Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Ribbed Turtleneck in Italian Cashmere

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

According to J.Crew, they’ve recently made their knits tighter, which means that they should pill less but may not feel as soft at first. This cashmere turtleneck looks lovely for work as a great basic that you’ll have for years, and it comes in the pictured camel, olive, and black, in sizes XXS–XL. It’s $298. I’m curious, ladies: Have you noticed a difference in J.Crew cashmere? Do tell. Ribbed Turtleneck in Italian Cashmere

At Bluefly right now you can get Cynthia Vincent cashmere turtlenecks for 83% off (final sale). For plus sizes, try the options at Neiman Marcus or Amazon (Lark & Ro), also on sale.

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  1. Don’t worry. Headed to my doctor tomorrow but would love to see how others have dealt with this:

    Many years ago I was on the NuvaRing for a few years and it was fine. Then it became not fine and every cycle right before my period I would go into a depressed slump where I was just in a horrible mood, cried easily and just felt really down on the world for 4 days. My period would come and I would be fine and I would come out of it. When it got to the point where I was having trouble getting out of bed due to depression I finally went to my doctor. We switched my birth control to a pill and I was fine again. The problem went away for years.

    Fast forward 6 years and my husband and I are trying to have a kid so I got off BC. The first few months I was fine. But its starting to become like it was on the NuvaRing where every cycle I end up with a few days of depression before my period. Its not as bad as it was at the end of the NuvaRing time but its not great. My husband hates being around me. What can I do about this? I am going to ask my doctor of course but if we are trying to have a kid is there anything they can really put me on? Anyone else had a similar experience?

    • Yes, I have had a very similar experience with heightened depression and anxiety near my period. It was awful. I was terrible to be around and found myself getting into arguments with DH, loved ones, kids, coworkers, you name it. Just completely out of character. My OB/GYN recommended that I take an SSRI medication just during the two weeks before my period. Which was a good idea in theory, but the ramp-up period is no joke on some of these meds and trying to do that monthly was rough. So, I was unmedicated/untreated for a long time until I went on SSRIs full time.

      Since you’re TTC, talk to your OB about options. Obviously going back on BC isn’t an option, but the partial SSRI dose is apparently a pretty common ‘fix’ for PMDD. Your doc can talk to you about the pros and cons of TTC while on medication, but mine had zero issues with me using z.oloft while nursing and that’s one of the front-line meds for PMDD.

      Good luck — I completely sympathize with how much this sucks.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes absolutely! They can put you on anti-depressants and they work and are amazing. It’s like you are just you again.

    • Anonymous :

      My experience with Nuvaring was that it generally flatlined my emotions. I did experienced what you did after going off BC though when ttc. There wasn’t anything to be put on though because as you said, you’re ttc. I just rolled with the emotions and used therapy to learn to cope. The time period while breastfeeding was challenging for me too emotionally bc I was off BC then too.

    • I spoke to my OB last week about this. (I have a lifelong history of depression and generalized anxiety and have taken various anti-depressants on and off for the past 15 years; I’m currently on a lower dose of Wellbutrin, which is a non-SSRI and has been much more effective for me than SSRIs. My doctor said that while there are certain risks associated with taking anti-depressants during pregnancy, for some women the risks of NOT being on anti-depressants outweigh them.

      Everyone’s different, of course, but if your OB totally dismisses the idea of anti-depressants without a second thought, I’d seek out a second opinion.

      • I heard a report on NPR about anti-depressants during pregnancy a few weeks ago. As I recall, it lowered birth weights and gestation times by a tiny, tiny amount.

      • This is what I do for PMDD (lower dose of Wellbutrin). I also take 5-HTP on just those days of the month, since Wellbutrin doesn’t help much with low serotonin, but I don’t need a serotonin boost the rest of the time (5-HTP is an alternative to SSRIs; it’s not considered safe to take them together!).

        I’ve tried to get help with the actual hormonal problem, but two gynecologists told me my options were birth control or bust. One explained that she thought I was probably just sensitive to normal hormonal swings. I am still curious about the progesterone approach that Lana Del Raygun brought up, and I wonder what they would find if they did more testing, since I also have PCOS. But this is what I currently do to get out of bed and not feel and be awful.

    • No experience with Nuvaring, but after The Kid came along I got Mirena, which has eliminated my PMDD. I did not realize how bad the PMDD was until it went away, so you are ahead of the game if you recognize the issue now.

    • I take Lexapro for the two week depression/anger before my period. It really helps.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Can you ask to get bloodwork done to check your hormone levels? (I got mine at Labcorp–it’s nothing too specialized.) My progesterone used to drop too quickly before my period and when I took progesterone supplements my PMS and emotions were more on track. (And it shouldn’t be a problem with TTC, as far as I know.) I’ve heard some gynecologists don’t really know how to track hormones like that (?!?), but if yours doesn’t maybe find an endocrinologist? PMS as bad as you’re describing is definitely outside the bounds of normal–they *should* be able to find a fix.

    • Ask your doctor, but I have more than one friend who was very happy taking St. John’s Wart for mild depression. The one problem with it is that it renders your BC ineffective but that should be a non-issue for you. I don’t know if it has any effects on pregnancy so definitely ask, but may be something to try.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Thank you for bringing this up. I’ve had Mirena for 4+ years and became a dragon lady at first, and honestly, the last year has been the same. (Ask my husband.) I have my appt to have it removed tomorrow and I’m TERRIFIED of what the consequences will be. (Removal is <1 year early but we're hoping to be TTC in 2018.) I've never been on SSRIs or any anti-depressants before but I'm really scared that I'm going to feel completely out of control once my cycle starts up again.

      • KateMiddletown :

        And I guess to clarify my therapist says I have “other unspecified anxiety” although she’s never been with me during a middle of the night meltdown.

    • This started happening to me in this past year (age 38-39, done having kids). I finally went to the OB-GYN and sobbed in her office because I was so unhappy, and it was clearly getting worse in the two weeks after ovulating up to the first day of my period. I had tried various solutions like meditating, exercising, and charting my period so I could just track the hormonal swings and that helped a little, but not much. Ultimately, she put me back on birth control pills and suggested that I take them continuously, skipping two out of three placebo weeks, to stabilize my hormones. She also put me on Lexapro. I am not kidding when I say it has saved my life. Because I started both at once, I don’t know whether it was the Lexapro or the hormonal stability that really made a difference, but I’m so grateful to be feeling normal and like myself again that I’m not inclined to experiment right now.

  2. I used to love this time of year, but it has been so rough the last two years. Last year, my grandparents passed away (one unexpectedly, the other after a long illness), and it was really hard for me because I was incredibly close to them. Then last night, we had to put my favorite cat to sleep. I know it was the right decision for him (cancer), but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Needless to say, I’m not feeling very jolly. I wish I could take the day off and grieve, but I really shouldn’t since I just returned from maternity leave a couple months ago. Just keep swimming, I guess.

    • Shauna Niequest’s book “Bittersweet” has a chapter about Advent being a “thin place”

      Here’s an excerpt. I’ve kept this with me for the past few years in the back of my mind:

      thin places: places where the boundary between the divine world and the human world becomes almost nonexistent, and the two, divine and human, can for a moment, dance together uninterrupted. Some are physical places, and some aren’t places at all, but states of being or circumstances or season.

      Christmas is a thin place, a season during which even the hardest-hearted of people think about what matters, when even the most locked-up people loosen thier grasps for just a moment, in the face of the deep beauty and hope of Christmas. The shimmer of God’s presence, not always plainly visible in our world, is more visible at Christmas.

      For some people, this Christmas is, if I can stretch the phrase, doubly thin. Maybe it’s the first Christmas without a family member or dear friend, and your heart has been so wholly battered that it allows God’s presence and voice to seep into it at every turn. Or maybe a relationship broken this year hangs over thes eason like a veil. I don’t know what you’ve lost this year: a life, a friend, a child, a dream, a job, a home. I don’t know what has broken your heart this year, but I do know that whatever it is, you may feel the loss of it even more acutely at Christmas.

      There are years when the Christmas spirit is hard to come by, and it’s in those seasons when I’m thanksful for Advent. Consider it a beautiful way of being present to this season. Give up for a while your false and failing attempts at merriment, and thank God for thin places, and for Advent, for a season that understands longing and loneliness and long nights. Let yourself fall open to Advent, to anticipation, to belief that what is empty will be filled, what is broken will be repaired, and what is lost can always be found, no matter how many times it’s been lost”

      • Wow, thank you for this.

      • I was in a book club that read her book Present Over Perfect about this time last year. It was pretty simple but I’ve thought a lot about it since and I really enjoyed it.

      • Thank you so much for posting this. This is always a tough time of year for me, and reading this really helps.

      • Thank you for sharing this. I read Bittersweet last year when I was going through a challenging time and found it profoundly comforting, even though I’m not particularly religious. I’d highly recommend it to anyone facing an uncertain or sad season in life.

      • This is beautiful, thank you.

      • Nudibranch :

        Thanks for sharing that.

    • I’m so sorry. You made the right decision for your cat and I know how hard it is. I’ve lost a dear cat that I had to put down between Thanksgiving and Christmas several years ago, and my beloved grandfather also passed away, many many years ago now, on Christmas Day itself after a weeks-long illness. Both were incredibly tough at first, and totally compartmentalizing was the only way I got through work. I love Juvi’s response above. For me these losses do add more of a solemn tone of being grateful for the time you had with those you lost and a real appreciation for those still around you now- and it all gets easier with time. The merriment will return and that’s OK too. Hugs!

  3. Mom Q Biting :

    I posted yesterday about my daughter’s sleep issues and whether to do CIO. Thanks for all the advice. She has also within the last month been biting kids at daycare. Last night when I picked her up the director indicated that they are considering removing her from the program. I have an official conference set up this week and I’m taking her to ped next week. I’ve only seen her do it one time at home but over the last month she has probably done it 2-3 times a day most days at daycare. I’m really at a loss for what to do because I’m not there when it happens. The center is nice and understanding but I think other parents are getting upset and it does seem to be getting a little out of hand. looking for suggestions on how to get her to stop and also how to convince daycare to keep her. I’m wondering if I should need to reduce my hours at work if possible to be with her more.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I would call my pediatrician and ask for recommendations for a Board Certified Behavior Analyst that could observe her at daycare and come up with a plan. I bet she will be able to stay in daycare if daycare sees you are taking these steps. This person will be able to give you a clear plan to eliminate this behavior and also work on the sleep problems. It might cost a bit of money but you shouldn’t have to reduce your hours at work and this will prevent that.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this. Biting at that age (you said 20 months?) doesn’t mean anything is “wrong” with her and I’m really surprised a daycare would consider removing her if that’s the only issue. You mentioned she is having trouble teething, which could cause her to want to bite to relieve the pain; or her normal frustrations could be exacerbated by her lack of sleep. I would set up time with the pediatrician to discuss, but I also would not rush to change your work schedule over this. The biggest issue is that the daycare doesn’t understand normal toddler behavior, IMO and doesn’t seem willing to work with you.

    • Anonymous :

      A bit surprised that the daycare isn’t dealing better with biting. It’s a super common thing for kids between 1-2 years. It’s also a classic sign of teething and/or a way that they deal with frustration. Have you tried giving her Motrin before daycare to take the edge off the pain? What’s their redirection strategy when she does bite? At this point it’s on them to prevent by observing her closely and to redirect to more appropriate behavior. How’s her language? They should be teach her one word responses she can use to express her frustration ‘toy’, ‘me’, play’ etc. She’s a year or so away from talking fluently but they should be working with her on how to convey what she wants.

      • Mom Q Biting :

        Thanks for the replies. Daycare does seem understanding and yesterday was the first time anyone mentioned removing her. One of her old teachers let me know they had removed someone else from her old class a few months ago for biting and suggested that might be where she is headed if we don’t do something. I have her Motrin today so hopefully that will help. I literally have 25-30 incident reports from the past 4 weeks. They say when she does it they remind her to be gentle and that it hurts her friends etc. I feel like I have no control over the situation because I’m not there and she doesn’t do it at home. This whole thing is making me feel awful and I recognize it’s a small issue in the grand scheme of parenting.

        • Anonymous :

          Don’t feel awful! They are blaming her when they should be supervising more closely. If there are that many incidents they need to watch for signs that she may bite and intervene to redirect her to a new activity. So like, if she bites Timmy when playing cars a lot, maybe the cars get put away for a few days and she and Timmy are encouraged to do another activity (note – as in the toys are changed out overnight and NOT as punishment – kids that age are too young for that – they need to be preventing/pre-empting the behavior, not just reminding her to be ‘gentle’ afterwards).

          If it isn’t a problem at home, they are the child care experts and they need to be coming up with a solution.

          • Anon in NYC :

            Agreed. My kid was a biter (but not as frequent), and it really is developmentally normal at that age. I also agree that daycare needs to be taking steps to prevent biting in the first instance. Have they noticed a pattern where she bites? My kid used to bite if someone got in her space and wouldn’t stop pestering her, or if another kid tried to take her food, or if she was frustrated for whatever reason. Also, she frequently bit the same kid who was always crowding her. At least in the first two instances they would try to keep a closer eye on her and redirect her if possible, and they do the same with interactions between her and the kid she often bit.

            That said, I do have a friend whose oldest was kicked out of 2 daycares for biting. It’s hard, but it happens.

        • Hang in there. I have a 15 year old son who was almost kicked out of daycare for biting and he hasn’t bitten anyone in ages! There were times I never thought he’d be potty trained, too, and here he is going to the bathroom and wiping his butt on his own.

          This too shall pass, Mama. Hang in there.

          • OMG I love this comment. He probably doesn’t co-sleep anymore either, right? Such a good reminder that what seem like monumental issues in their toddler years don’t end up ruining them for life.

            I’ve got preschooler/elementary kids so the jury is still out, but hopefully all the Very Important Problems we struggled with in daycare will just be blips in their development.

          • I have a 12-year-old and cannot emphasize this enough: so many of the things his dad and I stressed over when he was little are just funny stories now. He coslept with us till he was almost 5; I thought he would go to college still using a binky; he was a biter for a little while, etc. It all fades into the background as the kid gets older and you become nostalgic for those younger days. I never would have believed that in the moment, while it was happening, but it’s true.

          • Edna Mazur :

            I know it’s late, but I’m just reading this now and needed to let you know that although I’m not the OP, I really needed this comment today. Thank you.

          • I remember being super freaked out about how my toddler couldn’t walk at 14 months. Then my friend reminded me that she had never seen a 5 year old still crawling and unable to walk. It put things in perspective.

          • I am not the OP either but this post brought tears to my eyes. I am struggling with minor things with my little ones and the perspective helps. I am sure I will look back on this with amusement in 10 years, but in my current sleep deprived state these issues seem so big.

          • When my son was little and I’d feel stressed about these sorts of things (a big one was his reluctance to give up his ‘binky’ aka pacifier), a friend reminded me “you don’t see college kids with pacifiers. It’ll be fine.”

            Sure enough, he’s a senior in high school applying to college and he does NOT still use a pinky! LOL. It’ll be ok.

        • Here’s a little view from the other side: sh*t happens. My kid was bitten recently, and it was a mean bruise! You could tell exactly where the biter had teeth and where she didn’t, and it lasted nearly two weeks. We took a a picture of the bruise and kept the incident report for her baby book. My kid still plays with that kid. She still loves daycare. We got a good story out of it. You are not a bad person because your kid’s a biter.

          Former Biter and Mother of Bitee

    • Parenting is so humbling. Just chiming in to be easy on yourself while you work on these issues–you’re a good mom, she’s a good kid!

    • Anonymous :

      Awwww sorry. This is rough.

    • Our son is 18 months and occasionally goes through biting phases. As others have said, this is normal toddler behavior and it’s concerning your daycare seems ready to expel your child based on this alone. I would like to know what approaches they’ve used to redirect the behavior? And, is the behavior isolated to biting or combined with something else like hitting or kicking? If it’s just biting, I think they’re off base.
      We have noticed DS bites when he is tired, teething, and over stimulated. Perhaps there is a connection to sleep with your child?
      We say “ouch” or “no, that hurts!” and try to give him a frozen teething ring, a washcloth or something similar when he bites us as a way to redirect him. We don’t always catch it. Maybe other ladies here have other good ideas? It’s frustrating and makes us concerned, too… but really – it’s normal. Your kid isn’t bad. And if your daycare makes you feel this way, maybe it IS time to change it up?

      • This is normal behavior, but day care centers with long waiting lists can get away with expelling kids for biting and hitting instead of dealing with it. Our day care had a three-strikes policy for biting and hitting, which was a source of constant worry even though I was lucky to have a kid who kept her hands and teeth to herself.

    • This stuff is super-tough and there’s no “right” answer. The biting does not indicate there is anything wrong with you, your kid, or your parenting, even if it feels that way – it is so totally normal and will go away eventually (even if that doesn’t help the daycare problem, it may help your emotional state to remember that).

    • Get her ears checked if she isn’t biting at home. I was a major biter–only at daycare–and it turned out I had pretty major ear issues and was biting because kids got loud and hurt my ears. At home with quieter adults, it was rarely a problem. Getting to an ENT and getting tubes made major, major differences. Ear issues may explain sleeping problems too.

    • Former teacher but not a mother! I think there is a way to put a positive spin on this–even though I can understand how you feel. It’s something out of your control, you may feel as though it reflects on you and your parenting, and it’s just stressful to consider moving your child somewhere else.

      BUT it’s possible (likely) your child is acting out because she has a need that is not being served in this environment. A child-centric approach is for the teachers to consider what it is she needs that she is not receiving. It may be that after talking to the teachers, you get an idea of what that need is and can help her feel calmer at day care, as well as learn to react more “gently”, as they worded it. But you may also get the sense that this day care is just not the right environment for your child, and you’ll eventually be grateful your child brought that to your attention. You’re doing great, and I can tell your child is wonderful, imaginative and a bit mischievous (in the best way)!

    • Hang in there. Also have had daycare difficulty and had a low point where I not very seriously thought maybe I should reduce hours. But don’t for this reason alone. Just do everything you can to help make your child successful. Also agree the daycare should recognize this is developmentally appropriate. But our experience is that stellar daycares that will truly go the extra mile in the interest of a child are very rare, although we live where there is high demand and so I guess they don’t really have to. You can do this. Good luck!

    • When my child was around 2, he changed from a really good sleeper (since 4 months old) to a terrible, terrible sleeper. He also developed a ton of behavioral issues–hitting, pulling hair, kicking, screaming, and lack of impulse control. We consulted a child psychologist who specializes in sleep issues. She told us that Kiddo’s sleep deprivation was probably causing the behavioral issues, and once he started sleeping, his temperament would probably even out. That turned out to be true–Kiddo isn’t perfect by any means, but the frequency of aggressive behavior has dropped significantly. Since you describe the biting as starting at the same time as sleep issues, I’d be willing to bet that resolving the sleep issues resolves a lot of the biting.

      • I’m the mom who posted yesterday to gently consider not going the CIO route. I agree with the above poster who thinks the sleep deprivation may be causing the behavior in daycare.
        Please try putting the kid in your bed or whatever else comforts her. Or maybe you and your husband can take turns sleeping with her in her room. It may help if she needs a little TLC and to feel secure at home.

    • First off, big hugs, mama. My son was a biter (and a hitter) for about two (very long) months right before he turned two. He would be fine and be showing no obvious signs of distress, and then bam! He bit me a couple of times and I was aghast at how much it hurt. We met with the daycare several times while this was happening.

      We ended up at our pediatrician who told us that biting is generally a way for the child to express feelings they don’t have another way to communicate. Also, kids that age don’t really have a sense that other people are, in fact, separate humans and feel things the way the child does. The pediatrician did some role playing with our son where two stuffed animals had a conversation after one bit the other one and we repeated that at home every day before school. We also watched the Yo Gabba Gabba episode on “we don’t bite our friends” on repeat. The pediatrician also emphasized that when he bit or hit us, the best thing to do was walk away without reacting (although that wasn’t possible for them to do at school). We also used a book about feelings that had facial expressions for sad, mad, hungry, etc. We’d read that every day before school and sent it to school with him. He couldn’t articulate “I am angry because…” But he could say “I mad face” and that helped the teachers figure out what was going on with him before he bit.

      Fortunately this phase was self-limiting and our daycare had seen this before, many times, and rode it out with us. I think because they knew we were working with him on the issue, and not just brushing it off, they were willing to give it some time. It stopped as quickly as it started and was never a problem again. This really doesn’t require high-priced behavior specialists or psych evaluation. Many, if not most, small children go through a biting phase. My kid was bitten by other kids in addition to biting. I would see your ped and go to the meeting with the daycare, but ultimately if the daycare is so uptight they just can’t deal with this, it may be best to find a new daycare.

      • Also, pay attention to how they talk about the biting and your child. I would watch for constructive v. shaming language. Some daycares want to blame/shame kids when they are disintersted or ill equipped in handling things, even things that are developmentally appropriate.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I know exactly how you feel. My daughter went through a biting phase and I seriously started making my husband pick her up from daycare because I was so tired of having the conversation and terrified that she would get kicked out of the program (daycares around here have 1-year + waiting lists, I have no idea where we would have gone). As others have said, it will get better. I found it helpful to discuss with the teachers what steps we were taking at home. For example I recommend the book “Little Dinos Don’t Bite” which is written for pretty young kids. We read that one every day for several weeks. And frankly, feel free to lay it on think how much you love the place and what it would mean for you if your kid was kicked out of the program. I totally understand that it’s frustrating for the other kids’ parents but this is also developmentally normal behavior and they should have procedures for dealing with it, such as identifying what behavior precedes a bite so they can step in, or separating certain children if it occurs more often with certain kids.

  4. Zinc sunscreen :

    I recently started using the Neutrogena Sheer Zinc sunscreen as my daily sunscreen. Any tips on eliminating the white cast it creates? Or suggestions for another zinc sunscreen?

    • I use a tinted one by Elta MD. My dermatologist recommended it and I’ve never really been happy with a sunscreen before this one.

      • +1 I’ve used multiple Elta MD products and they’ve all been better (and pricier) than others, whether physical or chemical. If you don’t like the tinted one, try Elta MD aero spray (spray on hands, rub on face).

      • I second this. I went through so many half-tubes of different brands before I found Elta. It’s been years and I really wear it daily now.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I keep hearing recs for Unsun Cosmetics but haven’t tried it yet.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I tried a gazillion brands per recommendations on here and ultimately I switched to a chemical sunscreen (Biore watery essence SPF 50) because everything left a whitish cast on my brown skin (the only one that did not, Elta MD, has a major issue with the pump ceasing to work after a while). I wish I could have found that worked because I prefer a physical sunscreen, but the Biore chemical one is great and inexpensive to boot.

    • I mix mine with a dab of tinted BB cream.

    • Dr. Jart’s Tiger Grass cream is spf 30 and a physical sunscreen. Instead of being tinted it’s a weird green color that matches your skin tone when you rub it in. I’m a fan.

  5. Anonymous :

    Are folks doing anything to oppose this tax bill or do you view it as a done deal? I know lots of posters here live in the Boston-DC corridor and Cali all of which have high state and local taxes — losing that deduction is going to hurt for me. Is there anything to be done — my senators and congress rep are all Dem. And it feels like this isn’t like healthcare which dragged on for a while and there were recesses where these people had to go home and get yelled at by their voters and that swayed them. Here they’d go home after passage if the Christmas deadline holds so they’re not even hearing from voters.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’m using resist bot to write my senators and congressmen. It’s been really therapeutic to vent to Resistbot about all the things I’m upset about. I wrote a whole series of letters yesterday about Utah and the national park system. Who knows if it’ll make a difference.

    • I want to but I feel powerless. Calling gets nowhere, they don’t give a flying f*ck about all the people they hurt with this plan, and they’re friends to the rich and no one else. I would try to lobby in some way if I actually thought they cared.

      • +1 I live in an extremely red state, and can vote and write letters and call ’til the cows come home, and it does nothing. Very depressed.

    • Also, can we pressure Dems not to raise the debt ceiling until concessions are made in the tax bill? I’m sick of Dems never standing up to the GOP.

    • Good question and I didn’t want it to go without a response but I feel the same. I don’t know what I can do. Sorry – no help.

    • Exciting news–big drafting screwup which may precipitate another full vote. Essentially the Republicans added back the AMT for businesses at the last minute, but forgot to lower the AMT threshhold. So it caught a lot of corporations and eliminated their deductions. Oops.

      See here: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/senate-gop-accidentally-killed-all-corporate-tax-deductions.html

    • I would love to find a way to voice my opposition to this bill, but I’m in a high-tax blue state and all of my representatives are already Dem. Is there anything I can do? I also unfortunately can’t make contributions to political candidates, due to the nature of DH’s job (what I wouldn’t give to be able to donate to Doug Jones in AL right now!).

      • Are you permitted to donate time and effort instead of money? Organizations like Postcards for America and Sister Districts organize out-0f-state people to send postcards or do phone banking or text banking. I’m in a very red area, but our research shows that its red due to low voter turnout. We’re already working on GOTV plans for November, including a Voter’s Guide showing how our evil reps avoid townhalls, took away our state tax deduction, etc.

        • That’s a great idea – thank you! I didn’t realize organizations like this existed. Let me look into whether or not I can volunteer.

      • Hi Melania!

      • Anonymous :

        Continue calling your reps. Donate where you can to organizations that support other areas attacked by the current administration.

    • I’m at a loss here. Have half a mind to ask my purportedly fiscally minded conservative friends if they’re going to continue to vote republican out of racism. They absolutely screwed us here in the New York ‘burbs.

      • Anonymous :

        Do you really want the answer to that? Because I can guarantee you the answer is yes.

        • Yeah I mean I guess I’m still of the view people should be ashamed of their racism. But then I remember who the president is.

      • Anonymous :

        Yep and I’m in that lovely 160k-200k range where my tax bracket goes UP under the senate version from 28 to 32%. Bc 170k is sooooo much money in nyc that I need to be taxed higher. Praying they at least go with the house brackets which brings me down to 28%

        • I’m sorry. We’re in a similar boat. Can’t wait to sit down with my republican accountant after eight years of his Obama rants. He’s already called to tell us this bill will screw us.

  6. I’m going to a soup swap this weekend. If you’re not familiar, the idea is that you make a huge crock of soup (6 quarts-ish) and then put it into one quart containers. You bring the packaged containers to the swap and basically go home with 6 different things of soup that others have made.

    You label the soup if it’s vegetarian/GF/etc. I’ve done this before and it was AMAZING when I got the plague and had all sorts of magical soup in my freezer.

    I’m bored with my ‘go-to’ soups (curried butternut squash, Moroccan carrot soup) and am looking for something new! My criteria are: no pork (or pork easily subbed out), freezes well (often soups with cheese get gritty when you freeze them), and easy to make a giant vat of. Inspiration please!

    • Anonymous :

      There’s a Martha Stewart Tomato vegetable soup I like (kinda of like a minestrone) but that sounds completely boring compared to Moroccan Carrot – can you share your recipe?

      • Sure, I use this:


        But I add a funky spice blend called ‘Moroccan 21 Spices’ or something like that. A friend brought it back from Morocco but it’s some combination of cumin/cinnamon/pepper/coriander/allspice/maybe cloves? It’s a combination of the ‘warming’ spices that I associate with christmas cookies and chili-making spices.

    • What a great idea! I make this Italian sausage soup form Allrecipes, but substitute hot turkey Italian sausage. It’s delicious, filling, and freezes well.

    • https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/african-curried-coconut-soup-with-chickpeas-352349

      I freeze the rice in a separate ziploc baggie taped to the top of the tupperware, and stir it in when I heat the soup. Delicious, vegan, and I assume gluten-free though I don’t know much about that.

    • Anonymous :

      I love a curried lentil soup.

      • Anonymous :

        Any particular recipe?

        • Puddlejumper :

          No clue how this one freezes but I love it: https://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/green-lentil-soup-with-curried-brown-butter-recipe.html

        • Anonymous :

          I usually eyeball it and include onion, carrots, a can of fire grilled diced tomatoes, cumin seeds, curry powder, other spices if I fancy, lentils (usually red, sometimes yellow or brown), homemade vegetable broth, some lemon, and cilantro. Squash would probably be tasty in it. Sometimes I add a tempering to it if it needs more oomph (you cook some spices in oil and toss them in at the end, like you would if you were making a daal).

        • Not the OP but I use this recipe and love it. I sub in chicken broth for vegetable broth to make it richer. http://vegangela.com/2014/01/09/coconut-curry-lentil-soup/

    • Veronica Mars :

      Not the healthiest, but this is a really comforting recipe. Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi recipe. I’ve frozen it loads of times and it works really well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9KiwG_sz4M&t=85s

    • I like this copycat of the gnocchi soup at Olive Garden. It’s really hearty for a cold winter day. I haven’t had texture issues after thawing it.

    • Jamie Oliver minestrone, sans beans.

      • https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/classic-minestrone/

        I make this without the beans and zucchini.

    • SillyValley :

      The zucchini basil soup from Ina Garten’s make ahead cookbook is tasty and freezes well (you add greek yogurt and parmesan when you reheat, but honestly it’s pretty good w/o).

    • Wanderlust :

      This soup has been my jam lately: https://twosleevers.com/indian-coconut-tomato-soup/

    • I love this recipe and make it all the time: https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/sweet-potato-and-sausage-soup/
      You can sub in any kind of sausage you want, or leave it out entirely. I blend it (before adding spinach) so it’s thicker than in the photos. It freezes well that way — leave out the spinach and sausage and add it in when you heat it back up.

    • Wow, can I come? And can you post your carrot soup recipe??

    • Constant Reader :

      Ina Garten Winter Minestrone (all her recipes make more soup than you’d believe possible)


    • These are my favorite soup recipes, though I have no idea if they freeze well:

      Chicken and Wild Rice Soup–https://iowagirleats.com/2013/01/28/chicken-wild-rice-soup/
      Minestrone Soup–https://hungryrunnergirl.com/2013/02/16325.html
      Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup–https://www.cookingclassy.com/creamy-chicken-tortilla-soup/
      I also like to make green chile stew: just do whatever kind of meat you like (I do pork, but you could do beef or chicken or pinto beans instead of meat), some diced potatoes, canned diced tomatoes, diced onion, chicken broth, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and green chile.

    • This is the most recent addition to my standard soup rotation: http://www.forkknifeswoon.com/lemony-kale-white-bean-soup/

      One of my all-time favorites: https://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/12/sweet-potato-tortilla-soup/

      Both are easy to make in giant quantities and freeze well.

      • Emeralds, thanks for sharing the tortilla soup recipe a while back. It is delicious and is now in my regular rotation.

    • Pioneer Woman’s Italian chicken soup. I don’t like standard chicken soup but this stuff is amazing.

    • What on earth is Moroccan carrot soup? I don’t even want to google it for fear I’d get offended.
      Joke aside, if you want a nice spicy soup, try Harira (this is actually Moroccan) it’s based on tomatos, chickpeas, lentils, parsley etc. You’ll find plenty of recipes but you can check the one from Cooking with Alia

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      If anyone ever includes chili in the soup swap (cause it’s hot and you eat it out of a bowl), my new favorite is the no-bean turkey and sweet potato chili recipe on skinnytaste.

      • Love that recipe. I’ve even subbed butternut squash for the sweet potato, though I’ve never frozen it

    • Baconpancakes :

      Ooh, I love this idea. This almond, chicken, sweet potato soup is best fresh, but tastes perfectly delicious frozen and reheated: https://www.marthastewart.com/1049721/almond-chicken-soup-sweet-potato-collards-and-ginger

      Hunger games lamb and dried prune stew (can sub beef for lamb): http://feedingmyfolks.com/recipes/dinner/entree/hunger-games-lamb-stew-with-dried-plums/

      Mushroom lentil barley (less beautiful, but delicious): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/36922/mushroom-lentil-barley-stew/

  7. How do your partner and you communicate to dos? Do you have a joint to do list? Do you do a weekly meeting? I feel like my husband and I need a better system to sort out delegating who does what and making sure things don’t fall through the cracks.

    • Anonymous :

      Weekly phone call – Thursdays at noon. It’s blocked in both our outlook calendars. We’re allowed to reschedule within 24 hours but not cancel entirely. Discuss specific plans for the upcoming week and sketch out the next month. Decide if we need to block out time for an additional chat about vacation plans etc. It helps me stay sane and we argue so much less.

      • A phone call? Do you find that to be more efficient than a face to face? Seems a bit…impersonal.

        • Flats Only :

          Maybe it’s easy to do it that way over lunch at their desks and with their Outlook calendars open. And without whatever crazy pandemonium is going on at home in the evenings.

          • This.

            We have three kids including 3 year old twin boys and our oldest has special medical needs. After kids are in bed, we want to spend meaningful time together and not waste time of daycare pick up or doctors appointment logistics.

            Plus, like Flats Only says, I prefer to have my Outlook Calendar open on my desktop vs. on my phone and same for DH. Our schedules can be variable so we literally block in items (like who has pick up when, who’s covering which doctor’s appointment – notes about whether the other parent wants to be on speaker phone at the appt), as we are talking.

      • I’m thinking about adopting your plan – this sound great. We currently kind of casually do it over gchat or text but it would just be easier and more efficient over the phone.

      • Such a good idea. We’ve had a few days where my husband has called me on the way home and we’ve chatted while he drove. I was stuck under a baby and it was really nice. We work 5 minutes walk apart so I wonder if a weekly planning lunch would work once I’m back from may leave.

        In general, we try to coordinate on Friday for weekend to dos (I’ve copied the Shubox weekend planning email). I’m working on accepting that I’m the planner in the relationship. My husband jokes that I’m the brains and he’s the brawn when it comes to household management.

    • We use Trello to maintain lists for everything. Groceries, daily to dos, weekly to dos, individual lists of to dos for things we individually want to work on, packing lists, meal planning lists, etc.

    • Puddlejumper :

      We have a google doc that is our joint to do list that we both can add things to. It has a “Inbox” “Waiting for” “ASAP” and in the next week…month… etc categories. We will check in depending on our schedule before bed or in the AM before work to see if we need to discuss in any more depth divide up the tasks at all. Its not perfect but it helps.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a dry erase board in the kitchen. On Sundays, I write out a to-do list for the week on it as well as any upcoming appointments for the week. On Sunday or on Monday I’ll give my husband a quick run through of the list, he can add anything I may have missed or we adjust anything we need to. I’ve tried a few different methods including electronic calendaring and this one works best for us.

    • We have specific areas of responsibility. Anything having to do with the car, the kids doctor appointments, grocery shopping, or fixing stuff in the house is up to him to handle 100% unless he specifically asks me to do something. Likewise, anything regarding bill payments, meal planning, and managing the calendar for who picks up the kids or special events is my domain. For the weekend household chores, we know what needs to be done and just do it without discussion, each pitching in until it’s finished. It’s so much easier than constantly negotiating a list.

      • This is how we do it. Each of us has specific areas of responsibility that we handle without discussion unless we need to hand off a task because of a conflict (e.g., husband texted me last week to ask if I could do school drop-off this morning because he had an early meeting). For one-off things like “fix faucet” and “clean out garage” we keep a running list on a white board on the fridge. We also have a paper calendar on the fridge where all travel and events are recorded.

        • Senior Attorney :

          That’s us, too. I do my stuff, he does his stuff, the odds and ends get assigned pretty much in the moment. And we just started a paper calendar for events and that has been a big help keeping dates straight.

    • I must be the least organized person here, because we don’t have a running to do list other than some small home improvement-related stuff we jotted down on a piece of paper that is hanging on the fridge. Occasionally we cross stuff off that list, though usually we don’t even manage to cross it off after it gets completed.

      • Count me in your ranks. We just have areas and things that we do for the household and relationship, and if there’s other stuff that gets done, we talk about it or gchat about it.

        But, then again: we don’t happen to have kids, which I know exponentially complicates these things! Power to you parents for gettin it done!

        • It’s totally the tiny logistics that you don’t expect with kids but end up being more ‘stuff’ to manage – last night after bathtime I cut 30 fingernails and 30 toenails but I still haven’t touched my own! Not that it has to go in a calendar but yes – so much more logistics!

      • Same. We have a joint grocery list on google keep we both add to, and if one of us is going to the store we usually check in over text before we leave to make sure there’s nothing to add. We clean most weekends and have the chores divided between us and don’t really check in with each other about doing them. Any other to-do is usually “X thing is broken” and we need to actually discuss _how_ to fix it as well as how we’re going to do it. Then the fixing is usually a joint project.

        Also no kids. So, much simpler life.

      • biglawanon :

        Same here, but we have four kids. I feel like we have a lot less to do then other people here, but I have no idea why.

      • Ha ha! I was going to say the same thing. What is on all these joint to-do lists? I guess we just figure things out on the fly…

    • We do a hybrid of a lot of the things already suggested.
      – We have areas of responsibility for the things that happen all the time, like daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, meal planning, bill paying, chores, etc.
      – We use Wunderlist for one-off projects that’ll take extra time and energy from at least one of us (right now, for example, fix some stuff around the house, steam clean the carpet, clean out the garage).
      – We chat for a few minutes in the morning and will often remind each other of whatever is going on that day or ask the other person about something. It’s not formal or foolproof though.
      – We text each other about small stuff like picking up milk on the way home.
      – We email each other calendar invites, and I can see his calendar (he can’t see mine because I like to have my personal stuff, without details, on my work calendar). If we need a babysitter, we add who’s babysitting in the Notes of the calendar appointment so we don’t forget to schedule it.
      – We have “meetings,” usually over lunch, when we talk about calendars, logistics, projects, money, etc. Right now, they’re not regularly scheduled, but they probably should be.

      Basically, it’s a lot of communication!

    • I love all of these suggestions. How did you get your partner to agree to whatever the system is? My husband and I don’t have kids, but there are certain things that I know would be easier if we each contributed to a joint to do list or joint calendar.

      Basically, I like being organized and having to do lists and knowing that we are on the same page about what is happening when, but my husband just thinks “Everything will just work out.” Which, to his credit, is true. Probably because we’re dealing with two capable adults that can each take care of themselves and there are no kids or pets involved. It would just be easier, say, if we had a running “Costco Shopping List.”

      That rambled for longer than I meant – but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

      • Maybe read “Drop the Ball” and have your husband read it too?

      • I have been married for 10 years with two kids and my husband is just like your husband. Great dad and husband, NOT a short term planner. He plans our investments and retirement accounts and other big picture things, not the minutiae of pickup and doc visits like I’d like to do, with a nice little to-do list and checking things off and whatnot. So I end up doing a lot of the day to day planning but he does the year to year kind of planning (home purchase and kids passports and whatnot, which would not enter my radar until it is DUE!).

  8. My husband and I want to take a 10-day to 2-week trip in Europe in May. We’d really like to focus on the Alps and on small towns (we’ve already done a few big city trips). We’re tentatively thinking of going to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Are three countries too much for ten days (when traveling by train)? Can anyone recommend their must-stop destinations so we can get a better idea of where to focus our research? We are pretty low-key travelers and will be looking to stay in bed and breakfasts or small hotels.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think three countries is too much since you’re just focusing on the Alps.

    • Anonymous :

      You can do all three in ten days but it will be tight. I would try two at the most. Fly into Zurich – either stay overnight or , take train (about 1 hour) to Bregenz (Austria) or Lindau (Germany), they are just a few miles apart. Stay a couple nights. From there take a train to Lech. Stay a couple nights – great hiking. Then train to Innsbruck – stay at Reidz apartments- eat at Kammerlander or Solo Vino (good Italian), check out the Alpenzoo, lots of hiking, other cute towns nearby are easy day trips. Take train from Innsbruck to Munich – stay overnight or fly home depending on flight time.

      Western Austria is super safe and friendly, tons of English spoken, very easy for travelers.

    • +1 I’d stick to one or two countries at most. My general philosophy is go to fewer places and see them more thoroughly.

      Also: from what you’ve said, I assume budget is not really a concern for you, but be aware that Switzerland is MUCH more expensive than either Austria or Germany. (Think 13 euros for a latte at Starbucks.)

    • This sounds like my dream trip. Please report back with itinerary!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Whether it’s too much depends on how you feel about train travel–is it “ugh, gotta deal with this train so we can go back to actually being on vacation,” or is it a part of the vacation? In the Alps, I would expect a train ride to be a great way to kick back and enjoy some (more) scenery, and European trains are way nicer than Amtrak ime. But if you hate trains, you hate trains.

    • I’m going to make a pitch for the Italian Alps, South Tyrol. Amazing food and really interesting culture. It’s a short train (90 min?) from Innsbruck.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 on Sud Tyrol. The Dolomites are my happy place. If you like to hike, consider staying in a refugio up in the mountains. I also love the Julian Alps in Slovenia. If you make it to Slovenia don’t miss having a meal at Hisa Franko. Both Italy and Slovenia are less expensive (and perhaps more beautiful) than France, Austria and Switzerland.

        My favorite village in the Swiss Alps is Wengen.

        If you have timing flexibility, you might consider pushing your trip into late May or even June as many high altitude locations are still closed for the summer season in early May.

    • I second advice to do two countries, and I would do Austria and Switzerland. Germany has some great cities (I love Munich) but I don’t think the Bavarian Alps are as scenic or interesting as the Swiss and Austrian Alps.

    • In Austria, i LOVED Salzburg. Granted, I am kind of into the Sound of Music and I was there at Christmastime, but I personally love small European towns much better than the big cities.

    • Recently did Germany and Austria for two weeks. I disagree that you need to focus on 2 if you don’t mind moving hotels, we drove between a lot of little cities and had a great time. If you spend 2 weeks, you can easily spend five days in Switzerland, two days in Fussen/Neuschwanstein, two days near Garmish-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze and then four days in Salzburg.

      If you enjoy driving, you might consider renting a car at some point, especially in Germany. Drive through the mountains isn’t a “fast” endeavor but it was gorgeous and we felt safe doing it. We loved the mobility, the ability to stop anywhere, anytime and Germany/Austria are great driving countries. Even the cow path we accidentally ended up on was paved. It also answered the question of “what do we do with our luggage?”.

      Salzburg was one of my favorite places we went and it is a great base for lots of other activities. The Old Town is walkable with great restaurants, gorgeous shopping strolls, tons of history and with endless options for Mozart concerts. The salt mine tour at nearby Hallein was a winner (20 minute drive), which is also not far from the Eagle’s Nest and the museum there. The lakes district is nearby and would be so pretty in spring, and you can go further out to Hallstadt as a day trip. The Sound of Music tour we did was just the right amount of kitchy and oh so much fun. We stayed out on Moostrasse at Haus Ballwein, which was delightful. The bus (15 mins direct to the city center) picks up outside the gate, but you feel like you’re not in the city (there were deer in the meadow our first night).

      You will find tons of pensions, gasthauses and baurenhofs (vacation farms) in the areas you’re considering. We didn’t stay at a farm this trip, but http://www.bensbauernhof.com/ is a nice compendium of places in Bavaria and Austria. Check out a few travel guide books from your library and use those for ideas, too.

    • If you make it to Austria – Salzburg is a MUST! I enjoyed it more than Vienna, Prague, Munich, etc.

    • Recently did Germany and Austria for two weeks. I disagree that you need to focus on 2 if you don’t mind moving hotels, we drove between a lot of little cities and had a great time. If you spend 2 weeks, you can easily spend five days in Switzerland, two days in Fussen/Neuschwanstein, two days near Garmish-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze and then four days in Salzburg.

      If you enjoy driving, you might consider renting a car at some point, especially in Germany. Drive through the mountains isn’t a “fast” endeavor but it was gorgeous and we felt safe doing it. We loved the mobility, the ability to stop anywhere, anytime and Germany/Austria are great driving countries. Even the cow path we accidentally ended up on was paved. It also answered the question of “what do we do with our luggage?”.

      Salzburg was one of my favorite places we went and it is a great base for lots of other activities. The Old Town is walkable with great restaurants, gorgeous shopping strolls, tons of history and with endless options for Mozart concerts. The salt mine tour at nearby Hallein was a winner (20 minute drive), which is also not far from the Eagle’s Nest and the museum there. The lakes district is nearby and would be so pretty in spring, and you can go further out to Hallstadt as a day trip. The Sound of Music tour we did was just the right amount of kitchy and oh so much fun. We stayed out on Moostrasse at Haus Ballwein, which was delightful. The bus (15 mins direct to the city center) picks up outside the gate, but you feel like you’re not in the city (there were deer in the meadow our first night).

      You will find tons of pensions, gasthauses and baurenhofs (vacation farms) in the areas you’re considering. We didn’t stay at a farm this trip, but look up Ben’s Baurenhof online, it is a nice compendium of places in Bavaria and Austria. Check out a few travel guide books from your library and use those for ideas, too.

    • Anonymous :

      I would consider adding Bled, Slovenia to the itinerary. It’s a beautiful fairy-tale town on the border with Austria.

      • Anonymous :

        I second trying to go to Bled, Slovenia. It is a bit touristy by the lake, but I have never seen more beautiful and serene lake water. (No motor boats are permitted on the water, so if you enjoy kayaking, canoeing, etc., it is quite relaxing.)

    • Thanks so much, everyone!!

      • You already got great tips. I would also recommend northern Italy – Dolomites region (Alto Adige region with amazing wines). I recently did a trip to that area and drove there through Austria. Amazing trip, beautiful scenes, great food.

  9. Experience gift :

    Can anyone recommend a good experience a gift for an older couple in the Boston area? They are both in their late 60s, in very good shape, and interested in sailing. They really don’t want any more house stuff. I think they would probably like some kind of performance or art exhibition, but does anyone have any ideas for a particularly nice ones?

    • Anonymous :

      BSO or Handel & Haydn tickets or the like? You could do a pick 2 or pick 3 option and leave the specific performances up to them.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Are they foodies? No. 9 Park is amazing. During the holiday season, they open for lunch and your money goes much farther.

    • How about the DeCordova (sculpture park) snow shoe tours? You run the risk of cancellation if there’s no snow, but if you pick a date in mid/late February you should be safe.


    • Tasting Counter in Somerville. NOM.

    • Would they like to be in the audience of America’s Test Kitchen (or be studio taste testers)? I have NO idea how one a) goes about doing that b) let alone gifting it, but it sounds awesome.

    • If they are amendable, many of towns have sailing ships that you can cruise on. Most of that happens in the summer, so may not be suitable for a winter holiday gift. I know Salem has several charters, and likely other towns on the north shore do as well (try Marblehead or Rockport), or possibly down on the cape or Martha’s Vineyard. Some north shore towns have artist colonies as well so you could put together a whole day out if you want to look into festivals or other events. Those things slow down a lot outside the tourist season but you can probably find some options.

      If you send them up to Salem, the Peabody Essex Museum also has a lot of maritime history and permanent exhibits related to trade, since it’s a historic port town. I love the PEM (also the Chinese house tour is a must if they’ve never been; it also closes in the winter).

      Check out maritimemuseums.net for a comprehensive list.

    • Experience gift :

      Thanks for all the ideas!!

  10. https://www.reddit.com/r/Trumpgret/comments/7hlaee/altright_women_are_upset_that_altright_men_are/

    • You know, I’m not at all a conspiracist. But there’s a fraction of an appeal in believing that the Hadron Collider sent us to Bizarro world and as we move further from that event, life will start to make less and less sense.

      Not really, but when that comment on a Reddit string makes MORE sense than a woman saying “Feminism is bad, but you should support my right to make my own choices,” I start to wonder what world am I actually living in.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I have been saying for some time that we are part of an alien experiment and at this point all the aliens are drunk and saying “turn it up! turn it up!”

      • Flats Only :

        I like your conspiracy theory and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. I am waiting for the Ancient Aliens to return and put Giorgio Tsulokos in charge of the planet.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      So she’s basically saying let’s be racist but not sexist?

  11. I bought some new tanks last weekend to wear under a slightly sheer blouse, and am wearing one for the first time today. I didn’t notice that the tanks have “shaping” when I bought them. Ack! My middle is being squeezed to oblivion!

    I’m getting a replacement at lunchtime. This is the worst.

    • The worst! I was just looking online last night for non-binding camisoles with separate seeming for each b**b (not hard cups or underwire). Like those silky ones similar to slips. Any ideas out there? I could not find what I want.

  12. Any tips for making it through the day on 3 hours sleep? There’s no going back to bed now, though now I think I could finally sleep. There was no quieting my racing mind last night – I should have an honorary phD in worrying.

    • Even 20 minutes of well-timed sleep or closed eyes in your office (hopefully?) will help!

      Even though research suggests you cannot “bank” sleep (ie, “make up for” a late night by sleeping in another morning), you should try to get to bed early tonight without a phone or any electronic distractions. Power yourself down!

    • Seems simple, but stay well hydrated and eat well. Doesn’t take away the fatigue, but I find it helps get me through the day.

    • This was exactly me last night – I also very literally got 3 hours of sleep. We will make it through, we will sleep tonight and we will feel better tomorrow <3

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Hydrate, hydrate, and then hydrate some more. The racing mind/insomnia thing seems to be very common in the last week. I’m struggling too. Also, try for protein snacks throughout the day.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I read a study once that said staying up all night can lift depression. So whenever I miss a night’s sleep I just tell myself it’s going to lift my mood. It’s a silly mind trick but it seems to work.


    • Anonymous :

      Call in sick and take the day off is what I’d do. There’s no way I’m getting work done on just 3 hours of sleep.

  13. Looking for a birthday gift for an old friend with whom I have a gift giving tradition. She is a lawyer in NYC. She has grade school kids and likes to read. She has everything she needs so I like to buy her trendy things. I bought her an Amazon Echo last year. She got me the Nars Naked Palette. Budget around 50-150. Are Allbirds popular in the northeast? Anyone try (and like Bombas socks)? Any other ideas, like good beauty products?

    • Anonymous :

      My girlfriend got me a Barefoot Dreams blardigan as a gift, and it’s been my favorite for curling up with a book or throwing on over a tshirt and yoga pants on the weekend when my kids need to get out the door stat. The quality is amazing.

      • Anonymous :

        What the h3ll is a blardigan?? There are as many cardigan crossovers as there are dog breeds mixed with poodles.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’ve definitely seen Allbirds on women in NYC.

      In terms of good beauty products, if she’s into skincare, a Tata Harper or Drunk Elephant gift set could be fun.

    • A set of travel/makeup pouches from cuyana? I have a similar friend – that’s what I bought her.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 those are gorgeous! I would totally want a set of the Cuyana.

        I wouldn’t buy someone the allbirds (although I’ve bought them for myself)

        Bombas are absolutely awesome.

    • This year I am giving the Sephora Perfume Sampler to my sis-in-law, thanks to recommendations from people on this site.

    • I love Bombas socks.

  14. Gift help – I have my FIL this year in the gift exchange. Next summer, we are all going on his “bucket list” trip to Hilton Head. I would like to get a gift that would be evocative of a beach trip but I have no ideas other than…sunglasses? I have about $25 left in the budget but could spend a little more. Any fun ideas? (He has two grandkids, both ours, one pre teen one toddler, if that helps with ideas.)

    • Hilton Head is a big golf destination. Any chance he plays golf?

      • Cap Hill Style’s bf did a gift guide for men yesterday and he suggested a particular kind of golf ball, if FIL does golf.

        • Are they engaged yet? Is she employed? I am so confused about her life.

          • Hahaha I share these questions. I think she’s doing statewide political campaign work, if I recall.

          • She hasn’t announced an engagement, so I assume not. She does have a job, doing some sort of political work. I don’t think it’s a JD-required job so I’m still kind of confused about why she went to law school.

      • He does play golf! I will check out CHS, thank you!

        • Titlelist ProV 1 or ProV 1x are the general recommendations. They run about $40-50 a box though. There may be a few places to get them personalized if that’s something he’d like.

    • Every older guy in my family had gotten interested in birds and nature. If your FIL is similar, here is a book about birds in the Carolinas: https://www.amazon.com/Birds-Carolinas-Field-Guide-Second/dp/1591930669/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512486827&sr=8-1&keywords=Carolina+birds

      There are a bunch of similar items on Amazon.

    • What about beach gear, like a beach chair, cooler, beach game or something? Waterproof phone camera case?

      • Waterproof phone case is genius! I like all these ideas. And the bird book. These are great – thank you!

  15. Anonymous :

    I have been practicing for 8 years now, and have been working in-house in a commercial position for 4 years in a large company (50ish lawyers). I think that eventually I might like to be the GC of a small company. I currently have experience in commercial, real estate and some IP. Performance reviews are coming up and I know I’ll be asked about what I’d like my next steps to be (not necessarily that they will be fulfilled, but I know my boss will ask what direction I’d like to take) I’d like to move into another area to continue gaining new experience. The other legal functions include litigation, employment, corporate, compliance, and risk management. Is there any in particular that I should seek experience in?

    • Anonymous :

      Corporate. It’s a natural extension of what you are doing. You’ll never be a litigator you’ll just need to manage outside counsel on that.

    • Employment. I am an employment attorney who represents municipalities. When I meet with in-house or GC who actually have some employment background and have taken proper steps ahead of litigation, it makes for a much stronger defense. Conversely, when the in-house attorneys have no concept of employment issues and had no foresight as to how decisions could result in exposure, the cases are harder to defend and I spend a lot of time cleaning up problems that could have easily been prevented.

  16. Anonymous :

    How do you handle discreetly taking feminine products to the restroom at work? Right now I’m in a cube with enough privacy that I can get what I need from my bag and put it in a pocket without any notice. We are about to move offices and I will be in a fully open plan space (multi-person desks, no cubes) with no privacy at all, and I don’t think my current strategy will work as well. I don’t want to take my bag or a little pouch to the restroom, although I see some women do that. I believe that periods are totally normal body functions that shouldn’t be stigmatized, but at the same time, I’d still rather my coworkers not know when Aunt Irma is paying me a visit. Any ideas?

    And for that matter, any tips for transitioning to an open plan office?

    • Puddlejumper :

      With the Diva Cup I don’t have to take anything to the bathroom.

      • I’ve thought about those, I’ll look into it more. Thanks!

      • Don’t you have to rinse them out regularly though? How do you do that in “commercial” bathrooms with a shared sink?

        • Puddlejumper :

          I don’t rinse out during the day when in communal restrooms. Honestly I usually go 8 hours to 12 hours without emptying my diva cup so I usually don’t even have to empty it at work. I wake up and empty it at home before I leave for work so 7 am and at that point I rinse it out and put it in. And maybe once at work empty it out and use toilet paper to wipe it out. Usually I just wait until I am home. You can go pee of course without having to take it out. When super traveling and in countries with water I don’t really trust- I take a water bottle of safe water into the the stall and just rinse it out quick there.

        • I can go a whole day or more without emptying it. I only really empty it once a day, at night, in my own bathroom.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Same, it’s so great!

    • A small pouch just for feminine products that you keep in your purse and can pull out as necessary is really the simplest solution, unless you truly want to keep tampons in your pocket all day or buy more clothes/blazers with deep pockets to keep them in.

      You could also go with the kin that are just the material without the cardboard “helper”. They are about an inch to 2 inches long and can fit in the palm of your hand; the style they primarily sell in Europe.

      • Ha! Definitely don’t want to keep tampons in my pockets all day.

      • The Kotex clicks are small enough to fit in the palm of my (not large) hand or tuck into a waistband. I think with some practice, you can find a way to unobtrusively move something from desk/bag to pocket. Presumably people won’t have eyes on you at all times.

      • O.B. brand. Amazing.

        • +1

          • +2. No applicator so they are easy to put in the tiniest of pockets or even hide in the palm of your hand, and they are more comfortable and create less trash.

        • I’ve always been confused by the logistics of OB in a public washroom. I use them at home and I wash my hands before I insert because you have to put your fingers in unlike with an applicator tampon. But in a public washroom, if you wash your hands then you still have to open and close the stall door to get in the stall. What am I missing?

    • Wouldn’t it be lovely if your employer stocked these items in the restroom? I feel like having to take your own toilet paper into the bathroom from your office would be crazy…. so why are menstrual products considered differently?

      • I agree with this so much. Wish our company did this.

      • I can see why they don’t, though – I’m a little particular about what I use. It would be like if everyone had a different toilet paper preference.

        • You don’t have to use it, though. And seriously, it’s a game changer. I’m always forgetting to bring stuff…

        • lawsuited :

          I have very real toilet paper preferences, but I still use what’s provided in my office washroom rather than bringing my own. Maybe I’d adapt similarly to using whatever menstrual products were provided?

      • Both my current company and previous one do this. It’s great!

      • I have never thought about this – but duh! They totally should stock them.

    • I take it from my purse and put it in my pocket. No one is watching you that closely.

    • I stick it in my bra (…I am, uh, well endowed…it is fully hidden in cleavage alone). Which is not a suggested move in an open office. At all. Ha!

      I feel your pain. Something about that junior high shame that follows some of us, stupidly, into adulthood.

    • I naturally time my “changes” and washroom use to coincide with coffee breaks or lunch – times when I am already going to be stopping by the washroom with my purse.

    • Linda from HR :

      If my dress has pockets (some do!) I use those. If not, and I’m wearing a blazer or cardigan, I tuck the pad into my armpit and hope no one notices that one arm not moving as freely as it usually does. If neither is an option, I take my purse.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My office has a small cabinet and we all store a few in there and replenish as needed. We all respect each other’s stash unless it’s an emergency and then we replenish. Small office though.

      • Me too, and I am another Blonde Lawyer!!!!! YAY!!!!! The manageing partner got a box for the cabinet, and as I am the onley one besides Lynn that uses them, they last. We were told NOT to flush them down the toilet, so we take plastic bags, and then deposit them in the trash. We do not get any feedback from the men, b/c they do NOT see what we are doeing with the tampons. YAY!!!!

    • MidwestLady :

      I ninja the products into the waistband of my underwear if I am wearing a skirt or pants. If I am wearing a dress, then I take my whole big ass makeup bag.

      There’s a woman at my office who doesn’t really give a F*[email protected]$^ and just walks with it in her hand. I am not that brave.

    • I work in an open office as well, and I just take what I need from my purse and put it in my pocket or up my sleeve. It’s a task that takes seconds, and it’s not as though people are looking directly at one another all the time. Mostly they’re staring at the computers, after all.

    • I store them in a glasses case. It’s just the right size and doesn’t draw attention if it falls out of my pocket.

    • I keep tampons in an eyeglass case. They can wonder why I’m carrying glasses to the restroom but I feel like nobody cares enough to make the dots at that point. What I wish is to have gym lockers in the restroom so we can keep these stuff there.

    • I use OB tampons and stick one in my bra.

    • When I sat in a more open floor plan, I could usually find a way to discretely tuck a tampon into a pocket or the waistband of my pants/skirt (provided I was wearing a looser top that would cover it) while sitting down under the cover of my desk.

    • I keep a makeup bag filled with feminine products in my desk drawer and just carry that to the ladies room. If anyone has ever noticed me only carrying it around one week per month, they’ve never said anything.

      When I need to refill the bag I take it home – just put it in my tote.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, I just openly care it and dare anyone to look twice at a woman carrying a tampon to the restroom. (Now, the restrooms are right outside my office, so I don’t have far to go, but I would shoot the dirty eye right back to someone who gave me a look about a tampon). #noshame

    • I share block of desks with 4 men in our 100+ open space. I just take a tampon (without applicator) from my bag and either put it into a pocket or just carry it in hand. Nobody notices and/or does not care.
      Fun fact – one of my male coworkers knows who has period exactly because they go the bathroom with a handbag. But then, he may bring you a chocolate bar if you seem unhappy and on period, so he is forgiven.

    • lawsuited :

      I keep a box of products in my drawer at work, so when I need to change I take one out and carry it to the bathroom. I used to put it in my pocket but then I was like, “no, if people want to scrutinize the menstrual product in my hand, let them. If people further want to make a mental note that I’m on my period and bring it up in a meeting later then BRING. IT. ON.”

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Love that attitude! I am not sure why we are all so furtive about such a normal thing.

        Flips side, several men in my office openly take a newspaper into the men’s bathroom…they are not ashamed nor should they be. And neither should we.

  17. Anonymous :

    So, I though it was pretty clear that children were not invited to my Saturday night 8 pm Christmas cocktail party. The invitations were addressed by name, and did not include kids, the RSVP (online) only have one slot per adult, and the particular friend at issue has come in years past, asked about her kid before, and was told “nope! Not a party for babies!”

    So whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have this convo again?!? Nope. Your child cannot come. I don’t care what the issue is with your sitter, you are welcome to skip the party, but i have a tiny bit childproofed apartment and I don’t want your toddler there from 8-11 on a Saturday night.

    • This is why I shun “etiquette” and put “Adults Only” on invites; because Ms. Special Snowflake will willfully ignore etiquette signs of adults only because her kid is special, won’t be a bother, etc.

      • I love your kid! I really do! But she can’t come to this one thing, and you know it, so stop trying to make me feel bad!

      • Linda from HR :

        Wait why is it a breach of etiquette to put “adults only” on the invite?

        • Because it’s rude to say “you aren’t invited.” Same as “no plus ones.”

        • If you don’t want everyone living at that address, you invite people by name, and then only those specific people are invited. It’s rude to say “XYZ is not invited” even if XYZ is a group (i.e., kids) as opposed to a specific person.

          • I hear that, but also think many people don’t know this. I didn’t find out about this part of etiquette until reading this blog. I think especially with kids, it’s fine to say “This won’t be a kid friendly gathering.” I know that in my and my parents’ circle, invitations to gatherings are often assumed to be for the entire family unless stated otherwise.

    • Legally Brunette :

      How old is this kid? There is no way, no how I would even think of taking my young kids to a 8 pm party. They’re asleep at that time.

      Sorry to have to have this convo, but I can assure you that most parents have no desire to take their kids to a party that late. :)

      • Nearly 3

        • Rainbow Hair :

          OMG my kid is exactly that age (nearly 3) and I can’t imagine bringing her to something that starts at 8pm. If she’s awake at 8pm it’s because she’s crying (for me. from her bed. where she has been for at least half an hour.) so that’s a hard pass. Oof. It cramps my social life for sure, because sitters aren’t always available, but at least she is only ruining *my* night.

        • Agree with Rainbow Hair. I would never bring my kid to a party that started at 8. Bedtime is at 7:30. We even tell family members that we’ll be leaving holiday or birthday gatherings at 7:30 (which turns into 8:00, so bedtime is an hour late).

          Getting a babysitter can s*ck. They’re expensive. Sometimes they cancel. Sometimes you just feel guilty (we are up to 5 sitters or grandparents this weekend alone). It’s part of being a parent.

          • Is it common for sitters to cancel? I babysat extensively throughout my teens and early 20s and I can’t recall ever cancelling. Granted, I had zero social life, so that may have had something to do with it!

        • lawsuited :

          8pm is the PERFECT time for a party if you’re a parent. You can put your kid to bed at your place as normal and then head out once they’re asleep (in the care of a babysitter who will likely just have to watch TV and eat popcorn until you return home). Fun for the parents without breaking the kid’s routine – totally win-win. Keep it up, OP, I’d love to come to your evening cocktail party!

      • This. I have three kids and I want to enjoy kid-free Christmas parties. Like of course no kids at a Saturday NIGHT party! This is why babysitters exist. If sitter cancels, then you don’t go. It’s not rocket science and you are right to be annoyed.

      • +1 this isn’t a parent problem it’s a “your one particular friend” problem. At this point, her behavior has freed you to be quite blunt with her.

        • Oh, I know. And I am. I’m just venting my annoyance that I have to be!

        • Yes. No parent I know would try to bring a 3-year-old to a party that is obviously for adults only, at 8:00 p.m. We are not stupid.

    • My friend of 3 constantly says she is going to bring her kids (or one of the 3) to non-kid friendly events. Like it’s a negotiation first she’ll say she is bringing all 3 and then back down to just 1, the quiet one. I feel your pain. Good luck!

    • I have 2 little kids, finding a babysitter is super difficult during the holiday season, and I totally agree with you. Having little kids around totally changes the vibe of a party. Sometimes you just want an elegant party – I hate it when people put in the position of apologizing for hosting a party like that.

    • Learn the lesson. Not a real friend. Do not invite in the future. Contemplate need for this type of friend. Choose wisely.

      • I mean, aside from this one issue, she’s great. I’m not going to end a friendship over this, just venting.

      • I’m not the OP but I’m always confused by comments like this. Y’all realize that most friendships exist in a larger community, right? Not one on one? If I always hang out with Robb, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Bran, and Rickon together, it’s super rude to invite everyone but Jon, even if I think he’s dumb because clearly he knows nothing.

    • “Sorry! No kids allowed! Don’t worry if you miss this one, we will see you next time.”

    • Baconpancakes :

      Also, it’s super dangerous to bring a kid unexpectedly to a party! My friends brought their 2-year old to a casual party without telling me, and had to spend the whole time in the kitchen, playing defense with their kid. I didn’t mind because it was a super informal thing, but there were candles all over the living room, right at the kid’s grabbing level, ceramic bottles and heavy metal statues on the lower bookshelves, and generally death traps everywhere.

      • Dude, totally. I leave pocket knives (closed but still) out on tables, have cleaning supplies in cabinets where they can be easily consumed by unwary toddlers, a bike on a stand that could easily be knocked over, not to mention books on the bottom shelves I prefer undestroyed. I don’t have kids and my house isn’t set up for them and it would take _hours_ to alter it to make it so. I would think a parent would worry about this without me having to say it and know not to bring a toddler uninvited!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had people try to do this with their dogs too. No, Rover is not welcome in my home and you very well know that. I have severe dogs allergies; I don’t want to spend the night in the ER and the next few weeks in a hotel while I get everything inside my house cleaned, including the HVAC system. I cannot for the life of me understand why no one takes animal allergies seriously.

      But even if that wasn’t the case, it’s MY HOUSE, if I don’t want dogs there then freaking respect that. And no we’re not “just going to let them play outside” because they want to be where the people are, so they bark and howl and scratch at the doors until someone lets them in.

      • Anonymous :

        That is ridiculously rude and self-absorbed. What kind of person would ask to bring a dog over to dinner or a party? Was this the same person with a self-diagnosed dairy sensitivity who was making her friend feel badly because there was butter in some of the dishes she’d carefully planned around the person’s imagined needs?

  18. Did you see the article online with law firm start and end times for your day. I felt validated that most have a start around 9:30ish. Curious what your average start and end times are for your day?

    • Didn’t see it. Link please? Average start 9. Average end 6-7. Flexible on each end.

    • 730 to 5

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Can I ask about the schedule in-house people keep?

      I’m in a large nonprofit. I work the latest hours here, arriving 7:45-ish and leaving at 5:00. I’m always the last one out (besides the CEO).

    • I’m in a biglaw office in a secondary market in a purely transactional group. Generally, I arrive the earliest at 8:45 and I could hurl a baseball down the hall and not hit anyone. Sometimes, when stuff is especially busy, my boss (and our practice group leader) gets in at 7:00. Generally, everyone else leaves at 6:45 (earlier if they’re coach their kids rec sports team) and then are back online from 8:00-10:00 as needed.

    • 9:30 – eternity.

      So tired of Biglaw.

      • +1

      • Anonymous :

        Yep. When I don’t get home until midnight, and have an errand that can’t wait until the weekend (or can’t be done on the weekend), I have a late start.

        TBH, most days, I just take a mental health hour at 8am because who knows when I’ll be home that night.

      • +1

        I’m also in big law. Most people get in around 9:30/10am and leave around 7/7:30pm, but then usually log in remotely to work or at least answer emails until midnight

    • Small firm: 9-6:30 pretty firmly set but trying to get boss to let us work flex hours (come in earlier, leave earlier; some wfh days etc)

    • biglawanon :


    • Mid-firm: arrival 8:45 (as one of the earliest); departure 5:45 (only about 1/3 of us are still in the office at that time).

      I saw that list and it made me so grateful not be working those Big Law hours.

  19. Cynthia Vincent :

    Anyone try the Cynthia Vincent long sleeve cashmere sweater Kat recommended? Price seems reasonable and I could use a few new ones, any suggestions on size? I am usually a size xs or s, depending on the brand, 120 lbs and 5’2.

    • I just bought two. I hope it works out since it’s final sale, but I need sweaters so badly. I sized up like they indicate. Fingers crossed!

  20. Curious — Paging UAE and Oman :

    I was late to the thread yesterday, but in Oman:

    — opera house (one of the largest and most ornate in the world)
    — Sultan Qabos’s (sp?) palace
    — A wadi
    — the souq
    — if it’s the right time of year, there are beaches where you can go with a guide to see sea turtles laying eggs. Friends went with a friend and said it was magical; obviously you want to be really careful not to disturb.
    — dune buggy ride on the inland sand dunes (Arabian desert). Wear shoes with thick soles — the sand is HOT and melted mine. And bring a thin scarf to keep out blowing sand.

    The wadi, dunes, and turtles require a car, but road quality is impeccable and drivers mostly safe. Have fun; Oman is one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited.

    • Fun fact: Oman is a world leader in road safety. Sultan Qaboos lost a close friend/possible significant other (he is widely suspected to be gay and when I worked in road safety this person was routinely described as his SO, but obviously that’s not publicly confirmed) in a crash and subsequently became a major donor to crash prevention causes.

      • Curious — Paging UAE and Oman :

        Oh, that’s sad. My friends just said it was part of modernization efforts. Thanks for the fuller story.

    • UAE and Oman :

      Thank you!

  21. My fiance’s family doesn’t exchange Christmas cards, and the vibe I’ve gotten from his mother is that sending cards to his grandparents and aunts and uncles would be weird and very out of place. Huh? I’m completely perplexed. It’s a Christmas card – it goes on the fridge with all the others. Can anyone help hazard a guess as to why this is? I don’t want to cross any lines (and I totally realize this is the fluffiest thing in the universe), but not sending a card to someone – or getting cut off someone’s list – is a big deal in my family. We send Christmas cards to the people we just saw last week – you just do. His family is very warm and friendly, so discouraging cards has me really confused.

    • Just send them if you want to

    • Puddlejumper :

      Do they celebrate Christmas? We send New Year’s cards out because we are Jewish and my husband still feels a bit weird sending them to his very Jewish relatives. Obviously this is a tradition I brought into our family because I grew up christian.

    • I completely get it. My husband’s family is totally informal and never does Christmas cards or really any type of cards except birthday cards given with the actual present. Annual Christmas cards, birth announcements, graduation announcements… they think they’re all stupid. They are like, if the person doesn’t live in your city, and you have to mail them a card, then don’t bother. I think it might be best to let your fiancé call the shots on his family. I insisted that my husband was wacky when he told me about his family, and sent out cards anyways. But we have been married for 10 years and in all this time we have never gotten a Christmas card from anyone in his family. And I feel pushy for having insisted. I can’t comprehend because my family sends cards all the time for everything. There’s no bad blood in his family, his family just doesn’t do cards.

      • Thank you, maybe this is some of it. They have traditionally all lived in the same small town, so maybe they just never saw the need. But most of the grandkids (our generation) have moved away, so you’d think they’d want a card… But you’re right, I’d regret feeling pushy; I won’t regret not sending cards – I’d just feel a little sad at not sharing that part of the season with them.

    • Could it draw attention to the fact that no one else does it, as in “you’ll make us look bad/lazy if you do it and we don’t?” That’s dumb, of course, and you should just do whatever you and DF decide to do together, MIL opinion aside.

      I don’t know your F’s family; you have a better read on them. But that’s been my move in my 16 year long relationship with my in laws…insert arms up “huh? oh well!” emoji here.

      • (…but I like Anon at 10:28’s advice, too! Do you! Work with him to find a solution that you both like, but that works for his family. Don’t let my grumpapottamus attitude toward my wacky in laws taint your move haha)

    • My family tends not to send cards out to close family that we plan to see over the holidays- the idea of a mailed card is more like, “hope your holiday is good” for more distant relatives, and friends. Although now that my cousins have kids they enjoy making a big production over a family photo card, and those go out to everyone because so much effort went into it!

    • Could it be pushback/aversion to the Christmas cards that come with the novel about what the family has been up to that were so popular pre-social media?

      • +1. In my country, Christmas cards are only sent to a small circle of people (grandparents, parents), and only if you don’t see them over the holidays. The cards never feature a photo of the sender, but just a generic Christmas motive. The tradition of mailing a photo of yourself to everyone in your address book would be seen as self-centered.

    • lawsuited :

      Unless they don’t celebrate Christmas, I don’t see how anyone could be offended by receiving a Christmas card.

  22. Ideas for a teacher gift for my kids daycare teachers? I think there are 8 total for various shifts. I have done Target and Starbucks gift cards in the past but feel like that’s getting old.

    • It’s not. Easily redeemable gift cards are perfect.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I am a teacher.

      Good gifts to give a teacher:
      Gift cards for Target, Movies, Coffee, Cafe, Massage, etc

      Bad gifts:
      Food items
      Classroom Supplies
      Jewelry that says “#1 Teacher!”
      Apple anything
      T shirts with the kids picture on it

      Bonus Points Have your kid make a nice card and write why they are such a good teacher. Teachers do love that!

      • Clementine :

        Target had a sale on gift cards this weekend – 10% off. I stocked up on $25 gift cards because it’s my perfect gift for everyone.

        This year, our main daycare teacher is getting a Starbucks gift card (we joke about her ongoing addiction to Sbux) and a bottle of her favorite wine. New assistant teacher who I don’t know that well is getting a $25 target gift card and possibly also a bottle of wine.

        BTW- I don’t even buy cards for kid-related things anymore. I just take my kid’s most recent ‘masterpiece’, fold it in half/trim it to size, and use that as my card. Eco-friendly! Charming! Slightly hilarious (to me) when I add ‘titles’ to his works.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Daughters of teachers love all those candle and lotion gifts though LOL. My mom gets so many that they all get passed on to me now!

      • KateMiddletown :

        Are candles really that bad? I really like getting candles as gifts (I’m not a teacher so I guess I don’t get 25x year.)

        • I’m not a teacher but I hate candles and lotion as gifts, since I don’t like scented stuff. I can see how Starbucks could be a miss for someone who doesn’t drink coffee or is a snob about it (I know many people who can’t stand Starbucks coffee and prefer higher-end places or brewing their own), but I don’t see how anyone could be unhappy with a Target gift card. They sell everything there, so it’s as good as cash if you want to use it on essentials, but you feel less guilty using it to treat yourself than you would if someone just gave you a check for the same amount.

        • Puddlejumper :

          I guess it depends on how picky you are about scents. But imagine receiving many candles that are probably just regifted or grabbed they madly ran through target. Basically my desk some years looks like the 50% off shelf of a Home Goods store. Yes its the thought that counts but if you are spending 10 bucks on a candle – I would much more love a 10 dollar starbucks gift card!

        • I love getting fancy candles that smell nice. I am not a fan of random Yankee Candle scents – the giver may love it when their house smells like a country apple, but I don’t. Scents are so subjective.

        • Mrs. Jones :

          Candles are probably my least favorite gift. I don’t want random scents in my house. Plus I’m afraid I’d forget to blow out the candle when leaving.

        • lawsuited :

          Scented candles are pretty personal. There are 3 Voluspa scents and 2 Vancouver Candle Co. scents that I love, but I haven’t yet found a Bath & Bodyworks candle I enjoy.

      • MIL was a teacher for 50+ years. Gift cards to Target, Walgreens, pizza delivery, local supermarket and local coffee/tea place were the winners, every time.

        • My mom was a teacher for 20 years (before moving into administration) and MIL spent 35 years in the classroom. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not give teachers mugs or other dishware for Christmas. Every year my mom would take a box of mugs to Goodwill at the end of school. My MIL, the pack rat, didn’t do this and so when we moved her into senior living, my husband ended up taking three *huge* boxes of mugs, bowls and plates to Salvation Army. Consumable gifts are best, hands down. My mom and MAIL loved getting Target/Wal-Mart gift cards as it either helped with Christmas shopping expenses, or with expenses for buying classroom supplies out of their own pocket.

      • i cannot believe parents give tshirts with kids picture on them. i wouldn’t want that of my own kid, let alone of someone else’s! that is not a gift.

    • Gift cards never get old and are ALWAYS appreciated. Travel mug #100 plus thin awkward thank you smile…not so much.

    • Money NEVER gets old. I always gave cash.

    • I would give straight cash or a Visa gift card. I recently was shocked to learn how little our daycare teachers make (I knew it wasn’t a lot, but I didn’t realize that it was 35K annually in our HCOL area). Cash goes a long way and I would do that over a gift card to a store like Target.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I’m a fan of giving, and receiving, lottery scratch offs. $10 could turn into $100. Who doesn’t love that?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Somebody gave my husband lottery scratch-offs times his age for his birthday. It was kind of fun, yeah, but it also kind of hurt to see the $70 turned into $10…

      • Please don’t do this. Just give me cash.

        signed, former teacher

    • Our daycare is amazing and actually had teachers fill out a one-pager with questions about what they like/favorite things. It included favorite color, restaurants, scents, places to shop, etc. so you can go as personal or gift cardy as you want. We’re doing $25 to the easiest place to get on their list :)

      Also, one of the questions was what’s your favorite breakfast food, and one of the teachers wrote bacon. We’re seriously considering getting her a gift card + package of bacon!

  23. I’m planning to get back on birth control after a long lapse. I went over the various options with my doctor and given my preferences, she recommended the patch. Anyone have personal experience using it? Thoughts? It’s between the patch and the pill for me at this point.

    • I didn’t think the patch was that widely recommended anymore after all the lawsuits. I prefer the pill — the patch is nice if you often forget to take a pill, but it leaves big red marks on your skin that can last for weeks and your patch will accumulate a layer of grime around the edges. The patch can also be itchy.

      • I second this comment. I never used the patch, but my best friend did for almost a year and found it somewhat itchy and uncomfortable. She also said that it came off once. which it technically isn’t supposed to do, and she had no idea how long it had been missing for, so she had to use a backup BC method that month.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 It didn’t stay on as well as I expected it too. The glue got grimy around the edges and the edges started lifting. Then when I had to take the rest of it off, I’d get a red, itchy patch where it had been.

    • I am shocked that the Patch is indicated for anything given the heightened cardio adverse events. I was on it for years and I liked it, but you had to figure out where was best–I finally figured either below bikini on inner hip or on lower back. I did not like that it would get “janky” around the edges toward the end of the 2nd/3rd week. I did not like that it was hard to hide if you were say, going swimming at a pool party. (You can’t really move it without it not staying on as well.) I would do Nuvaring over patch any day, and the cardio adverse event is much lower. Seriously, NO ONE prescribes the patch anymore due to the higher risks associated with it. This would make me question my doctor, HARD.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I was on the patch and developed heart palpitations. It’s a not common side effect but that was my experience. They went away when I switched back to the pill.

    • Late reply, but I loved the patch when I was on it, but my doctor took me off because of all the lawsuits and said it’s no longer recommended. This was a few years ago, though.

  24. Desperately seeking good vibes :

    I’ve posted here before about applying for a “reach” position and then again for good vibes when I got the interview. I now have a second round interview and would really appreciate some more happy, positive thoughts from you ladies. I still don’t think I’m seriously in the running but would love to make a good impression. All good thoughts are appreciated! Thank you for the support!!

  25. Canada question – is there a Harry and David equivalent north of the border? Or another good site that has consumable gift items?

  26. adult braces :

    Thank you to the folks that responded to my question about adult invisalign braces yesterday! I got stuck in meetings all day and didn’t see your responses until this morning, but I really appreciate your tips and insight!

    • Didn’t see this yesterday but wanted to chime in – I’m currently doing Smile Direct Club and it’s awesome!

      • adult braces :

        That’s what I’m doing! I just started this week – I’m torn between not wanting to mention it at work and have people think it’s weird and wanting to exclaim “there reason I’m talking really awkwardly is because I have aligners now!” to every single person.

  27. xmas cards :

    Just a whine. I’m getting ready to order picture xmas cards and cannot find a picture where I look decent. I’ve had a rough year health-wise and in reviewing pictures I just look awful in all of them. My health issues slightly affect my appearance, but I also just look worn down and a little overweight. It makes me so sad. I guess the solution is to just send normal cards, but I love getting picture cards and I hate having to sign them now.

    • The solution is photoshop. You’ll look less tired in no time. ;)

    • This is why I usually make cards with several small photos instead of one big one. No one can really see whether you look good in those tiny photos.

    • I totally hear you. When we got our family photos taken, I was looking rough. Tired, puffy, you name it. My health has since improved (and hopefully my appearance too), but this year’s photo card includes only photos of the kids. :)

      That said, I don’t think anyone is going to be scrutinizing your appearance as closely as you are.

    • Does it make that much of a difference if you use a 2016 pic? Noone has to know.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      That stinks. From my experience though, you will look ‘better’ in the picture as time passes. There are so many pictures of myself where I was like “AH, yuck!” and then as little as a year later, I just see the smiles and the memory and my baby being so much smaller than she is now :’)

      So, y’know, if you’re not super self conscious, maybe pick the best one, grit your teeth, and go for it? I love love love receiving photo xmas cards, so maybe I’m pushing too hard in that direction.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I agree! Think about getting photo cards–you like them because you like the people in the photos, and you like seeing their smiling faces. It’s not about how pretty they are.

  28. Holiday party :

    Have you ladies seen any good options for a dress to wear to a biglaw holiday party in DC lately? I’d like to find an option with sleeves and spend less than $200. I’ve looked at Nordstrom and Anthropologie and am just not feeling very inspired.

  29. On the market :

    In the past week, I’ve realized that I’m just DONE with my job. I’ve been here 10 years and am terrified of getting back out there. I’ve been toying with the idea of taking a step or two back in responsibility. Right now, I care more about having a healthy life than having an amazing career. I’ve been in a leadership position for less than a year and don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I thought it would.

    I think my boss would be shocked to learn that I feel this way, and I have some guilt that my position is going to be hard to fill. It’s a tiny niche, and the best people in our organization have worked their way up. People who have joined at the mid- or high-level ranks rarely last more than 2-3 years.

    It almost feels like I’m considering a breakup, which sounds ridiculous, but 10 years at the same employer will do that!

    • My experience :

      I took a couple of steps back by accepting a position to get into a particular organization after moving across the country for my husband’s career. It was worth it since I’ve been promoted twice in four years. However, I did not find that the original position was necessarily simpler or less stressful. Instead, I felt like the employer utilized me to the extent of my abilities rather than job title.

      Maybe you just need a fresh start at the same level managing fewer people. Managing people is awfully tedious. Good luck!

      • The sad thing is that I don’t have that many direct reports. But one of them is fairly high-maintenance and I’m sort of expecting her to leave any day because I don’t think I can make this job what she wants it to be. I try to be fair and even-handed, and I do care about her development, but I just find it draining.

        Really, though, I just want a fresh start. The things that drive me crazy about this place aren’t going to change, and I think I’m losing my ability to just suck it up and deal.

    • Anonymous :

      I left law for another field and it does feel a lot like a break-up! I hadn’t realized how much of my identity was built around being a lawyer and how limited my friend circle is. I thought I was prepared but it’s still a surprise. It only got better once I started to building relationships with people in my new profession by volunteering. Good luck!

  30. Destination Birthday Help :

    I have a milestone birthday coming up this year, but planning is made tricky by the fact that my actual DOB typically falls on a holiday weekend (memorial day). My ideal trip would 4-5 days at a resort in a warm location with both beach and pool access where I can alternate between sipping cocktails and participating in activities with minimal effort.

    Any ideas for locations or even specific resorts where this is possible,but won’t break the bank due to the timing? I’d be leaving from the West Coast and I think Hawaii is about as far as I’m willing to travel. I’m also open to bookending the trip so my birthday is either right at thr beginning or at the very end, but because it’s a special year I’d like to celebrate the day at the location.

    Any suggestions?

    • Just chiming in to say hello birthday weekend twin! Destination birthdays are always nice that weekend! No advice–unfamiliar with the options out west–but whatever you do, have FUN!

    • Memorial Day is in the off-season in a lot of warm weather places, so holiday weekends matter less than normal and I wouldn’t worry about prices being through the roof. We spent the 4th of July in Mexico last year and I was surprised that hotel rates were no higher than they were the week before or the week after (I know it’s not a holiday in Mexico but the majority of tourists at the resort we went to were from the US). Especially if you stay only through Friday night or only Sunday night onwards, at most it will be one night of inflated pricing.

      I love Hawaii, but I’m not sure it’s worth the added time and cost of getting there if all you want to do is lay by the pool. Maybe an all-inclusive in the Cabo area? Cabo is a super easy trip from most major West Coast cities.

    • i’m also around memorial day. to me, Hawaii is not worth it if you really only want to stay at the resort bc there is just SO much to do there. You don’t need to go all that way (i realize it is closer from West Coast, but still) to sit at a resort. Not sure what stage of life you are, but if you aren’t worried about Zika, I’d go some place in Western Mexico, like Cabo.

    • Hawaii! Maui is great, there are things you can do if you want, or you can just hang out on the beach/by the pool.

  31. KateMiddletown :

    What are your HG Lululemon items? My sister gets a discount and I get to pick out my Christmas present (And maybe a little treat yourself from me to me.) I love Athleta’s pants but my calves are on the wider side so I prefer their ankle/capri length stuff.

    • What sort of workouts do you do? I rarely do yoga / lower intensity workouts, so my workout clothes are geared towards the high-sweat range. I love the wunder under luxtreme crops, and the all the right places crops!

    • For running, crossfit, and other sweaty activities, the pace rival crops are the best- although all my pairs are a little older- the reviews indicate that maybe the newer ones are having quality issues. For hangout pants, the WunderUnders are my favorite- I like the high rise 7/8 length. I love my swiftly tech long sleeves, and the define jacket. Other people like the Scuba hoodies, and I’m eyeing the down for a run pullover.

    • Anonymous :

      there’s a great legging there that feels like you’re not wearing anything (no control top/compression). It’s the best for travel/lounging. i like the ankle length instead of capris if you’re feeling self-conscious about your calves.

  32. New Job in January :

    I just accepted a nrw position that will start in January where I will be the only person in my department within the company.

    How do you set yourself up for success organizationally (both at home and at work) when you start a new job?

  33. New Job in January :

    *new position

  34. Form fitting men's "coat" :

    Hoping to get input from some of your experienced sporty types who climb/ski etc..

    I’m looking for a practical gift for my Dad. He needs something to wear outside in cold weather that is form fitting. I’m looking for as thin material as possible that is still relatively warm, with very form fitting sleeves. He walks with crutches that have cuffs that go around his arms so it is very difficult to wear any type of coat that fits through the crutch cuffs. He literally goes outside wearing a down vests and short sleeve shirts in the winter snow!

    It occurred to me that athletic outerwear that an someone who ?climbs/skis might work, as some of these pieces may be thin/formfitting. Even a layering piece might work, as he doesn’t tend to be outside very long so it is mostly needed for short periods of protection from wind/snow. But I need something with a zipper that “looks” like a coat/outerwear. No pullovers.


    • Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket

      • Form fitting men's "coat" :

        I looked at that! But I think still too puffy.

        • Might be worth looking at in person. My DH has it and I find it not thicker than a heavy wool sweater. Patagonia also has a ‘nano puff’ which is thinner again.

          • Anonymous :

            I have the nano puff and it’s perfect for what you describe… the puff provides warmth/protection, but would fit under the cuff of the crutches.

    • Something like this, with stretch fleece? https://www.cotopaxi.com/collections/mens-jackets/products/sambaya-stretch-fleece-2-0-men?variant=41339946890 Or maybe a European brand like 66 degrees north may work for a jacket: https://www.66north.com/men/jackets/oxi-powerstretch-prima-jacket/?item=W11730-509 (I think Moosejaw is the official retailer for this brand in the US) If you want it suuuper tight, maybe Lululemon for men?

      You might try looking up reviews on outdoor gear labs for fleeces and down jackets. They are usually a great resource.

    • On the market :

      Sounds like he needs a fleece jacket. I would check Eddie Bauer or Marmot. Tons of zip-up options, in many different weights of fleece. Columbia may serve this need, too.

      • On the market :

        Specific EB recs:
        Full-zip quest fleece
        Cloud layer pro full-zip

        Steens Mountain full zip — I have the women’s version of this, and it wears like iron.

        • Form fitting men's "coat" :

          Thanks for these links. I will check them.

          In general, he is also not a fan of the fleece. Also a little bulky and they don’t stay put as well. The cuffs are really close to his arm.

          But I will check these links. Really appreciate the specific links.

    • I do not know your price range, but The Hubs loves his Marmot Shield jacket. Thin, light, and waterproof. Formfitting enough that it fits under a vest or a waterproof shell easily. It has held up well over time. Well worth the price.


      • Form fitting men's "coat" :

        Thanks for this. Is it warm? What does he wear it for?

        I was wondering if a “fabric” like this might work.

        Thanks for the link.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      What about those thin “packable” down coats – they are very light and flat but warm.


      • Never too many shoes... :

        This one is actually even thinner – http://www.eddiebauer.ca/product/mens-microtherm-stormdown-jacket/38832204?showProducts=&color=182&sizetype=&size=

        • Form fitting men's "coat" :

          Thanks for the links. Nice looking coats. He may still be wary of the down which still is a little bulky for his needs. But I may need to just try one of these to see if it is still workable.


          • Anonymous :

            What about a thin down coat that you then take to the tailor and have the lower sleeves slimmed down or even “smocked” with elastic thread, so they are really fitted? Just enough room left for him to get his hands through.

    • I would look for a hybrid softshell jacket or a micro-down jacket. The Eddie Bauer recs have been on point. Most of their stuff is 50% off right now too!

    • What about arm warmers? They’re common layering for cyclists. My DH uses them to layer with t shirts too.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry if this is late but look into Cabelas E.C.W.C.S. base layers (they have different weights, we do Polar weight where we live, which is cold and mountainous). It was developed with the military with the best technology and efficiency – incredibly warm but very form fitting. We use them as base layers . . . my husband can have that on under a sweatshirt and be hot when out in 30 degree weather plus wind chill for 8+ hours.

  35. Two friends have sent me a Christmas magnet with family photo collages. I can see how family members might like it, but I don’t particularly want this on my fridge. Same with wedding magnet save the dates.

    Am I just a grinch?

    • Not a grinch :

      Not at all. I love my friends, but I wouldn’t want pictures of their family on my fridge.

    • Kind of – most people put them on their fridge. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to.

    • Eh, I tend to leave them up for…a week? Then toss. Sorry, brides and grooms everywhere!

      • Edna Mazur :

        Funny story, I just noticed that I still have a cousin’s save the date magnet on my card. She has since divorced that guy and remarried. Probably time to purge my magnets…

    • Leave it up for the holiday season either on fridge or wherever you display your holiday cards. Toss when you toss the cards after the season is over.

    • I don’t think you’re a grinch: this seems like a grandparent gift. Though I do have friends whose kids’ pictures I’d happily post on my fridge (alongside my kids).

    • biglawanon :

      No. I don’t put magnets or anything on my fridge because it looks sloppy. The front of my fridge isn’t even magnetic anyways.

    • I would not put this on my fridge. I also toss Christmas cards after my husband and I have both seen them.

    • Anonymous :

      You are not a grinch. Sending magnets instead of Christmas cards is weird. I’d probably stick them in the bulletin board in my laundry room with the rest of the cards, unless they were too heavy in which case I’d toss them immediately.

  36. Looking for an add-on for Firefox that allows me to block certain pages for most of the day. I would like to define certain time slots, i.e. I can go comment here during my lunch break, but not outside of it.
    Any particular one that you can recommend?

    • I bet simple blocker works on Firefox

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I use Leechblock. It includes a “nuclear option” that won’t let you change the settings during blocking periods, and also less extreme things like making you type a password to change settings (or nothing). You can totally block during certain times, block after you’ve spent a certain amount of time on a site, just delay loading, etc.

  37. Interview outfit :

    Help me dress for my interview this week! Biglaw, lateral move, 3rd year associate. Black suit? I feel like all black is a little austere, find black and white too harsh, and generally prefer dresses but could do pencil skirt + top (and a blazer, obviously) The last time I interviewed was OCIs and I don’t want to look like an eager law student. Current firm is pretty casual for biglaw so I don’t have a ton of options but could shop at most big stores before my interview on Friday.

    • You want to make good first impressions so a black, gray or navy suit (pants or skirt) and a non-white top or a patterned (not too busy) opaque shell would be great. Leave statement jewelry off. Opinions may differ, but you’re not senior enough to have that much style showing through an interview outfit, especially in as conservative a profession as law.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      What if you wore a nice jewel toned top under a dark suit (dark grey or black)? That might feel less harsh than black and white, while still communicating “I understand that this is a serious job and a serious interview”?

    • Agree with others that you need to wear a suit, not a skirt/blazer combo. You should wear what makes you comfortable, so if you want to skip white definitely feel free. I wore a black suit with a dark purple top when I interviewed as a lateral in biglaw (4th year).

    • I was recently doing lateral interviews at biglaw firms (and similarly competitive places) as a fairly junior associate and wore a black, gray, or navy suit with non-white, solid-colored shells. It was pretty much the same thing that I wore when interviewing at OCI, except that I only owned a black suit then (but even back then I often wore pale blue or pink button-downs under my suit).

  38. I am in the market for some sort of clutch to carry on dressy occasions–ballet, theatre, symphony, parties, weddings, etc. I have narrowed the choices down to a structured clutch and an unstructured leather zip pouch. Which is the more appropriate and fashionable choice? I am 41, wear pretty classic clothing to these events with a slightly edgy hairstyle, live in the SEUS but travel a fair amount, and lately seem to find myself in the company of the country club set surprisingly often. My instinct is that a structured clutch is more proper, but I am afraid that might skew a bit frumpy. Thoughts?

  39. Thai recipes :

    Help! My daughter’s Girl Scout troop is having an international dinner where each girl is supposed to bring a dish for 12 along with the recipe to add to the troop cookbook. She is assigned to bring a Thai main dish. The recipe requirement means that my usual Thai recipes (“pick up takeout” and “bottled sauce from Trader Joe’s”) are not acceptable. It will need to be made a day ahead, because of course this is on a weeknight.

    • Anonymous :

      This is good and easy – https://showmetheyummy.com/crockpot-thai-chicken-curry/

    • http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/thai-chicken-and-coconut-soup—qfs-herbs-and-spices

      Tom Kha Gai, I think, gets better overnight! Might be a pain to transport a thing of soup? But you can make a big pot and it will serve 12! You can leave fish sauce out (or find a vegan one) if allergies are a concern.

      • (also, if heat is a concern, you can make this with a red bell pepper instead of something spicier).

    • Hi – please don’t take this the wrong way but I am also a scout parent (Boy Scouts in my case) and I hope you are letting your daughter lead this, including finding the recipe, making a list of ingredients, going with you to get them, and then cooking the recipe. After all, that is the point.

      Chances are that you are doing all of this but I just wanted to mention it.

      • Thai recipes :

        I am finding the recipe and she is taking the lead on the rest. She is only 10 and if I let her choose the recipe it would be some crazy thing that would require a million specialty ingredients and half a day to cook. Also, she is not allowed to search the web by herself.

        • This sounds reasonable to me. For something like this, I often go through a dozen or more recipes before finding one that meets all my criteria (it takes me less than 30 seconds to figure out that something won’t work). As a kid, though, I found it discouraging for my mom to veto all my ideas–it really dampened my enthusiasm. Actually, that was true when I was an adult and planning my wedding with my mother, even when she had good reasons to veto things.

        • What if you and she got Thai takeout and she could decide what she liked, then you could find a few recipes that work and let her pick?

          I’d do spring rolls, which might well take half a day but it’s mostly work a 10 year old can do alone. Heck, my 4 year old does it with minimal supervision (we are not Thai but she’s patient and has made all kinds of ravioli/dumpling/pierogi type things with me!).

  40. I am beginning to think that some chain stores have trick mirrors that make you look skinnier. Bebe in particular. Am I wrong?

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