Coffee Break: Pola Peep Toe Heel

Peep Toe Heel: Salvatore Ferragamo PolaFerragamo is always a favorite among readers when we talk about comfortable heels — and Zappos seems to be having a secret(ish) sale on select styles. This darkish taupe is 10% off, which normally I would snub my nose at, but will welcome at this price range. (The other three colors the shoe comes in — red, black, and light beige — are all full price still at Zappos and Nordstrom. Another Ferragamo shoe on sale at Zappos: this lower-heeled pump, in beige or black.) The height is perfect for work, and I like the bit of bling. The shoes are $625 (were $695). Salvatore Ferragamo Pola


N.B. Peep toes may not be appropriate at every office — know yours!


  1. Can some give me a guess on what daycare would be per month for 2 kids in San Fran? 3 yrs and 12 months. We wouldn’t be in San Fran proper but somewhere like Walnut Creek. Also we’re not looking for a top of the line, best care there ever was, nor do we want a private home daycare — so something middle of the road like a KinderCare or Bright Horizons or something. Thoughts?

    • Obviously I mean cost — didn’t say that. Thanks.

    • Unsubsidized bright horizons in NYC is around 3K a month/1 kid, full time. A little more for infants and a little less for older kids. My guess would be SF is similar. Usually you get a discount for two.

      • 3K A MONTH?? PER kid?? Is this really typical or the more ~high end daycares. At that rate, wouldnt it be better have a a nanny or one of those set ups where you share your nannies with a couple of other people’s children?

        I’m not even close to having kids so excuse my ignorance but that just seems insane to me…

        • Wildkitten :

          Yes. Same in DC I’ve heard.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh. My. Goodness.

            We used Bright Horizons for backup care only so I’m not sure what the regular tuition was in our LCOL area (other, better chain centers were charging maybe $1,500 a month), but I would never, ever in a million years pay $3K per month for that. The place was a depressing baby prison. Couldn’t you get an au pair for not much more? And if you had two or three kids, Mary Poppins would probably be more economical.

          • anon-oh-no :

            a nanny is usually less expensive when you have two kids, but not one. And an au pair is way, way less, but you have to have room and the hours have to work with your schedule (45 hrs/week max). But money isn’t the only reason you choose one option over the other.

            We’ve done all three — day care/nanny/au pair. They were all good at different points. We had kindercare in Chicago (on par with BH) when kids were babies and until oldest was in kindergarten. We loved it. Kids were socialized early, they had lots to do (way more than with just one nanny, mom, or babysitter), the hours worked with our schedule.

            We had a nanny for our youngest when our oldest was in kindergarten. We liked our nanny, but this was the most difficult option for us — if she was sick or late, we were stuck.

            now that both our kids are school aged, we have an au pair. it is fantastic. she lives with us, so there is no worrying about being sick or late. we have a built in babysitter at night and on the weekend, and an extra set of hands whenever we need it. its also the cheapest. by far.

          • We used a bright horizons in nova (outside DC, but near-in suburb) and paid $2075/month for one infant.

        • I’m in MN – otherwise pretty low COL – one of the daycares I considered 3 years ago was charging $550 / week for infant care. Assume it’s gone up since.

          Yes, it’s insane.

        • I think a nanny may make more sense, certainly if you have more than one kid, but some concerns:
          – a lot of nannies work off the books and not all want to work on the books even if you pay all the taxes, etc. Paying all those things is a pain and gets expensive fast. Depending on you/your partner’s job, not doing it may be complicated now or in the future.
          – au pairs are cheaper but very few people paying $3K for childcare in NYC have the spare room to house an au pair. Guest bedrooms are a major luxury. If you live further out and have the room, but work in the city, you may have other issues with the number of hours per week b/c odds are your commute is an hour plus each way.

          Why we all “swim upstream” and fight to live here, I don’t know. But it’s why no one has a square foot to spare and wait lists for $3K/daycare stretch months and sometimes years.

        • Our infant is in a Bright Horizons center in downtown DC and we pay just under $2400/month.

      • Anonymous :

        How do people afford this…?

        • My cousin and husband just moved from Queens to the Midwest since they were easily paying this per kid in NYC. I have no idea how they managed rent for a 2-bedroom, plus daycare, when one taught and the other made probably about $70K.

          • Anonymous :

            I live in an MCOL city and many people pay more in daycare (if >1 kid) then for their mortgage. And this isn’t for particularly fancy care.

        • I live in a LCOL area and we pay $830 per kid. So, I think it’s just the big expensive cities where it is so ludicrously expensive.

          • I’m in a LCOL area and it’s often 1,500 a month per kid–the average pay around here is under $30,000, so I have no idea how people do it.

          • LCOL here and we pay $1300/mo for one of the nicer centers in town for an infant (our mortgage is $1480).

          • Is MCOL a thing? If so, I think that’s what my city is and I pay $1300/month for the preschool room. It’ll be more expensive (nearly $1500/month) for the added baby room.

      • ChicagoData :

        Bright Horizons outside of Chicago charges $1.8k per child less than 18 months old. It’s insane, but the rates go down as they get older.

        • Anonymous :

          Bright Horizons rates also differ between centers within a city. I’m in Brooklyn and pay about 2,500 for full-time care in the toddler room. I’ve spoken with other BH facilities that were charging 2,900+ in Manhattan. My friend, who lives about 30 minute train outside of Manhattan, is paying about $1,800-2,000 for full-time care for her child who is the same age.

      • anon-oh-no :

        Bright Horizons and the like IN Chicago is around $2500. and you don’t get a discount anymore for having multiple kids (many places used to do this, now few do)

    • Please just don’t call it San Fran. Sorry

    • Anonymous :

      Daycare (aka not Montessori, or language immersion, just care) is $1000 / mo for an infant in Austin, Texas. $1500 for infant at fancier school is teaching philosophy (montessori or immersion), and goes down to about $900 (daycare) – $1300 (teaching philosophy) once they reach 18 months.

      • Any chance you can say where your kid is? I’m just starting looking for infant care for early next year and would love recommendations. Live South and work downtown.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m North Central, and had my kid in daycare close to home (not office, since there’s almost nothing downtown). Definitely recommend asking about teacher retention (how long have teachers been there), and visiting other class rooms (not just infant). I was happy with my daycare while he was in the infant room, but it got worse quickly in the next room up. Teachers make a good daycare – ask to speak with them one-on-one and observe their care for 20 -30 min. Also, are you a member of the Austin MAMAs – mother attorney mentoring association? Great group, you should post this on their website for feedback since I know a lot of members live South.

          • Anonymous :

            Meant to clarify, I think you should post on their Facebook group (not website). They have questions like this all the time, and lots of local mother attorneys chime in with recommendations. It’s a great group.

          • Thanks so much for the advice! Not a MAMAs member (bc this is my first), but I am a TCWLA member and will likely join MAMAs when I start telling people! I will wait until I come out at work and then post there and on the TCWLA fb group.

            I’m going to look at a daycare off mopac (so on my way in to work) next week and will definitely take your advice re questions to ask! Thanks again!

          • Anonymous :

            My pleasure Emmabean! Also congrats!

          • Thanks! exciting days.

        • I live South and work downtown. I’ve looked at every daycare out there, seemingly. If you leave an email I am happy to share my knowledge!

    • anonamoose :

      In the SF Bay, east bay: We had a nanny for the first 2 years: paid her ~$3K/ month + taxes, SSI, etc.

      Our kid is now in preschool at ~$1800/ month. That center charges $2200-2500 for younger kids.

      Some home-based daycares/ preschools may be as low as $1200/ month/ kid over two, but you have to ask about caregiver ratios, violations, what happens when caregiver is sick, etc. We used a lovely, friend-recommended home-based daycare for ~6 mos., and even that one had imperfect caregiver ratios and some violations (and, I suspect, some TV…)

      There may well be a sibling discount, but I think you’re looking at a minimum of $3k-$3500/ month for two kids, either both in daycare, or both with a nanny.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        Also in the East Bay (but the inner EB, not the far EB like walnut creek which would probably be cheaper). I’ve paid the following amounts:

        Nanny care: $25/hour (on the books, but remember to also factor in overtime!)
        Tiny sweet home day care: $250/week (This was the deal of the century.)
        Preschool with hours from 8-6, including lunch: $1550/month
        Super-high-quality fancy preschool, with hours from 9-6: $2200/month

        I found it virtually impossible to find a place that would be suitable for both my infant and my 3 year old. Much to my everlasting regret, I’ve always had to send kids to two different places.

    • anon in SV :

      I’m paying $2k for a baby (anything under 2 years) in Silicon Valley. Palo Alto is $2.3k for a baby. I’ve heard $2.4k – $2.6k in SF.

    • Yup. Welcome to childcare. Boston (burbs not even the city) is $2200-2500/mo for bright horizons for infants. We ended up going with a non chain that was 2100/mo for FT. Expect prices to rise 3-5% per year unless you have a place that guarantees rates.

      We now have 2 kids and pay $30k/year for a not quite full time nanny and $400/mo for PT preschool.

    • WalnutCreekNewMom :

      My first bit of unsolicited advice would be to get on the list!Wait-lists near walnut creek are ridiculous! (think mid-2017)

      Kindercare in WalnutCreek (on Treat blvd) doesnt take kids under 18 months.. some other options would be Little Genius , First Steps in Lafayette etc. They are around 1600-2000 a month for babies..
      I have a 10 month old in a home-based and that is cheaper and more importantly, was a better transition for our kid who had been cared for at home till a few weeks ago.
      You could also look up cocokids – it is the county’s referral system for daycare centers and in home daycare

  2. House Cleaning :

    Immediate Threadjack! Can anyone recommend an apartment cleaning service in Philly? Looking for either biweekly or monthly cleaning. I just called a few places for an idea of price and was getting quotes around $100/cleaning for a 800 sq foot 1 bedroom unit. Does this sound reasonable? Was honestly hoping to pay around $50/cleaning, which may be totally unreasonable…

    • I’m in a low cost of living rural area- I pay $100/cleaning and get it done monthly for our 1000 sq foot 2 bedroom house.

    • Handy is available in Philly, I think and they charge around $58/1 bedroom. Less if you do more frequent visits.

    • I use Scrub Cleaning and pay $95 for a 2 bedroom/2 bath in center city. I’ve used a few different companies, this is all about the same.

  3. Application :

    I just completed an application for a total half court shot of a job opening with the federal government. Wish me luck, and I still have a day before it closes so if you have any last minute advice, I’d love to hear it!

    Has anyone else applied to something you thought was out of reach? Tell me about your experience!

  4. Can the hive provide some motivation? I am at a point where I need to undertake a job search. Thing is I was unemployed previously and then it took over 2 yrs to find this job — and I’ve been at this for 1 yr now; just a bad fit. But I have ZERO motivation to look as I had such a terrible experience last time — tons of rejections; had to take what I could get; 2 yrs of looking etc.

    So every time I start to think — I need to start again, I then say — what’s the point, it’s not going to be any better now; I’m in a new city and don’t have any contacts here; not that contacts were even helpful in my old city etc. So how do I motivate myself? What do you do to force yourself to be positive – either about job searching or just generally?

    • Maybe you’re just in a tough market, but I’d start by asking myself why it took so long last time. Then make a plan to address those obstacles before hunting. If you have a good handle on what obstacles you had and how you’ve fixed them, you’ll be much more motivated and feel ready to move forward into a different job.

      Also, perhaps this is reading too much into it, but if you’re younger, I’d seriously think about staying at this job for a while longer. I have a good friend who has great credentials but who has job hopped (4 jobs in the last 4 years) looking for the right “fit”. She got let go from her most recent hop a couple months ago, and is having the hardest time finding a new job. She worked closely with a recruiter who kept telling her these 6-12 month string of stays didn’t matter so much, so I blame the recruiter a little. If you don’t have a 2+ year of one job on your resume, I would personally stick it out.

      • This is so true. When people have a few jobs where they stayed for just a year or two, I assume if I offer them a job, they aren’t planning on staying long term. I don’t want to invest training an employee for them to move on to something else in just a couple of years.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You don’t even really have to be positive. You just have to do it. The time is going to pass anyway and you might as well be job searching, right?

      Just put one foot in front of each other and do one thing every single day. Just force yourself.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes. 100%. The worst they can do is say no. That sucks and can be demoralizing, but right now you have a job to fall back on so you are in a more stable position than you were when you were unemployed.

        As for being positive generally, I find that when I do things to take care of myself (mentally and physically), I have a better outlook on life. For me, that often means exercising and eating less junk food. Sometimes it means creating lists and checking things off. For other people, it might mean going to the movies or joining a kickball league. Choose to do something that makes you feel happy.

    • Just do it. I find that tasks like this seem insurmountable while I’m anticipating them, but really aren’t bad once you jump in. Statistically, employed people get hired faster than the unemployed if that helps you get going.

    • This book is a little bit (okay, a lot) “mystical healing powers of crystals”, but The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz has a section on not taking things personally that was very helpful to me. I think with a thing like a job search, its really easy to get emotionally invested and feel personally rejected when you are being rejected in terms of a business decision. It might help you distance yourself emotionally and get through it without feeling badly about yourself.

      Also, check out AAM’s advice on resumes, cover letters, and interview skills.

    • Rework your resume and make sure it stands out in a readable way. I try to keep in mind that it isn’t supposed to be an exhaustive list of every single work accomplishment, but something to intrigue the company enough to want to talk to me in person. If I can’t make it through without starting to skim, no one else will either.

      So much about hiring is just about timing, and not about YOU. Have confidence in yourself that you’re a great hire and apply to positions that interest you, knowing that you won’t hear from lots of them. Open positions change, get absorbed into other roles, are put on hold for years, or are custom made for the CEO’s second cousin. All you can do is apply and wait.

      I stay positive by taking myself (and my emotions/ego) out of it and looking at the situation objectively. The universe isn’t against me because I’m not getting calls for interviews–80% of the time it’s probably not even about me.

    • Motivation tim

      You are in a much better place than you were a year ago. You have a job and a year of extra experience on your resume.

      Two things are different now than they were last time you looked for a job: you are currently employed, and you have that extra year of experience.

      A lot of the job hunt is about carrying yourself well. This is much easier when you get questions about your current job, not about why you’ve been unemployed for two years.

      • Anonymous :

        And the market has generally been better than it was 2-3 years ago.

        Start with just looking at job listings. See what is out there. You have permission to not apply to anything unless it looks really interesting or on point for what you want.

        Update your resume, have someone you trust look at it an give you feedback on what you think.

        Check out the AskAManager blog. It just fun readying, even if you aren’t looking for advice.

    • I feel better about miserable tasks when I am recording all the effort I put into them.

      So in your case, I would make myself a spreadsheet: link to ad, date ad posted, apply-by date, company name, cover letter completed?, resume updated/tailored?, date sent, method sent by, whatever.

      My motive for doing this is a mix of bad and good reasons: largely I want evidence when I tell people “it really IS impossible,” but then I do get some satisfaction of knowing that, to the extent I’m not getting the result I want, it isn’t from lack of effort.

  5. Ferragamo Q :

    I have non-narrow feet. I have an older pair that is too narrow (in medium) — I think the brand just runs very narrow (like SW shoes; can’t wear them, either). I have read that people just order Wide widths and are fine. I don’t have wide feet (very narrow heels and one foot didn’t heel back to narrow after an injury and is now medium+, but in most brands medium width is fine). Worth a shot for some place with free returns?

    • I find CH and SW sometimes too narrow and I don’t have this problem with Ferragamos. Similar feet – narrow heels, not wide enough for wides.
      I remember reading somewhere that if you order/buy from them directly they will stretch them for you to fit better.

    • Do not order on line. Go to Macy’s and try on the shoes, walk around and see if they fit. I also have fat feet and this is the best way to do it. The prices are also pretty good. Besides what good is it if you save $10 only to have a pair of shoes too narrow for your fat feet?

    • As a follow up – do the leather (nonpatent) Ferragamos tend to stretch out at all? I’ve seen mixed answers to this question online.

      • lost academic :

        I get leather shoes stretched. Shoe repair places can do it. Places that sell orthopedic shoes often too – they can stretch sneakers.

      • I’ve had mixed results – one pair that seemed to stretch, and one that didn’t. I find fit to be VERY style-dependent in Ferragamo.

    • ferragamos come in widths ABC so you can try both the B and the C. I have pairs in both B and C.

      I agree the fit can be style dependent so definitely try them on. I’m usually at 37.5 but in ferragamos, I take 37C

  6. Paris & Barcelona :

    Are there any attractions, sites, tours, etc. that I should book in advance? Any other advice or recommendations?

    • Go to the Louvre, and the Jeu De Pomme (museums). Then go to the Quai D’Orsee (an old Rail Station turned Museum) and the Eiffel tower, and the Paris Opera house. If you go over to the Left Bank, go to a nice sidewalk cafe for which you do NOT need reservations. Then go on a tour of the Catacombs. It is unreal and right on the subway line. Finally, take a nice Bateau Mouche ride (a boat that goes up and down the Seine River). You can pick it up after you visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Isle Saint Louis. Have a great time! The French are a lot more humble now that those ISIS losers have tried to infiltrate the place.

    • Check museum closing dates before you go. In Paris, buy one of those museum pass things to save money and skip lines.

    • If you’re interested in seeing La Sagrada Familia, you can book tickets online instead of waiting in line on site.

    • Anonymous :

      Barcelona: go clubbing

    • Anonymous :

      Check Tripadvisor for recommendations on free walking tours in Barcelona. We took two and greatly enjoyed them.
      “Free” means that there is no set fee for the tour, but you tip the guide generously.

    • Barcelona restaurants: velodromo, pinoxio (or something like that) and commerc24

    • Paris – check the museum pass museum list to see if it would be worth it. If it’s your first trip, it probably will be. We used the pass to hop in/out of the Louvre for an hour or two each day for 3 days instead of fighting crowds in one fell swoop. Highly recommend booking restaurants if you want to enjoy lunch specials at michelin starred restaurants.

      Barcelona – loved abac (fancy dinner). tickets requires advanced booking (so we didn’t get to try it); spent 3-4 hours at sagrada and loved it; we bought tickets online a day or two before.

  7. Shoe Crush :

    Shopping help please?

    I saw a pair of sandals on a woman and should have asked her where they are from but didn’t and can’t stop thinking about them. They were flat and had a pale gold thick band across the front (nothing between the toes) and a thick strap in the back (around the ankle) that was a dark beige/light cognac color. I’ve seen many similar things online with a small block heel, but these were flat. Part of the problem is of course that I’m not sure what the correct keywords are to search… can someone help identify them or recommend something similar?


    • These?

      • Shoe Crush :

        Yes! Thank you!

        (I’m not supporting the Trump empire, so this is disappointing news, but damn those are great shoes…)

        • These aren’t nearly as cute, but they are kind of similar…

        • Check out the Report Signature Louie Sandal–they’re an exact copy :)


        • Sydney Bristow :

          I saw some similar sandals on zappos and Nordstrom. Filter to sandals then flat then metallic or gold.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Here are some. I’m sad this style probably won’t work with my bunions. They’re cute.




          • Sydney Bristow :

            My links are in moderation. Shoes of Prey and Sole Society were the brands I saw.

        • If anyone is interested in the block heel version, I have the Lands’ End Amalia and I love it. (Although I know some people don’t buy from Lands’ End now, either.)

      • Yay Kat! These are OPEN T’oed Shoes which I can NOT wear, and they are EXPENSIVE! FOOEY! I do LOVE Ivanka’s shoes, and I have 2 pairs, though I’d love to have Jared Kushberg if I had the chance. Kat, do you know wether there will be any p’osts on finding and retaining a man? I am NOT getting anywhere finding a guy to marry, and needeless to say, I will NOT stoop to just giveing a man satisfaction onley to have him burp and walk away like Sheketovits. If the HIVE can chime in with their ideas, Mabye I will have a chance of finaly finding a guy who will marry me. YAY!!!!

    • Wildkitten :

      Not exact but you might like Sseko. Scroll past the ribbony ones.

    • Shoe Crush :

      Thanks for all the additional suggestions! Will check them out!

  8. Extreme Shoulder Tension? :

    Has anyone dealt with really bad tension in the shoulders/neck/jaw? Its to the point where anything that puts pressure on my neck or shoulders, including suit jackets or heavy necklaces, give me a splitting headache. I also have TMJ. I asked my dentist about a mouth guard and was just kind of blown off. If I shrug my shoulders up and hold them for a few seconds, my upper shoulders cramp.

    What do I need to do? Get a massage? Do some kinds of exercises to strengthen something? Some kind of special stretching? Take a bunch of NSAIDs constantly? Has anyone dealt with this? It seem like kind of a crazy thing to go to the doctor over, but I am willing to do that too.

    • Anonymous :

      Physio + massage therapy

    • I have and PT helped some, but what really helped was finding a phenomenal chiropractor who adjusts my neck about once or twice a year. I have no problems now unless I haven’t seen him for a while and have been sitting at my desk too many hours – I used to have constant neck pain, jaw pain, headaches and muscle spams. I’m super squeamish with anyone adjusting my neck so it took a while to build up trust with this chiro for him to start doing it (he was already working on my ankle). If you are going this route obviously make sure to find a really good reputable chiro. Good luck.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, get a good massage by someone who knows what they’re doing. Also, do you know why you’re so tense? Maybe you need an ergonomic chair or something.

      • +1 – I didn’t have migraine issues, but would get headaches from tight muscles in neck. It also presented like a perptually stuffy ear (I was constantly trying to clear it/re-pressurize it). About 1.5 years of consistent (1-2 times per month) appointments really helped. To the point that I don’t notice the issue and have figured out/mostly resolved some other muscular/back issues I didn’t realize were related.

        I also started working out more regularly (running on a treadmill 2-3 times a week) and I think that has helped keep those muscles from locking up and falling into old/bad patterns. My massage therapist also gave me some stretches to do to help when I could feel some particular bad spots start to happen.

    • Anonymous :

      First of all, it’s NOT a crazy thing to go to the doctor about if it’s really bothering you, but I’m of the mind that good diet/exercise cures a lot of aches and pains. Do you exercise at all? I used to get stiff shoulders/neck at work just from sitting at a computer all day. Then I started doing cardio, weight lifting, and stretching regularly and it’s totally gone. Loosening things up with cardio and then stretching my neck (doing head rolls) and shoulder stretches has really changed things. I’m not even talking about devoting a lot of time to things. I go to cycle class 2 times a week and 1 weight lifting class (not heavy), and take walks.

      • I agree. I had issues like this that did not resolve with immuntherapy. So I tried acupuncture which also was not particularly helpful. I then tried going to a Greek massage therapist, who worked wonders on my neck and back, but then had to leave once he started getting frisky. Do what you have to do, but always go to professionals, not some guy that your cousin’s barber recommended, like I did with the Greek massage guy.

    • This is me all the way, down to the necklaces and blazers. I get tension headaches that lead to migraines if things are just a bit off. Sometimes due to stress, sometimes to lack of sleep, sometimes due to sleeping in a bad position or maintaining bad posture. I’ve decided to get more comfortable removing a blazer in my office even if just wearing a shell, or wearing more knit style jackets instead of suiting. No other real advice, just commiseration! Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        I have this too — in my case, linked to fibromyalgia. Do you have pain anywhere else? I can’t wear most jackets or heavy necklaces for any length of time. I wear ponte knit jackets with no buttons, so they don’t pull on m, and a lot of sweater jackets that have more give — or just skip the jacket and wear (gasp) shrugs in heavy fabric that are substantial enough to balance office wear. I like the Eliza J ones that Nordstrom carries. I also have several beautiful statement necklaces that sit in a box. =(

    • For the TMJ, craniosacral therapy cured mine. I used to have the jaw problems/clicking when I opened all the way. In college my jaw locked and I couldn’t open more than an inch. A series of craniosacral therapy sessions (can’t remember how many) 7 years ago, and I don’t have TMJ problems anymore.

      And yoga for the general stretching of the area:

    • See for doc to get a referral for Occupational therapy for your neck. They should also review your work-station with you to ensure your computer etc… is ergonomically placed. And review how you sleep/pillow, and what bags you carry on your shoulders.

      It is definitely worth seeing a specialist for, as you can easily be making yourself worse.

    • I’ve had very similar problems for years now. Most doctors are pretty useless when it comes to this kind of thing, but they can give you a referral to PT, which can help a lot if you get the right kind. Things I’ve tried that didn’t help much or made it worse: NSAIDs, opioids, muscle relaxants, chiropractors, dry needling, most strengthening and stretching exercises, lots of aerobic exercise, yoga, icing, a standing desk. Things have that helped some: PT (mostly manual therapy, similar to massage), a night mouthguard, heat (electric heating pads or the stick on kind), soft scarves to keep my neck warm, never wearing anything with a stiff collar or bras that hit at the wrong place on my shoulder, a really good ergonomic chair, stretching my chest muscles (google doorway stretch), chin tucks to correct forward head posture, being careful about how I sleep and getting enough sleep, consciously keeping my shoulders and jaw relaxed. Also, make sure you don’t have any vision issues that are causing eyestrain, which can make the muscle tension worse.

      But I’m still in pain pretty much all the time- I strongly suggest trying to deal with this aggressively before it gets worse, since chronic pain can become its own self-perpetuating problem due to changes in your nervous system and pain processing (and nobody really understands how this works or how to fix it). Good luck!

    • This is me as well. I can’t even wear racerback-style bras without discomfort.

      I get acupuncture (3-4x a year), chiro adjustments (also 3-4x a year), and deep tissue massages (every 2-3 weeks). I also take triptans when it rises to the level of migraine, otherwise I take NSAIDs and muscle relaxers for not-as-bad days.

      I also find that when I do yoga and hot yoga regularly, the tension isn’t as bad. I try to consciously check myself during the day release any tension I’m holding in my shoulders. Right now, I’m convinced that if I could just find the perfect pillow, I would feel so much better. But I haven’t, so I don’t. sigh.

      • I actually sleep on a super cheap throw pillow with rolled up towels underneath to fit it properly to by neck, depending on how I’m sleeping. I tried a bunch of fancy pillows, but this works better than any of the ones I tried!

    • I had terrible neck/shoulder/TMJ tension for years that gradually got worse and worse until I started having pinched nerves. I tried everything — chiropractic, massage, rolfing, dry needling, acupuncture, yoga, various kinds of movement therapies. The thing that finally worked was reading “Healing Back Pain” by Dr. John Sarno and applying the techniques he discusses. The book was written in the 1980s and it’s aimed at back pain, so it’ll seem kind of silly at first but it seriously works. Look it up on Amazon — it has over 2000 5 star reviews of people talking about how it’s changed their life.

      I was starting to get desperate at the time that a friend gave me the book and convinced me into reading it. I’m now 2 years pain-free with pretty much zero tension in my shoulders/neck/jaw. I get flare-ups occasionally when I’m under a lot of stress, but I’m able to go back to the Sarno techniques and resolve the flare-up within a few days. Good luck!

  9. How do you cope with a persistent lack of sleep? The actual lack of sleep part isn’t anything I can fix in the near future. any way I can feel less tired and make this less bad for me?

    • Illicit drugs…

    • Anonymous :

      hydrate, eat clean/healthy food, get as much exposure to sunlight as possible, exercise if/when you can (and if that’s out of the question, take a lap around your building/block once a day to clear your head), and scale back on sugar and coffee as much as you can, but especially in the 4 hours before you go to bed, so your sleep can be as deep as possible when you *do* get to sleep.

      • +1

        If possible, aim for 5 hours. The difference between 4.5 hrs and 5 hrs is dramatic.
        If possible, keep a sleep routine (ie, bedtime at same time, wake at same time) for your current sleep allowance.

        Splashing cold water on my face helps me.

    • Drink ice water, not coffee. (Old military trick. It works!)

      Figure out your productive times, and when you are not productive, nap or go for a quick walk, if you are zombified. No sense trying to power through if a quick break will boost productivity.

      Find sunlight. Your body clock will be screwed up when you sleep this little, so remind your body what time it is when you can.

      If you really feel awful, pop a sudafed. They behind the counter kind are mild uppers. Then drink a lot of water, because they are designed to dry you out.

      If you are working late at night, consider pump-up music (like workout music or music with a good beat).

      Consider a “wind-down” routine. When I am this tired, oddly, I get insomnia, because my brain has been fighting sleep all day. So figure out what works to turn your brain off, so you can get good rest asap. If it’s meditation, or 10 mins of TV, or…do it.

      Do not spend a lot of time fantasizing about other jobs or why/how you got to this sleepless state. It will make you sad and cranky. Save that for after you’ve had some time to nap and have some perspective. Ask me how I know.

      –Former ibanking analyst/been there-done that

  10. Wildkitten :

    If anyone wants a space to “pray, cry, lament, express anger and just be in community” about the police shootings of african-americans, there is a “community meeting” at 945 G St NW in DC tomorrow at 6 pm.

    Seems like there’s a need here that might be filled there.

    • Anonymous :

      I live elsewhere but with you in spirit. I saw this quote some time ago and today it feels poignant: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.- Martin Luther King Jr.”

    • In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.- Martin Luther King Jr

      • Wildkitten :

        “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” —Desmond Tutu

    • anonymous :

      Thank you. I plan to go to this.

  11. anonymous :

    Does anyone else just hate underwear? sometimes they’re fine, but other times I find them extremely uncomfortable. I’ve tried a range of different styles, and I still go through phases where I just do not want to wear any. Does anyone else have this issue? am i just bad at shopping for underwear?

    • Anonymous :

      I wear aerie underwear exclusively. I’d try lots of different kinds before you swear off wearing underwear.

      • Same. Their seamless ones are phenom. Wearing them now. Can’t feel it, can’t see it.

        • appaloosa :

          tell me more! how is the sizing on the aerie underwear? I’m on the hunt for comfortable and seamless. How do they compare with VS sizing?

          • Anonymous :

            Aerie is not for women who are tall or long-waisted. It’s definitely junior sizing, so if you fit into that kind of line you should be golden. On me, it doesn’t rise high enough to cover my back.

        • I don’t have too many VS pairs, but I think that aerie runs a little smaller (I mean… the brand is sorta geared at younger women). I am 5’2″ 110lbs, but actually have a fairly substantial butt for my statute- I wear a small in aerie. I can get into an xs but it’s a little less comfortable. Smalls are perfect. As for seamless, the cut that I got is “cheeky,” but I imagine the others are good as well.

          I also find that they hold up really well. I machine wash but air dry the lace ones and they stay in good shape. AND they usually have deals like 7/$27 so they’re super affordable.

          AND they have giraffe-printed underwear right now.

    • This may be a dumb or insulting question, but are you sure you’re wearing the right size? I’m ~115 lbs, and when I realized I’m a size large in underwear because of the width of my hips, it was a revelation. I had always thought that since I’m a smallish person, I “should” wear small underwear. False. Have you tried going to a place like Soma? Shopping somewhere better than VS was also very helpful to me when it came to finding the best size and cut of underwear.

      • Goatsgoatsgoats :

        Out of curiosity, what brands/sizes do you wear? I’m also ~115 but wide in the hips and I hate wearing underwear — you might have just helped me figure out why!

        • I wear the hipsters at soma. They have three main types, ones that are cottony, ones that are satiny/lacy, and ones that are vanishing edge. I wear the hipster in all three. They are full coverage over the rear while being a little lower cut in the front, with low leg holes. The satiny ones are my favorite, but I have the other kinds for sleeping (cottony– kinda granny) and for when I wear tighter pants or skirts (vanishing edge). These are the first underwear that I haven’t had to constantly readjust.

          • Anonymous :

            I love Soma’s vanishing edge, but bikini instead of hipsters. The hipsters tend to ride up and the leg openings start rolling. Much better than VS, IMO. I felt like I graduated to another level of adulthood when I made the switch to Soma from VS.

          • Same for me.

            I am a very slender pear with large butt and was wearing too small underwear. This site educated me. I moved from smalls to large at Soma and it’s great. Vanishing Edge Hipsters also road up a bit for me, and I wear more of the bikinis, which I find a little more flattering for my full hip/butt figure.

            I waited for a Soma sale, then ordered 2 or 3 styles in a couple of sizes and figured out what works for me.

    • Anonymous :

      It sounds bizarre, but I started tailoring mine. I put two little darts coming from from the middle of the leg band up toward each hip bone, so that they stop riding up in the back. Maybe I’m weirdly shaped, I don’t know, but it is much more comfortable.

  12. Anon job hunter :

    Anonymous question for the hive:

    I am an attorney in private practice looking to leave my current firm and transition to a remote, or at least 90% remote, working environment. I’m struggling with how to present myself to potential employers. My current, fairly traditional firm is steadfastly unwilling to do a flex arrangement. I have a son with a complex medical issue and even with our nanny, a parent needs to be more readily accessible to him – even though it might only be 15-30 minutes a day of medical involvement, and usually 1 half or full day a week of labs/tests. We’ve been cobbling together a variety of solutions for about 6 months and it’s just not working for our family. I’ve got pretty stellar credentials on paper (top 5% from a top 30 school, clerkship) and references – I’m just not sure how to explain to prospective employers why need to change from this firm that I am otherwise happy and successful in without putting our entire personal life on display (which I don’t want to do at all), or speaking negatively about my firm – which I love in many ways, but the lack of flex (and resulting midnight and 5am work times) is a dealbreaker for me. Although it didn’t surprise me that my firm would not agree to a flexible schedule (they are very, very traditional in many ways) I’m afraid that it would look to potential employers as if I’m not enough of an asset to hold onto here, when it really has to do with the firm culture. So I’d love any advice both on what my answer should be as to why I’m looking for this change, as well as any advice on where to look for potential employers! Thanks so much.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you network a bit? We have a lot of project attorney (so non-partner track) jobs that would easily go to someone vouched for. We also have regular attorneys working 100% remotely, but they were known by their group prior to being hired.

      FWIW, we hired an attorney with a T1 diabetic child (who had to quit b/c of reasons similar to yours) knowing that she’d be flexing quite a bit (also: stellar credentials, known outside of recruiting prior to her hire).

      Can you start by explaining to your friends and feeling them out (and anyone else you meet or even know, if they are a talker)? Often a vouching-for by a current attorney will open HR’s door more than your cover letter.

      Good luck!

    • Your answer: first, enthuse about your current firm. Then explain that they do not allow flex time, etc., and that has become a priority for you.

      If you are asked for specifics, just say that you have a child who has some medical needs that require more hands-on care than you can give at your current job.

      • You don’t have to bash your firm at all. When asked — why do you want to leave, you say — it’s been a great experience for me at the firm for x yrs and while I wish I could stay, I am looking to move on bc the caseload that I have there is such that it is just not possible to go down to a part time or flexible schedule while still doing the quality of work that I want to be doing; I’m only looking to make a change bc my family life — esp. my son who is recovering from some medical issues — requires that type of flexibility.

        • Where did I instruct her to bash her firm? I thought I advised her to talk up what a great place it is.

          • Wasn’t responding to you. Was responding to the OP but hit the wrong reply button. We’ve gotten so sensitive here lately . . . .

    • I agree with bridget’s comment and anon’s advice as well. Personal outreach is your friend here, as is being very positive about your current firm. What (generally) is your current area of practice? I know that niche areas (like mine) often have trouble filling needs, and I think you’ll find a lot more receptiveness to this than you might expect. In my practice area, for example, we have a mix of highly deadline-dependent and much less deadline-dependent work, and folks who need flex time, part-time schedules, or want to work on an hourly/semi on-demand basis have been awesome resources for us in helping to handle the less deadline-dependent (but still sophisticated and interesting) work.

    • Bewitched :

      Doesn’t FMLA require your firm to accommodate your sporadic absences due to your son’s medical needs? It may be region specific, but I don’t know of any 90-100% remote legal jobs (other than the self-employed). Good luck!

      • I think that Axiom or UpCounsel or Paragon Legal could work, but you would have to be willing to essentially go solo. And then you have even less backup if you are needed urgently.

        I agree re the FMLA comment. I would speak with an employment lawyer to understand if that’s not available. Not an expert, but this seems like just the sort of caregiving arrangement that should be accommodated.

        Also, shame on your firm, seriously. You are a good, valued worker and just need a little give. Not 90% give, but a little give. I rail against employers that use “slippery slope” arguments or don’t understand that training someone up would be a much bigger battle than accommodating you. I do deal work, and while there are very occasionally times that something is critical, the great thing about a big firm is that, because we’re all cogs in the giant machine, there are other folks with my skillset too. It’s awful that your firm isn’t really helping you here. Hugs. Honestly! As if a child with medical needs weren’t enough. I am truly upset on your behalf.

        • OfCounsel :

          I used FMLA for this exact type of situation. I needed intermittent time off (it worked out to less than 10 hours per month) for about a year. If FMLA applies to your office, you might consider it. A lot of people (including lawyers and firms) do not realize that it applies to intermittent leave.

    • I understand you don’t want to get into a whole big thing about your personal life, but I feel like your explanation here (including how much time you actually need to spend on your child’s care vs. the need to be on hand) is so much more compelling than something more vague. Do you think you could craft a short, very matter-of-fact explanation that you’d be comfortable giving? Honestly just the third sentence in your original post. If you were willing to say that to an employer, it would a) eliminate any concerns about why you’re leaving your current job and b) show that letting you be flex-time is a no-brainer, assuming they are willing to do flex time with anyone at all.

  13. Refi or not to refi? :

    Is it silly to consider refinancing a mortgage only after 2 years since closing? My current rate is 4.25% and new rate would be 3.38% with closing fees approximately $8k. I ran some calculators and they show that it’ll take 3 years to break even. Would you stay put or refi? I’m in a HCOL.

    • Anonymous :

      Will you be there >= 3 years?

      I’d say yes — $ will never be this cheap again.

      • Yep – do it if you’ll be there long enough to make back the costs! That’s a pretty significant change — i believe I’ve refinanced for a smaller change!

    • In a LCOL, but we refinanced after 3 years. It was worth it. Ours dropped a 2 points, though, as we went from a 30 year to a 10 years at the same time. That said, our closing fees were WAY lower. Like maybe $800. Not sure why that is, besides the LCOL difference and maybe mortgage amount makes a difference.

    • How are you arriving at the 3.38% rate? Is that what’s online, or has that actually been quoted to you directly from a lending institution or mortgage broker? Often the published online rates are never truly available – even for top tier credit – but are used to bait people in.

      Nevertheless, saving even 50 bps on your rate could be meaningful. So, no, don’t not refi because it’s been “only” 2 years. If the savings are that powerful to you and you think you’ll be in the home long-term, then the closing costs of $8k (seems high?) might be worth swallowing. I think you have to make that decision for yourself, though.

    • Anonymous :

      Refinance if you’ll be there past 3 years.

    • Anonymous :

      If you plan to stay, I would refi. If you plan to move in 24 months or less, I would not. TOTALLY your call though.

    • HCOL, refi in past 6 months, we paid sub-$1k. $8k for refi fees seems really really high.

  14. Wedding Dress Shopper :

    Apologies in advance for all of the *** and a possible double post – tried this in the morning thread and am still caught in moderation.

    Does anyone have experience with JCr*w wedding dresses? Can I go to the store and try them on, or do I need to order a billion different sizes of each style online and try them on at home (and presumably pay a fortune in shipping and a ton of time on returns)? I found a few that check most of my boxes but don’t live anywhere near their bridal boutique in NYC. I’m an extreme pear, so sizing and fit might be difficult to figure out and would totally depend on the style of dress. Surprisingly, or not, their website and G**gle were no help.

    • No stores around me had them, so I had to order a bunch to try on. I was really disappointed in their quality in person–they looked like clearance David’s bridal dresses at triple the price.

    • Unless bridal is treated differently, JCrew has free shipping all the time if you spend more than $150, right? And I always take my returns to the brick & mortar rather than pay to ship back.

      Their online chat/customer service is really good with finding out the exact measurements for each piece, too, so don’t be shy about asking!

    • semirecentbride :

      They have a few stores where you can try things on so NYC isn’t your only option. (I went to their store in Chicago and ended up getting my dress there.) In your shoes I’d consider either ordering a few on line (you can get a good idea of whether you like it or not even if it’s a size off) or taking a fun weekend trip to a city with one of the stores (make an appointment). I’ll say that in general JC clothing is way too straight for my pear shape but their wedding dresses were a great find.

      • semirecentbride :

        Consider BHLDN too – they had a lot of pear friendly options. They were really heavy on tulle, which isn’t my thing, but looks great on a lot of people.

      • semirecentbride :

        I had my dress shipped to my out-of-state parents. While there is JC in their home state there is no JC Bridal store, so there was no sales tax. (Sales tax in IL is ~10% sales tax so it was worth it to me.)

    • I wore one when I got married back in the day. Mine was lovely – 100% silk, really well constructed. They don’t sell the style anymore, but I loved it and wish I’d bought it in black as an evening gown. I sized up slightly and got it tailored.

    • Anonymous :

      There is one in NYC where you can make appointments to try on dresses, or at least there used to be.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a JCr*w wedding dress, as did a friend of mine. Depending on your timing, they have great sales (I bought mine in December and got a significant markdown–I think I only paid like $175 in the end). Was lucky in that the first one I ordered online worked for me. My friend called up our local store (Chicago) and asked them to ship a selection of styles/sizes to the store, then we all went in together to look at the options. The sales associates were really lovely about it. Just call up the store/the wedding personal shopper and see what they can do for you.

    • Where are you located? Their clearance store in Lynchburg, VA has a TON of wedding dresses (marked down significantly, too).

    • Anonymous :

      I find that brand to be exponentially more helpful (than website/phone call) if I go INTO the store and then ask for help. They also have a “red phone” where you can order things to be sent to the store, and THEN try on/decide, so that might be a good option for you.

  15. Anyone have any recommendations for a burgundy/wine colored colored wedge? I have a preference for an almond or round toe and bonus points if it’s suede. I had a pair a few years ago like this and wore them to death. Got rid of them last fall and am missing that workhorse in my wardrobe!

    • Following- I had a pair of MeToo suede wedges that were just awesome. I miss them.

    • Ahhh, this. I skipped out on some gorgeous, gorgeous burgundy wedges at Macy’s in New York last year while I was visiting that were on massive clearance because I didn’t have time to really try them on. They were Via Spiga Darby wedges. I know because I took a picture of them. Massive regret.
      Although searching it, I found them on Shoe Metro in lucky sizes. Search “Via Spiga darby wedge” and they’re the red ones. They’re more burgundy and less red in person.

  16. Does anyone know if its possible to dry clean an old stain (3 years old) out of a bridesmaid dress? I didn’t realise I stained it and didn’t dry clean after I wore it – its not a bad stain but given its been 3 years since I last wore it, not sure whether just to put the dry-cleaning money towards a new dress. Thanks

    • Depending on the material, you I’d suggest carefully spot treating the stain at home before spending a lot on cleaning it.

      • Goatsgoatsgoats :

        +1, if it’s safe to use Oxiclean I’d try that because it’s helped me remove years old stains in the past (but spot test first)

    • Anonymous :

      I would wash that spot at home with soap and water.

  17. Relocating two careers :

    Hi everyone…looking for some sage advice from the Hive. My husband is being relocated out of state, most likely starting his new position in November. I plan for my daughter (18 months) and I to follow as soon as I can get a job in the same area. I’m really concerned about the need to put our house on the market soon to avoid the real estate dead zone of November through early spring that happens at least where we currently are (TX). I work in hospital administration and I’ve applied for a position that I am well qualified for but there is a hiring freeze at the facility currently…so my question is should we put the house on the market and hope the hiring freeze ends soon? Do we try and do dual households with him in an apartment while my daughter and I stick it out until the hiring freeze ends and the real estate market picks up again? I’m really looking for some logical advice from people with no emotional investment in this…I currently feel a bit overwhelmed and not sure how to reason my way out of this.
    PS We need my income right now, plus I really don’t want to stall my career.

    • Wildkitten :

      Can you sell your house and get a month to month apt lease at the current location that’ll give you the flexibility to move as soon as you can without keeping the house around?

      • Relocating two careers :

        That is an awesome idea and I’m going to look into it! We do have a very large dog (120lbs) which might restrict some options, but I’m going to start calling around. Thank you.

        • Wildkitten :

          Yup! And both you and your husband might both try to ge an apt that would take a big dog and send her to the location that’ll allow the pup.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          My parents did this when they were building a house. They found a complex willing to allow 2 dogs (labs) for an extra fee.

        • Craigslist sounds sketchy but I found it great for short term lease options that quickly go month to month (like summer lease that can be monthly after the summer) and for dog friendly places.

          I am currently living in a craigslist apartment that fit my rather odd needs!

    • I’ve done something similar. I moved to new location (about 4hrs away by car) with our child who was about that age. I got him enrolled in a new daycare and started my job. My husband stayed in our old city with our pets where he continued to work while applying to jobs in our new city. He also put the house on the market. We visited on the weekends. It was a long and sometimes hard 3 months, but he found something and moved to new city.
      FWIW, we sold our house in Nov/Dec (it had been on the market since May/June IIRC) in a market with a similar season for housing. People relocate at all times of the year so timing the market is nice, but not completely a deal-breaker.

  18. Good Lord those shoes are ugly. No offence, Kat. But – man.

    • I have this shoe in the patent black. It’s gorgeous and elegant and very comfortable. I love putting it on my foot.

      This style looks like silly putty.

    • Just looked at them in patent black- not my style, but I can see how they’d look okay. But these…they look like something a high schooler going on her first job interview buys at Payless.

  19. Advice on unexpected promotion :

    My boss and his boss recently left the company (his boss found a new job, my boss quit because they didn’t give him the same money as his boss made). This made me the defacto expert and I was offered a significant promotion, so far verbal, which I agreed to. This is like a jump from middle manager to manager of the entire semi-autonomous program within the company. I’ve never rubbed elbows with big wigs and feeling a little lost. I’ve now been sent an Outlook invite to a meeting in another state and hotel info for next Tuesday. I assume this means I need to travel? There are only 5 other people in this meeting. What prep do I need to do? I am responsible for running the program including financials, payroll, AP/AR, client service, and day-to-day processes. I am not responsible for sales, but I know the goal of the company is to expand the program. Any tips in general on what to expect and how to behave? Thanks for any help!

    • Wildkitten :

      Can you get the raise in writing? Being an semiautonomous manager is scary at first, but you will do great! Did you read the first 90 days? Can you take a CLE on how to manage the non-profit w/ board?

  20. Wildkitten :

    Y’all know I was separated from my job last month. Tonight I found out my direct supervisor – who is overwhelmed/incompetent – assigned himself my responsibilities.

    The ones he gave himself are not J.D. require but they’re sure recommended. He’s still catching up on his old work, and now he is taking over this? WHAT A MANSPLAINER. So terrible.

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