dangers to him. DH is in total denial about the risks and insists everyone is just nagging him to be annoying. So fine whatever. I told him that I will not have a child with him unless he has a serious overhaul of his approach to his health. I’d be fine never having kids though so it’s not a marriage ender for me.

          • Anonymous :

            Have you tried videoing him sleeping and showing it to him? That’s what it took for my cousin’s husband. He went from ‘I snore, it’s annoying, get over it” to “I can see how it’s scary to lie next your partner, have them stop breathing multiple times and worry they’re going to die from a heart attack.’

    • My boyfriend snores loudly, has sleep apnea, and talks in his sleep. When I spend the night, I sometimes end up on the (very comfy!) couch because I just can not fall asleep.

      He thinks I should wake up and make him move; I’m of the opinion that the person who can not sleep should move.

      We are planning to move in together in the next year. I’m going to replace the mattress in his guest room with my awesome mattress so I have my bed on those nights when I can’t sleep.

      • You should be OK, b/c you know of your boyfreind’s probelem’s NOW, b/f you actually move in together. He also sounds considerate for offering to get out of the bed if HE is causing YOU to loose sleep. As long as you are compatable when you are awake, and enjoy doing the horizontal hora together, you can manage the sleep apnea issue. I was NOT so lucky with my ex. Best of luck to you two! YAY!!!!

    • My SO uses a NCPAP machine. It can be quite disruptive to my sleep. He also works evenings (3 pm to 11:30 pm). I am a light sleeper and on the rare nights that I stay at his place during the week, I wake when he comes home, and then again when he comes to bed (which may be hours after he arrives home). I need to be super regimented about my sleep and I need at least 8 hours a night. We do not live together but have discussed it. I would be fine with having my “own” bedroom during the week and then spending the night in the same bed on the weekends. He does not like the idea, but I am a light sleeper and he can sleep through anything. Yes, it would be wonderful if we could sleep in the same bed all the time, but I would be the one being sleep deprived and I am just not okay with that.

    • My husband and I share the same bed, but on weeknights our sleep schedules only overlap for 4 hours or so due to our very different preferred schedules. I go to bed much earlier than he does, but he will come cuddle and talk with me for a while before I fall asleep. One of you could do the same for the other if you miss that intimate time.

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s any comfort, my folks are in a long (45 yr?) and content marriage/partnership and sleep in separate rooms because of sleep reasons (snoring, sleep apnea etc) but they are phenomenal partners (share emotional and physical labour equally based on skill and interest) and actually often gross us “kids” out with how much they love each other and love spending time together. They are retired now and spend their days together but it also seemed to work when they worked full time, they just hung out a lot together before bed and in the morning before work.

  15. I’m trying to broaden my cooking skills. I’m pretty good at various Latin American and European cuisines (have family in both regions) and have dabbled in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean (thanks, Ottolenghi!), but I’m hopeless when it comes to any Asian cuisines.

    I love to read/collect cookbooks – does anyone have any recommendations re: cookbooks or blogs focusing on Asian food to help me get started?

    • I like the Woks of Life blog but would love recs for vegetarian Asian recipes. One thing I’ve found helpful is checking cookbooks out of the library to make sure there are more than 2 or 3 things I’d make before buying them. Keeps me from cluttering up the shelves with meh recipes.

    • 101 Easy Asian Dishes, by Peter Meehan/Lucky Peach. It really is easy, approaches unusual ingredients in a welcoming way, but isn’t overly dumbed down or Americanized. It’s more Asian dishes that are easy naturally.

    • The Seriously Asian posts from Chichi Wong on Serious Eats are very good primers, although she doesn’t write for the site anymore.

    • I recommend these blogs:
      -Just One Cookbook for Japanese cuisine
      -Maangchi for Korean cuisine

      Sorry I don’t have any recs for Chinese… I still haven’t found any really good English websites and usually just use Chinese recipe sites or I just ask my dad.

    • Chinese Anon :

      The blog Appetite for China has a nice collection of traditional Chinese recipes with videos for the more popular ones. She’s no longer posting frequently though.

  16. Gah I love Boden…mostly for dresses, since I favor that (one-piece) style of dressing. Boden is a budget-stretcher for me but with sales I can usually make it work, plus I find the quality is worth it.

    I used to be a big Lands End shopper but have given up on them — frump factor being the main reason. Where else do you shop in the LE/Boden price range? I haven’t had great luck at Talbot’s, either.

    • anon a mouse :

      Ann Taylor, but it’s really hit and miss. Nordstrom for Classiques Entier on sale. I would love to find more options.

  17. Vicarious Vacation Planning :

    Here are the parameters – I think there are a lot of options so I’m a bit paralyzed by choices:
    $5,000 budget (including flights from Boston)
    Zika free
    +/- 7 days sometime between March 20 and May 1
    DH & me, only
    Open to Europe, also open to a compellingly awesome location in the US
    Not big into outdoorsy-stuff (aka not hiking/mountain climbing/zip lining, etc)
    Big into good food, wine, and seeing lots of new things (architecture, beautiful coastlines or natural sites, etc).
    Not Italy
    Willing to do AirBnB, although we’ve never done it before are are a leeeetle nervous.


    • What about Spain? It’s pretty easy to visit Madrid and Barcelona, and you could consider road-tripping between them! Great food, great wine, history and architecture… And it’s romantic too.

      • Betty White :

        If you do Spain, I would consider flying into Barcelona and making your way down to Grenada and Sevilla. I liked Madrid, but it’s not a must-see in my opinion.

        • Anonymous :

          but flying into madrid and training to cordoba, sevilla and granada is so incredibly easy. then you could take the high speed train from madrid to barcelona and fly out there.

    • Iceland! I’ve never been but am trying to convince my husband to go this summer. You could, I think, see the northern lights. Drive around and look at beautiful coastlines. Sit in hot springs. Zika-free and I’m sure you can get direct flights from BOS.

      • I’m going to Iceland in April. We got direct flights from Boston and 7 days/ 6 nights in a hotel for $600 per person via an Expedia package. Then, we’re renting a car for about $400 for the week. Very excited to check out the Blue Lagoon!

      • +10000

        I just went in September and loved it! We rented a car and drove around the southern/south eastern part of the country. It felt like another planet – so amazing. It is pretty outdoorsy though, fyi.

      • +3 for Iceland, but you won’t have much chance of seeing the northern lights unless you go in March.

        • I went in March several years ago and didn’t see them. Hard to count on them, I think. +4 for Iceland. yay!

      • Wooo, I booked a trip to Iceland the other day for May!

      • +5 for Iceland! We did a walking tour in Reykjavik that focused on food and drinks, and everything was delicious. They have some amazing restaurants there, too. You don’t have to do any serious hiking, just driving a car will get you to some spectacular waterfalls and landscapes.

    • How about Morocco?? I havent been but several of my friends went recently (Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Fes) and loved it. Food is phenomenal, amazing shopping and scenery. The plane ticket will likely be the most expensive part of the trip but you can live like a queen once you get there, especially with your budget. Plus the riads there are magnificent (

      You could also plan it so that you have a layover or spend a couple days in Lisbon or Madrid nearby.

      • This was going to be my other suggestion! Morocco can be really affordable, and oh it’s so so lovely. Food is good, though wine is less common. You could definitely fly into Marrakech and make that your home base (def. stay in a riad in the old city), and do a trip to the desert (ride camels! sleep in luxurious bedouin tents in the middle of nowhere!) for a night or two. The scenery is beautiful. We did what was called a “two day Marrakech Zagora desert tour” from Authentic Tours Marrakech — had a private driver to Zagora, stopped at some great roadside restaurants, saw some lovely scenery, and got to spend an hour or so at Ouarzazate. So memorable.

      • MOROCCO!!!!!!!!!!!! You can combine it with Spain. But Morocco!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Austria? I took a week long trip to Vienna and Salzburg via train. So many gorgeous churches, Mozart’s house, the opera…we even went to a debutante waltz ball. Delicious food and drinks. It was about $1500 pp from Boston, flights and hotel included.

      • Did you book this a la carte, or was a it a package?

        • We got a package deal of airfare, hotel, and waltz ball tickets. We did the train to Salzburg on our own, reserving tix and a hotel online. We didn’t get a car because Vienna had amazing public transportation (bus) and is very walkable.

    • If those were my criteria, I’d do Portugal! Great food and wine, and $5000 would go really far there. Some family members went recently, and they can’t stop raving about it. My husband and I are seriously considering a trip this spring.

      • Is Portugal a decent place to visit in the winter? DH is a teacher so we can only travel on summer, winter and spring breaks and our spring/summer travel is booked but I would really love to squeeze in a mid-December trip to Europe, since we plan to try for a baby in 2018. Portugal seems to make the most sense since we want a warm-ish place (I know it wont’ be beach weather, but I don’t want to be traipsing around in the snow).

        • It’s not warmish in mid-December. More like 50s and a lot of rain.

          • I’m coming from the upper Midwest and it will likely be in the teens or 20s at that time of year, so I definitely consider 50 warm-ish. I really just don’t want to be dealing with snow. Any suggestions for a place in Europe that’s warmer? Don’t want to do Greece or Italy since we did them recently.

          • Oh, warmish by comparison! Not really, but I’d check the rain averages in the French Riviera and Spain too. Portugal was just so wet when we were there- really not pleasant.

          • It doesn’t rain a notable amount in Portugal in December, unless you’re coming from a dry climate where any rain at all is notable. Sounds like Anonymous might have gotten unlucky, which is really unfortunate since Lisbon is known for its light (which sounds weird but you’ll know it if you see it). I mean, yes, it can and does rain, but so do most temperate climates. You’ll get more rain in the north around Porto, and less in the south.

            If you want warm, Europe, not Italy, and not Greece, you’re looking at Spain, the French Riviera, Portugal, or Malta. Maybe check out Sicily or Sardinia for a very different-feeling Italy experience? Or there’s Madeira or the Canaries.

        • Yes! It’s lovely in the winter if you’re coming from someplace with four real seasons. I studied abroad there and my host mom would have an apoplexy when I went outside in only a leather jacket because I needed a real winter coat for the low of 60. Portugal is lovely and offers a quieter, slower-paced Europe that is just so incredibly freaking pleasant: it’s cheap, the weather’s great, the scenery is beautiful, there’s enough culture to keep you busy, the wine is good, the food is delicious, and they have a pastry industry like you wouldn’t believe.

      • Yes! Was going to suggest Portugal. Can’t remember if there’s a direct flight, but there is a very easy one with a stop in the Azores. Lisbon is very nice to walk around and awesome food!

        • We just spent 3 days in the Azores and 7 in Lisbon – I would HIGHLY recommend the Azores for your trip. Direct flight from Boston, lots of natural beauty but no hiking required (unless you want to). The most friendly people and delicious food! And so, so affordable!

    • Croatia! Cheap, beautiful, good wine and food.

      • Harder than h*ll to get to from the US though. Wouldn’t recommend it for only a 7 day trip for that reason. 3-4 of those days will be spent in transit.

        • IDK, not hard to get a direct flight to Dublin, and I think there’s an AerLingus or Air Ryan flight to Croatia.

          You could build that into the trip, if you were really Croatia motivated!

        • Uhhh what? Fly Boston to London, London to Croatia. It’s not hard or all that time consuming?

        • That’s only Zagreb though. Most people want to go to Dubrovnik or Split, which requires 2 stops from Boston. I just don’t think a trip with two layovers is worth it for 7 days, when you there are SO many places in Europe you can fly non-stop from Boston and a ton more places you can fly with just one layover.

          • It doesn’t though. Boston to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Dubrovnick. 13 hours, most of it overnight going there.

      • Or fly into Venice and rent a car and drive down the coast to Dubrovnik, stopping in Split along the way! I did that last summer and it was perfect for a 7-10 day trip.

    • Paris, maybe a couple days in Bordeaux.

      • numbersmouse :

        I wouldn’t recommend Paris, or even France at all, for a 7-day trip.

        OP, have you thought about Lebanon? Flights to Lebanon are expensive, but you’ll spend less than $2000 once you get there, even if it’s not exactly super cheap. The food is amazing, they have decent wine (domestic but also a lot of imported French wine), there are a few interesting historical sites to go and cute museums. It’s also not too overwhelming to do in a week, and almost everyone speaks English, if that’s a concern. I went with my SO in September and we stayed in a boutique hotel in the Gemmayze neighbourhood in Beirut. You can take day trips to Sidon (there’s a castle, an interesting covered market and a great soap museum) and Baalbek (Roman ruins), and you can rent a car and drive up to the north for gorgeous landscapes, or to the cedar reservations in the Chouf area near Beirut.

        I also agree with Anonymous below about Mexico City. It’s truly one of the best places I’ve been to.

    • Sign up for the Scott Keyes list (worth it to go premium), whatever you do! It saved me SO much money on my flights to Europe.

    • So many great ideas so quickly! We also are new Costco members. Has anyone coordinated a trip (flights, hotels, transfers) with them before? Any issues or hot buttons?

      • Anonymous :

        I just (literally yesterday) booked Boston to Maui using Costco travel. Packaging flights, hotels, and car rental through them saved me about $1200 over booking a la carte.

    • Consider Mexico City. DH and I went for a week last March and loved it. It’s an AMAZING food city, everything is incredibly affordable, and the flight/time difference is not too bad. There are loads of museums, interesting neighborhoods to check out, unique architecture, and you can take day trips to the ruins for some ancient history.

      Other notes (in response to other suggestions): I’ve been to Iceland and loved it (in July), but it is definitely more of an outdoorsy destination. No need to do intense hiking or anything, but most things to see are outdoors and require at least a bit of walking/being willing to get wet and cold (it is often rainy). It is not a good food destination and is very expensive once you’re there. (Not saying don’t go – it’s one of my favorite places! But just things to consider given what you said you were into.)

      • Should have mentioned, it is also at an elevation of 7400 feet so Zika is not a concern like it is in other parts of Mexico. The elevation also helps keep the temperature moderate/comfortable.

      • I agree, the food in Iceland is awful. I think it might be my least favorite country in the entire world for food (I love love love the scenery but you have to go into it knowing how terrible the food will be).

        • Wow, I loved the food in Iceland. I had heaping plates of langoustine lobster. The lamb stew was hearty and delicious. The rye bread was wonderful. Even the hot dogs were worth writing home about. The Borgarnes Settelement museum (near Reykjavik) has a lunch buffet that is truly worthy of fine dining.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 for not-good food. Few veggies and what we got was very expensive (I recall a $30 entrée salad). Probably would have fared better if my friend and I weren’t as limited to chicken, beef, and salmon. We ate a lot of hotdogs without realizing they have lamb in them.

    • Because nobody has thrown in any US destinations, here are a couple ideas.

      1) Have you spent much time out west? A pretty classic trip could be flying into LA & spending a couple days there, spending a day driving up the PCH, spending a couple days in SF and then a couple days in Napa. Fly home from SF. It covers all your bullets – amazing food to be had in all of these places, won’t be very expensive (AirBNB in LA and SF is super easy and common), coastline views, wine in Napa.

      2) In a similar vein, consider visiting Vancouver, Seattle & Portland. All are great food cities, and the Washington/Oregon coastline is absolutely beautiful.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I was also going to suggest California if you haven’t spent a ton of time there as it seems to hit all your points. I like Anonymous’s itinerary, or you could focus on northern california and do Monterey area+SF+Napa. Or if you don’t mind a decent drive, add a day or two in Yosemite (~4 hours from SF). We went this past August, which is not the best time to go (because the waterfalls are dry or down to a trickle), and it was still possibly the most impressive natural landscape I’ve ever seen. You can see a lot of it without anything more strenuous than a pleasant stroll. Some of the park will still be inaccessible in April (the roads to the higher altitudes don’t open until later), but I think just spending a day or two in the valley is worth it.

      • Sedona is also a really nice place to kick back, even if you don’t want to hike. Me and my friends mostly drove around and stared at the beautiful mountains.

  18. Cashmere question – I have several sweaters from Lord & Taylor that are 100% cashmere and have gotten very very fuzzy. I usually cold-wash on delicate in the washing machine. I don’t mind the super fuzzy look myself (so comfy!), although it’s harder to keep them lint-free. But it occurs to me that maybe this is a sign that I’ve ruined them and should get new ones?

    I’m not talking about pilling, but overall fuzziness.

    • No it’s not you, it’s cashmere. Cashmere is a very short fiber, so the ends of each little tiny hair tend to escape the yarn and stick out, which looks fuzzy. It pills for the same reason. Different breeds of sheep have hair of different lengths but wool fibers are, in general, longer than cashmere.

      • Anonymous :

        So is it appropriate to wear such fuzzy sweaters in a work setting for instance? If the fuzziness is the only thing wrong with them?

  19. Might be late in the thread for this, but does the $18K limit on 401K contributions include an employer contribution? I am currently contributing 8% with a 6% contribution from my employer, and I’m considering upping it to the max. Are there online calculators that could help me figure out what that’d look like coming out of my paycheck?

    • No — the 18k limit is for your contribution. There’s another limit for the combined contribution of I want to say $50k. And if anyone works for a company that puts that much in their 401K, are you hiring?

    • The combined contribution limit is $53,000.

    • No. The $18K is employEE contributions. The total (employEE and employER) contributions may not exceed $54000.

      The IRS website is good for these types of questions.

      • Wow. I’ve never even had a match so the idea of a 200% match has me googoo eyed. Anyone actual have an employer who does that?

        • Anon for this :

          It’s not necessarily a 200% match – it can just depend on the percentage of your salary that your employer contributes. For example, let’s say you have an amazing salary of $450,000, and you put in the max ($18k) and your employer contributes a 50% match. That gets you up to $27,000. If the employer also does a profit sharing contribution in addition to a match (my employer does this), then a profit sharing bonus contribution of 6% of your salary gets you up to $54,000.

          This is essentially my situation, but I don’t have a $450k salary, and my profit sharing bonus is only 4% of my base salary. The “partners” in my firm, however, are employees of the firm and get this benefit, too (that’s why we get it – the nondiscrimination concerns). I believe some of their salaries might get to the point where they are close to the combined max.

    • No. There’s a combined limit but it’s over $50,000 so it only comes into play if your employer is giving you like a 200% match.

    • Also, your employer will typically auto-limit your contributions to the max. So if you set a % of your salary that would result in, say $30k/year going into your 401k, the deductions will just stop happening once you hit $18k.

      UNLESS you change jobs in the middle of the year and don’t tell your new benefits department that you’ve already contributed $X to your 401k for the year. Then they’ll keep going until you’ve contributed $18k at new company, and you’ll have to jump through some hoops to get it back out and avoid tax penalties. Ask me how I know.

  20. Yesterday’s discussion got me thinking. For the long-term and happy renters on here – how much and what kind of changes do you feel comfortable making to your abode? I know this is dependent somewhat on the lease, but I’m curious as to how much effort and money people invest into rental properties if they plan to be there for at least several years. I think we’ve been cautious for too long, and I’d love to get some perspective on switching out light fixtures, hanging shelves, painting, etc.

    • I’m the one who started yesterday’s thread. I have never made any changes to a rental property — just not motivated enough to do it; if I was that interested in making a place personal, maybe I’d want to buy. That being said — I have friends who have painted their place. I guess you could hang shelves bc if you move, you could take them with you. I’d be careful about light fixtures — you don’t want to mess with electrical in a place that isn’t yours. All of this is also dependent on who your landlord is/what the lease says. I had an individual landlord for 8 yrs in NYC — owned the property in NYC as an investor but lived in Italy. I could have made any/all of the changes you suggested and he wouldn’t have known or cared and if his agent ever asked — I could have said it made it more homey, improves the value of his property etc. and they’d believe it and say thanks — they were very low key. Now in DC, I live in a huge tower owned by a developer. They will enforce every last clause of the lease so if I were to make a change against their rules, guaranteed I’d get a bill/penalty for it at move out.

      • Light fixtures are really easy to change (and swap back when you move). If you can screw stuff together, you can change out an average light fixture.

      • NYC has very strong renter protections I think, or at least a tradition of renters doing whatever the hell they want. We always painted and by necessity hung lots of shelves and made holes in the walls for curtain rods etc, but were too lazy to change light fixtures

    • This is all with the caveat that I’m in a city with amazing renter friendly laws, rent control, and it’s basically impossible to kick me out. Patch and paint the walls and window sills (for some reason the walls and sills were the same baby puke beige), change door knobs and cabinet knobs, get rid of closet door, change transition strips, get new shelving cut for cabinets, install hooks, towel rails, and shelves, hang paintings, mirrors, and curtains, do some historical restoration of original features, change the flooring in one of the closets. I think thats it. All in all about $500 of supplies, but 100s of hours in labour (did all the work ourselves). Intend to stay 5 years.

      • Changed the shower head too and door hinges now that I think about it. Installed wall mounted light fixtures and I’m going to change two of the hard wired light fixtures this weekend

      • Did your landlord reimburse? That is a huge amount of work you did to better his property!

        Once, I refinished hardwood floors myself. Other than that, never did anything, but always live in vintage apartments with lovely details and good paint jobs. I look carefully for apartments I really like.

        Actually, I have done tiny changes, like had the electric company rep come and change the shower head etc.. Which was free. I have fixed the occasional hinge myself. I installed my own security system, that I can take down and bring with me when I move.

        • No, but because of moving in the winter, rent control and few other situations my rent is about 350/month below market. I save a lot of money each month and its going to only increase over the next 5 years. So I don’t mind the sunk cost. I live in an incredibly nice apartment now. Also thinking about it I also bought new closet rods and changed the light switch plates.

    • I’ve been in my place for about 5 years. I painted (with landlord permission/approval of colors) after being thero about a year. I’ve put holes in the walls to secure/hang shelves.

      I also bought custom sized cordless blinds for the one giant window the (studio) apartment has. I intend to leave those when I go, but they have been worth every penny in the meantime.

    • I agree that it really depends. My sister and BIL have made a ton of changes to the house they rent outside of SF. Adding built ins, adding a deck, etc! It probably helps that they’re in the building industry so they know what they’re doing, but I am always worried about their sinking money into a place they could be forced to leave!

    • I’ve always put up pictures/art on the walls (using picture hooks so the holes are small and easily patched), once put up curtains on a window that had no covering at all, and once I hung a shelf over the washing machine where there wasn’t one. I’ve never painted.

      When I left each place I just use wall patch to patch the holes. I considered the curtains and the shelf improvements and left them and the landlord didn’t say anything either time (it was two separate places) so I assume they agreed or didn’t care.

    • Changed the showerhead. Easy-peasy and makes such a difference.

    • I love love love my rental; I’ve been in the same one for years (and have a massively below-market rent in an up and coming neighborhood, thanks to that!) and don’t plan on moving in the near future. Here is what I’ve done so far:
      -Painted most rooms, some more than once
      -Changed all fluorescent lights to halogen fixtures
      -Changed all light switches to dimmers (intimidating to play with the electrical work, but so worth it! Highly recommended)
      -Installed many shelves
      -Installed planters in the windows
      -Painted kitchen cabinets (with landlord permission)
      -Installed ceiling fans in bedrooms

      Next projects:
      -New kitchen counter (with landlord permission. I’ll choose a cheap material and do the labor myself, so it will be exhausting but not too expensive) and maybe backsplash
      -Showerhead and water filter for shower

      Wish list projects I’ve decided are not worth it for a rental, even a beloved rental:
      -Refinishing the wood floors
      -New kitchen appliances :( :(
      -Remodeling to switch the placement of bathroom and kitchen for optimal layout

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been in my place for 3 years and have no plans to move or buy. I love renting. I’ve hung art and shelves, put up window treatments (blinds and curtains), new showerhead, and painted. I also had to install new towel rails out of necessity when the cheap ones supplied by my landlord broke. I would love to do more but I’m limited with budget.

      I’ve also redecorated once in those 3 years – totally changed my colour scheme, took down all my art and put up new art, got new chairs, new bedding, changed around the furniture placement, etc. I love doing little things like changing out my decorative pillows when I feel bored.

    • I don’t do much because I haven’t lived in a place with rent control. But I do put up paintings and art – I use command strip picture strips. If you want to put up shelving, again, I’d recommend command strips for everything. I’ve also changed the showerhead and the lightbulbs. I don’t paint bc my lease tends to require I paint it back the same color before I move out.

    • numbersmouse :

      Living in a non-US location with a strong tradition of renters doing whatever they want. I probably couldn’t knock a wall down, but that’s about it. I’ve painted and put up light fixtures, shelves, etc, and I’ve seen people go so far as putting up aluminium partitions to create a spare room. I’d ask my landlord before, say, renovating the bathroom, but I wouldn’t want to invest that much money in a place I don’t own anyway. I have a three-year lease, and my rent will likely double when I renew it (due to recent currency devaluation), and I’m not sure about my future plans anyway, so I am cautious about spending too much on this place.

      • numbersmouse :

        In my NYC studio, I put up wooden blinds and IKEA kitchen rails, all of which could be argued to improve the property’s value. But my landlord was laid-back and didn’t mind the changes when he came in to check things out once a year. I only put up the blinds after I renewed my lease for two years, though. Didn’t bother to change light fixtures or doorknobs, but that’s because I’m lazy.

        • numbersmouse :

          Oh, and when I sublet it out for a couple of months, my subletters put up a sturdy shower curtain rod, with a ceiling rod! I was really surprised and unclear if they had somehow gotten my landlord to pay for that, but glad to have something better than the tension rod I was using.

  21. The secretary whose desk is outside my office leaves her cell phone ringer on and she gets lots of calls and texts throughout the day. She doesn’t always take her phone with her when she goes on a break so I get to hear it ring off the hook several times a day on top of the random dings and rings that she answers. She’s not my secretary and I’m in a sort of odd spot in the office layout so I’m the only one who could possibly be annoyed by her phone. Is it overbearing for me to ask her to turn her phone on silent or vibrate? I can close my door but then I look antisocial especially since I’m already sort of isolated. I’m newish to the office. Thanks all.

    • I would let this go unless it’s really non-stop. It would be just as annoying if her desk phone were ringing particularly frequently, but in general it’s part of the office soundtrack/ambient noise that you’ll get used to.

    • If it isn’t a work phone that is totally unprofessional and I would say something to her or HR, depending on your tolerance for conflict.

      • Don’t take it to HR – unless there’s something else she’s done to you, why make it so this “offense” goes in the assistant’s file??!

        Assuming she’s nice/normal enough and isn’t doing this to annoy you and isn’t the type with the attitude of I’ve been here 25 yrs don’t you dare tell me what to do, can’t you just say — hey if you don’t mind, could you keep your phone on vibrate or silent at your desk — I can hear it in my office and it can be a distraction if I’m on a call or editing something and just need the quiet. Thanks!

    • I agree that it is really unprofessional. I would politely ask her to put the phone on silent.

    • numbersmouse :

      She’s probably not even aware that this is a problem for you, especially if you’re the only one annoyed by it. Just tell her, as nicely as possible, in the tone you would use if it were any other colleague (ie. not how you would tell your own assistant). Focus on the disruption, not on the unprofessional aspect of it, since you’re not really her superior.

  22. I’m currently wearing Boden’s Serena Ponte Shift Dress. Long Sleeves, substantial (read: warm) fabric, machine washable, high neck, properly long skirt (even on my 5’9″ body)–I think this is going to be a staple of my winter work wardrobe, despite the fact that I wish it had a _bit_ more definition at the waist

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