Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Dartmouth Textured Tailored Dress

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

Today we’re featuring this amazing sheath dress — I love the darts, the sort of art deco vibe to the seaming, and the amazing textured fabric. We featured the entire suit last week, but this dress is so amazing that I wanted to draw your attention to it by itself. I’m not sure exactly what to call the pattern on the front — it’s not quite a sunburst — but I think it’s really flattering and lovely. The dress is still available in most sizes 0-10 for $340 at Reiss. Reiss Dartmouth Textured Tailored Dress

Here’s a lower-priced option and a plus-size alternative.

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



  1. Questions for government people :

    1. How does Elaine Chao’s cabinet appointment not create a conflict of interest for Mitch McConnell regarding the separation of powers? Particularly given his leadership position.

    2. I understand that most of what Bannon says, or believed to have said, is protected under free speech. But would the FBI have granted security clearance to a lower-level employment candidate who expressed such opinions? And if not, doesn’t this violate a regulation of some kind that says the FBI is supposed to treat people equally?

    • Anonymous :

      1- why on Earth would it be a conflict? How? He has a job, she has a job. I don’t see any issue.

    • anonshmanon :

      1. Could you give us an example of this presumed conflict of interest?

      • Well, suppose that Congress suspected that the FBI did something wrong. They can ask (if I understand it correctly) the Office of the Inspector General to look into the matter. And then if the President found out that the Bureau was being investigated, he could apply pressure to Chao to apply pressure to her husband to abandon the idea.

        Or, supposing it ever came to an impeachment hearing. Would McConnell really ever push for an impeachment–or even an investigation–of his wife’s boss?

        • That’s not a conflict at all. That could arise anytime anyone in congressional leadership likes the President.

    • And Elaine Chao previously has been a cabinet member, Secretary of Labor.

      • Exactly. It’s not a conflict of interest, sorry. (Don’t worry — a lot of other things still are, legally and ethically.)

    • Bensonrabble :

      I have to chime in that I don’t think it is a legal conflict of interest it is indicative of power being concentrated among a small group. On the other hand, compared to other nominees at least she has experience.

      • If you've been ghosted... :

        It’s not even her first time serving at DoT – she was previously at MARAD and served as a deputy here.

  2. LondonLeisureYear :

    I just want to give a huge thank you to all of those that gave me advice on New Zealand. The trip was amazing and your insights really helped with the planning process. Now that we are done with our trip I typed up notes on it in a google doc and can share with anyone interested.

    • anonshmanon :

      What did you like best?
      Flying in 3 weeks, not my first time, but I’m still curious about hidden treasures!

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        The guidebook NZ Frenzy was amazing for hidden treasures. We knew each day where we had to end up, but then spent all day picking things from the NZ Frenzy guidebook that were along that path.

        We stayed at two AirBNBs in the middle of nowhere that had the best meals and the best scenery. SO gorgeous, such wonderful hosts, both rooms were on a separate floor or wing than the rest of the house with their own bathroom so they felt very private. The dinners/breakfasts were made of 100% local things, food from their gardens, lamb was from their sheep, venison they had shot, homemade desserts and bread. Fresh cookies in our room when we got there. Just amazing.

        We used Trips and Tramps to take us into Milford Sound but they also do other guided trips. Really knowledgable guides, small group size and the organization helps work towards conservation of the area.

        Someone on here suggest the Night tour at Zealandia in Wellington. It was amazing. We saw a kiwi and a bunch of other things in a natural habitat. Really well done.

        I could go on and on. It was a really good trip!

        • anonshmanon :

          I am so glad you did the Kiwi night tour! Will definitely check out NZ Frenzy!

        • I’m so glad you picked up that book & that you had such a wonderful time! New Zealand is practically magical. I daydream every day about going back.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I would love to see the notes. Can you share with corporetteclothesswap at gmail?

  3. Anonymous :

    Question on Seattle and National Parks

    We will be going to Seattle for a week and would like to spend time away from the city. 2 adults, 2 kids.
    The plan is to spend a day or two in Seattle, then head to Olympic National Park for 2-3 nights, then move on to Mt Rainier for 1-2 nights, back to Seattle for a day and then fly home (we will be coming from Asia).

    Does this sound doable? Any other suggestions welcome. We considered going to CA and Disneyland but my Daughter would be too young for many things this year. Also trying to focus on seeing a few places well, vs too many things packed in.

    Any advice is most welcome, incl where to stay etc. Budget is pretty flexible.

    Also, I assume Seattle is fairly diverse and liberal? We are South Asian and I’m dreading visiting the US at this time but we need to visit family so no choice for now.


    • Anonymous :

      OP here…

      If it’s doable to go to Anaheim with a 5 year old, please let me know. We are OK to go there too and skip either ONP or Mt Rainer!

      • 5 is a great age for Disney. It’s really geared towards kids , rides and all. There may be a few things that she’s not big enough to ride, but those are in the minority.

    • Anonymous :

      Caveat: I haven’t been to Mt Rainier, but I think you could skip it as it’s not particularly close to Seattle or the Olympic national park. (I did my trip in two nights in 2009 and wished I’d had more time.) I would spend at least 3-4 nights at the Olympics (you’ll be surprised how much time you need to spend driving between sights) and maybe another extra night in Seattle. I recommend you take the Seattle-Bremerton ferry (the ferries are one of my favorite things in Washington) to catch Hwy 3 to 104 to 101 to Port Angeles. The Olympics HQ is there as well as the entrance to Hurricane Ridge, which is a must-see. I would also make time to see Hoh National Rain Forest and at least a day or two for beaches.

      No recollections of food or places to stay, but Seattle is very diverse, very liberal. It is more conservative in pockets outside of the city, but the western part of the state is still quite friendly to visitors.

      • +1 to all of this. Definitely check out hurricane ridge. You will spend a lot of time driving around the olympics so plan for that.

    • Anonymous :

      I would not go to Disney. It’s not at all near Seattle. You’ll lose time flying down there, which is really not pleasant. Olympic National Park and Mt Rainier are incredible and well worth the time, and your schedule is reasonable. Don’t ruin the trip with a detour to Southern California.

    • Rainier is a long drive from Seattle, and so is Olympic. I’d do the Olympic peninsula and drop Rainier, just because there’s more stuff to do out on the Olympic than on Rainier, especially with a small kid.

      I’d take the Bainbridge ferry, not Bremerton, because then you can stop in Winslow at the bakery (have a lavender sugar cookie!) and also at Bloedel Reserve if you like gardens.

      Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in America.

      • Eeertmeert :

        Seconding the liberal status and Bainbridge Island recommendations (cookies, Bloedel, ferry)

    • Anonymous :

      You will be welcomed by most anywhere you visit in the States. No one is going to give you the side eye as a South Asian nearly anywhere in the US.

      • I don’t know if this is true. My friend who is adopted from Korea and grew up in Kansas. She travels all over the world and doesn’t feel 100% safe traveling back to Kansas to see her family.

        Another friend from the bay area was supposed to move to Montana for her husband’s job and when they visited they experienced such racism that they decided not to make the move.

      • Anonymous :

        All, thanks for the replies.

        We will most likely do the below:

        day 1-2: Seattle
        day 3-5: Olympic
        Day 6: fly to Anaheim
        Day 7: Dedicated to Disney
        Day 8: LA
        Day 9: fly home

        That way, we get the urban fix plus some time in the national park. And kids get a surprise at the end!

        Glad to hear that Seattle and environs are liberal.

        • You might find this heartening–I know I do! https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/05/how-washington-state-became-the-epicenter-of-resistance-to-trumps-agenda/?utm_term=.a931955b7ce2

        • Your child is going to be totally exhausted.

          • Agreed. I think this schedule is way too packed. Disney and Seattle are separate trips!!

          • (1) Seattle has a lot of South Asians, but once you leave the city, you will stand out. That said, the areas you are planning to go to should be fine.

            (2) Yes, this will be a hard trip! Distances out here are deceiving — Seattle to LA is like Delhi to Bangalore. A friend and I did a typical Olympic Peninsula drive (Seattle -> Bainbridge -> Port Angeles -> Hurricane Ridge -> Lake Crescent/ Sol Duc > Hoh Rainforest -> First Beach -> Kalaloch Lodge -> Back) in two days, and it was beautiful but difficult for us as adult women (5 hours driving/day).

            (3) Rainier is truly incredible — you understand why people think mountains are holy when you see it. That said, compared to the mountains of South Asia, I can understand why you might find it unimpressive :)

    • The West Coast has many many Asians and South Asians–it’s a part of the country you should not be too worried about. Yes, to possibly Kansas or something where it’s more “rare”, but certainly the West Coast (and particularly Seattle, which is a tech hub and has a huge Asian population) is not going to bat an eyelash at you! I would say to speak slowly if you have a very thick accent–sometimes we are a bit lame at understanding accents. But I would be surprised if you encountered any hostility in Seattle at all.

    • Anonymous :

      Your Washington itinerary is doable, but it’s lots of driving. Unless you’re planning to do serious hiking, Mt Ranier can be visited as a day trip from Seattle. I’d recommend you plan to visit Seattle at the beginning of your trip (with a day trip to Mt Ranier or a ferry trip to Bainbridge Island), the. Drive down to the Ilympic peninsula. The airport is south of Seattle, on the route you’d take to the peninsula, so I’d suggest you plan to end your trip driving back and staying in that area the night before your flight. If you want a taste of cheesy American kid-centric fun, you could plan to spend your last day/night at the Great Wolf Lodge in Centralia (about an hour and a half from the airport).

      As for your concern about traveling

    • I would highly recommend the Olympic peninsula, particularly the Hoh rainforest. There are lots of campgrounds, but if you are looking for accomdations, I would recommend Kalaloch resort or Quileute Oceasnide resort.
      If you were into the twilight books, the town of Forks could be fun. I will warn you that the small towns in western washington could be less welcoming to people of color. I doubt you would have any trouble, though, and Seattle and the parks will be very cosmopolitan

    • anon a mouse :

      I did a very similar trip as a kid (I was 10, sister was 6) and we remember it fondly. We stayed in cabins on a lake just outside the National Park and did a good bit of hiking. We spent an afternoon near the Kalaloch lodge and walked on the beach barefoot. We also spent a day in Port Angeles which was fun. It’s a beautiful part of the country.

    • Coach Laura :

      Seattleite here. I would be shocked and saddened if you got any sense of discrimination.

      Stay at Lake Crescent Lodge just outside Olympic national park. Teddy Roosevelt stayed there. My favorite place to stay.

    • Out of Place Engineer :

      We did this trip when m son was almost 4. We got a City Pass and did the aquarium, science center, space needle, EMP, and zoo in 2.5 days. Then we rented a car and drove to Olympic National Park for 2.5 days. We stayed at Kalaloch in a cabin — it is honestly one of my very favorite places. We did day hikes, which was perfect.

      I would skip Rainier — it is so big, you don’t really appreciate it in a day or two. I’m not sure where you are coming in from, but I would consider Disneyland a separate trip. 5 is a great age, but you won’t really have time to explore California Adventure or any of the other things around there.

      We love the Seattle area — have fun!

      • Just for the record, what used to be called EMP (experience music project) is now called MoPop (museum of pop culture). And I wouldn’t recommend it for little kids.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Seattle is amazing, but I agree with other people- it’s not at ALL realistic to fit both LA and Seattle (plus national parks!) into a week. Seattle will give you the urban experience. I’d scratch Anaheim and just spend the time in the Pacific Northwest.

      I haven’t spent much time on the Peninsula, but I absolutely agree with others- the ferry is fun, especially with a kiddo. I love riding the ferry, and I’m an adult. The Sound is beautiful- if you can schedule it on a day where the weather looks like it’ll be good, that would be ideal.

      You’ll be welcomed in Seattle- I wouldn’t worry about that.

    • The Pacific science center in downtown Seattle is an awesome indoor (rainy day) activity. There are lots of cool exhibits geared especially towards very young kids. And if it happens to be sunny when you come out (the weather chaneed fast in seattle), there is a big fountain that kids are allowed to play in. There is also a children’s theater, I think within walking distance (depending how far your kidlings can walk).
      Seattle also has a world class aquarium, with sea otters and a few touch tanks for the kids. But it is NOT like SeaWorld, so don’t expect trapped whales. Large parts of it are indoops for a rainy day. Pike place market is a popular tourist attraction, and within walking distance (mostly stairwells) of the aquarium.
      If you are interested in marine biology,Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula also has are particularly good interpetite center. And it would be worth picking up a tide chart to find out if there is a day will be able to walk right down and see deep sea creatures at low tide.

  4. Breastfeeding after maternity leave? :

    I’m looking for anecdata re: whether women were able to keep up breastfeeding once they returned to work. I am taking a 12-week maternity leave, but live in a country where a 1-year maternity leave is the norm so the women I know stopped breastfeeding when they returned to work. I’d like to keep breastfeeding in the morning/evening/night for a month or maybe 2 months after I return to work. I’m not willing to pump at work, so during the day the baby will drink expressed milk that I pump before I return to work, or formula. I’m planning on reducing my hours in the office to 10am-4pm so that I can accommodate an extra feed in in the morning and evening. Has anyone successfully done this or know women who have? My main concern is supply/my milk drying up.

    • I’m so curious about this as well. I’m also in a year-long norm country so I don’t know of anyone who has pumped at the office etc. I’ll either go back at 5 months or 14 months depending on contracts, and I’d like to continue BFing if I go back at 5 months.

    • I did this, but not really. I went back to work at 12 weeks, and pumped at work until about 9 months. Then at 9 months I stopped pumping and was able to keep breastfeeding (nights and weekends) until about a year. But stopping at 9 months is a LOT different than stopping at 3 months, so I’m not sure it’s even comparable.

      Practically, if this is your plan and you don’t want to pump, then go for it. The only way to know is to try. So just go for it, and if you dry up, then you did your best. You’ll have breastfed for 3 months, which is admirable in itself, and your kid will fine with formula.

    • Pumping Mom :

      I’m not trying to be a downer, but I returned at 6 months and pumped twice a day at work and my supply still tanked. Some women can nurse before and after work, but there are those of us who cannot. I probably needed to pump three times at work instead of two, but I just did not have the time. I struggled and made it to 10 months, but I had to supplement more and more with frozen breastmilk and eventually formula. My baby also began preferring bottles because he could hold it himself and look around, so his nursing sessions became less and less frequent and shorter in duration. I am returning to work again at six months and this time I plan to nurse until nine to twelve months, but I will not beat myself up this time for supplementing because I know I am one of those moms who does not respond the same to a pump and requires quality nursing sessions to maintain a good supply.

    • Yes. I did this.

      Baby got formula during the day at daycare and I nursed in the morning and at night until she was 6 months old. Then I switched 100% to formula. I would have gone on longer, but by the end it was late march in tax season and I didn’t get home from work until after she was asleep for the night so it was kind of pointless to just nurse 1x per day.

      How I did it– I had a 12 week maternity leave. I EBFed for the first 6 weeks or so. At that point, we introduced one bottle of formula per day. After a couple of weeks, we added a second bottle. By the time I went back to work, she had about 3-4 bottles of formula a day and I nursed the rest of the time, and during the day on the weekend. It was great. It let my husband be actively involved in feeding her and it let me enjoy nursing because it was something I wanted to do rather than something I had to do. Since breast is “best”, there is almost no information out there on how to do it, so I just kind of made it up as I went along. I thought it was great and I would do the same thing if I had it to do over.

      I would say that if you want to be able to go back to work without pumping, you should not pump a bunch while you’re on maternity leave. That will make your body produce more milk. You need to work ahead of time on decreasing the amount of milk your body is producing or you will be incredibly uncomfortable when you go back to work.

      • I know that was already a novel, but there are couple other things I thought of–

        When I first went back to work I was nursing 3x in a 24 hour period. My daughter slept through the night from a young age, and I would nurse her first thing when she woke up, first thing when I got home and then again before putting her down for the night. Tell her daycare teachers not to feed him right before pick up so you can nurse right away when you get home. If you have a normal 40 hr. per week job and can nurse at least 3x per day, that is great. I still had enough of a supply to nurse when I dropped down to 2x per day once I started working later, but once I was working so late I didn’t see her at all at night was when the supply really started to dry up.

        So I think this is much more do-able if you are working a 40 hour week.

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          How did you wean after six months? My seven-month old has a mixture of breastmilk and formula during the day, bottles of formula in the morning and evening, and a bottle to go to bed with a short amount of nursing (supply issues, hence the bottle of formula to make sure she eats adequately before sleeping), but she likes to nurse when she wakes up at night. And I am ready for her to sleep through the night, ha. I’m taking allllllll advice.

          • I had a very different experience from most people, I think. I read that Bringing Up Bebe book that talked about how babies in France sleep through the night (the whole night) from around 3 months of age. I did what the book said from the beginning and my kid slept through the night from 3 months of age. Once I knew she could do it, I didn’t ever nurse or otherwise feed her in the middle of the night, unless she was sick. I wasn’t going to wake her up to do it. After I weaned, I never fed her at night at all, sick or not. She had a sleep regression at 5 months of age and I did this:


            I dropped the right after daycare feeding first, then the right before bed feeding, then the early morning feeding last. I took sudafed and ate a bunch of altoids to dry up what little of my milk was left.

            I know lots of people in this country are not comfortable with formula or sleep training. I was solo parenting five days of the week because of my husband’s work schedule and working a ton myself, and did what I needed to to keep sane. My kid is a happy and healthy 2 year old at this point, and she still sleeps beautifully. YMMV, obviously.

          • PrettyPrimadonna :

            Thank you, CPA Lady! I will check out those resources.

    • I think you can do this. I did it, and it seemed to work out OK. if you get caught up at work late, it’s a little painful. You’ll have big gulps.

      also, anyone pumping or interested: I randomly saw this new pumping product, and it would have made things a lot easier for me!


    • I nursed morning and night for 1-2 months after I stopped pumping at work (at 8 and 13 months respectively).
      Any opportunity to just do *one* pumping session? My understanding is that when your b**bs become full basically sends the message of “no more milk needed!” to your body, so easing down gradually versus stopping nursing entirely during the day may make this plan more attainable.

      Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

    • Maybe not... :

      I went back to work at 16 weeks. Pumping three times a day + taking all of the supplements + eating all of the “lactation foods” + using all of the supply-increasing tactics STILL resulted in my supply plummeted to the point where pumping three times a day yielded mayyyyybe 6 oz. by 7.5 months. So I stopped pumping then and managed to nurse morning/night until 10 months. Then night supply dried up at 10 months and I kept the morning up until about 1 year, at which point baby lost interest.

      • Mine is a similar story. I went back at 12 weeks and nursed morning and night (all night, sometimes…My kid never slept) and pumped as much as I needed to during the day (was lucky enough to have a private office). His daycare was right next to my work and so I would go feed him at lunch as my schedule permitted. Still had supply problems. At 6 months I ran out of frozen breast milk and we started giving some formula during the day when he was at daycare; I just couldn’t pump enough to meet his needs. I fed nights and mornings until my son was 9 months old – after that, he was only really interested at night before bed and wanted the bottle the rest of the time. I think I breastfed him for the last time when he was right at 11 months. He started walking and that was it. He would toddle around with a sippy in one hand; there was no more laying down with me to nurse for extended periods.

        FWIW one of my best friends went back to work when her baby was 8 weeks old and breastfed until her daughter was 14 months. Never had supply problems. Everyone’s situation is different; the most important thing is not to beat yourself up if things don’t go the way you plan.

    • You got this :

      I think that should be fine. Make sure you nurse often while you’re home during maternity leave to establish a good supply. It sounds like with the schedule you’re planning you should be able to keep 4-5 feeds a day, which should keep the train running. While it might not work because every mama is different, I think the odds are very much in your favor to keep it up 1-2 months after you return to work, if not beyond.

      I pumped 3x/day at work from months 3-7, 2x a day at work from months 7-10 (and started supplementing), 1x a day from months 10-12, and we’re still breastfeeding at home 2-3x a day two months after my last pump at work.

    • I started a new job when my baby was 6 months and I wasn’t ready to give up nursing but I also felt shy about pumping at a brand new job. Our schedule ended up being like this (1) nurse upon waking up, (2) nurse in the parking lot before being dropped off at daycare, (3) go to daycare at lunch and nurse in person – only a 10 min drive from the office – I lucked out there, (4) nurse again in the parking lot upon pick up, and then how ever many feedings were required in the evening. I tried to supplement with formula but my baby rejected it. My baby also started reverse cycling at this time and her middle of the night feedings went up dramatically when I gave up pumping despite her getting 5-6 feedings during the daytime.

      I’d be prepared that if you supplement (1) your supply may go down and (2) your baby may keep you up all night to make up for it. You may consider trying to pump at lunch. I know its tough pumping at lunch because it effectively takes you out of all networking/socializing for the lunch hour but it help keep your supply up.

      Good luck!

    • I was able to nurse at night and in the morning for months and months after I stopped pumping during the day. It wasn’t gonna be kid’s only/main food, but there was definitely milk there for those two sessions, as long as I kept them up.

    • lucy stone :

      I think this might be tough. I was an exclusive pumper for three months so my experience may be different, but I can’t go much longer than six hours without pumping during the day without getting uncomfortable and it definitely makes nursing harder. That said, if you’re okay supplementing, it could work.

      • Two Cents :

        + 100. I can’t imagine going 6 hours without pumping, it would be extremely painful. Of course, everyone is different so you can see if this works, but I needed to pump twice a day at work in order to be comfortable, not to mention maintaining supply.

    • I went back at 14 weeks and had zero problems with supply. I pumped at work though.

      I stopped pumping at 12 months and nursed in the morning and evening for months. I know women who kept up the am/pm nursing for a few years. That said, there’s a difference between stopping pumping at 12 weeks and stopping at 12 months. Looking back, I don’t think my supply was fully regulated by 12 weeks. And you likely won’t be able to go from EBF to working 10-4pm without pumping. You may need to either supplement from the beginning or EBF then ramp down slowly before going back to work or pump for a bit when you go back to work and slowly ramp down from there. And your plan to have baby fed expressed milk while you’re at work might not be the best idea – pumping on leave to have a stash of BM when you head back to work will make not pumping at work harder because you’ll be producing more. Stopping cold turkey or even just not slowly enough is inviting mastitis.

      There are other options here. For example, if you want to breast feed and are okay pumping outside of work, consider pumping in the car on the way to work if that’s how you commute.

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes, I did this. I pumped 3x/day at work after my 3 month maternity leaves. I did this for each kid (3) until the kid reached about 12 or 15 months, and then dropped the pumping. (At the end I wasn’t producing much anyway). I then continued nursing morning/night and then only night or only morning until they were about 22 months.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        I went back at 16 weeks, and pumped 3X per day until they were 12-15 months old. I didn’t produce a ton of milk, I am not a great pumper but I felt like my supply would drop off a cliff if I didn’t.

        Once they were 12-15 months old, I dropped the pumping at work and just nursed them in the mornings. evenings and on the weekends.

    • (former) 3L mama :

      My 18 month old is still nursing; she never took a bottle very well and I quit pumping at 10 months. We cosleep and she nurses at 7 pm, 9 pm, 1 am, 5 am, and 7 am. Your baby might naturally “reverse cycle” (eat mostly at night) like this if you are ok with it/encourage it. I love it; cosleeping means I don’t have to get up for the 1 am feed and I wake up for the gym after the 5am feed anyway, so I’m not really losing any sleep. Something to think about.

    • A good way to keep your supply up and ensure that baby still gets breastmilk is to cosleep and nurse at night.

    • I went back to work at 11 weeks and pumped until he was 13 months. Foggy memories from then, but I did it after lunch every day and in the evenings after I fed him. Also pumped extra on the weekends for freezing. I had a large freezer full when I went back to work (2nd baby) that really helped. He was lactose intolerant and b m was really a necessity. I’m proud of what I did but it wasn’t easy.

    • I had a baby a year ago, and pumped 3 times a day at the office. I did ok with keeping up my supply, but we did have to start supplementing with formula as my baby’s needs increased, maybe at around 5-6 months. We still nursed in the morning and twice at night before she went to bed. We made it a full year with breastfeeding, so I’m in the process of weaning and switching her to cows milk. I am lucky; I have a really great boss who has no problem with how I flex my schedule. I know lots of other ladies aren’t so lucky. Congrats to you!!

    • I went back to work at 13 weeks, at 80% for a month and then back to fulltime. I pumped at work (4x a day at first, then dropped it down as the months wore on) but still experienced a big gradual drop in supply; I had to supplement at 7.5 months and stopped breastfeeding at just under a year. It sounds like you are ok with formula (I really wanted to avoid it) but I think even if you are working 6 hours/day, you should expect to see supply issues if you aren’t willing to pump at work. Fenugreek supplements/using a hospital grade pump may help delay this a little bit, maybe long enough for you to make it to 1-2 months. You can also try waking up to pump (I know this sounds insane if you’re already sleep-deprived; I did it but eventually gave up).

    • I would recommend the following: try it and see how it works out, keep your options open, and don’t feel guilty/beat yourself up/ think there’s something wrong with you if you need to supplement *or* decide to switch to exclusive formula.

      I am a physician. I know the benefits of breastfeeding and counsel my patients to breastfeed. However – there are so many variables at play here. The size / appetite of your baby. Your supply. Your sanity. Your baby’s interest in the breast.

      I planned on exclusively breastfeeding my baby. But then I had a nearly 11# child and my milk supply was slow to come in. I did a combo of breastfeeding and formula, then breastfeed exclusively, and eventually weaned to just formula by 9 weeks, which was about the time I was back at work ~40 hours.

      There is so much pressure on moms. If you can breastfeed and it works for you and your baby, by all means do it. Same with pumping. But if it doesn’t work and it makes you stressed, please – don’t stress it. I don’t want to sway you one way or the other: I just want you to encourage to try all your options and do what makes sense. Just by asking the question — you’re a great mom, no matter what ends up working for you and your little one!

  5. Hawaii state representatives :

    Did anyone else read about this: https://www.yahoo.com/news/anti-trump-republican-eyes-party-switch-deep-blue-014842787–politics.html

    In a nutshell, a Republican representative was stripped of her party’s leadership because she has been very vocal in her anti-Trump sentiments. They said that she had no business criticizing the President. The representative pointed out that her job is to represent her constituents, not act as a mouthpiece for the national party.

    I agree with the Representative, in both her believe as to her role in government as well as her opinion on Trump. I wrote her and Rep. Thielen telling them so, and that I supported them, but as I am not a resident of Hawaii it probably isn’t very helpful. But I am–or was–a Republican, and I am appalled that the leadership there seems to think that the representatives must put the national party above constitutional representation. I am thinking of writing him and telling him so.

    Anyway, I thought if anyone out there was from Hawaii, you would be interested in this read.

    • I know multiple Republicans who have/are switching parties because of the leadership’s apparent willingness to just go along with Trump, no matter how insane he’s being. I have encouraged them to write their (republican) representatives and tell them why they’re leaving the party.

      • This is something I’m seeing too and it is blowing my mind. Both of my senators in my red state are ignoring the vast majority of their constituents who do not want DeVos. They keep posting things on their facebook pages about how great she is, only to have thousands of comments begging them to vote no on her, from both republicans and democrats. Many republicans have supported our senators throughout their careers and are extremely angry and disappointed in them. What I don’t understand is why these men are willing to go against what their constituents want. It seems incredibly short sighted to me.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        I understand the urge, but wish the more reasonably minded Republicans would stay in the party. They are the only ones with the political clout to call their representatives/party members and argue against this madness. If all the reasonable republicans leave the party, it will continue to cater to the vocal fringe. Because of gerrymandering, many areas are practically guaranteed to go Republican, so we need moderate Republicans who can push for the better candidates in the primaries.

  6. Anonymous :

    Good news to share! My husband is a Latino immigrant, and he just passed his naturalization exam today! He had the first appointment of the day. This means so much to my family, especially in this political climate, and I’ll be honest, we both were worried Trump could shut down naturalizations similar to visa processing.

  7. Yiannopoulos :

    Paging the poster who alleged last week that Milo Yiannopoulos was planning to dox undocumented students at UC Berkeley and that it was therefore justified to disinvite him. Do you have a source for that serious claim? He intends to come back to campus and the issue remains relevant.

    • af dafd s :

      I don’t know if there are “sources” for something like this. I know that at NYU Gavin McInness and his compatriots made such threats and are trying to do things like this, but there’s no article I can show you.

      • I did see it in an article and posted by some serious journalists. But even more importantly he’s done the same to trans students in the past, so even the rumor should be taken very seriously, since it’s clearly something he is willing to do.

        • Ah, good to know. I know because someone I know was taking precautions to protect themselves!

      • Yiannopoulos :

        It seems extremely dangerous to limit speech based on a rumor, then. Especially in a case like this where a troll like Milo sees skyrocketing book sales and a personal tweet from the Donald when protests shut down a speech.

        • Its not really a rumor – see Anola before. There are articles about it apparently, but the bulk of the evidence is probably not public knowledge.

    • MargaretO :

      I will track down the source! Sorry I didn’t post it originally. I’m not remembering exactly where I saw it and I have a busy morning, but I will post it on the afternoon post if I don’t get to it in the next few hours.

    • Yiannopoulos :

      I’m stuck in moderation, but I hope there is a source. I am aware of the case in Milwaukee where he posted a photo and made disparaging remarks about a student identifying as female. I’m not sure that counts as “doxxing” in the traditional sense because this student was not “stealth”, but it certainly seems to qualify as harassment.

      • He used a screenshot from one of my students after the election, called her names, used her as an example of a liberal crybaby, etc. She received death threats and a barrage of his supporters telling her that she should commit suicide, etc.

      • What does ‘stealth’ mean? It was doxxing. There had been a complaint about transgender bathroom access. The complainant was not public and Milo doxxed him. You clearly came here to stir the pot because a simple Go”gle search brings up numerous news reports if the doxxing threats.

        I know you think you’re being cute but it’s obvious you seen Milo as something other than hate speech.

        Independent newspaper in the UK had an article on his doxxing threats. The American tolerance for hate speech is absurd. This clown does nothing to add to academic debate and merely makes American universities look foolish by hosting him.

        • Yiannopoulos :

          What are you talking about? I Googled and could not find a single article indicating that Milo was planning to dox undocumented students at UC Berkeley. Yes, he is a clown, and yes, he is hateful – but I will always defend free speech and the right of students to invite speakers to campus. Banning speakers is a dangerous precedent that has no place in society, although I would of course support the right of campus to shut down the speech after it has started if and only if a violation of conduct has occured. Do you seriously not have a problem with the fact that whenever Milo is banned, he gets a hundred times as much attention?

          • All other western democracies are doing fine without hate speech on campus but you do you. You can literally Go”gle ‘Milo doxxing’ and get tons of hits from legit news sources once you wade through the garbage ones a bit.

          • We are not all other western democracies! We are the great American experiment. And shutting down hate speech is the same idea that gave rise to burka bans and stuff in France.

          • Yiannopoulos :

            I don’t dispute that he has doxxed people in the past. I am saying that there does not appear to be evidence that he was going to do it at UC Berkeley.

            I do not support policies in countries like Germany that ban hate speech. I do not believe these bans are just or effective and I do not believe that there should be limits on speech beyond direct incitements to violence. But as you say, you do you. If you’d like for individuals or politicians who disagree with you to have the ability to ban your speech, that’s your right to support them. It’s my right not to.

          • This is what he does. It’s part of his shtick to call out students for targeting and harassment: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/milo-yiannopoulos-harassed-a-transgender-student-at-her-school

        • Yiannopoulos :

          By the way, I appear to have found the article in the Independent that you claim shows he was going to dox students at Berkeley. The article says that two separate people tweeted that Milo was going to do it. Two tweets from completely, 100% unverified sources =/= evidence.

          • He’s a racist misogynist loser. proof? See everything he’s ever written. Not wasting more time on you or him. Good luck with your ‘American exceptionalism’ and belief that you can’t have free speech without hate speech. The USA doesn’t even rate as a full democracy anymore. http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/01/daily-chart-20

          • Hey OP —

            My cousin was sharing stuff from Yiannopolous the other day, and I let his mom know I found it scary. But when I went to back it up, I also noticed that it’s hard (on Google) to quickly find reputable sources to back up the claim of doxxing. I think it takes a non-standard level of vetting/ reading/ hearing through the “oh I have a cute British accent” to the hateful message in order to understand what a threat this guy is.

            So I hear you that you’re trying to find sources, especially to help people out who are worried they’d be a target. Internet hugs to you.

    • Ignore Milo :

      I really, really wish people would stop paying attention to Milo Yiannopoulous. He’s not a good speaker. He’s not eloquent or erudite. He’s not particularly smart (or else, that doesn’t come through in how he talks). He’s a publicity hound who says outrageous things because it’s getting him attention and making him money. It’s no different than what Andrew Dice Clay did in the early 90s, it’s just that Milo is “political.” (I realize I’m dating myself with that reference.) Every university where he wants to speak should let him, and contain the protests, because eventually he will burn out the shock factor and fade into the background, like so many before him. Sorry, I am old enough to remember that there are many provocateurs who made their living (however briefly) exactly the way Milo is doing it. Funnily enough, none of their names come readily to mind. And in five years, no one will remember Milo either.

  8. Anyone have recommendations for earbuds that work for small ears? The standard iPhone ear buds are too big and give me an ear and head ache after about an hour, which makes listening to my soothing nature sounds at work a problem! :)

    • Anonymous :

      I have some old Bose earbuds with multiple sizes of cushions that have worked well for my small ears. Many of the inexpensive earbuds now also come with cushions in multiple sizes.

    • I’ve struggled with ear phones for years and my dad got me a pair of the Bose SoundTrue for Christmas and I can wear them in my tiny / sensitive ears. They are amazing! Just looked them up and they are pricey but my dad is a cheapskate and he bought them for the whole family, which suggests they do go on sale.

    • YurBuds! The only ones that have comfortably fit in my small ears.

    • YurBuds and Klipsch are the only ones that have done it for my little, tender ears.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the same problem. A couple of years ago, I randomly took a chance on some “earbuds for small ears” (seriously, says so on the package) at Target. Love them. I have since replaced them only once. I think they’re Yurbuds Inspire. Mine are pink, heh.

  9. Mercurial Boss :

    Does anyone have any suggestions re dealing with a super-mercurial boss? I never know if I am going to get friendly boss or crazy boss, and it has nothing to do with my previous (or last prior) interactions. Boss has severe insomnia, and, from what I can tell, is sometimes like a cranky toddler. This is driving me nuts. At times, completely reasonable and normal–other times, very hostile in meetings (to others, never me), crazy angry emails, weird demands at all hours. I work in biglaw, so sure, some partners are odd birds, but I cannot figure out how to approach boss gingerly (or even if that helps) to avoid an onslaught of increasingly enraged emails. How do I stay sane when this guy is arguably not so reasonable? I am generally good at managing up, but it’s hard when you don’t have consistency on the other end….HALP!

    • Ugh, that’s tough! I would try to figure out what works best for boss generally when they are cranky, and then expand from there. E.g., if short concise emails work, start the day with one of those on most essential item. If response is friendly/not short, then follow up with further questions if needed. In terms of all hours demands, i think learning boss’s schedule may help but you probably still have to be checking at all hours.

      Source: While my boss isn’t as mercurial, they can be very time-limited or less time-limited, so I try to structure my interactions as best I can so i can take advantage when they have time to discuss our cases. I kind of have a mental list of what we could talk about at any point in the week, and then flag any necessities and work the optionals in there as appropriate.

    • My husband’s boss is like this. My main advice is to look for a way to avoid working with this person or to look for a new job (sorry). In the meantime, things that have worked for my husband are (1) set your phone to silent/no alerts for a reasonable amount of time at night, (2) do not engage in email fights–ignore email rants and address the issues in person the next day, and (3) as with toddlers, don’t take anything personally. But yeah, my husband ultimately found a new job in large part because of his boss’s mercurial personality.

    • Until the line “I work in biglaw, so sure, some partners are odd birds, but I cannot figure out how to approach boss gingerly (or even if that helps) to avoid an onslaught of increasingly enraged emails,” I thought Kellyanne Conway was on this s1te!

      OP – I had a similar boss, and my best strategy was to work as independently as possible and trying to approach him only when he was in a reasonable mood. I got his assistant on my side, so she would give me the heads up when he needed nap time. Good luck!

    • I followed NYNY’s strategy when I had a similar boss. But I quit after 2 years (after securing another job). Life is too short. The tone of the office, especially the boss’s attitude and approach, is near the top of my list of job requirements.

      • I should also say that one day after a particularly unpleasant action, I wrote the boss a letter to the effect that his expressions of hostility were counterproductive and highlighted some of my major accomplishments and asking him to respect my capabilities— something like that. I then went home to work. I copied HR for my file.
        DO NOT do this. HR went crazy like I was going to sue (this was my first and harshest lesson that HR is there for the employer, not the employees, and they suck as a resource). And boss man just thought I was entitled and insolent (which I get, and is probably correct).

        It was, in retrospect, a naive and silly thing to do that I would not have if I had been more experienced and savvy. I could have been fired (“fit” issue, etc.).

    • No advice. I refuse to work for people like this. I worked for a partner like this once, called him on his behavior (which he didn’t like). I saw no improvement. I left for a better job with nice people and more money. They went through 4 of my replacements in 4 years due to this guy. I had lunch with the managing partner last week to catch up and he said “I really wish we would’ve listened to you – this guy has pretty much taken our department down”. I’ll never understand why this kind of behavior is tolerated. Act like a decent human being – I don’t care if you’re tired, if you’re sick, etc. If you can’t be nice go home.

      • +1. I worked for a person like the OP describes, early in my career. Never again. Life is too short. Organizations need to take responsibility and boot these people out; I realize that’s easier said than done. But seriously. If my ex-boss treated her family members the way she treated her employees, someone would have called the police on her (don’t think we didn’t think about it).

    • I, too, quit a job because of someone like this. I know a few other people who quit because of the same person. Before I quit, my strategies were similar to those already suggested here: I tried to document everything, I tried not to respond to emails in the middle of the night, and I tried to avoid engaging in rapid-fire email conversations. Like I would make myself take 10 minutes before responding to an email, to take a deep breath and try not to let my boss’s emotional state sweep me up too.

      Good luck! It’s the worst.

    • Two of the biglaw partners at my former firm were like this. We liked to say that, when in their “moods,” they asked you to make 2 plus 2 equal zebra (i.e. totally inane impossible requests). The first time I worked for Partner A, he called me into his office at 7pm one evening and started ripping me up and down over “my writing being behind” and “not being where I should with my class.” About half-way through his rant/tantrum, I realized that it had nothing to do with me. When he took a breath, I responded, “I’m sorry you feel that way. What can I do to improve?” I honestly don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but an hour later he called me, lavished me with praise and said he was excited to work with me. Right. My biggest advice is to get out of people like this’s orbit as soon as possible. I did that by filling my time up with other partners’ work, so that I was unavailable for his work. Nonetheless, there were times when I had to work with Partner A and the other one.

      My advice, like others have said, is to get on the good side of their assistants. About a week after the above happened, Partner A’s assistant told me when to come up and when to avoid his office. The other thing that helped was to realize that it wasn’t about me. It sounds odd, but if you can pretend that there is a bubble around you and their nasty comments bounce off, it strangely helps. Find a more senior associate who has survived this partner to give you the inside scoop and let you vent after you get your head bitten off. I found one who let me know that Partner A preferred big v. small paperclips, disliked curly quotes and would always respect time that I spent exercising.

    • Dealing with this right now. Not sure if this applies to you, but what helped me was figuring out goals and metrics to put around my work, and I ended up having to go over boss’ head to get them approved and put in writing. Now I can point to objective things I am doing so it’s a lot harder to be inconsistent/nonsensical with feedback. It also clued in someone above her that something was amiss, but in a way that made me look like a constructive go-getter rather than a whiner. I have no idea if this would work in your position, but it worked for me. I don’t think I got a decent night’s sleep for like 2 weeks while it all played out, but last night was the first Sunday in a long time where I wasn’t near-tears at the thought of the week to come.

    • The way to deal is to make sure you do NOT subjugate yourself to him and his need for power, but at the same time, placate him. I do this all the time with the manageing partner, and it work’s! Stand up for yourself, but in a feminine way. That is what I do. YAY!!!

    • Esperanza :

      I think a lot of other comments here are spot on– mitigate bad behavior when you can and find another position. From personal experience I suspect that the issue is fundamentally egocentrism- your boss either cannot or will not empathize or consider perspectives other than his own. It’s just like you said, he’s emotionally a big baby. His needs are always reasonable to him, and his moodiness is always justified. You will never gain the upper hand no matter how “right” you are. My only advice is twofold: set firm boundaries and never feed their fire by engaging in conflict/fights.

      • I’m dealing with this right now too (have been for about a year; been in the position for 2 years). Unfortunately, I have a boss that everyone is afraid of or loves (and obviously those who love are never treated to his bad side because they actually give a mini-bow when they leave his office…). So I can’t go over his head and I can’t make a lateral move. Been job searching for months now.

        As for advice, I want to +1 all of the previous comments but I recognize that depending on your position/proximity to this person, you can’t just brush it off. Sure, you can recognize it isn’t you, the individual is mildly deranged on some level but there are days where you sob in a bathroom stall or empty conference room. In my position, I can’t switch to working solely with another higher up (got yelled at when I attempted that and my position is basically entwined with my boss) but if you can, that seems like the best move. Or start looking for a new job, which sucks because a. I love my company and b. After a year of being treated like I’m unworthy and my thoughts are of no consequence, I don’t feel like I’m smart enough to get a similar/better position elsewhere (working on this, keep repeating “you is smart, you is kind, you is important.”). Glad to know I’m not the only one dealing with a psycho.

        • You are for sure not the only one. If anyone ever finds a good solution to this problem, please let me know. And for the record: You is smart, you is kind, you is important. :)

  10. Natural/organic makeup :

    Hi all – I’m hoping to shift my makeup and skincare routine to products that aren’t horrible for the environment. I figured if I eat organic and use naturally derived cleaning products, I probably shouldn’t put mysterious substances on my skin. Can anyone recommend good natural or organic makeup brands? I have no idea where to start. My must-have makeup products are undereye concealer, powder, blush, and mascara.

    • I don’t have experience with all of these brands, but here is what appears to be a good list to start from!


    • The easy thing to try is to reduce your use in general. Are there any of those products that you can cut out or minimize in your weekly routine? Otherwise, I have heard good things about Tarte cosmetics, although I don’t wear make-up anymore and you might want to check the source on that. Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database is a good place to check brands.

      • I second the recommendation for Tarte Cosmetics. I’m looking to get into more natural beauty too, yet I already use their blush and eyeliner, simply because they work.

        Sephora recently added a Natural Beauty section to their website (I found it by searching “natural”). It’s not inexpensive, but it may be a good place to start your search.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Check out Integrity Botanicals: https://www.integritybotanicals.com/

      I like Well People for mascara.

    • Check out Follain. They are a small boutique that has stores in NYC, DC, Boston and seasonally, in Nantucket. They specialize in super-organic skincare and makeup and they know their stuff. Lovely.


    • First advice if this is your goal to stay away from department stores, drug stores, and Sephora. Do you have a natural-food store near you? Even the smaller ones tend to sell at least one beauty line. Juice Beauty is a good line to start with; I think Ulta carries it. They are also a woman-founded company and reputed to be a very woman friendly employer:

      • Natural/organic makeup :

        We have a big Whole Foods near us, so I’ll check out their beauty section. Thanks!

    • I cleaned up my beauty routine last year as well. I think before you make the change, you need to decide what ingredients are important for you to avoid. There’s a lot of blabber and unsubstantiated claims on the internet, but I have done some heavy research and for me, I avoid phthalates and parabens. One thing to note is that these products generally have a shorter shelf-life and also aren’t super long-wearing/lasting. They also can have “earthy” scents because of the ingredients.

      RMS Beauty: Un-Coverup (amazing for undereye!), Lip2Cheek, Living Luminizer
      Kjaer Weiss foundation (very full coverage)
      Vapour Organic Beauty: Soft Focus foundation, Elixir and Siren lip products
      Ilia lip products
      Well people mascara

      You can purchase samples at a lot of the online organic/natural makeup boutiques. It’s helpful, particularly for foundation, since many of these brands are only sold in a few specialty shops and it’s difficult to find them in person.

      • Natural/organic makeup :

        Thanks! What are your go-to resources for good information on which ingredients to avoid?

        • Environmental Working Group is good.

        • I actually used PubMed to see what substantial evidence is available. I found that both phthalates and parabens are endocrine disrupters when present at certain levels in the body. Topically they aren’t absorbed in high amounts but all of the studies generally look at a single product. Personally I prefer to avoid when possible due to limited evidence on cumulative absorption/exposure.

          EWG is good but I like to do my own independent research too :)

    • Check out the blog Phyrra. I know she features mostly cruelty free makeup, but she might have organic recs too.

    • If you are thinking about these environmental issues, I encourage you to take it a step further and choose cruelty-free products: i.e., products that are not made from animal ingredients and are not tested on animals.

      Animals suffer horrifically in testing and because animal-based ingredients (e.g., milk, lanolin, etc) are incorporated into cosmetic products. You may also find that a number of the good cruelty-free lines are also environmentally friendly.

      If it’s difficult to make the change all at once, consider starting with changes that: a) do the most good; and/or b) are easiest for you to incorporate.

      A “do the most good” approach would take into account i) how much of a product you use, and ii) how much animals suffer. (So, for example, change your shampoo or soap because you probably use that in high volume before you change your eyeliner.)

      A “change what’s easiest” approach can help you achieve momentum. So if you love and find it hard to replace your foundation, for example, then keep it for a while and focus on stuff that you’re less committed to (which will vary depending on the person – maybe your lipstick or your shampoo). Then, once you’ve made some of the easier switches in your routine (and had more time to research replacements for your faves), focus on replacing the “harder to replace” items.

      Check out this link here for some ideas: http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/organic-beauty/get-glamorous-these-vegan-and-cruelty-free-makeup-brands/

  11. Seattle Snow :

    Snow day! So grateful today to live in a city where a half inch of snow shuts it all down. Yes, this means I get to work on a presentation from home instead of the office, but it also means sweatpants all day and can sleep in a bit!

    • I’m so jealous. I can count on one hand the number of snow days I’ve had in 30 years…

      • SuziStockbroker :

        Fellow Canadian who has never had one! My kids have never gotten a single snow day from school either. Sometimes the busses get cancelled for freezing rain, but the schools stay open.

        • Seattle Snow :

          I grew up on the other side of the state, where we had three snow days from the time I was in Kindergarten until I graduated high school (and they were all in one week!). So, I laugh at Seattle “snow,” but at the same time, I am SO okay with my adopted city’s unwillingness to drive in an inch of slush (ahem…”snow.”)

    • I used to love snow days but dread them now that we have an energetic kiddo. ;-)

  12. Congaree National Park :

    This is a smaller national park in South Carolina (so sort of close to Atlanta and Charlotte). Has anyone been? Highlights? Recommendations? Was thinking of going before May (so when it’s warm but hot and buggy).

    • I’d still prepare for it to be buggy- you’re in swamplands.

    • I am from SC and have been to that park several times. It can be hot and buggy, even in April. Also, if we get lots of rain in the early spring, parts of the park can be flooded. Call ahead to ask.

      The park itself is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so plan for that when you are considering hotels, etc. The closest major city is Columbia, SC which is SC’s capital ( about 30 minutes away). I currently live in Columbia and can give you recommendations for restaurants and things to do in Columbia.

      It’s probably 1.5 hours from Charlotte and three hours or so from Atlanta.

  13. Vegan Shampoo :

    I noticed today that my shampoo is vegan. At first, I laughed: I’m not going to eat it! But I get it (I think): they didn’t test it on animals. How do they test it then? It dawned on me that I might be the guinea pig for this.

    The bigger question I suppose is if they rely on in vivo (is that the right phrase) testing that was done previously or by others (like Company X tested Ingredient Y on animals, is it really OK if Company Z uses Ingredient Y without testing)? Or do they just wing it (I can’t imagine that)?

    • The vast majority of all chemicals in personal products have not been tested for safety. It’s easy to just skip animal testing and put a product to market – you get animal-friendly points that way!

    • FDA doesn’t approve cosmetics before they go to market, but has the power to recall them if they are adulterated (includes being unsafe to use because of ingredients). The FDA also has the authority to inspect production facilities and hold manufacturers to Good Manufacturing Practices. But that’s about making the product, not testing it for safety. So it’s really more on the company to be sure they aren’t going to hurt consumers – because then it’s bad press for the company, and if its bad enough, the FDA gets involved. The product has to be “safe” but there really aren’t any guidelines on what that means, other than not making people sick.


      • Interesting. I guess the flip side to not testing on animals is that by using something, you are letting the company test it on you.

        OTOH, I’ve never been hurt by a cosmetic and have had some reactions to drugs (all of the known side effect variety which, while not toxic, were of the unpleasant GI side effect variety).

        I guess with drugs and vaccines you really have to test, test, test. With cosmetics and things like shampoo, it would just annoy the animal (and literal lipstick on a pig would not make it look any cuter).

    • From Leaping Bunny about the safety of non-animal tested products:

      “There are many reliable alternatives to using animals available, including cell and tissue cultures and sophisticated computer and mathematical models. Companies can also formulate products using ingredients already determined to be safe. Cruelty-free companies can use a combination of methods to ensure safety, such as employing in vitro tests and/or conducting clinical studies on humans.”

      • Although if you’re using something known to be safe, isn’t that b/c it was either tested on animals or road-tested by people at one point?

        And the really cruelty-ish things are ones never brought to market b/c if they harm animals, they are likely to harm people?

        I guess if something has ever been tested and found to be OK, the blood is on our hands, no? Just b/c one company did it (the cruelty co), why should it be a free pass for non-cruelty company to use and rely on the other’s testing? [This is why some people buy second hand fur: the original harm was done by someone else. I can see why that is gray, ethically.]

        • Yes, mostly like the product or the ingredients (which is really where the animal testing occurs) have been animal or people tested previously. It’s not perfect, but for the CF products, ensures the testing doesn’t continue (for true CF anyway).

        • So they should come up with completely new ingredients, still not test them on animals, and then sell them? I don’t get your objections to using ingredients already determined to be safe.

      • This is really …. insane.

        Tissue culture and computer modeling are very poor predictors of the efficacy and outcomes of molecules.

        We are the test subjects.

        • This is clearly a personal choice, but I’m okay with it. I won’t force others to be the test subjects if they don’t want to be, but for me the risk to me is worth the non-testing on animals.

          As Tina Fey would say, good for you, not for me, right? :) (flipped here, of course)

    • MD biologist :

      Kinda crazy, yes?

      I’m a doctor and a scientist.

      Don’t get me started.

      Nevermind all of the “supplements” and “natural” products that people INGEST every day, that are not properly tested for safety and efficacy… and to see if what they are actually selling is even in the bottle.

      Business thrives on the ignorance of its population. Down with regulation!

    • anonshmanon :

      Back in college, I took part in a consumer study, where I tested some shampoo/conditioner and gave feedback (hey, it was free shampoo!). I assume that this is still common for testing new products.

      But I’d actually interpret the vegan label on your bottle as “product doesn’t contain ingredients from animal products”, which can be quite a few. I’ll post two links in the next comment.

      • anonshmanon :


        not about shampoo, but also about surprising non-vegan ingredients:

    • My husband works in product safety for a large personal care company that manufactures household name products as well as a smaller “ethical products” line. Completely new products are tested on (human!) volunteers prior to launch in informal studies. I believe these volunteers are paid. Anything that has FDA approval (some toothpastes and hair care products that have medicinal claims – this is a fairly small slice of the market) goes through the formal FDA 3-phase process for new medicines. New formulations of existing products, which are the vast majority of personal care products on the market, are tested by employees and their families in exchange for free meals in the company cafeteria.

      In general, the ingredients in personal care products are widely used across the industry. Most of them are classified as “generally assumed to be safe” and the toxicological data that does exist is gathered after adverse events :/ This is slowly changing because of regulations in Europe.

  14. Durham No. 2 :

    Not the same poster as in the weekend open thread, but I too have a question about Durham. (Thanks for the restaurant/activities recs in that thread!)
    I’m going to the Duke basketball game on Thursday night. Where can I grab a small bite to eat an hour or two before the game that’s close to Cameron Indoor Stadium but not terribly crowded? (I know that’s a tall order…) Or should I just go with concessions in the stadium?
    Finally, any opinion on the best places to buy gear, or are any of the options roughly equivalent?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I will put aside my insane jealousy that you are going to the Duke-UNC game and actually offer suggestions…

      If you just want something small, I’d just get something on campus. It honestly probably won’t be that crowded because students get in to the game quite early and non-students are probably eating off campus. The Loop in the Bryan Center is good. Other than that, I think they’ve changed most of the eateries since I’ve spent a lot of time on campus, but just check the website. There’s an Au Bon Pain if you want something really quick.

      As for gear, I’d just stop by the store on campus since you’re going to be there. It will likely be a mad house, but it also is going to have the widest selection. Or if you just want a t-shirt and are flying in, lots of stores at RDU sell them.

    • Alternately, you can park and take the Bull City Connector (free) up to Main and Ninth Street. There are a lot of good restaurants there (Juju, Elmo’s Diner, Chubby’s Tacos, etc.) and there is also a Duke gear store within the same block (it’s in the string of shops in the Harris Teeter parking lot).

    • Durham No. 2 :

      Thank you both! And Gail, this is one of my top bucket-list items, so I won’t begrudge you the jealousy!

    • Blue Devil :

      Recent Duke grad (2015) checking in. I was in the front row of nearly every home game while I was there. Insanely jealous that you’re going this week, since I suspect my days of going to the Carolina game are over.

      The West Union building on campus is new (even since I graduated) and has tons of good eateries. Bryan Center is a good bet too, I second the suggestion for The Loop. Anywhere on campus will be crowded though, right up until tipoff. Not debilitatingly so, but be prepared to stand in line.

      Check my response to the Friday post for other suggestions, but there’s a group of small casual restaurants off of Erwin if you want something quick and not particularly eclectic and Durham-y. It’s the spot where Mediterra and Chipoltle are. Lots of fantastic food downtown if you have more time. Food in the stadium is okay, but I don’t recommend it. It’s basic pizza/burgers/Bojangles, nothing particularly good and exciting.

      Timing: students who are going to the game have to be in K-ville around 4:45-5:15, so anytime after that it shouldn’t be as crowded, other than with students who are watching on TV (which is most of them, since Cameron is small). Crowds at campus eateries will be present until tipoff.

      After the game, if Duke wins (knock on wood): Do not walk through main quad unless you really want to experience what the atmosphere is like. In the case of a win, there will be large fires on main quad in celebration. It’s awesome to see, but it will be insanely crowded and not somewhere you want to be if you’re just trying to cut through to get to your car. Campus eateries will also start getting very crowded about an hour after the game.

      Have fun!!!

      • Blue Devil :

        Oh, and the store in the Bryan Center is definitely the best selection of gear, and it’s convenient if you’re eating on campus. The Duck Shop on Ninth is okay too, but out of the way. And yeah, for a basic t-shirt if you don’t care about having a wide selection, RDU stores and most other stores will have something.

      • Durham No. 2 :

        This community is so helpful! Thank you! (And I’m jealous that you got 4 years of basketball games – I’m a huge fan but not an alum!)

  15. Hopeless Romantic :

    When did you know that you wanted to marry your SO? If you ended up divorcing, were there any warning signs while you were dating?

    • I wish I could tell you that there were warning signs while we were dating, but life (and marriage) are long and complicated roads. I was so in love when I got married that I literally remember my now-ex-husband and I saying to one another that people who got divorced must never have been as happy as we were at that moment. Oh, how the years can change things.

      I have friends who had crazy relationships and are still married (happily? always hard to know from the outside). And some of the loveliest couples I know ended up divorcing. A major deciding factor in the troubled couples I see actually seems to be whether or not they have kids; the couples with kids are often hanging on (something through fairly terrible relationships) for the children, while the couples without kids who had problems parted ways. It’s a heck of a lot easier to divorce when kids aren’t in the picture, so if your problems become acute before that happens, the barriers to exit are lower.

      • Hopeless Romantic :

        That’s very true–it’s so hard to tell what will become problems in the future.

      • +1000000

        Marriage is very complicated as is life. Twists come that you don’t expect and people change. I’m divorced and when people ask me who is at fault or what happened, I internally cringe because I don’t think that typically, the end of a marriage can be so neatly wrapped up in response to that question (obviously some exceptions). For me, my ex asked for the divorce after 7 years of marriage. I was floored and had no idea he was dissatisfied in our marriage at all. I knew he was depressed/struggling with some life things that didn’t involve our marriage at all. In the end, divorce was the best thing that could’ve happened and several years later, I’m happier than ever.

        Like everything else, you can’t tell the future, unfortunately and have to trust your gut.

        • I dated a lovely man who was also a devout Buddhist and he told me that he viewed talking about his divorce as the “compassion test” in dating. If someone immediately wanted to figure out whose fault it was, to him, that meant they didn’t have a compassionate enough view of human relationships to be someone he wanted to date. I feel that way as well – wanting to understand my divorce is totally fine if we’re going to have a relationship, but wanting to jump to who was at fault is such a simplistic view of the incredibly complexity of marriage.

    • We got engaged after 10 weeks – we were 23 haha. We were married for 8 years and are still great friends and our families stay in touch, etc.

      We did have different long-term life goals, and we had some sense of it going in, but we were young and ex was REALLY bad at communicating. He’s one of those types who doesn’t want to rock the boat, so “hey, I’d ultimately like to move back to my hometown of 10,000 people and have 4 kids and coach high school football” wasn’t clearly articulated early on LOL. We knew I was a career type and he was more of a laid-back family man, but those traits were amplified as we aged. We amicably parted ways to follow our own paths.

      I’d really dig into future goals and what those look like. Ask the hard questions to make sure you’re really on the same page, and not just thinking you’ll figure it out later or it’ll all come out in the wash.

      • Hopeless Romantic :

        Wow! 10-weeks. That sounds like a whirlwind romance. What made you pull the trigger after dating for such a short amount of time? (Not judging, just curious!)

        • We just clicked. It felt so natural and comfortable for both of us right from the start. We met at a house party (haha, 23!) and sat talking for 6 hours straight. We spent all of our spare time together from then on – nearly every evening, all weekends. It definitely wasn’t the pace of modern, adult dating where you’re squeezing in a date between Pilates and deadlines and can see the person once or twice a week for a couple hours. I met his family after a month when they came to town for a visit. So even though it was 10 weeks, we were together constantly. And we were compatible in so many ways (though less obviously not in a couple ways).

      • 20-year reunion :

        Do you think you could get back together if you had gotten together as 50-somethings or reconnected at a reunion?

        This stuff matters tremendously when you are 25-40. But I have seen a ton of people remarry around 50 to lovely people that they would be 100% incompatible with earlier (and yet perfectly compatible from 15-25). People who hate kids remarry people with kids (who are now largely grown or are friendly teens). People who hate small towns and/or cities have commuter marriages knowing that they’re retire in a few years anyway. I have an ex who I’d love to have in my retirement community (we are happily married to others, but he is a great person (just was not a life partner for when I was 25-35)). Life is weird.

        • Not at all. Part of his laid-back personality is that he’s TOO laid-back. I’m very driven, and it’s one thing to have a partner who’s a good balance to calm you down; it’s another to have one you can’t quite respect because he has no ambition. As a friend now, where his career and his life plans are none of my concern, I can genuinely, warmly say I wish him the best. As a potential boomerang romantic partner? I can’t say no strongly enough. As a potential neighbor in a retirement community? We joke about it all the time (really!).

      • This was me and my ex. Add in a healthy dose of religion, so we “had” to be married when he moved into my college apartment. We almost broke up while we were engaged, because I knew we wanted different life paths. But he insisted he wanted me, and part of me stuck with it just to spite everyone who told me it was a bad idea (I was dumb when I was young). After only a couple of years of being married, someone asked if we would stay together forever, and I was already doubting it. Communication was a big problem, as well as his desire to move back to the small hometown and “provide” for us while I took care of the house and kids.

        My current husband and I dated for several years before we got married. My (religious) friends were hoping he would propose after only a few months, but I was in no rush at all. I’m not sure when I knew I wanted to marry him. I was in a minor car accident, but had to replace the car, and I told him I wanted to get a family car because in a few years I would likely be driving our children around in it. He stared at me, then admitted that I was probably right. It was still at least a year after that that he proposed.

    • I don’t remember an exact moment when I knew, but I knew from our first date that it was going to be something reasonably serious. I didn’t think ‘I’m going to marry this guy’ but I was pretty sure he was going to graduate from date to boyfriend. It was just very easy and drama free from day one and the marriage thing sort of crept up on me in a way. After we had been together probably a few months and it was clear this thing was serious, it became kind of a foregone conclusion for both of us that this thing was headed for marriage (for context, we met when I was 33 and he was 37).

      One big factor for me was that I wasn’t getting bored of hanging out with him and I still look forward to seeing him even though we live together and see each other every day. Neither of us is perfect, but he’s my best friend *and* I think he’s really hot. This is not to say that we aren’t different in some ways, or that we don’t disagree on stuff, but we have very similar outlooks on the big dealbreaker stuff (politics, religion, family, kids) and our long term view of how we would like our life together to be.

      On the flipside, my SO was married before and when he got married. Even though they got on great and still do, they just grew apart and it turned out they were really just good friends and nothing more. Looking back, he doesn’t think there was any indication that they would end up divorced, it just sort of happened and on his wedding day he was sure they would stay together (and most of the time, if you’re not sure on your wedding day, then you probably shouldn’t be getting married).

      Another friend of mine got married even though she wasn’t sure and moved out four months after the wedding. She had doubts on the day and was going to run away but she went through with it and then cried on her wedding night because she knew she had made a mistake.

      So I guess my point is sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t, but if there are big red flags you should probably heed them.

    • Knew and discussed after 3 months – I was 23 and he was 26. Got engaged 3 years later (finished uni + immigration issues), married 1 year after engaged. Still married 10 years later (2 kids). Have had our struggles but mostly because our families of origin have very different communication styles. even though we were young, we talked very expressly about gender roles, religion, parenting stuff right from beginning.

    • I knew 3-4 months in, we had talked about marriage at about the same time, and were engaged at 7 months, got married after about 18 months together. We did know each other for about 6-7 months by the time we started dating (colleagues). It felt really quick, but we both knew who we were, what our values were, and what we wanted in a marriage and for a future family and talked about those things early and very openly.

    • I’m curious about the flip side of this too… when I got engaged I was entirely sure and committed, and we ultimately broke off the engagement. We weren’t perfect but there wasn’t anything I’d call red flags that I can see in retrospect. For people who remarried, how did you come to trust your judgment again?

    • I got married at 27 (he was 28) after dating 2 years, now separated with plans to divorce at 33. I was very happy until I wasn’t. In our case, my husband had a minor car accident that left him unable to work for several months, and I had to work crazy hours to support us. He decided to use all his time home alone to become secretive, putting a lock on his phone and laptop, staying up all hours of the night in the bathroom, all to be texting different women and having emotional affairs.

      We tried counseling, which didn’t work because he essentially blamed me for being out of the house so much working to support us. He insisted it wasn’t cheating because some of these women were even in different states/countries (the wonders of chatting apps!). Sometimes I wonder if he hadn’t had a car accident, then we’d still be happy, but I doubt it.

      The experience showed a profound difference of opinion. He felt that the escapism of chatting/texting with people miles away was acceptable, whereas I felt its a betrayal in that he preferred to spend his time and share his life with strangers. Our couples therapist told me that she sees a lot of this with the texting apps.

      We are cordial to one another, and I’m honestly relieved that this occurred before we had children. It showed me a very different side that I’d never seen before, and now we can make a clean break without the entanglement of kids. I am sad that I loved him so much, and made plans based off that love, and I didn’t “see it coming”. But I’ve continued going to therapy solo, which has helped immensely.

      • I am simultaneously so sad for you and so glad that you are getting the support you need. Be well.

    • Anonattorney :

      My husband and I met when we were pretty young, got engaged after five years, and married a year later. We have now been married for five years and together for 11. To be honest, as silly as it sounds, I knew right away that I wanted to marry him. We became friends first before we started dating, and then became best friends in our relationship. I was and still am very attracted to him. And by now he truly feels like an extension of myself.

      I never once doubted getting married to him, or questioned whether our marriage would be successful. I knew he would be a great dad (and he is), supportive of my career and my role as the primary breadwinner, and that he would be loyal.

      That said, there are two things that I think have contributed to our success as a couple. (1) I prioritized the attributes listed above – emotional support, parenting, and loyalty – and made sure that I picked someone with those traits. Those have been extremely important during the twists and turns of adulthood. (2) We have been really lucky in that neither of us have experienced any significant adversity during our relationship, and so we have grown together and have not been seriously “tested.” I have seen a lot of very solid relationships crumble because of prolonged periods of unemployment, illness, or loss of close family members.

    • I knew I wanted to marry my husband within a few months of dating. We had know each other since high school and reconnected many years later. I had a small child from a previous relationship and so was very cautious with dating, but with him it just clicked. We didn’t get married for another three years, but we knew early on that this was serious.

      Now, after 11 years of marriage I am so happy I married him. We have been through aging parents, cancer in my mother that has required constant care, the death of his father, three children, job changes. He has always been so supportive, willing to work hard, and loyal and he has the best sense of humor so that when everything has been crumbling around us we can laugh about it, because what else can you do? I know that I can always count on him no matter what.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m on my third marriage. First two had so many red flags and warning signs it wasn’t even funny.

      This time, I thought I didn’t want to get married, even though I was crazy about him, right up until I did want to marry him! I had and have zero doubts that this time it is the real deal and will last forever. I suppose it’s possible that one of of could have a total personality change, but honestly it seems vanishingly unlikely.

    • Anonymous :

      I was certain that I wanted to marry my husband. We are now divorcing.
      I “just knew.” He was funny, smart, handsome, sporty, felt like my equal.
      He drank more than I did and stayed up later and was more fun/less ambitious than I, but I thought that was a good thing. He got arrested for a DUI right before we got married and I thought his drinking would be a challenge we would overcome. Funny thing, the drinking did become a huge problem, he got sober, but nevertheless I don’t want to be married to him any longer. I don’t regret it. We have two awesome kids. The divorce is going to cost me a ton but as they say — why does divorce cost so much? because it’s worth it ! The split is (so far) amicable.
      Yeah, in hindsight my lack of experience with drinking and with other people’s drinking caused me to not see warning signs. And in hindsight my being harder-working/more ambitious turned out to be a problem for me. But I don’t think I would have seen it differently at the time.
      Good luck. Its hard to figure out.

    • Husband (34) and I (28) have been together for 6 years, married for almost 2 now. We’re both children of divorce, so I think we approached marriage with much more caution and trepidation than most couples. We started to realize things were pretty serious around the 1-year mark, but we still dated for three years before getting engaged, and then had an almost 18-month engagement before getting married. Once we started considering moving in together, we spent a lot of time figuring out what our goals were and the kind of life we wanted to have, and we still have those kinds of conversations pretty frequently. I think agreeing on the big stuff/life goals and knowing where you both want to be helps you get through rockier patches (which we have had). My husband is also the person I have the most fun with (for example, we cleaned out our closets together this weekend, and I had an absolute blast), and I think he’s pretty cute too.

      Also, this might sound a little weird, but my husband and I both actively acknowledge that staying married doesn’t just “happen” (thanks, acrimoniously divorced parents!). We both want to be happily married and work towards that goal, and we prioritize other big life decisions (kids, career stuff, etc.) on how it may or may not impact us as a couple. We put “us” first and everything else is secondary.

    • Well, we were engaged a month after meeting & married six months later. I’m positive it’s the real deal. I think one of the reasons for that is we were both past the point in life where there were a lot of question marks. We were established in our respective careers, knew we didn’t want to have kids, knew our financial goals/retirement plans, etc. I think the younger you are, the harder it is to know if you’re always going to be on the same page so you have to take more of a leap of faith.

    • I married my husband because my parents were very upset I was not married. He was introduced to me from some relatives and we spoke for like six months before we agreed to get married and got married after an year. So I knew him for roughly 18 months before getting married to him. We are married for 5.5 years now. I am an Indian woman and there is a lot of pressure to get married when you are in late twenties, parents are terrified of the number 30. My parents were not only worried about me, but also about my younger sister. So I decided to get married to my husband. It was the same case with my husband as well. He was under tremendous pressure and was almost emotionally blackmailed. If we were not under those circumstances, I don’t think we would be married to each other now. I remember we talked on phone the day before we got married and we were not at all sure what he was doing.So..obviously it was not remotely romantic.
      I am now very happy that I am married to him and I think he does too. Right from the wedding day, we faced so many difficult situations (this will probably out me, but think situations like one of our parents had a stroke and had to be hospitalized the day of our wedding, visa situations which separated us for a year right from our wedding followed job losses etc etc). Whether we liked it or not, we had to face it together. I cannot believe we were so supportive of each other from day one when we weren’t even sure we wanted to be together. I think the difficult situations brought our the best in us and by the time the circumstances got better, we were past the stage of guessing if we should be together. Then when things got better, we could see we were genuinely happy for each other. No jealousy, no blaming others, no trying to change each other. I am very free and so is he. I see the dreams I had about my marriage and life partner coming true every now and then and it fills me with so much joy and gratitude. I just know that he will be with me no matter what.
      To be very honest, if I want to do this over, I want to marry him as he is perfect for me. I want to fall in love with him, feel all the butterflies and sleepless nights thinking about him etc etc (you know all the romantic stuff) and then marry him. I missed all that and went straight to a secure marriage (with lots of challenges off-course). I still feel sad that I missed all those feelings , then I just tell him that I am feeling sad that I didn’t get to fall in love etc etc. He gets that and does something nice for me. I feel so nice to be with him once again.

      • I loved reading this. Your marriage sounds very romantic to me!

      • Have you read Pride and Prejudice? If you have (and liked it), P.D. James wrote a “sequel” called Death Comes to Pemberly. It’s mostly a murder mystery, but part of the book is about the main couple making up for the fact that they didn’t really have a courtship (I don’t want to spoil the main plot of P&P, but the couple does fall in love but quite tumultuously and doesn’t have a traditional period of courting/getting to know each other). The heroine expresses a lot of what you’re describing.

        I think it’s lovely, frankly, and your marriage sounds wonderful. Sometimes remarkable beauty appears out of the ordinary work of making a life together.

  16. In-House in Houston :

    Has anyone taken biotin to help their hair and nails? There are so many on the market, I have no idea if it’s better to buy a named brand with other stuff in it, or just stick with the biotin? I have a very sensitive gag-reflex, so I’ll pay more $ for a smaller pill that’s easy to swallow. Any advice is appreciated.

    • So I wasn’t taking biotin for hair and nails, but I started taking B complex pills for other issues and realized that they had biotin in them when my hair started growing like crazy! I’ve been taking B complex for a while now, I’ve used Trader Joes and Nature Valley mainly, but honestly just buy whatever I can find. The Trader Joes pills are humongous though – I have a sensitive gag reflex but have been taking pills every day since age 14, and these are still a struggle.

      I haven’t noticed anything specific for nails, but I would recommend biotin for hair for sure. The only thing is all your hair grows . . .everywhere.

    • Nutritional supplements are not subject to FDA regulations or testing, so I would go with a recommendation for a specific brand from a company that has a good reputation for actually including the labeled ingredients in the products. Because not all supplements are created equal.

    • I am taking biotin for my nails — they’re still peeling and blah, but it’s only been a few weeks.

      • I read somewhere recently that biotin helps your nails grow faster, but not actually stronger or harder. I take biotin daily and I’d say that’s been the case with me.

      • SFAttorney :

        Try rubbing coconut oil on the cuticles. That fixed the splitting and peeling of my nails after I tried biotin to no effect.

    • S in Chicago :

      Try the gummy version. Walgreens carries them.

    • Drop pill is a spoonful of yogurt.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’ve been taking biotin for about 2 years now. I take 10,000 mcg daily, usually from the Nature Made brand. I would say it took a good 4-6 months before I saw a visible change in my hair. Shortly after that, my hairstylist asked what changed in my health that my hair was doing so well.

      For pill size/ease, I have to have softgels to avoid stomach upset. The Nature Made gels are rather small and fairly easy to take. Otherwise, I also recommend the gummies.

    • I take the biotin melts from costco – by Natrol – I’ve bitten my nails since I was 9 and taking biotin got my nails to a strength that made it less easy to bite and helped me grow them out over the last year or so.

  17. Any advice from those whose say their career goals shift from a variety of different things? For the last three years, I’ve been focusing on trying to move to DC, but there’s a few things that are happening in my life on a personal and professional front that would be great steps and are making me reconsidered staying here for the immediate future and really invest and look at a possible move later. It’s throwing me for a bit of a loop and there’s a small part that feels like I’m giving up on this big thing that I’ve talked up for so many years.

    • Anonymous OP :

      *Saw. So miss that edit function

    • DC is a really easy city to move to at almost any time, depending on your current field, desired field and the political climate, if your industry/career is at all tied to politics. I moved to DC on the cusp of the recession and saw my career bloom while those of my grad school peers (who lived elsewhere) were stalling or tanking. And then five years later, I moved to a big northeastern city for love (got married and didn’t want to be in an Acela corridor relationship post-marriage) and my political career had to take a different direction since I was no longer in DC.

      Moved again to the suburbs of my NE city when we got pregnant and needed more space…and my career is going a slightly different direction in that I am staying in a job that requires a longer commute but allows a good work environment, flexible boss and team and an opportunity to become a subject matter expert in an area of my field that will be useful and interesting to me for years to come. My goal was to find a job closer to home while on maternity leave, but realized this is a good fit for me for the short term and will build my resume so I can “lean out” a bit without looking or feeling like I’ve leaned out. More info than you wanted, but see where life takes you. My dream job 10 years ago is one that all of my DC friends now hold – and I would despise that job today, with the way my life currently is.

    • Well, I took that leap and did move to DC…and it hasn’t turned out at all like I expected haha. It’s not bad (and I’m grateful for some of the twists and turns :) ), it’s just very, VERY different than I expected. At the moment, sadly, there’s nothing “DC” about my life – I work for a major corporation with offices everywhere and I live in the suburbs and work in the suburbs and spend 98% of my time in the suburbs…all the while paying HCOL prices for housing and groceries when I could have this life anywhere.

      That’s just to say, doors open and close for a reason. Follow the open doors where you are now and see where they lead :)

  18. Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer – best thing I’ve seen in ages. If you haven’t seen it yet start your Monday off right.

    • BabyAssociate :

      It’s so amazing.

    • Just. The. Best.

    • The best part is that Spicer was complaining about it in the morning press briefing and said that SNL used to be funny but it isn’t anymore.

      • Time to cancel this unfunny show. Sad!

        The cold open was also pretty great, but Melissa McCarthy stole the show.

        • With the cold opening – this morning Trump tweeted that he is “calling the shots”

          What could have prompted that? Surely not . .

          – the TIME magazine cover of Bannon the Great Manipulator
          – the SNL skit showing Bannon as President with Trump on a little desk
          – Morning Joe talking about the above and how maybe Bannon is calling the shots?

          • It was a response to an NYTimes article that said he didn’t see the full text of the order that put Bannon on the NSC before he signed it. He does tweet about SNL but I’m pretty sure this tweet was not in reference to SNL.

          • I’m surprised about that article. Like I was skeptical and strongly dislike 45 but I figured he was at least reading the EOs but in front of him, even if nothing else.

          • Anonattorney :

            That NY Times article was CRAZY. I just read it this morning.

          • T45 or not, there is NO way he reads executive orders in their entirety. I mean, let’s be honest, other than the lawyers, who reads EVERYTHING in front of them? And even then, most lawyers don’t actually read a lot of things. Ask this former associate how she knew the partners didn’t read emails, motions, filings, etc. — even when the emails were distilled into bulletpoints with underlined and bold text and highlighted action items. They still don’t read them. T45 is 70 years old and has a boss or CEO his entire working career – CEOs don’t read minutiae; they ask for summaries and rely on the power to fire you if you do something that embarrasses them or is deemed the wrong decision. (And it’s not like he started as a gofer, doing gruntwork where someone relied on him to catch errors. This is the only way he knows.)

          • Yeah okay, but regardless of whether this is a common practice or not, the CEO/boss is always on the hook for things like this. “Oh sorry I didn’t read that part” isn’t a viable defense, and in this case it says something about the people he chooses to place his trust in.
            As a boss you’re supposed to have a lawyer/adviser who will read the minutiae. If you don’t, well that was a poor decision.

          • Wildkitten :

            The NYT also said he gives tours in between meetings to kill time, so he might not be too busy to read the EOs.

      • Wildkitten :

        Spicer actually said that the impression of him was good but that Alec Baldwin’s impression of Trump was mean. I think he is personally not a sociopath, he just chooses to work for one, and has to speak on behalf of the bizarre.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      She is a national treasure.

    • I love her.

      Although that Russian flag pin on Alec Baldwin’s lapel in the cold open was some A+ shade.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG I about died! Best. thing. ever.

  19. Recent Grad :

    How do you deal with work related stress? This morning the BigBoss for a project that is a bit messy on the managerial level called for a meeting tomorrow afternoon. The meeting is me, my manager, and a few people from the other side of the project, but I’m the only one who knows the ins and outs of the project, so I will be the one who does a lot of the talking. My firm is hierarchical and the first year usually doesn’t even speak much in meetings like this with BigBoss.
    I don’t have much work to do for the meeting – polish up a few docs and write an agenda and send to my manager. I still suddenly feel really nervous and my response to stress is to not be able to focus on the source of the stress. I want to do absolutely anything else other than the tasks I mentioned above.
    How do I . . . not feel like that?

    • Anonymous4 :

      Eat the frog.

      Seriously – do the absolute worst thing first. I’m a terrible stress procrastinator (see the list of phone calls on my desk I don’t want to make). They feel more and more stressful the longer I avoid them. So do whichever thing feels worst – then you’ll build some momentum and feel better about doing the other things.

      • Recent Grad :

        “stress procrastinator” – that’s the word I’ve been looking for!

        When you hear stories of bosses stressing out their underlings (think banking, law) to motivate them – ha, that would just make me less useful.

        Been “eating the frog”. Love that phrase. I’m getting somewhere. I like making agendas, let me do that.

    • What works for me is having a good friend or SO make me rehearse my presentation the night before. Take a friend out for a beer, run through what you’re going to say a couple of times. You’ll do great!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I do this too. I don’t have a magic bullet, but this has helped in the past. Keep breaking the tasks down into smaller and smaller pieces. I’ve had bad days where I literally opened the document and then did something else for 10 minutes. Then added a title, etc. Eventually, I got to the point where I had enough momentum to keep going.

  20. Anyone ever do a spray tan?

    I have never done one but am getting married in the spring, after emerging from my winter cocoon. Do they leave a mark on your dress? Sheets? Towels? They must not because I know they are popular before weddings… Any tips, best practices, things to look for in finding a salon?

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I have gotten spray tans before. They will stain clothes a bit so wait a few hours before putting on your dress, or get one the day before. Be sure to do a test well before your wedding, since there are different shades that may look better or worse on your skin.

    • I spray tanned for the first time for my wedding, and I’m glad I did. I’m very pale naturally, and it just gave me some color/a glow for the wedding. Definitely start trials early so that you have enough time to do at least 2 trials. (I did one trial for my bachelorette party.) Also, you’re probably going to look best about 48-72 hours after the tan, so plan to do it several days before your wedding. You’ll also want to get your mani/pedi before your spray tan so that none of it gets exfoliated off! I didn’t realize how in-advance all of that was going to have to happen.

    • (I think I got stuck in moderation??)

      I spray tanned for the first time for my wedding this past fall. I’m naturally very pale, and I’m glad I did it – it just gave me some color/glow in pictures. I would recommend starting trials a couple months out from your wedding, as you will want at least 2 trials. I originally planned for 1 trial (for my bach party), but then didn’t like it and wouldn’t have felt comfortable going into my wedding like that, so I ended up having to squeeze in a second trial. You’ll want a second trial so you can tweak it. I needed about 2-weeks in between tans so that the previous one would have worn off completely.

      Also – my tans always looked best about 48-72 hours after the spray, so you should be doing this well in advance of your wedding. You’ll also need to get nails and toes done beforehand so that the tan doesn’t exfoliate off. Once you’ve showered and rinsed off the bronzing agent, it should not stain any of your clothes or shoes.

      • Couple more thoughts on this, when I was first looking into doing a spray tan, several people recommended going to a salon that uses Norvell products because they don’t make you orange. I ended up going to a salon using their products, and I thought it looked natural.

        Also, when you get the tan done, wear a loose fitting dress (and skip the bra if you can) – the more things rubbing on your skin (pants, bra, etc.) the more likely it is to rub the tan off or cause streaking. Depending on the product, you might have to wait anywhere from 1-24 hours before rinsing off. Limit your activity before rinsing (no working out! a mistake I made!) The first time you shower after the spray, just rinse with water and don’t use any soaps.

    • Try not to flinch when the cold spray hits your back- I yelped and arched my back in surprise, wound up with two little crescents of pale flesh right under my butt :)

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely do at least one (if not a few) tests before to find a salon and color that works for you. For selecting a salon, this is one of those things where spending a little extra will be worth it (and definitely skip a machine — you need a real person to spray you). The person who sprays you should ask questions about how dark you want to be. You don’t want a place that has a one-color-fits-all formula, especially if you are pale. (I’m super pale, and I ask for a lighter color which looks far more natural and less-obvious.)

      Follow their directions for preparation, post-spray clothing, showering, etc. The instructions are designed to avoid funny rub marks and other mishaps that give you tell-tale spray tan signs.

      And you’ll definitely want to do it a day or two before your wedding — the color will absolutely rub off until you have showered. They’ll usually tell you to wear dark clothes for that reason. I’ll always have a couple of marks on my sheets (I schedule an appointment in the late evening), but the color washes out of the sheets easily.

  21. Another Monday travel question. Husband and I have booked a one week trip to Paris in August. We have never been before, and this is the only time we can travel. I’ve heard it’s a hot ghost town – heat we can handle (as long as our hotel has air conditioning), but will very popular sites be open? Basically, is it a bad idea to have our first trip to this city be during the “dead” season.

    Any recommendations on places to stay? We would like to stay in a hotel (as we think a concierge will be helpful as newbies to the city), and would like to walk as many places as possible.

    Finally – if you had 7 days – would you spend them all in Paris, or take a train to Brussels or Luxembourg?

    • Tourist sites will all be open. Where you’ll see closings will be smaller stores and restaurants. It will be noticeable but as long as you’re expecting it, it won’t ruin your trip at all. Check Rick Steves for hotel recommendations and Paris generally. His guide is excellent especially for first time visitors. I wouldn’t bother with Brussels or Luxembourg. They just aren’t vet interesting. Instead, I would do a day trip to Tours to see the chateaus of the Loire valley (easiest is to just take a bus tour- it’s not hard to do independently but there’s also not a huge advantage to it). Maybe Normandy if youre getting antsy. The heat isn’t that bad- think NYC. Potentially horrible if there’s a heat wave but usually high 80s. Do not expect American style AC in the hotel. More comfortable than actually cold.

      • Thanks for the feedback! Interesting on Brussels or Lux – my husband has traveled extensively in South America, and I’ve done some international travel – but mostly in college to Africa. We now have kids, and international travel is a lot harder, so I was more thinking that it was a great way to see another country when we just can’t get overseas much.

        Also, I’ll have to start preparing my husband now – he likes it COLD with a/c! I love windows, so I think I’ll be happy!!

        • In many hotels, the windows won’t open fully, so that may not help either. You will be out and about most of the time anyway.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, Luxembourg and Belgium are technically other countries, but you aren’t going to see that much of a difference in the large cities between them and Paris. I agree with the psoter above that you can spend plenty of time just outside of Paris if you don’t want to be in the city for that long – Normandy is amazing, particularly if you’re into history (cemeteries, WWI and WWII sites); Giverny is Monet’s garden just outside of the city and will be beautiful in August; Versailles is definitely worth seeing; and you can also hit up Mont. San Michel if you want to rent a car. Enjoy – Paris is my favorite city on earth, hopefully you’ll fall in love with it like I have!

    • With the caveat that I haven’t been to Paris in August, I think what is meant by the “hot ghost town” is that you’ll be surrounded by tourists (because the locals have all left town). Popular tourist attractions should still be open.

      • PS to the above – I don’t remember exactly where I stayed, and it was several years ago, but I do know it was a Rick Steves recommendation. We were very happy with the hotel and the neighborhood (near the Eiffel Tower, but in a quieter area).

        • Great tip! I just checked the archives and I love the itineraries (but am also very overwhelmed at the options, ha!)

    • Yes, it will be hot – you may not encounter AC everywhere and you will be walking outside allllllll day, so it’s good to keep in mind. I would bring comfortable shoes and clothes you are ok sweating in and make an effort to carry light (like a small crossbody). If you sunburn easily, BYO-spf as European sunscreens often do not go higher than 30. Your hotel may have AC but it may be weak and it will probably be difficult to find ice and cold water — but make sure you drink a lot of that water! Places will be open (there are tourists in Paris year round!) but many of the locals will be on holiday. That is what they mean by “dead.” If I had 7 days, I would take a day trip to Giverny and another to Versailles. There really is so much to do in Paris and it is best experienced at a leisurely pace! Instead of cramming in all the s!tes, you can take long, leisurely meals people watching at a cafe — that’s part of the experience too!

      • That’s a great point on the leisurely pace. This is terrible to admit – but neither of us are hugely into fighting big crowds to see attractions. For instance, we both travel to NYC monthly for business, and yet, neither of us has actually gone to the Statute of Liberty. An ideal vacation day is waking up late, coffee with a newspaper, exercise (running), light lunch, some kind of tourist activity, a great dinner/wine, home to bed…

    • In response to your note “(as long as our hotel has air conditioning)” — please know this is NOT a given! Not all hotels have a/c in Europe!

    • Stay in the St. Germain area. It is very central and lively.

      I would strongly recommend Normandy or the Loire Valley or the South of France (Nice, Antibes, Cannes), over Brussels or Luxembourg.

      • Helpful, thank you! Would you recommend a flight to the South of France given that we are only there for a week?

        • Anonymous :

          I’d take the high speed train – a very quick trip and a truly European way to travel! Plus you get to see a lot of the countryside on the way down. I think there’s a high speed train between Paris and Nice, if I remember correctly…

  22. Review and new job :

    Got a not so stellar performance eval and decided to interview at another firm. New firm gave me a verbal offer contingent upon conflicts check and some additional background questions. One of these questions asks me to list the results of my last two performance reviews. I’m afraid if I list my score from my current job i wont get the new job. I don’t want to lie. Any advice on how to handle this?

    • How bad are we talking? If it’s “satisfactory” or the like (which many people would consider “not stellar”) I’m sure it won’t hurt you. If your performance review actually said you were unsatisfactory, that could be more of a problem, but I still think you can’t really lie. If this last one is an anamoly, you could include more than two to make it clear you have a good track record.

      • Review and new job :

        overall score was 2/5 which corresponds to “needs improvement.” My feedback was largely positive and all criticism related to one issue I had with one partner, mostly stemming from different work styles and communication problems. I’ve since had a sit down with her and she confirmed I was on the right track and that all of my substantive work was great. I was a bit shocked by my score because it did not seem to correspond with the overall feedback I was given. I feel like it just can’t be that this issue is going to follow me for the rest of my career. I’m trying to lateral to another big firm, so I would guess that all firms ask similar questions.

        This was my first year at a big law firm coming from government. My performance reviews at my government job were exceeds expectations every year.

        • Can you spin it? If they aren’t asking to see it, you should be able to political double-speak your way out of it.

          • Review and new job :

            They are asking for the outcome of my two most recent performance evaluations and for me to include overall ratings. I’m confident that I could explain the review and spin it in a more positive light if given the opportunity, but I’m stuck on what to put on the form. Any ideas? I’m also pretty confident that the people I list as references at my current firm will give positive reviews of my work, but of course I don’t want my current firm to know I’m looking in case this job falls through, so I’m going to ask that they don’t contact anyone from my current employer until I have accepted a written offer.

            Has anyone else experienced this? I’m extremely stressed.

          • Wildkitten :

            That is a really weird request, IMHO.

          • Wildkitten :

            Can you say something like “My most recent reviews were “needs improvement” which is the standard score for someone at my level with Firm, and the equivalent to “satisfactory” when given to Second Year associations.” or something like that?

          • HR professional here.
            This is one of those requests that, IMO, should be illegal. Unfortunately, it’s not. There are all kinds of reasons why someone might have gotten a bad performance review – I got one once that was “needs improvement” because my boss was upset that I had taken the maternity leave I was eligible for under both the FMLA and my company’s policies (!) and decided to use my review to get revenge. In “forced ranking” systems, a very good employee can get a very mediocre review just because they are in with a group of high-performing colleagues. This request is ludicrous. It’s like asking people for their college GPA, when they graduated from college 20 years ago (which my current organization does, ugh. Working on changing that).

            In some organizations, the performance review process is considered proprietary information/intellectual property. If they are asking for your ACTUAL documents, you can decline and say “I’m sorry, those are confidential company documents and I can’t share them.” If they ask you to just share details from the documents, you can say “I’m afraid if I just share the ratings, without providing the proprietary contextual information, the ratings won’t make sense. Sorry.” It may not get you off the hook, but it’s worth a shot.

            One other thing I’ll say. Candidates routinely underestimate their own power in the hiring process. If they’ve done multiple interviews and are at the point of making you an offer, it’s worth pushing back on this request just a little. Ask them – “I’d be interested to know why you feel you need that particular information before moving forward.” See what their answer is. Then say nothing – let the silence hang – and say, “well, I have to say, this is a surprise. I’m going to have to think about whether I want to disclose something that’s confidential. I’m going to have to get back to you.” And then shut up. If the person you’re on the phone with is excited about hiring you, or is working with someone who is excited, they may backtrack. It totally sucks to start over hiring for a position when you’ve found someone who’s a good fit. You have more leverage than you think.

            Liz Ryan writes great articles about the “Human Workplace” on LinkedIn and elsewhere; go check them out. She has a particular perspective on requests like this that I think is great (and I’m in HR!). I wouldn’t give into this request without some (polite) questioning.

  23. Baconpancakes :

    Are any ladies still active on our My Fitness Pal group? I have a couple of questions about running and I don’t want to spam the main group. (Specifically shin splints -owwww.)

  24. How long have you ladies stayed at each job on average? I am trying to decide whether it’s bad to leave my current job right at the 1 year mark and move onto another 1-2 year opportunity before applying to graduate school. Is is more acceptable to have 2-3 jobs in as many years before getting that an advanced degree? What about after grad school? I want to try different things near the start of my career so that I’m not pigeon-holing myself into a sub-field I don’t like, but I would like a reality check about how this will be seen in the hiring process.

    (I didn’t originally plan to leave my current job after a year but my current work environment is toxic – how does one frame that in interviews?)

    • I think you should do whatever you want at this stage. Early on in your career, people don’t expect you to stay in the same role/company for years on end. Some people argue that you need to stay for 2-3 years to build up your reputation. Ask a Manager is really adamant about that. But I’ve seen a lot of people who have great career progression while job hopping after one year, so I wouldn’t take that as a rule that must never be broken. Just make sure that you are moving into roles and companies that will truly benefit your career and where you want to go.

    • GirlFriday :

      I don’t work in law, so keep that in mind. Short answer: you can do it but be prepared for a little skepticism when interviewing. I’ve moved around quite a bit, doing two three-year stints and then two one-year stints (long story).
      Just be prepared to answer the question “why did you leave after ‘only’ a year” enthusiastically and positively. Highlight that you want a lot of experience doing different things, but also that you have been dedicated to your past jobs and you’re not just a flake (I hate that that’s the perception but it is). I’m sorry your current environment is toxic and I feel your pain. I went from having the world’s worst team and experiencing weekly breakdowns to a much better paying job with tons of autonomy and a boss who thinks I hung the moon. Don’t let the nay-sayers get you down! Go for it!

      • It’s not just a perception. If you stay only one year you basically are a flake. It takes a long time to learn and become productive, why would an employer want to invest time and money training you if you’re not going to stay long enough for them to see the payoff?

        • Ridiculous (and rude, IMO) response from someone who doesn’t understand hiring, and also doesn’t understand millennial employees. In someone who is under 27 or so, I don’t bat an eye at multiple short stints. It’s practically expected, at least in the last THREE places where I’ve hired people. It takes some time for younger people to figure out what they want to do. I also don’t bat an eye when I see:
          – Multiple short stints between 2008-2010 (recession, people were doing what they had to)
          – Gaps of 1-6 years that are explained by stay-at-home parenting
          – A period of long employment (meaning 10-15 years) followed by a shorter stint of 2 years or so – people coming out of a long-term employment situation sometimes have the same problem as new grads; they aren’t sure what they want to do next.

          What does give me pause (yes, I have really seen all of these):
          – 10 consecutive 1-year stints
          – A 2-year stint, followed by a 4-year gap not explained by parenting/caregiving or school (I assume the person was incarcerated and is not saying), followed by a 1-year stint
          – What I call the “stone skipping” resume – 2 year stint/1 year gap; 2 year stint/6 month gap; 1 year stint/1 year gap, etc.

          OP, I would make the move thoughtfully (you should make all career moves thoughtfully) but don’t worry too much about short stints early in your career. Once you are 40, I will judge it differently, but especially before grad school – if you do well in school and have good references, it shouldn’t be a problem. If I refused to hire people with one-year stints on their resumes, I wouldn’t be able to fill 75% of my open positions.

    • OP here – thanks for your perspectives. I’m not in law either, but I am worried of saying that I’m leaving my current role because of the work environment lest that tag me as someone who could be difficult to work with. I was planning to say something along the lines of, “I’ve learned a lot over the past year at my current company, but this opportunity was something I simply did not want pass up because of XYZ.”

      Further along in my career, do you think it would be acceptable to simply say that I wanted to explore earlier, but 2-3 years from now (after having had that experience), I am now sure that I want to pursue ABC, and that is why I’m applying for this specific graduate program/experienced role at a niche company/etc.

    • Undergrad-> 3 years in a job while doing grad school part time –> Job for 2 years (promoted once) -> job for 5 years, promoted 3x -> current job.

  25. Bensonrabble :

    Hope all Seattle area corporettes can work from home and manage the kiddos without school!

  26. Shirts shirts shirts :

    (with apologies to shots shots shots)

    Vicarious shopping request. Have recently moved to a casual workplace and am still trying to cobble together a working wardrobe from my old suits and lovely business dresses, etc.

    I need casual shirts that fit the following criteria:
    — No more than $50, preferably lower than that
    –Machine washable
    –In a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle extremely easily (my DH does our laundry and I am so tired of washing clean shirts over again because they are so wrinkled not even 40 mins of ironing would save them)
    -Flattering to someone with a DDD cup but otherwise small torso

    Please help. I’m so tired of the morning hunt for the three shirts I own that work with jeans and aren’t wrinkled on the hanger.

    • anon a mouse :

      Button down or shells? Or something else?

    • This might be too casual, but Target has something called “Women’s Striped Boat Neck Tee — Merona” (though they also come in solids). They run about $12, and machine wash and dry no problem. They have an interesting neckline and 3/4 sleeves. I find them really comfortable to wear with pants. They don’t look like I just threw on an old t-shirt, but they’re definitely appropriately casual for my office.

    • Also might be too casual, but Express has a wears-like-iron-and-never-wrinkles buttondown called the Portofino Shirt. They come in about a zillion colors and patterns, approximately two-thirds of which are probably work-appropriate for you, and they’re always on sale.

    • For non-ironing and easy to wash/ dry, I have a couple of Banana republic/ br factory tops with sleeves in a thinish polyester — both have patterns. I always wear these with a cotton cami, and they wash and dry really easily. I also have a small back/torso (medium, but with 34 H chest), and I find that the popover styles fit best/ or with only three or so buttons. Most sale sections of stores will have these. Also, the mixed media tops (think pleione style) that have a stretchy back, and poly chiffon front work well too.

    • SF in House :

      Try Marks & Spencer. I have found some great, reasonably priced items there (similar chest size).

  27. Mascara Flaking Q :

    Ugh. I put it on my top lashes today and it is already flaking below my lower ones (so making my dark circles worse). I’ve cleaned it up, but what is the fix?

    Buy a fresher tube of mascara?
    Buy another brand (any good types to try)?

    I buy drugstore brands every 3 months or so to keep the product fresh, but am not loyal to any (they all seem to be awful, but Great Last is the most awful of all).

    • Almay’s Get Up and Grow is the drugstore mascara I’ve had the most luck with not flaking or smudging. The wand is too big for my liking, but I have small eyes. I prefer Clinique, but I keep a fresh tube of the Almay in reserve. It’s also great for sensitive eyes, if that’s a concern for you.

    • Great Lash is truly wretched mascara. I will never understand the beauty editor love for that product. My favorite mascara is L’Oreal’s Voluminous – I’ve tried every iteration of it they’ve made – classic and all the various fun ones – and I’ve always liked it. (I’m on Feline Noir now – good stuff!)

    • I’m really into Covergirl’s “Remarkable” lately, and normally I am very susceptible to raccoon-ing.

    • Search the past threads for tubing mascara — it has been life- (or at least beauty-routine-) changing for me :)

    • Bobbi browns no smudge mascara is the best!

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      My favorite is Estee Lauder Sumptuous Infinite. A trick to “revive” mascara is to add a few drops of saline to the tube.

  28. In House Interview :

    I have a final interview for a new in-house position tomorrow. The role sounds great, but it’s a new industry for me. Any good tips on speaking credibly about an industry that you just started learning about?

    • Anonymous :

      Be candid about what you do and don’t know, but ensure it’s clear that you’ve done some research. If the people interviewing you have worked in the industry for a while, they’ll be able to spot someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and there’s nothing worse than someone who is pretending to be someone they’re not. Let them know that you’ve done X research, and you’re very excited to learn more about the industry, company, etc.

      Btw, I’ve been in-house at 3 companies and during our interviewing, we’ve never really cared much about whether the candidate had a lot of background knowledge of the industry (I can see this being different at an uber-regulated company or in a really niche industry, I suppose). We did care, however, about whether the candidate cared about the company and had expressed an interest in it – so anything you can do to show that you’ve researched the company will be helpful.

    • I agree. If you have any stories about getting up to speed on something quickly and effectively, be sure to bring those.

      I am in-house in an industry I knew nothing about before I started, but a lot of the actual work I do is not industry-specific. A vendor contract is a vendor contract; an employment dispute is an employment dispute; etc.

    • New Tampanian :

      Just get up to date on any potential regulatory or other news items that impact the company. A quick google of the company can usually bring those up. Check its website and press/news section.

      I have switched industries 3 times (all in-house, all VERY different) and have found that the necessary skill set is always the same. You can catch up quickly on industry specifics once in. Good luck!

    • “Any good tips on speaking credibly about an industry that you just started learning about?”

      Don’t expect to. Instead emphasize your interest in learning about the industry and show that you know what this company specifically does. I spent at least a year just learning the jargon and really understanding the basic outlines of the types of disputes that I see in my industry. There just is not a way to prepare to that level of credibility for an interview and trying could backfire.

    • Anon for this :

      Me too! Hope they are for different positions and we both get them. Is yours a labor and employment role?

  29. Skin Cancer Q :

    I had a lot of terrible sunburns as a kid. Over the weekend I noticed that a large mole on my shoulder has completely changed texture to be dry and scaly (I can’t quite tell whether it has changed shape or not).

    I called my dermatologist and the soonest they can get me in is early next month. That seems like a really long time for something that might be serious. Am I overreacting or should I find a new dermatologist? I trust this one and have seen her for years, but it seems like a long time to wait to be seen.

    • Find a new dermatologist. I’ve always been able to see mine (as with mostly every doctor I’ve ever had) within a few days if I wanted. And I live in a major city and go to doctors that are reasonably well regarded. So I don’t get this thing about not being able to get an appointment within a pretty short period of time. I think you should find someone who will see you sooner, especially if it’ll grant you some peace of mind.

    • Did you mention that it’s to check on a mole that has changed? Whenever I’ve specified that’s the reason, my derm has fit me in within a few days. When I don’t specify, the receptionist tells me that they have no open appointments for 1-2 months. I’d call back and tell them that you can’t wait that long. If they won’t move the appointment, go see another derm.

    • A month seems pretty standard for dermatologists, unfortunately. One thing you can do is go see your PCP, and if s/he thinks it is a problem, they might be able to express highway you into the dermatologist. That’s what happened to me with a basal cell on my cheek.

    • Anonymous :

      The change you are describing doesn’t sound as concerning as some. I’d be more concerned if you said now it was changing to black or blue/bleeding/change in shape etc..

      Just call your dermatologist back and ask to be put on the waiting list. Then call every few days to see if they have a last minute cancellation. Last minute cancellations happen all the time.

    • Anonymous :

      Please call back and ask for an emergency appointment or book somewhere else. My mother died from melanoma because she waited 8 weeks for an appointment at her regular derm.

  30. shamlet96 :

    Just wanted to thank everyone who chimed in with advice on my situation with my long-distance SO over the last few weeks. We broke up last week (amicably) and while it hurts, I think it was for the best. Now I’m trying to motivate to get back on the dating scene (two dates this week, which is about my max). Sigh.

  31. Ugh Pregnancy Skin :

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

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

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

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      I have been using the Obagi Nu-Derm system to deal with hyperpigmentation and I am really pleased with the results. It’s hydroquinone plus a retinoid and a bunch other stuff. I see an actual visible improvement in my skin. There is some dryness and flaking when you start, but my skin adjusted quickly. It is not cheap! But in exchange, it appears to actually work. As a survivor of many pointless over the counter skin care products that cost money and did nothing, it’s worth the cost to me.

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