Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Sleeveless Pintucked Top

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

This pintucked top at Lord & Taylor looks really classic and basic, and it would be nice to layer underneath a blazer. It’s $60 full price but is marked down to $44 (plus whatever coupons and deals Lord & Taylor is offering). It comes in sizes XS-L and is machine washable. Sleeveless Pintucked Top

Here’s a plus-size alternative (up to 4X).

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  1. New Job Anon :

    I’m about to start a new job where, at least for the first few months, I’ll be traveling 3-4 days most weeks. It will always be to a different place, so no one will know if I’m repeating outfits. At least for while I’m settling in, I’m thinking about putting together 4 outfits I love and having those be my set travel outfits so that it’s one less thing to worry about. I’m also looking to do a wardrobe refresh, so I’m open to buying all new pieces. The dress code is business casual, mostly tech/media/CPG environments, and mostly on the West Coast/Southeast US.

    I could use some inspiration – what would your 4 outfits be?

    • seltzerqueen :

      First, I would definitely do a black ponte dress, which you can wear twice in one trip – 1) wear with a scarf and 2) wear with a blazer or swearer, whatever your style. Then I would bring two pencil skirts OR a pair of pants (depends if you are a skirt or pants person), two tops so I could mix and match, and two pairs of shoes.

      • New Job Anon :

        What color blazer/sweater would you go with? Black ponte dresses seem so easy when I’m shopping… but then I get home and struggle to style them without feeling like I look like I’m going to a funeral.

        • I am wearing a black and white thinly striped open blazer (it’s the Merona open one from a few seasons back) and something like that over all black is fun and zippy, but also pretty versatile.

          Personally, I’d do all dresses if you can, only because then it’s one piece and a few toppers and accessories, no tops that can’t go with everything. Have one great reliable two-piece travel outfit (a pair of black soft wideleg pants, a shell, and a structured cardigan?) for the plane and evenings to yourself.

        • cat socks :

          I like to wear patterned, colorful cardigans with a black ponte dress. I have the ponte knit sheath dress from Lands End. In the summer I wear black flats and in the fall/winter, black tights and knee-high boots.

        • in mod with a suggestion because I… used the english language? (I’ve seriously stopped understanding mod!)

          • I just did a perusal of the various mall stores, and I sort of hate to say it, but I’m digging some of the Chico’s stuff right now. Bold, breezy jackets that would go great over an otherwise structured, conservative dress/look.

            I’m 31, not really their demo, but man…

          • You are not wrong about Chicos.

            Am I wrong to not order b/c it’s Chicos’? I’ve got something in my cart.

            I’m 46. This s*** just got real.

          • Senior Attorney :

            HAHAHA for realsies if I bought anything from Chico’s I’d cut the tags out so nobody would know…

          • AnonLondon :

            I’m barely into my 30s and my favourite black jeans for the last 2 years that just died were Chico’s!

          • Go for it and report to us…I’m eyeing that ponte ruffle blazer in basically all three colors (the “ruffle” is so minimal).

        • Different anon :

          I would find something black and white that’s either snazzy or bold and geometric. I think stores are currently carrying a lot of tweed jackets that would work well. Then I would accessorize with my usual accent color.

        • I’d consider gray or navy for the dresses. I find those colors much more versatile. Black can just look too stark paired with colors. Or camel, if that works for you. Me, I turn a weird pale green when I have camel/tan/beige near my face.

    • Anonymous :

      Not the advice you asked for, but be concious of the weekend laundry commitment. I’m set up similarly (not because of travel, but because budget and DNGAF) and if I don’t get all the laundry done, there is a frustrated chicken routine with much flapping on Monday morning. I imagine it would be worse if packing for a flight.

      • New Job Anon :

        Definitely! Luckily Fridays are remote, so my plan is to wash the travel load during the time I would normally spend commuting.

    • cat socks :

      The blog Road Warriorette has some posts about capsule wardrobes and general tips for frequent business travelers.

      I rarely travel, but the last time I did my “base” was a pair of black ponte knit pants. My tops were patterned sleeveless blouses and I topped it with a black, drapey cardigan. You could switch out the cardigan for a blazer. I wore comfortable black flats because I was in a downtown area doing a lot of walking.

    • anon a mouse :

      I think this is the perfect chance to do a capsule wardrobe, with 1-2 solid dresses, 2 solid skirts, 2 pants, 4 tops (2 solid/2 patterned) and coordinating blazers. You also want to look for easy-care fabrics like ponte or washable silk/poly so that you don’t have to fuss with dry cleaning.

      You probably want to have 5-6 outfits to fall back on, in case something gets stained/damaged and you can’t run out and replace it right away. A friend who travels 4-5 days a week has 2 nearly identical sets of clothes — one for week 1, then 1 for week 2. She says it keeps wardrobe fatigue at a minimum.

    • I did this for four years. I wore all skirt separates. I tended to wear a black pencil skirt and a gray pencil skirt twice each and change out the tops/jackets/cardigans. Four tops would be a black top and gray top matching the skirts for a dress look, then two print tops incorporating black and gray. I had scarves and jackets that went with these colors and those weren’t necessarily black and gray. I also didn’t have a jacket-every-day office culture so I tended to wear a lot of knits , whic was great because they pack so well.

      I recently slowed down on the travel but still go on average once per month. I’m delving more into a navy and gray capsule mix for traveling, but same idea as the black and gray.

    • I travel a LOT, and BR Sloan pants are my favorite. I find black can look harsh, so I put everything together in a navy palette – stick to one color scheme, whatever you chose. Almost any color looks great with navy, but my on-the-go uniform is navy bottoms (the Sloans or a heavy/structured ponte skirt), light blue tops, nude low wedges, and cream and light tan scarves, with pearl earrings and minimal gold jewelry. I have a navy short-sleeve version of the Lands End elbow sleeve ponte sheath dress from a couple years ago that comes with more often than not. I buy most of my tops from Ann Taylor.

      If you can get away without a blazer, I would skip it – check out the MM.LaFleur Woolf jardigan in taupe pearl or the Morandi in almond. Pick two scarves (because I always spill coffee if I only bring one, somehow) and one set of jewelry that will work with everything. Basically, I’ve found that as long as you’re not wearing an anything that makes a “statement”, no one will notice you have a uniform and repeat pieces. I machine wash all my travel clothes except the jardigan.

      Oh – and if you have a long flight, don’t be afraid to throw in some plane clothes and change in the bathroom. I carry a pair of super light Eddie Bauer travel pants and a quarter zip, which I also use as lounge clothes or for going on a walk, etc. Also consider your shoes – my second pair is a nice loafer that’s comfortable to walk in but can be worn when working if I’m not feeling heels.

    • I am team “stick to non-black neutrals that all go together”. If you’re business casual and on West Coast / SE, then a large swath of black fabric does seem a bit funereal. I’d recommend two dresses in neutral colors (i.e. light gray, navy, camel, even olive green), two sets of pants (maybe a camel/brown and navy, or navy and black), and a dark skirt. Pair these with 4 to 5 solid shirts with minimal distinctive patterns, in the neutral color family and a couple colored cardigans and you’ll have a full week wardrobe with an extra in case one set gets stained or damaged. A friend of mine is a consultant who did this exact schedule for years and got her travel wardrobe down to this. On Fridays, she took it all to the cleaners / dumped it in the wash, finished/picked up on Sunday, and repeat, and always looked sharp.

      • Giggling from Seattle at the notion that all black reads “funereal” and not “I’m from here.” And yet I agree with this advice, because Seattle is weird :)

        • Yeah not sure what west coast you’re talking about because wearing black in San Francisco is also not weird at all.

          • Yeah, to be honest, it’s not going to look weird *anywhere*. Black is a staple for a reason.

          • It would definitely look weird in Southern California/ LA in a lot of settings. I just thought it was funny up here :)

    • This is my job. I have slowly moved towards more and more MM LaFleur- the etsuko and alexandra dresses are machine washable and dont wrinkle. I prefer the claret, cobalt, and aubergine colors to black- wich in the SE reads way too harsh. I do like bringing two pairs of work shoes, so that I can mix it up- usually a black pair and a leopard or tortoise pair. A few necklaces or scarves to mix it up, and I’m good on work clothes for the week. I prefer not to wear sleeveless because then I have to bring a blazer. Always wearing simple sleeved belted sheaths means that clients remember me, not my clothes.
      Dont forget to pack a pair of leggings and a comfy top for when you’re hanging out alone in a hotel room. I also like to bring a pair of jeans and one or two blousy t shirts- for going to team dinner (not client dinner). I bring workout clothes but I’ve become more realistic about when I’ll actually work out and when I wont. Finally, my favorite travel addition has been a sonicare toothbrush with a charging travel case- this has been a huge improvement in my general mood and feeling.

  2. Anyone here ever have any success negotiating early vestment as part of an employment package? Considering a job where offered salary (after several rounds of negotiations) is still about 5% under market value, but the benefits package and work schedule is very enticing. I’m considering asking for tweaks to benefit package in lieu of salary increase (they have conceded that they are a little low on the salary). 3 years for full vestment at this company, I’m shooting for immediate vestment. Thoughts?

    • anon a mouse :

      Immediate might be too high of an ask, but they might be open to 1 year. Can you also ask for review at 6 months instead of a year, and/or extra vacation time?

      • Ooo, 6 month review is good because it might help bump the salary up a little bit more sooner. Smart! thank you! :)

    • Most retirement plans are ERISA plans and I’m not sure an employer can deviate from the plan for an employee.

    • Correct; in order to remain ERISA qualified (which you want, trust me), plans have to treat all similarly situated employees the same on vesting, etc. Try to negotiate larger compensation, PTO, or an annual paid conference germane to your work (sell it as a benefit to both you and the company) and keep in mind that larger comp allows you to put more into a 401K (up to the max).

    • Do you have RSUs? Can you ask for them in cash as part of your salary instead of RSUs? That would increase your base for things like 401k and any bonuses.

  3. Would you trust a Nic & Zoe pair of pants on Amazon (and sold by Amazon) that were only $30? Could this be legitimate or likely counterfeit? How do you know??

  4. Gift ideas for a couple’s 9th wedding anniversary? They invited DH and I to dinner to a restaurant and I would like to get them something. What price range to you suggest?

    • Anonymous :

      A card and a bottle of champagne. $20.

      • +1 this is lovely, and enough.

        I’d be touched if a friend did this, and it would feel both low-key enough so you wouldn’t feel weird for accepting it (does this translate? like, even if you’re not expecting a gift at all, this doesn’t feel like “oh, no, this is too much! I can’t accept this!”), and appropriately celebratory

    • Anonymous :

      Is it clear they’re treating you to dinner? Because if they just said “Hey it’s our anniversary, want to go to XYZ restaurant to celebrate with us?” I would assume each couple is paying for themselves and I would probably just bring a card.

    • If they enjoy wine, find a nice bottle from their wedding year and a card. If they’re not particularly into wine, +1 to the nice bottle of sparkling. Perhaps you could call the restaurant ahead and ask if they would do a special dessert and have it delivered to the table, which you cover.

  5. Anonymous :

    After six months of a nightmare job, a company I’ve worked for in the past offered a position with a significant raise! There’s no reason to turn it down, so I’ve been brewing on when I’ll give notice. My current employer has a history of cutting people the day they resign, and I only have a verbal offer–however, the HR department at the other company assured me a background check is strictly business and nothing should go wrong considering I worked for them less than a year ago.

    I’m so torn on what to do. I know the responsible thing is to wait for the written offer, but I can only imagine it being worse if I quit later on.

    • Anonymous :

      Wait until you have an offer in writing. Quit and give two weeks notice knowing you might get walked out that same day. There is no other option.

      • Anonymous :

        THISSSSSS. Do not quit until you have the written offer.

      • +1 to this. I have a friend who gave notice at his firm on a verbal offer. Turns out that the people who had interviewed him for an incredible in house job at a legitimate company didn’t have the authority to hire anyone. He had to undo his notice and essentially beg for his job back. It was an awful, awful time for him.

        I completely believe that you will have smooth sailing into the new job, but please wait for the written offer.

    • WAIT for the written offer.

    • +1 to everyone saying wait for the written offer. I just gave notice at my job (with written offer in hand) and am still mildly freaking out that there will be some mix up in the lab and something will go wrong with my drug test or my background check and I’ll be without a job. It’s just an anxiety provoking situation all around, so I wouldn’t add further risk, although, as other commenters have said, I’m sure everything will go totally fine and it won’t have made a difference in the end!

      Also, there’s no great time to give notice, even at a great company, and if these guys are a nightmare then it really won’t matter. Plus you’ve only been there for six months so the bridge is going to get a little singed anyway, and you probably won’t be using them as a reference in the future, so just do whatever works best for you.

    • Not getting what the big deal is. A background check takes 1-2 days at most places; a week at a really slow place. (You don’t say you’re going to the gov’t – there is can be months but there it happens where ppl don’t pass). If you’ve survived 6 months, can’t you survive another 2 days? Call out sick if you need to but stay on their payroll. Since it’s an old company you’re returning to, can you ask them to expedite the process and get you a written offer sooner – maybe ask your new manager or HR? I can’t imagine a form letter and a background check takes them that long and if you ask, it’s possible they put it on the top of someone’s work pile for Monday morning and you have your answers by Monday afternoon/Tues morning.

      • HAHAHA background checks took 2 to 3 weeks at my old place. It derailed several offers where candidates gave up waiting and took another offer.

      • Ancient History :

        I was 7 weeks for background checks in Financial Services in UK and apparently that was fast for my company!

    • HR Consultant :

      Piling on: please, please do not quit without a written offer. Stories about how people have gotten hung out to dry by verbal-only offers are legion.

      Also, it may not work this way in all states, but in my state, if someone has a written offer and gives notice, and then the offer is withdrawn through no fault of their own, they can present their offer letter to the state unemployment bureau and use it to apply for unemployment benefits (and most people get benefits, in that circumstance). Without the offer letter, people can’t get anything. So that’s another good reason to wait.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Breathe and wait for the written offer.

    • Yeah, wait and take the afternoon off or generally get into cruise control. Do you think the new place would want you to start right away or do you want to take a week or so off in between? If some time, maybe you will want insurance for that time and might want to wait until next Friday when the new month starts (depending on your company’s insurance) to put your notice in…?

      • Anonymous :

        COBRA coverage can be retroactively activated up to 60 days after her insurance is terminated. Most insurance can only be terminated on the last day of the month. So if you have insurance on Sept. 1, you have insurance until Sept. 30. Then you have 60 days to elect COBRA. You can break your leg on October 1, elect coverage on October 2, and your broken leg will be covered.

  6. I’m trying to spice up my boring wardrobe and need to replace my nude flats. I like these (link in comment) but can’t tell if they’d defeat the purpose of a nude flat since they’re patterned and kind of a statement. Thoughts? For those who have similar shoes, do you wear them much?


    • Anonymous :

      A beige flat is not spicy. I like the shoes but zero spice.

      • Sorry I meant the snakeskin ones. Same answer?

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah those are the ones I looked at. They are beige snakeskin. My style isn’t spicy and I actually love them, but I don’t think they add spice if that’s what you are trying to do.

          • I have the un-spiciest style ever so it’s baby steps over here :)

          • Nope, no spice. Why not look for a shoe without a rounded toe or bow (those elements read rather sweet and young).

            Are you looking for a shoe to wear with pants or with skirts?

          • Agreed, not particularly spicy. Check 6pm dot com for the Dr Scholl snakeskin loafer flat, the Sofie (or the Sidney). Those get high reviews for comfort around here, are a pointy toe, a current non-sweet style, and a beige reptile. And a lot less expensive (quality isn’t as nice as CH, sure, but do a test run with “spice” on a cheaper shoe).

    • They would be nice if you have dark skin, but if that nude is nude-for-you, pass.

    • givemyregards :

      I think they’re cute! I’m not into bows, personally, but if you dig them and the fact that they’re a little jazzier than a total neutral, then go for it!

    • How about something like this?

      Saw this on @Zappos!

      I’d probably do the gray but there is a nude-ish taupe color if you need that kind of neutral.

    • I have an earlier version of these in a wedge (so snakeskin print, wood wedge heel, cork toe) and they were my go-to shoe. They were fairly neutral so I could wear them with almost everything, but not super-boring so that my foot looked naked.

      I wore them ALL the time. And now they are a little stretched out so I’m considering getting another pair.

      I’d say get them!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      What about something like this

      WOO punkAF! \m/

      • Baconpancakes :

        Sorry to TJ, but Rainbow Hair, can you find me a pair of punk ballet flats in green or blue?

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Are you super rich? Because…

          • Baconpancakes :

            Lol no, but these are cute.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Ha ok, more reasonable:


          • Rainbow Hair :

            None have round toes but I guess that’s because nothing punkAF is going to have round toes (:

          • Ooooh those Frye ones are gorgeous! Punk without trying too hard. I want them!

    • Baconpancakes :

      I will offer a counter view and say that if you’re currently only wearing true neutrals without patterns, snakeskin might be a little flavorful! Not spicy – you can wear those any time you would otherwise wear nude flats – but it will make the outfits more interesting than a plain nude flat. I found snakeskin to be a very versatile shoe pattern. I had a pair of Cole Haan Air Nike (rip) snakeskin peeptoe wedges and I wore them to death.

    • Hello, friend. What you need is leopard. Neutral, goes with everything these would, and decidedly less boring but not crazy enough that nothing matches them (and everyone from Old Navy to Kate Spade makes them).

      I will also plug the Steve Madden Embroidered Hugh and Pearl mules. They are SO FAB and look like Gucci (embroidered) and Miu Miu (the pearl) and they go with just about everything I wear, although I do wear them mostly with pants. Another thought- if you wear mostly neutrals, shoes (or a handbag) might be a very simple way to ‘spice’ things up with just a color that is *not* supposed to match, like maybe a purple, red, cobalt blue, or pink.

    • I have similar shoes from CH but in a wedge with a pointy toe and no bow. They are my absolute favorite work shows and I get compliments all the time. They go with everything but aren’t as boring as my nude shoes.

  7. LaCanadienne Passion boots :

    I’m doing a closet purge.

    I have the LaCanadienne Passion boots in black leather. I got them 5.5 years ago. They are in really good shape. Last winter, I didn’t really wear them much. Is that my internal judge saying “not the boot you need for now; this was the boot for 5 years ago”? I wore them more with dresses than skirts, and more to teach a kids Sunday school class in (they are comfy for when you have to stand for an hour). Keep? Donate?

    Fashion-wise, I know I can do better. They are a good practical boot that I don’t worry about ruining.

    WWYD? Is there a better 2017-equivalent? I have a pair of Aquitalia Rumbah’s and some of their flat boots are lovely (esp. the ones with the stretchy backs).

    I don’t want to be wearing the Juicy Couture tracksuit equivalent in boots just b/c they are in good condition and still fit.

    FWIW, I have skinny legs and they aren’t as sleek on me as I would like.

    • One problem I’m beginning to have with riding boots is that I feel like someone from the cast of Hamilton.

      Don’t throw away your shot.

      OTOH, I own them. If someone can link to a blog of someone currently styling them well, I’m game. Otherwise, I’d wear them with a tricornered hat and a musket.

      • givemyregards :

        I don’t wear my riding boots as much anymore, either, but I do still wear a black pair with black tights and a black suit skirt fairly regularly in the winter. Something about the all black line for the bottom half makes them looks less dated, I think (I hope??) but I don’t really wear them with bare legs very often and definitely not over jeans anymore at all. RIP to those days, though.

    • If you’re concerned about what is trendy, I wouldn’t buy another pair of tall boots right now. And unless space is an issue, I would keep your current boots and store them. They’re nice and class and you will probably want to wear them in the future, even though you don’t right now.

      • Agree. Booties seem to be more on trend right now. However, booties are not as warm. I personally would keep them for colder days, trendy be [email protected]

        • I think we all thought “riding boots are a classic” when we bought them. But I think we also thought that about blue jeans (and they are, but even classics always get updated: skinny, flare, boot cut, lower rise, mom-jeans, higher rise, pleats, no pleats, different rinses, whiskering, etc.).

          Eveything comes. Everything goes. Soon acid wash jeans will be back and we can wear flat 1980s booties with them (which is why I hate booties). Give me a good Clark’s desert boot though . . .

      • Senior Attorney :

        Just as an FYI, Angie at You Look Fab did a blog post a few days ago saying that tall boots are coming back on the runways. Google “tall boots runways” and you will see she’s right. So don’t throw away your tall boots just yet.

    • Can you save them for snowy/slushy/freezing days (what i think of La Canadienne as excelling at) and get sleeker ones for everyday use?

      • LaCanadienne Passion boots :

        That may be the compromise that keeps them from eviction. They are better than my Keen boots for the office for when things get sloppy this winter.

    • I am not the most fashionable person in the world and I only wore my tall boots a couple of times last year, mainly for weather protection. I’d probably keep the boots if you can store them, donate if you can’t, and look into a bootie or Oxford shoe replacement.

    • I don’t think they’re very “current” looking (round toe, blocky but not stacked heel) but would keep them as actual workhorses – on nasty days, they will do their job!

      • Is there anything out there that would work for the really nasty days but still look current?

        • I have Aquatalia knee-high boots – they have a low, almost flat, heel, and a more pointed toe (not super pointy, more like an elongated almond toe). They have some elastic paneling (really subtle on the black suede pair) that helps the shaft be the PERFECT fit. I love them with wool pencil skirts and knit tights on cold days.

        • Adding – I stepped in a legit slush puddle wearing them and it was like it never happened. The muck just rolled right off the suede. And I didn’t even do anything “extra” to them after purchasing.

  8. Related to a thread yesterday afternoon– what chores do you have your kid(s) do, and what ages are they? Or, for those with grown children, what ages did you start having them help around the house and what did they do (vs what did you do/ outsource)?

    DH and I had a great discussion last night after reading the thread on here last night and realized that there are a few different ways to get our kids the life skills we want them to have.

    I was raised one of several kids, and we did a lot. We didn’t have any outside help. I cleaned the “kids” bathroom (ie main bath upstairs), my room, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher after dinner, cleaned the coffee pot and was responsible for keeping all my [email protected] off the floors/surfaces of downstairs so a vacuum could be run. At some point, my job was also to feed and water the dog.

    My younger sister was in charge of vacuuming and the downstairs half bath among other things. I think she was the official Dog Brusher (we had a really fluffy dog…).

    My younger brother did more of the physical chores as he got older- he mowed the lawn (I did this one and broke the mower), helped wash off the roof and clean the gutters, pick up dog poop, schlep yard waste to the woods or into the car to go to the dump. He also took the trash to the curb and did on-demand trash removal to outside.

    All 3 of us were asked to help my dad raking and bagging leaves in the fall. It’s possible as my brother got older he had to shovel the driveway, but I think my mom and dad typically did that because they were up earlier. We all had to have chores done and rooms clean (enough) before going out on weekends. Once I had a license, I was on-demand chauffeur for my siblings unless I had a school/sports schedule conflict.

    In contrast, DH didn’t have much in the way of chores. However, he and his (working) mom cooked together as bonding time– she loves to cook and so they would often plan out elaborate recipes and do them together. He was an only child, a 3 season athlete, and his dad was retired (so, SAH in concept but actually puttered around and didn’t do anything beyond carpool and be a Responsible Adult in the House.) He never had to do laundry, but “figured it out pretty quickly at college; it isn’t rocket science. I didn’t want to deal with ironing so I just wore t-shirts and pants and left my collared shirts in the closet. Our campus had a dry cleaning service that my parents offered to pay for for my dress clothes, but I used that money for beer.” We agreed though that I “see dirt” and he does not in places like bathrooms and kitchen counters.

    • LaCanadienne Passion boots :

      This sounds like Jeff Foxworthy, but if we weren’t moving, we weren’t giving anything a scrub-down.

      OTOH, we were like a good crew at McDonalds — clean as you go. So nothing was ever left unclean / dirty / in need of a scrub. If you made a mess, you cleaned it. So everyone who eats sets the table and cleans up. We didn’t have a dishwasher unti I went to college.

      We have monthly cleaners come for a scrub down. I’d do it, but I will be d*mned if I am going to be the only person in my house doing the deep cleans (and DH, this is more aimed at you than the children). But I am drawing the line on having them come twice b/c I don’t want people to think that we will just pay someone else to do what should be our work. Like if the cleaners came daily, no one would ever bother to lift a finger (and I want people to bother or at least be bothered by the mess /filth). It’s kind-of working. But BigLaw+kids+working spouse means it is clearly not a first priority item often.

    • At age 2, my kids unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, and pick up every night. At 4, they are also loading the dishwasher, setting the table and wiping it off, making their beds (ish), help cook on occasion, and water/harvest the garden. We’re now working on my oldest (almost 5) adding in helping to fold laundry, wipe down the countertops, and pack lunches.

      I like the idea of doing coffee, maybe I’ll add that too. But yes, it’s important that both my kids (boy and girl) understand that a house takes work to maintain, and as a family we all pitch in to help things stay clean. We have biweekly cleaners, so it’s low stakes if they don’t do the greatest job, but they have to start getting practice somehow!

      • Can you send your 2yo to teach my 34yo physicist husband how to unload the DW?! please?!

        • Anonymous :

          He knows how. It’s called learned helplessness.

          • Knowing my husband a bit better than you, and admitting that my comment was meant as levity, I can assure you he’s fine. But thanks!

          • +100000000000

          • If it were learned helplessness, wouldn’t that mean that he has repeatedly tried to unload the dishwasher, repeatedly failed spectacularly, and subsequently applied the logic that it is crazy to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different outcome to this task.

            I can’t imagine how that could be the case.

      • Anon in NYC :

        My 2 year old helps with picking up. She “helps” with cooking (washing vegetables and fruits). She hasn’t yet gotten the hang of feeding the dog (she either doesn’t scoop enough kibble or refuses to stop scooping!). But I think I’m going to have her start clearing her plate post-meal!

      • Really? How does your 2 year old unload the dishwasher? Mind is too short to reach the top shelf of the dishwasher and can’t reach anything to put stuff away. Also I prefer for my glasses and dishes not to get broken.

        • For our house, we only use Tervis tumblers. And we have a couple sets of Correlle.

          We have a cabinet ful of breakables, but it’s not what use use now.

        • They use melamine plates and bowls and stainless steel silverware, which we keep on a shelf in a bottom cabinet. We load all of those in the front of the dishwasher, and they take them out and put them in the drawers. They don’t unload the heavier “real” plates or glasses until they’re old enough to reach the countertop (and then we put those away in the right cabinets). We haven’t broken a dish yet, we stress that they need to be slow and careful and they do a pretty good job of it. We are obviously in the same room supervising, so we can also make sure they’re not going fast or goofing off.

          • We do this too! My kid started wanting to help at 2, so we started eating off our outdoor plates (melnamine) and plastic cups that we moved to a cabinet she could reach. She’s 4 now and empties about 3/4 of the dishwasher (An adult opens it and does knives, glasses and really heavy pots). My ONE year old now wants in on it so she takes out silverware (after knives have been removed) and piece by piece brings it to her sister who puts it away.

            We have cleaners come biweekly but I’m hoping to phase that out as they get (a lot) older.

            Before you all are blown away in amazement, they do not do well at putting away toys or *not* throwing shoes all over the house. :-)

          • That sounds super adorable :)

        • Our 2 year old also unloads, but really at that age it’s “helps I’d unload.” He does things from the lower rack that go in drawers he can reach, plus things we hand him from the upper rack that go where he can reach (silverware,tupperware, pots). Also sets the table, busses his plate, picks up, helps sort laundry, helps cook (stirring, cracking eggs, pouring, helping peel veggies with oversight) — all of these still require our assistance, but it’s a start. He does the watering of the garden with less oversight than we expected. The key to remember at this age is it will add more work for you, but they get so much pride out of it!

          • Also, weeding is his favorite and he’s pretty good at it, so we foresee that becoming an independent chore in the future.

      • Baconpancakes :

        My mother had me trained to make her coffee every weekend morning, and then bring it to her. Looking back on it, dang that was brilliant. That right there is reason enough to have kids.

        • My kids FIGHT over who gets to make my coffee in the morning. (I have a keurig, and pushing the buttons is oh-so-satisfying.) It’s the best.

        • Ha! My parents had me open and pour wine for them. I thought it was so fun when I was a kid.

          • I have been mixing a killer gimlet since I was about 10 or 11. Thanks Mom.

        • My son knew what kind of beer all the adults liked by age four. Ran to get them from the downstairs fridge upon request.

    • My 10-year-old cleans her bathroom with the exception of the bathtub and the parts of the mirror that she can’t reach, plus the downstairs half-bath. She dusts her room and the baseboards and trim throughout the house. She puts away her own laundry and helps out with seasonal yard work (raking leaves, picking up sticks and pinecones, etc.). Many typical kid chores are not yet feasible to assign to her because she is not tall enough–she can’t reach the bottom of the washing machine or the cupboards to put away dishes.

      She occasionally plans and cooks a family meal with some help. As she gets older she will do this regularly and without assistance. I pack her lunch because I don’t have time in the morning to wait for her to do it and she would pack garbage without sufficient nutritional value to get her through her very long, very active day.

      She is responsible for her own self-care and has an allowance to teach financial responsibility. We are always on the lookout for age-appropriate opportunities for self-sufficiency. She has been ordering for herself in restaurants since she could talk, and she has traveled alone to visit relatives.

      • Please don’t make her order in fast food. She could get some poor teenager fired. As a teenager I got written up once because a 7 year old took 12 minutes to order which put me really far past the “time limit”, I was so mad.

        • Oh please. This is just silly. Obviously parent is supervising.

          • This kid had a parent “supervising” too. Kept on “encouraging” them to decide and pick and speak up to the “nice lady”

          • Ok sure. And one bad parent doesn’t mean children shouldn’t order in restaurants.

        • Agree and then you’re that annoying parent who thinks their 4 yr old is sooooo cute and soooo advanced that everyone should want to talk to them. Though for the PP – age 10 seems like it’s old enough. That’s 5th grade roughly; that’s the age where some kids (if allowed) start going to the mall with their friends, hanging in the food court etc. — so yeah they are used to ordering their own slice of pizza.

          • My kids have had to give their orders in the lunch line since kindergarten. So they are already choosing within a time window. It’s not that hard.

        • Anonymous at 10:47 :

          Oh, puh-leeze. We had her rehearse ahead of time, and if her order wasn’t intelligible we repeated it for the server. They usually got a kick out of it and complimented her. It didn’t take any longer. And we don’t eat fast food.

          • Good to know you’ve never worked a service job

          • Anonymous at 10:47 :

            @ Anon @ 12:07: Good to know you’ve never parented and are one of those rude service workers who acts like you are doing the customer a favor by permitting her to patronize the business. I have worked many service jobs in my life, beginning at age 15.

          • Anonymous at 10:47 :

            Good to know you’ve never been a parent. I have worked plenty of service jobs starting at age 15.

          • Anonymous at 10:47 :

            Yes, I have worked plenty of service jobs in my life. It does not derail your entire day to take 30 seconds to listen to a child place her order. If you didn’t catch it the first time, I’d say it for you myself.

            Are you the hostess at the corner bar we don’t patronize anymore?

        • That could also be a lesson for a teenager taking the order, that sometimes life isn’t fair and that it’s ok to speak up and interrupt people. :)

        • The problem that needs to be solved here is the restaurant’s policy.

          • Anonymous :

            Would someone please clarify the policy? Does the timer start when a customer enters or when they step up to the register? I take forever to make up my mind sometimes, but I hang back and stare at the menu and wave other customers past me. I hope I haven’t caused anyone to get in trouble!

    • My sister and I traded off as the “house maid” and the “kitchen maid” each week. The kitchen maid would set the table, clear the table, load the dishwasher, and wash the hand wash dishes. The house maid would pick up clutter, gather and take out the trash, and keep the bathroom floors clean. We both made our beds and cleaned our room. We had to hand dust the house, to our mother’s exacting standards every other weekend. We also vacuumed and mopped the tile floors and cleaned the bathrooms. My dad mowed the lawn and my mom vacuumed the carpet and did any cleaning that involved harsh chemicals. She also did all the washing part of the laundry, though we were responsible for folding our own clothes once we got old enough.

      My two year old currently helps me unload the dishwasher and sorts the laundry into light and dark colors. She also likes helping me move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. I laughed at the post yesterday about how a 5 year old couldn’t be trusted to sort laundry. I need to be better at getting her to pick up her toys– that’ll be next.

      • Anon in NYC :

        My daughter’s preschool sings a song for clean up (all I know is that “clean up” is in a sing-songy voice – I don’t know any other words!) so I start singing that and it mostly seems like a magic trick at this point! She just starts helping!

        • Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere! Clean up, clean up, [name] do your little share!

        • Rainbow Hair :

          The clean up song! Why does it work? How does it turn children into happy cleaning zombies?! Best song ever. I think it might be from Barney, btw.

          • Love this song. My 2yo niece sings it as “kleepa” which cracked us up so much that my husband and I say it around the house now between us (i.e. “someone forgot to do their kleepa and I tripped over the shoes!”)

    • I think I’ve posted this recently, but for a different perspective, I didn’t have many chores growing up, in part because we were never home. My mom was a doctor, and my dad was a church minister, which was really an all-consuming thing for the entire family. I was expected to get my homework done in after-school care and keep things off the floor of my room, and that’s about it. I also helped my mom and some of the other women at church set up for events like weddings and banquets pretty regularly, but that wasn’t really a “chore,” and I probably could have sat and read a book if I had wanted to. We ate out a lot, and we had a housekeeper come once a week. I don’t think I ever did laundry at home–in fact, my mother still does laundry when she comes to visit me. (I tell her she doesn’t have to, but she needs to be busy and is incapable of sitting down and relaxing for very long.) Anyways, I figured it all out in college and as a young adult, with some help from phone calls to my mom, cookbooks and early Food Network, the internet and some nice co-workers.

      That said, with our 2-year-old, we like our lives less busy and enjoy being home more. We also have less money than my parents had when I was growing up, so we can’t go out to eat often or hire a housekeeper. We involve Kiddo in chores, including loading laundry, “helping” with washing dishes, picking up his room, and pulling weeds and watering the garden. Honestly, it’s mostly because he’s interested in what Mommy and Daddy are doing, and he’s either involved/helping or in the way. (He spent 10 minutes pretending to sneeze last night after I sneezed, so he’s really in the imitation phase.)

    • Our preteen boy:
      – Sets the table every night
      – Helps with dishes after dinner
      – Is responsible for unloading the dishwasher at least 2x per week
      – Is working on doing his own laundry, we’re still supervising
      – Cleans his room and wipes down his bathroom with cleaning wipes (including his yucky boy toilet) every Saturday
      – Helps me weed the yard
      – Helps us take care of our dog (feeding, brushing, walking – we go with him -, etc.)
      – Writes me a grocery list on Saturday so I know what to buy him for lunches the next week. He makes his own lunch for school daily.

      We don’t have him doing a lot of heavy cleaning because we have a housekeeper every other week, and we are very much “clean as we go” so there’s not a lot of heavy cleaning that’s needed between her visits. I’m contemplating at some point cutting her back to once a month so we can do more cleaning ourselves and teach our kid how to do it – but man, that’s going to be tough. Would love to hear how other people with housekeepers have handled teaching their kids to clean.

      • I struggle with the housekeeper vs. teaching them to clean question a lot. My kids have chores, but my daughter has wicked ADHD so keeping her on task takes 10 times more effort than doing it myself, especially if it’s after school and her meds have worn off. Son has ODD/ADHD, and last night I worked for 15 minutes to get him to take two books of his up to his room. We both work full time and I just REALLY don’t want to spend all day each weekend cleaning and fighting with the kids. Not to mention I can’t even come close to cleaning to my husband’s satisfaction, so we end up fighting, anyway. He has become more reasonable over the years, but it’s still really obvious when he wants to correct me, fix my mistakes, and re-do what I’ve already done and is forcing himself not to.

  9. My boyfriend and I are going to be in NYC for 4 days. Looking for recommendations to incredible steak restaurants. Peter Lugar? Morton’s? Where should we go for the best steak in NYC? Thanks!

    • El Almacen in Brooklyn

    • Anon in NYC :

      Quality Meats.

    • Mastro’s in midtown. Go for lunch or pre-theater. Convenient location and so, so good (and I normally don’t even care for steakhouses)!

    • If you’re really just interested in good steak, go to Peter Luger, but bring lots of cash and dont expect very friendly service

    • New Tampanian :

      P.S. I love you
      Draft Day
      All the hunger games
      Anything Sandra Bullock
      Legally blonde
      Love and basketball

    • Chi Squared :

      Keens Steakhouse, but don’t get the steak, get the muttonchop!

      • Yay Kat, I love this fruegel top from Lord and Taylor! I have to stop by to see if there is any in stock. My personal shopper did NOT tell me about this one. She wants me to pay retail for everything, and then tells me how cute I look. I think she is just trying to sell me stuff.

        As to the OP, Fooey! The manageing partner was told to do the same thing, and eat MUTTON, and he found the mutton chop there very chewey. I am NOT aware of any other place in NYC serveing MUTTON, either.

        The manageing partner’s brother told me to watch the old Steinfeld episode where Jerry was trying to get freindley with a girl, and she cooked him MUTTON. So he did NOT want to insult her, so he pretended to eat it, but instead put it in his pocket. As soon as he went outside, he was chased by a pack of hungry dog’s who smelled the mutton he had in his pocket! TRIPEL FOOEY!

    • Old Homestead

  10. Movies you could watch over and over?

    Wizard of Oz
    The Big Lebowski
    Life of Pi
    The Devil Wears Prada

    • Mean Girls
      Forrest Gump
      Sound of Music

    • givemyregards :

      You’ve Got Mail
      Animal House
      Dazed and Confused

      And no this list doesn’t make too much sense to me, either. I also watch The Family Stone every year around Christmas – I guess it’s my version of when everyone watches Love Actually? It’s not a great movie, but it just hits all the right notes for me that time of year.

      • The family stone was the worst movie I’ve ever seen – I actually walked out of the movie theater because i could not sit through it. So interesting that you love it! on the other hand, I LOVE love actually.

        • givemyregards :

          That’s hilarious! I tend to love any holiday movies with gratuitously beautiful homes and/or mild family drama (I also really like to watch The Holiday, and the 90s movie Beautiful Girls around Christmas), but I’m not at all sure why this one is my go-to. Diane Keaton kind of reminds me of my own mom (except my mom is WAY nicer than her character in the movie) so maybe that’s it? I did nearly walk out of “Love The Coopers” a few Christmases ago, which I thought was wayyy worse than The Family Stone, but may have been equally as bad! I just felt really bad for Diane Keaton, who must of requested soft light, but who ended up looking like some sort of messenger from god in a 1940s movie.

    • Goonies
      The Addams Family
      Pitch Perfect
      My Cousin Vinny

      It’s clear that I do not watch movies very often!!

      • We are twins, but I will add any Tom Hanks movie and all of the Harry Potter movies. At Christmas we watch Home Alone and Christmas Vacation every year and we looooooove it. Often multiple times over the holidays and our spouses are in on it, too, now.

        • Yes to CountC and Nutella’s movies (although I don’t really watch My Cousin Vinny that often). And there are some additional seasonal/holiday movies I watch every year: Hocus Pocus and the Halloween movies, Elf, The Santa Clause, Its a Wonderful Life.

        • How could I forget Home Alone!!! The holiday season doesn’t start for me until I see Home Alone.

          You are going to probably want to disown me now though because I am the only American who dislikes Tom Hanks. SORRY!!

    • Off topic, but I just re-watched the Devil Wears Prada and it didn’t really hold up for me. Andy is terrible the whole time. Miranda is awesome though. It all feels very before-the-crash (which makes sense, it came out in 2006 and the book came out in 2003).

      • Oh yeah, I’m all about Miranda and her co-stars those gorgeous coats. And Emily.

      • I can re-watch Devil Wears Prada over and over again. I’ve always thought Andy was terrible, although I empathize a bit. There is *such* a difference between before the crash and after the crash shows and movies, it’s striking. I like to watch them to transport myself back to simpler times.

        Emily + Miranda + Nigel forever. That’s all.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      The Color Purple
      The Wizard of Oz
      Coming to America
      Dirty Dancing
      Steel Magnolias
      Love and Basketball

      • New Tampanian :

        YESSSS love and basketball

      • Eager Beaver :

        I love almost anything with Sanaa Lathan, but Love and Basketball is definitely one of my all-time favorite movies.

        • Adding Love and Basketball to my list. I’ve never seen it.

        • Have you watched Something New (Sanaa Lathan/Simon Baker)? SO GOOD.

          • No, he’s the #1 character who makes me want to hurl when I watch devil wears Prada so I have avoided him. Maybe I should give him another shot.

          • He plays a fairly different kind of character than he typically does and I found him much more likable than I usually do. Sanaa Lathan’s character is the real gem, though – so recognizable to me as a professional woman.

          • Eager Beaver :

            Something New is really good, but Brown Sugar is probably my favorite Sanaa Latham film after Love and Basketball.

    • Whale Rider
      The Painted Veil

    • I cannot turn off or away from the TV if Shawshank Redemption, My Cousin Vinny, or Fried Green Tomatoes comes on.

      My go-to, can’t-turn-it-off movie, though, is The Big Chill.

    • The Sound of Music
      Raising Arizona
      Rear Window
      A Christmas Story

    • The George Clooney one where he is a “restructuring consultant” — i.e. he’s brought in to fire ppl — and spends like 50 wks/yr on the road almost as an effort to avoid his own life. Blanking on the name.

      Sweet home Alabama.

      Home Alone 1/2.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I like bad movies. If any of the following are on tv, I will always watch them:

      The Last Holiday
      Any of the National Treasures (most Nic Cage movies, actually)
      The Mummy (or Mummy 2) (so so terrible, but I love them)

      • I love love love bad movies. Really bad movies. Like, yes, I’ve seen Bring It On a million times. (at this point, you’re probably thinking to yourself, that’s not really bad!) But I’ve also seen the sequels a million times. Each. And yes, sequelS. There are 4. They were all released direct to video/dvd. They do not hold up to the original. But I’ve seen them multiple times…

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Star Wars (the original trilogy; I like to pretend the prequels didn’t happen and not-so-secretly hope Disney will just redo these now that they own Star Wars)
      10 Things I Hate About You
      and most Disney movies of the early-to-mid 90s era.

    • Star Wars
      Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
      The Great Mouse Detective
      Igby Goes Down

    • Love Actually
      Christmas Vacation
      Donnie Darko

    • Anony Mouse :

      Cool Runnings
      Lost in Translation
      My Neighbor Totoro
      Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version, obv.)
      Sabrina (Harrison Ford/Julia Ormond version–for some reason this became my go-to when I’m home sick)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I forgot Pride and Prejudice! Except I rewatch the one with Kiera Knightley. Also going to add Ever After to my list.

      • I am always looking for “chick flicks” to watch with my teenage daughter because she likes that genre. I saw Sabrina on Amazon prime and suggested we watch it together. She turned to me at the end and said, “new favorite movie.” Still her favorite 1.5 years in.

    • I’m more of a TV person, especially in this golden age of TV. But for movies: Spirited Away, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sense and Sensibility (to name a few).

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Harry Potter 4, 6, 7 (both parts)
      Lilo and Stitch
      Any of the Bourne movies
      Any of the newer James Bond

    • Omg I am ashamed of myself for leaving out my family’s all time favorite

      Nacho Libre

      We can recite 90% of that movie cold.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Princess Bride
      Beaches (go to need to cry movie)
      Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

    • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
      Miss Congeniality
      10 Things I Hate About You

    • Senior Attorney :

      Groundhog Day (how meta is that?)
      Pulp Fiction
      Galaxy Quest
      Sound of Music

    • Fletch
      9 to 5
      North by Northwest
      Sister Act

    • Anonymous :

      Almost Famous
      That Thing You Do
      The Cutting Edge
      Star Wars episodes IV – VI, the original versions before George Lucas wrecked them in the late ’90s
      The Sound of Music
      It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
      A Charlie Brown Christmas
      White Christmas

    • Shocked and appalled that I got through this whole post and no one, NO ONE, said Dirty Dancing. How is that even possible?

      Though I’m on board with many of the others.

  11. El Almacen in Brooklyn

  12. The other day I posted about having an M.M. LaFleur dress that is new with tags that I would like to sell. Someone responded that there was a Corporette sell site or somewhere to sell other than ebay. Can someone direct me that way? Thanks!

  13. OK, I have these Clark’s sandals that I loooooove and I want to wear every day (insanely comfortable). Is it crazy to buy a second pair for when the first pair (sand nubuck) get too dirty? $50 at 6 pm, Reedly Variel style (they look matronly in the picture but somehow make my ankles and legs look tiny). Talk me down or talk me into it!

    • No buy them

    • Nope, won’t talk you out of that! Buy them. I know several people who are on their feet all day and they LOVE these shoes. When you find your unicorn, you lasso it.

    • Buy the spare pair!! So many times I’ve gone looking for a particular model of shoe when a beloved pair falls apart, only to find they are no longer made.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Do it!

    • Do it. I still regret not doing this last year.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      If you love them and wear them and it’s not a hardship, get them – that sounds like a great deal. You never know when a style will be discontinued or your size will run out. I’m kicking myself for not buying an extra pair of the Reef sandals I’ve been wearing daily this summer.

    • Thanks everyone!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Get themmmm

    • Do it! Comfortable sandals that also look good on you are unicorns. Buy duplicates, and then buy them in a few other colors!

      Signed, the person who stalks certain styles of Cobb Hill/Rockport sandals all over the internet, because they are magic.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        SAME! I hate spending $90 on sandals, but for the perfect sandals that I have worn every weekend day (and vacation day) for two years, maybe I ought to…

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Buy them. They will change them next season and you will regret not buying them.

    • I buy duplicates of loved things in all categories (pants, shirts, shoes, undies, swimsuits). Buy what works!

    • Do it! Buy two extra pairs even!

  14. Help! Where can I find cheap maternity clothes in tall sizes? I don’t have a long torso so I can wear regular shirts but I need tall sizes in dress pants, jeans, leggings and dresses. Old Navy is my normal source of affordable tall clothing but it looks like they have next to nothing that’s tall AND maternity. A friend suggested Long Tall Sally but it’s out of my price range (and also not that cute imo).

    • UGH this was really hard for me, too! I am 5’10” and my inseam is about 33-34 in flats. I bought a pair of non-tall-sized but the inseam worked pants from Loft – they were black trousers and I probably wore them like every other day. They were probably about a 33″ inseam, and if they looked a little short I figured people would give me a pass. They are over the belly – I found that the side stretch style of anything basically did not work for me. I had a pair of skinny black pants from Old Navy in a tall size (so, maybe they don’t do that anymore?). They were okay but fell down and annoyed me. I did midi-dresses from Target (liz lange worked really well for me). I was lucky to be due in July so I wore a lot of cropped pants – I had a pair from Loft and a splurge pair from Isabella Oliver that were the only pants I wore besides the black ones from Loft. I didn’t like leggings or jeans from anywhere. The only ones with decent lengths were Gap or Old Navy and they all fell down and were super uncomfortable for me. I don’t know if this helps at all, but that’s how I patched together a wardrobe. (also check on ThredUp, they occasionally have tall sizes)

    • Midwest Mama :

      It’s not easy…. But I got some pants in talls (longs) at JC Penney when I was pregnant several years ago. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen tall maternity shirts or dresses though.

    • I’m not tall myself, but I noticed ASOS carries maternity clothes in tall. If the prices are a little higher than you’d like, check their sale/clearance section. I found most of the clothes were TTS. A side note: I ~loved~ the Bardot dress, but I outgrew it quickly mid-second trimester.

    • Never been pregnant, so I can’t speak to quality, but I noticed tall maternity (and petite maternity) on ASOS.

  15. Any recommendations for a medium-weight, oatmeal cardigan? Preferably without buttons and hitting at the hit (of a shorter woman, admittedly!). Thanks!

    • I’m not sure if this checks the oatmeal box, but I just bought this during the Nordstrom Annual Sale and I love it. I’ve had really great success with all Nic & Zoe cardigans. And FWIW I’m a shorter woman.

  16. Anyone else just hate this? When did unicorns become such a thing?

    • I posted a reply, but it disappeared….apologies if it double posts.

      Like, unicorns, generally? As a motif, I think they’re a bit played out, sure.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I’m waaaay more annoyed by mermaids.

    • I have girls :

      We have lots of debates / discussions about unicorns, pegasus, alacorns. DID YOU KNOW THERE IS A DIFFERENCE?

      Thank you, My Little Pony; thank you.

    • still a nerd :

      I don’t understand the love for unicorns and mermaids but not other mythical creatures like centaurs, sphinx, hydras etc. Like if they are girly mythical creatures that is cool otherwise you are still a nerd.

      • I can’t speak for anyone else but my story is as follows. 1) Saw Splash and fell in love. 2) Fell in love with swimming. 3) Fell in love with synchronized swimming

    • Eh, fads are fads. It’ll go away soon enough.

    • Funny story about unicorns . . . I was asking our former VP of Finance to sign something and he asked me a question. My answer was basically along the lines of yes, when that happens, I’ll bring my unicorn to work for you. We had a good laugh and I never thought about it again.

      A week later, he is at the coffee station with another exec and other people are about and he looks dead at me and in a very serious voice says, “You’re on my $hit list.” I about pee my pants. I said, “What did I do?” He goes, “Where is my unicorn???” I almost died laughing. I ended up coloring him a unicorn for his office, which he then displayed on his corkboard for at least a week. Hilarious. #soprofessional

  17. Gail the Goldfish :

    I need a new phone. I like the size of the small iPhones, but am not a fan of Apple’s OS. Does anyone have a similarly-sized Android device they like?

  18. So, this is an old topic at this point but I just finished the second Marie Kondo book and I’m super excited to start my clothes this weekend. I did it a couple years ago, but honestly I cheated and kept more than I should have. I am almost afraid to do it again, though, because I have to start confronting items that are “meh.” I mean, they work but aren’t great. Kinda frumpy but I still reach for them. I wouldn’t say they spark joy, which I know is the criterion but did anyone else have this initial struggle? It’s like I’m afraid to confront part of myself and I’m afraid I’ll fail again.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Does it spark joy to be able to throw them on and go? You don’t have to love your vacuum cleaner to keep it because you love having clean carpets.

      Also, do take Marie Kondo with a grain of salt. The woman talks to her purses.

      I’m taken “meh” clothes and “quarantined” them in a bag in the guest closet. If I can live without them after a few months, I get rid of them. If I find myself searching through the closet to find a piece and realize it’s in quarantine, it goes back into the closet.

      • That’s a good idea. Sometimes, like today, I pick out an outfit and think it’s fine and then in the elevator I look around and feel so frumpy. How can I avoid keeping frumpy stuff? I wonder if I’ll *think* it sparks joy and then realize that I have poor taste, lol.

        • If you are sure at the end of the day that it’s frumpy, ditch it that same night. I mean throw it away or donate it that same night. If you don’t, you’ll forget how you feel wearing it and just start the cycle over and over again.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Ah, yeah, if I’m unhappy once I’m wearing it more than a few times it goes out. E.g. a blue patterned maxi dress that I feel should look great on me but just does not work. I’ve tried to love it but after wearing it yesterday for dinner and being unhappy again it’s going to Goodwill this weekend.

          In that case, when you come home and take it off it immediately goes into the Goodwill pile. There are very few reasons to keep clothes that you dislike on you (maternity clothes or currently losing weight and nothing else fits might be some reasons). You deserve to love the clothes you wear – that’s where Kondo is right. If I have one maxi dress I love I’ll reach for it constantly, despite the four other maxi dresses that are just ok. Why not just get rid of the meh ones? And if a piece doesn’t look good on you, it doesn’t matter how great it looks on the hanger. You’re a real person, not a paper doll. Clothes should fit YOUR life, not the other way around.

          Note though: if the piece just doesn’t fit right in one particular way, but you love it otherwise (waist too baggy, armholes too big, a couple inches too long), tailoring will probably make it a piece you look great in.

          • Even when I’ve had “frumpy” pieces tailored to eliminate the frump factor, more often than not, I’m still not happy, so I would not spend a fortune on tailoring to try to get a piece to work.

        • Figure out what is causing the frumpy feeling. Are you looking around the elevator at other women who are taller / thinner / more polished / more stylish / more petite / whatever than you are — and then feeling frumpy? Or are you looking at yourself in a mirrored elevator and feeling frumpy? Or … to put it another way, are you feeling frumpy because your clothes don’t fit / aren’t cut well for you, or are you feeling frumpy because you don’t measure up to an image you have in your head of how you should look? And if it’s the later, is that image accurate and attainable?

    • If I only kept clothes that spark joy, I’d be walking the streets naked or in flannel pajamas. Clothing is not what sparks my joy. When I purge, I ask myself does it fit well? is it still in good condition? do I actually wear it? It’s generally going in the “donate” pile if the answer to any of these is no.

      • Yep, clothes don’t spark joy for me in that I’m really happy to put them on. But I appreciate my clothes that fit well, are functional, and make me feel put together. I did feel happier after I purged my closet of all the clothes that didn’t fit well or had issues.

    • I don’t know if it helps, but questions that helped me more than the “spark joy” were: “Would I buy this today?” and “Would I pay full price for this?”

    • This isn’t a pass / fail activity. It’s a “get better and grow a bit” activity. In other words, if you go through this, learn more about yourself, and make some progress (even if it’s small), that’s time well spent.

    • Can I just add (ad nauseam, I know) that this is what peeves me so much about this Marie Kondo stuff? (a) that you think it’s something you could fail at, (b) that the idea of it stresses you out, and (c) that you are throwing away things that are perfectly serviceable parts of your wardrobe, just because it’s not “joyous.” Get rid of things that don’t fit or are uncomfortable. If a blue button down is a serviceable part of your wardrobe, keep it even though a blue button down isn’t something that’s making you weak in the knees. This whole movement is ridic. It’s good to be mindful and it’s good to not hoard. Expecting a shirt to fill a void in your life is crazy.

  19. The Hubs and I are going to France in May 2018, flying in and out of Paris. We will be meeting a larger group in Beaune, but have five days before then (Thursday morning through early Tuesday) to get from Paris to Beaune. We will be travelling with one other couple during that time and plan to have a rental car for at least part of the time.

    Because I actually read and speak French, I have been tasked with putting together some sample itineraries for the four of us. Options include multiple days in the Loire Valley, time in Paris and surrounds, heading out to Normandy or whatever. We all have been to Paris before and seen the usual sites, so those are not “must dos”.

    The four of us like food, wine, museums, architecture, etc. The Hubs and I really like finding quirky places with interesting experiences (e.g. monastery in the South of France where the monks still sing the hours; visits to artisanal food producers, pocket museums, etc.). The large group part of our trip will be wine, wine, wine, and wine and the other couple are wine wholesalers, so we want the rest of the trip to involve other things.

    Thoughts and suggestions? Sights not to miss?

    • French Alps? Annecy is super charming, and Chamonix (Mont Blanc) is beautiful, and the food in the region is delicious and different from what you’ll eat in Burgundy. In 2003, I was in Paris for “the” heat wave, and after one night, my friend and I took the first train in the morning to Annecy. The area is great in the summer, and there was plenty to do for a few days.

    • MC Bontemps :

      I’d think about excursions to :
      1. Brittany around St.-Malo – train from St.-Lazare is approx. 3 hours, you can stay in St.-Malo which is super-pretty but small enough to navigate easily in and out of with a rental car, tour around Mont St.-Michel to the east and the Emerald coast to the west, nearby Cancale has great seafood eats ranging from the oyster shacks to Oliver Roellinger (which incidentally has a gorgeous luxe B&B attached) and the Rance valley just south of St.-Malo has some good farm-stays.
      2. Flemish Brussels around Ghent – train from gare du Nord is approx. 2.5 hours, Ghent is a nice-sized town with a pretty historical centre, some important art and its own gastro hub even after the closure of In de Wulf last year, and you can tour to Bruges, also super-pretty with good museums and good restaurants in the vicinity eg. Hertog Jan.

      Only downside is spring can be wet in these northern parts, Paris included.

      • You are so right about the wet. After being rained on daily for a week some years ago, I do not understand why they wrote a song about April in Paris.

        Already in the market for suitable footwear, open to suggestions on that too.

    • We spent 4 nights/5 days driving around the Loire Valley a few years ago and loved it. The food, the wine, the scenery, the chateaus…it was so good. I’d highly recommend it.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Nothing to say, never been to France, but taking a trip to France with wine wholesalers sounds pretty baller.

  20. Unsolicited recommendation: the BP Lula block heel sandal at Nordstrom is SO comfortable. It’s a higher heel than I’d usually wear, but I’ve been comfortable all night at multiple events this summer (I’m usually a barefoot dance floor person, and I’m trying to stop doing that). Although having the strap across the top of the foot (instead of around the ankle) is less fashionable this year, that makes it way more comfortable, and for me, it’s a huge win.

    I was prepared to spend $600+ on a pair of Jimmy Choo Carrie sandals for my rehearsal dinner shoes, but decided I liked these better anyway, and spent a tenth of that budget on a blue embellished suede pair of these.

    • Omg the black patent ones just made my heart leap a little! I wore pretty much identical ones to my first middle school dance in 1999(?) They were not as high, but they were definitely BP, which was still called “Brass Plum” and selling cool edgy metallic nail polishes (Hard Candy!!!!) and the infamous Steve Madden stretchy slides. (Which btw they are selling again.) Ah, nostalgia!

      • Woop! Nutella, we are probably about the same age, and I think part of the reason I liked these so much is because I also had a silvery pair in a similar shape 1999-2002ish.

  21. Sloan Sabbith :

    Serious question: I started Zoloft two and a half weeks ago and my anxiety and general depression has skyrocketed. I have a pshychiatrist alpointment this Monday, but any anecdata? A quick Google search said it can get worse before it gets better, but my therapist said she’s not seen me so anxious in years.

    Non-serious question: I bought the Zella “Warrior” wrap used last night and I can’t figure out how to wear it beyond looping the snapped part behind my neck so it’s a drapey cardigan. Google hasn’t helped. Does anyone else have it that could walk me through how they wear it?

    • I only have help for the non-serious question (and I’m hoping you get some good advice on the serious one!):—and-omg-check-out-this-zella-warrior-wrap

      I did a quick pinterest search and this lady has apparently tried wearing it in all.the.ways. Some more successful than others, but some ideas.—and-omg-check-out-this-zella-warrior-wrap

    • Rainbow Hair :

      When I started on Zoloft, as my sadness went away, my anxiety came out in a BIG way… like I had my first panic attack after I started Zoloft. It did get better, though!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Unfortunately the sadness is still there, too. I’m having such a tough time. I literally cried in the bathroom at work for my entire lunch break yesterday I was so sad and miserable and anxious. :( I hope it gets better soon, this is awful.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Sloan, it WILL get better. Acknowledge how strong you’re being, ok? You cried in the bathroom your entire lunch break and then went back to work? That’s amazing. You’re so tough.

          And you really just have to get through the minutes until Monday when you see your doc again. I know you can do that. But it might also be worth reaching out in the meantime (does your doc email or text?) just to check in.

        • I’m sorry that I don’t have any anecdata, but just wanted to say reading this made my heart go out to you. I hope you feel better quickly.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Thank you, both. I can get through the next few days- I have ativan at home that’s technically for nausea but I’m not opposed to using it for actual anxiety when it’s really bad. Trying to work out (which helps), walk my dog, sleep a lot (not ideal, obviously, but I’m just so tired) and be kind to myself at work and get through day by day. My supervisor isn’t completely in the loop but I’ve told him I’m struggling, which helps a lot because he cuts me slack when I’m a total mess- same with my intern, who’s been really great.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I speak from experience – don’t stop the Zoloft cold turkey. Discuss this in detail with your psychiatrist. Good luck! Finding the brain med can be a pain.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Thank you :) I was on citalopram, which was GREAT, worked almost immediately, etc. Annnnnd then it stopped working over the course of about two days. So we’re trying to figure out what works for me now.

    • Anon for this :

      This happened with me – Zoloft increased my anxiety and made my insomnia worse. My doc said that this was typical, but after it didn’t get better she shifted me to Prozac, which had none of those symptoms.

    • No anecdata but I’m sorry to hear this, especially after the one-two punch of dealing with the forest fire smoke and learning you had to have sinus surgery. It just hasn’t been an easy August for you. That stinks :(. Here’s hoping that the sun feels good this weekend and Monday’s appointment brings quick relief. Meds gone wrong are he**.

  22. Not that Anne, the other Anne :

    Attire question!

    I am attending a “Celebration of Life” tomorrow and don’t have the foggiest idea what one wears to one of those. So far I have only attended funerals and memorial services in my life. I know what to wear to a funeral/memorial service and own a black dress that is specifically denoted as The Funeral Dress. Celebration sounds a little more festive, though. Does one still wear The Funeral Dress or is that going to be too, well, funereal?

    More background: The event is happening late morning immediately after the graveside service, it’s occurring at a nondenominational “casual” church, and the deceased is one of my extended coworkers (in another department, but we worked somewhat closely together on several projects).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would wear a fuller skirt, maybe in black or navy, with a jewel tone shirt and a pretty, colorful scarf. Basically what I would wear to a ‘casual church.’

    • Still wear your black dress. A celebration of life is often a more positive moniker when the person died of natural causes or old age- when the family is feeling thankful for all the time they had with that person.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d treat it as a memorial service and just wear whatever you’d wear then — with the caveat that it’s summer and you’re in a casual non-denominational church, so you may not need an ultra-formal black sheath, hose, heels outfit. Just something neutral and non-showy.

    • Anonymous :

      Wear what makes you feel comfortable/appropriate. At a similar-sounding COL I attended a couple of weeks ago, attire was pretty evenly mixed. What I noticed most of all, sartorially speaking: the daughter of the deceased wore a black dress, pearls, and a hat. Her husband wore chinos and his company polo–and no, he was definitely not arriving straight from work. It looked…really odd.

      • Anonymous :

        I have to assume the daughter didn’t object to her husband’s clothing, or she’d have asked him to change before they left for the event. I guess the contrast between them is a good sign that there was no expected standard of formality. Still, the work polo seems *really* inappropriate for a family member.

  23. Anyone else prepping for Hurricane Harvey? How are you preparing?

    • Hopefully by evacuating!

    • Food, water, batteries, the usual list.

    • We evacuated from a hurricane last year so my prep was a little different. We brought into the garage most anything that could blow away outside, turned off water and gas to the house, took pictures of every room and all valuables, pulled out insurance and flood insurance policies, packed up jewelry, computers, firearms, and some other valuables, along with all valuable documents. We didn’t go so far as to move furniture upstairs, but did move small stuff up higher in case of flloding. Made sure we had cash, extra medications, gas in the car(including a can of gas in case traffic left us stranded), food and water for us and the pets, crate for the pets, and some comfort items for the kid.
      If you stay, filling bathtubs and sinks with water is helpful for water to use for bathing and flushing toilets in case of pump failure.

    • I grew up in Coast Georgia.

      We always filled bathtubs (can be used to flush toilets) with water before a tropical storm or hurricane. My mom gifted me a weather radio for emergencies (can be battery powered) Other obvious things: full tank of gas, water, batteries, etc.

      I live in Fort Worth now so I am thinking of my TX neighbors!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Don’t forget to get cash, since if the power is out, atms and credit card machines aren’t going to work. Even if the power is out, Waffle House will likely be open, so gotta pay for breakfast somehow. (Ah, georgia hurricane prep)

  24. I’m finally replacing all of my hangers! Which are best, velvet or wood? I’ve got a few wooden ones, but my pants slide around on them. Velvet ones are so pretty, but do they leave creases/bumps? If I’m spending the money I want to do it right. fwiw, I don’t intend to hang sweaters/cardigans.

    • Velvet ones are fantastic. No bumps and no slipping.

      • Agreed. I buy the amazon basics ones, just bought a bunch for my DH so he could stop using the wire hangers from the dry cleaners.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Velvet ones are SO GREAT. Also they’re super thin so you can push all your clothes to one side and feel like you have a spacious closet, and twirl around like the grown*ss woman you always dreamed you’d be.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Velvet all the way.

      Anyone have any recommendations for similarly-priced-to-AmazonBasics skirt/pant hangers? I use the ugly plastic ones now but I keep breaking them.

      • If you like the cascading ones, I’ve found that this brand is great quality (no experience with this product, though):

        They make the best mesh delicates bags!

        I have a metal padded one from target a few years back and it is going strong.

  25. BabyAssociate :

    Are any of you Clairsonic users? I’m considering getting one and would be interested to hear your thoughts!

    • I used one briefly and it freaked my sensitive skin out. I even used the “gentle” brush head but it was just too rough and intense.

      TBH I just use a clean white washcloth every night for washing my face and my skin is great.

      • Try the silicone Luna Foreo, which comes in a ton of sizes, shapes, sensitivity levels. Mine lives in my shower, has held a charge for over a year (I only use it 2-3x a week because of my sensitive skin), and feels way better on my skin than a brush.

        I bought mine on ebay, nip, but there are also knock offs on Amazon.

        • (I have the “mini” which is like 90 new at Sephora; there’s a new disposable? one that is not rechargeable and is 40 new…I’d skip that)

      • Same here. I know they say you’re supposed to break out at first but my skin looked absolutely awful. I had to stop using it. However, I gave it to my mom and she loves it…so I really think it depends on your skin.

    • I’ve been using the Clarisonic Mia for more than 5 years. I really like it. I don’t know that it makes a big difference, but I’m happy with it. I use the gentlest brush.

    • My mom was a Clarsonic devotee for years, but when hers died, I got her a Foreo and she thinks its amazing. Loves not having to buy brush heads, and she said her skin feels cleaner than it ever did with a Clarsonic.

      I have a Foreo as well, but I rarely remember to use it.

    • Anonymous :

      I like it and see a difference, but I wonder if that’s because the Clarisonic forces me to spend more time washing my face. I think if I scrubbed for however long the brush runs for, I’d probably get similar results.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I used one for a long time. When I first started, it seemed to cause breakouts, so I gave it up for a while. When I later tried again, I didn’t have that problem. However, I have now switched to Foreo– it’s silicone instead of a brush head, and it doesn’t require expensive replacement parts like the Clarisonic. They sell a little “temporary” Foreo for pretty cheap at Ulta, if you wanted to experiment. It’s “temporary” in that it’s battery operated, and once it’s dead, it’s dead. The full size Foreo is rechargeable (but I’ve had it for over a year, used it every day, and have still not had to recharge it once– whereas Clarisonic has to go on the charger every few uses).

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had a Mia for six years or so, and I like it! I don’t use it every day, but it definitely gets my skin nice and clean, and much more gently than scrubbing with a washcloth does. I usually have to charge it every month or so, but you can get another three or four uses out of it even after it tells you to charge it, so the battery has never really run out for me when I wanted to use it.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Thanks for the Foreo recommendations, all! I had not heard of that one

    • I loved my Clarisonic and never got breakouts, but I did get some broken capillaries around my nose. I also switched to a Foreo and I really like it. It doesn’t feel as though it’s going to get your skin as clean as the Clarisonic (or at least it doesn’t for me) but the results are at least as good.

  26. following. I use a manual face brush now and I really like it.

  27. This is such a nice breezy top! And the material is amazing! Love it!

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