Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Elastic-Waist Linen Blend Dress

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

This chic black dress looks fabulous for work and beyond — I’m usually kind of iffy on epaulets, but here I like them. I might add a more decorative belt or just wear it as is. It’s $3,250 at Neiman Marcus. 3/4-Sleeve Elastic-Waist Linen-Blend Dress

A lower-priced option is at Nordstrom, as is a plus-size option.

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  1. Can anyone suggest a website (probably a store on Etsy) where I can order a necklace with a name on it—my name, a baby’s name, etc. Preferably in gold plate.

  2. Clothing crisis :

    I really need help in figuring out how to dress now that my body has been turned upside down throughout and after pregnancy. I will come back to work in March after six months of maternity leave and I have nothing that fits. I am 5’6” and weigh 145 pounds (with a bit of baby weight left). I used to be an hourglass and therefore only have clothes, particularly dresses, that accentuate my waist and formerly flat stomach. Now I am an hourglass when seen from behind with a postpartum pooch in the front. Basically my entire wardrobe is too tight in the stomach area. I have no idea where to shop anymore and what to buy as flowy tops and dresses usually made me look much wider than I was (which I didn’t like). Dresscode is fairly casual, no suits or suit separates necessary. Nice dresses would be great. Please help me!

    • Anonymous :

      Karen Kane, Adriana Papell, Eliza J- all have flattering work dresses

    • cat socks :

      I am an hourglass and carry most of my weight in my belly. I find fit and flare dresses to be most flattering. I am also a bit short waisted, so I like dresses that are fitted directly under my chest and then slightly flare out from there. I don’t like sheath dresses b/c they emphasize my belly.

      My workplace is very casual and I like the fit and flare dresses from Lands End. I also have several of the swing dresses from Old Navy. I’ve also had luck at Nordstrom Rack.

      I prefer higher waisted jeans and ponte pants. I have one of each from NYDJ. With those I just wear regular knit tops and sweaters. I found some cute printed tops from the Lauren Conrad collection at Kohls and wear those with a cardigan.

    • Sounds like you can still wear the same basic shapes, but perhaps look for things with more ruching/flowy-ness in the front? I’m more straight up and down, but the post-partum (ha, my kid is nearly 6) pooch is still there. I like some of the MMLfFleur tops that have a gentle drape or ruching on the front but still end on the hips for some definition. Otherwise, perhaps skinny pants with a drapey top, but one that goes to just below your belly instead of a tunic length? Dresses that are seamed at your natural waist and then flow out from there are also super flattering to me now – Lands End and Brooks Brothers have some great ponte ones.

    • This happened to me. I called Nordstrom’s personal shopper, explained the situation and my budget and made an appointment where they would pull clothes first. Not everything was to my liking, but in between feeding, with my mom watching my baby, I got enough clothes to start in good shape.

    • Anonymous :

      This is me right now. I’m 6 months post partum and still poochy in the middle. I’m doing tops with ruching and dresses with huger waists. I’m actually wearing three of my maternity dresses still and no one seems to think they’re maternity dresses. I agree MM Lafleur has good options too. And I have a maternity skirt from Storm that transitioned well. After my first pregnancy I treated myself to Rent the Runway Unlimited for a few months so that I had a variety of nice things to wear while I transitioned sizes.

    • This is how I’m shaped and I don’t even have a baby. I wear a lot of skinny pants with flowy tops like anne-on mentioned. I like shift dresses too that skim over my shape.

    • Flats Only :

      All those dresses that people here complain “make her look pregant” are your friend. Your waist will be highlighted, and the extra fabric below the waist is more flattering than dresses that are too tight through the “pooch”, which just emphasizes it even more.

    • Clothing crisis :

      Thank you all so far! I will check out your recommendations. One issue I have with fit and flare dresses, which probably are the way to go, is the bust area: At my current weight, I am a 34 E and a v-neck is the most flattering shape. Usually, fit and flare dresses though will have a higher neckline which (alongside the higher waist) makes me look very busty. A similar thing is true for flowy tops, which look a little like a (small) tent. Any ideas (or is the answer just: embrace it)?

      • Flats Only :

        I just browsed the fit-n-flare section on e-shakti, and there are a number of v-neck options there, and you can customize the neckline of any of their styles.

      • I have a large bust and similarly prefer a v or a scoop neck. But I find that I can make a crew neck work if I use a necklace to breakup the area visually.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Or a scarf! I live in scarves year round for this reason.

          • +1 – a colorfully patterned scarf with a solid sheath dress is one of my go-to outfits.

        • +1. I might be you OP, so following this with interest. I have a large bust normally, and I’ve recently discovered that I can create a “faux” V neck by wearing a crew neck and then adding a necklace that will mimic a v-neck or scoop neck shape. Lately I’ve gone for the simple chain with a small pendant changing down – but walk around in it first to make sure it doesn’t bounce too much against your chest.

          • This is a brilliant tip. 10 months postpartum and still nursing, so I’m increasingly unbalanced between top and (still poochy) bottom. Going to try this ASAP!

      • christineispink :

        I’m pretty busty (32F) and wear lots of sheath dresses (no hips but poochy). I also look very NSFW in true v-necks. I do long delicate necklaces to help create a faux-V-neck with sheath/crew neck/boatneck dresses.

      • Aquae Sulis :

        I’m the same height, and it sounds like we’re similar shapes. I totally get where you’re coming from about the issue with the higher v-necks. I’ve found shirt-dresses with a waist-tie to be good, and I also have fit-and-flare dresses with straight necklines that I break up with a statement necklace.

    • Just don’t get rid of your old clothes just yet! I was in a similar place at 5 months PP, but was back to my pre-baby size and shape at around 8 months. I had decided to “embrace my new shape” and got rid of tons of stuff that I then essentially had to rebuy.

      • Clothing crisis :

        Thanks for the advice. I am a hoarder by nature so I wasn’t planning on throwing anything out. But similarly, I guess I shouldn’t buy myself a whole new wardrobe quite yet. But yes, I am trying to embrace the new shape since I feel very much not like myself and having only ill-fitting clothes certainly makes the matter worse.

    • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

      Gwynnie Bee is your friend! You can rent the sizes and styles that you fit you best this week and not have to commit to anything. I can’t recommend it highly enough for people changing sizes and shapes. 3 years in I still use it every week and its radically changed my wardrobe for the better. I buy a few pieces that I like after I’ve worn them, have a regular rotation of new to me items that are seasonal, and have almost completely reduced my other shopping. All I buy now are basics like underclothes

    • Anonymous :

      Work out. You have time to fix this. Do not give in to frumphood.

    • Anonymous :

      I would try jackets even though it’s business casual. Just get casual jackets. Size up – usually buying a half or one size bigger makes you look smaller. When I went back after maternity, I bought a cheaper wardrobe from Loft and Halogen that I loved and didn’t pressure myself to get back exactly to my preprg weight until I was ready. Don’t wear too small clothes – it will depress you. Get stylish stuff in your current size.

  3. Anonymous :

    Talk to me about career changes. I’m bored in my job and was in college as well. For personal reasons, I couldn’t transfer or switch majors. I want to be challenged intellectually. I’ve been thinking about pursing formal education in a more quantitative field for a fresh start. I’m nervous because I haven’t been challenged in so many years. It’s been frustrating and I honestly feel like I’ve been getting dumber over this time. For what it’s worth, I’d be studying a subject that I haven’t looked at in close to a decade but excelled at back then.

    • Take a few night classes in the subject to see if it still appeals to you and to demonstrate your interest in it for your applications. Good luck! You can make this happen.

    • Anonymous :

      My suggestion is make sure you look into starting salary in the new field you want to go into. You don’t want to make the investment of time and money into formal education to find out that starting salary is way lower than you’re making now. I’ve had friends do what you’re thinking about, only to find that they’re now with a class of new hires much younger than they are who are willing to work for less than they are. You might be better off staying where you are, trying to advance in your field, and in your free time away from work, try to challenge yourself. Just a thought…..

      • That’s a good point. I can’t say which is more lucrative long term. I want to do well financially, but I also want to enjoy my career and life.

    • Do you need a degree to switch? Can you do some networking/fact finding to understand if it’s be possible to break into the fields you are thinking of without a quant undergrad degree? Maybe there’s a grad program or certificate, or a couple of roles you could take and in a few years have the industry experience to jump in at the level you are thinking.

      You’re not going to have much luck becoming a nurse or a professional engineer without the required coursework, but for data analaysis or quant heavy banking you might find another way in.

    • Anonymous :

      Therapy. It’s a small investment but I think worth it. Is the problem really your field? Maybe! But if it’s not, if it’s a deeper issue within you, changing careers is a really expensive way to solve that and probably won’t work.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m going to assume good intentions, but this is not helpful. My job and field are not providing me the intellectual stimulation I need or the passion I want. Instead of accepting that I’ll be miserable for the rest of my career, I’m trying to take positive steps to change the path ahead. Whether or not there are other “problems” at play is irrelevant, as this one is legitimate either way. I don’t see why I need a therapist for this.

        • Excuse me? Yes. Absolutely. Good intentions.

          If you don’t think the advice works for you, fine! That doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful. I’ve seen many friends hop from field to field and never get any happier because that wasn’t the real issue.

          Don’t ask for advice and then be defensive about it.

          • +1000

          • Yes, there have been a few posts lately about people (mostly spouses) that are super unhappy with everything and think a career change will fix it but the person actually seems depressed. So it’s work at least thinking about.

          • +1 – dramatic changes (career change, location change) are often undertaken as an attempt to fix dissatisfaction with life. I think the key it make sure you are moving TO something, as opposed to just leaving something.

            So, definitely explore alternate career paths and what it would take to move into them, but also explore your assumptions that a new career would actually address your concerns. Not everyone works in a “passion” area.

        • Therapy has been very helpful to work through my frustrations at work.

          Anecdata, a friend was a college professor with a PhD and decided to become a PA in her late 20s. She did years of study to switch careers and took on massive debt. She moved across the country for a fresh start and a vet job, and now she isn’t happy. She is thinking about getting an MBA because “healthcare is poorly run”. I also suggested therapy to her.

        • Anonymous :

          I have changed careers. I have also been to therapy. Therapy was way more helpful in helping me to become a content, fulfilled, peaceful person than the career change. Sorry you didn’t get told exactly what you wanted to hear.

      • I believe the best therapy is family therapy b/c your families know you, while outsider thereapists do not, well at least not as much as your family, so they cannot give you the best advise. That’s why I listen to my dad, even tho he likes to critisize me, he has my best interest at heart. I know if I do what he says, I will be better off then if I rely on my own instinct, which are generally pretty good also.

        BTW, Kat this is a great outfit, but a wee bit to pricey for me. Also, the model is very svelte, and I would not look as good as she does in this outfit. But YAY for her!

    • I studied a random social science field, and I don’t use my degree in my career. I know many people with superfluous degrees. If your job isn’t intellectually stimulating, is it possibel to switch to another field without quitting your job, losing your source of income, taking out student loans, and going back to school? I’ve never had a job where they cared about the subject area of my degree. They just wanted me to have one.

    • JuniorMinion :

      You also might want to explore the decisions and behaviors that led you to spend a long time in something with limited upward mobility / intellectual stimulation.

      I don’t mean this to come across as insensitive, and I don’t know what your personal reasons were at the time, but beware that intellectually stimulating / upwardly mobile career paths often require a great deal of personal sacrifice and sometimes arranging your personal life in a way that you might not necessarily want to in order to work at what you want to. I would do some thinking on whether you are willing to make these kinds of sacrifices for a career. It is totally fine and tons of people I know are lukewarm on their job but like it because it provides them all kinds of personal / flexibility advantages.

      • You are so right. I face this with new MILLENALS all the time. They only do what they want to do, and do NOT do what you NEED for them to do. Then they tell your boss they are bored b/c they do not have enough to do.

        That is why so many milleaneals get a bad reputation. People my age know we must work, and sure not everything is exciting, but you know what? That is why it’s called work, and work is a 4 letter word. FOOEY on peeople, even some in the hive that do not know this. Well learn it, gurl! If you want to be a soul sista in the hive with us, you MUST walk the walk, and not just talk the talk! YAY!!

    • anon a mouse :

      My suggestion is to work your network and have informational interviews with people who are doing things in the field you are considering. Get a good sense of what degrees lead to which types of careers. Try to figure out if there’s a role you could lateral into while you work on your studies.

      • Want to underscore the options that involve making a switch without investing in another degree if at all possible. The advice to network and have informational interviews is good.

  4. NYC Daytrip :

    I’m headed to NYC for the day this week for a work meeting. Any advice on things to do/eat/shop near Penn Station and/or city hall? Unfortunately I won’t have time to go too far…. Thanks!!

    • Near City Hall: for shopping, there’s Century 21 (can be exhausting/busy so try to not go at lunch) and also the shops in Brookfield Place. You can also have a nice lunch in BP. Also, check out the oculus. And if it’s your thing – you can go up to see the view from the new freedom tower.

      If you just want get a nice lunch, I really like Tiny’s on west broadway. Arcade Bakery on church has amazing croissants and other baked goods (the whiskey pecan babka!).. also good sandwiches and pizza.

    • The NY Pizza Suprema on the corner of 8th Avenue and 31st Street is good for a slice (and there are lots of seats). Giant DSW near Penn on 34th between 7th and 8th Avenues. Koreatown, with all sorts of quick-eat or sitdown restaurants and bakeries, is a 5-10 minute walk, on 32nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

    • Near Penn Station – to eat: Mexicue (mexican barbeque fusion – delish), Friedman’s. To do: Museum at FIT, Macy’s flagship.

  5. Elegant Giraffe :

    Does anybody use Amazon Fresh? We’ve used it for about a year and a half and generally like it. About three months ago, they added a tipping feature in our area. Most weeks it’s there, some weeks it’s not. (kind of like it’s in testing mode?) We don’t tip because 1) we didn’t even have the option for a little over a year, and 2) it’s inconsistent when the option appears. Do others tip? How much? We’ve noticed the quality of the service has declined in recent weeks – deliveries not as timely, items damaged. Think that and tipping are related? (On Amazon Fresh, you can tip when you place your order or up to 24 hours afterward. I don’t believe cash tips are accepted.

    • I couldn’t use amazon fresh even though i wanted to because they never took the giant green insulated boxes away. At one point I had twelve on my porch which was pretty much my entire porch.

      The drivers seemed to be sort of like Uber drivers – using their personal cars to haul groceries, not like a big truck or anything, so they all claimed they didn’t have room or time to take the boxes (on the rare occasion I was home when the driver came). From those interactions I concluded that the drivers where sort of stressed out and held to a really tight timetable, so if I did it again (which I probably won’t) I would tip them $5 to $10.

      But I am not going back to it because I ultimately had to contact Jeff Bezos’s office to get the green things finally taken away. Customer service was no help and i contacted them at least six times. They just kept saying yes of course, we will come get the boxes, and they never did.

    • Not amazon, but I usually tip $5 for similar services. And even with an explicit no tip policy, I’ve never had anyone refuse a tip.

    • We stopped using it here in Seattle (FWIW the tipping feature was always available to us here). The produce just wasn’t as good as we now get through Pacific Harvest, Terra Organics (although their quality also is going down lately), and Ugly Produce. I used to tip $3-4 per delivery. I just can’t justify it being any more. And they never picked up the bags, like Anon above. Also, they packaged everything in plastic bags. I’m fine with a couple but there would be like 10 and my entire bathroom cupboard was jammed with them. Agreed on the drivers being like Uber. Costco now delivers non-perishable items, so between them, produce-specific deliveries, and Smiths brothers for milk we rarely go to the store.

  6. Anonymous :

    Feeling burned out from doing a heavy legal transactional role for 7 years. Fast paced, always feel like I’m frantically jumping from deal to deal, call to call. I’m looking for something NON customer facing. Anyone have experience making the transition? I’m feeling discouraged as everything popping up seems just to be more of the same.

    • Eeertmeert :

      Could you contact a recruiter who works with lawyers exclusively? If you explain what you are looking for they can probably give you some insights into possible roles and how often they are open.

      I work in accounting, and went from a cpa firm to a manager role in private industry that I would not have known about if not for talking with recruiters, and their connections.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you do M&A, finance or other high profile corporate transactions? Bc there are less flashy / lucrative transactions – maybe downgrade to a lower level of transaction handled by biglaw? May not be politically possible but thought I’d throw the idea out there.

  7. Berner Oberland :

    Can anyone recommend their must-do activities in the Berner Oberland region of Switzerland? We’ll be there for a few days in late May. I think the Alps are having a huge snow year so our hiking opportunities may be limited. What else is a must-do?

  8. No Problem :

    Ladies: do you give your male SO a gift for Valentine’s Day? Even if it’s just a token gift you know they’ll love (bulk package of his favorite chewing gum or mints, book he’s mentioned wanting to read, etc.)?

    I’m the sort of person who likes the idea of receiving gifts, but often dislikes them in practice because I always feel the need to reciprocate and I’m terrible at picking out gifts. For V Day, this always makes me feel awkward: tradition says a guy can give you flowers or chocolate or take you out for/cook a nice dinner, and it’s all good. But I feel weird not giving something in return.

    • No gifts as we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.

    • Of course. Do men not like chocolate? Are they feeling-less beings who don’t appreciate a thoughtful card? Do they not have interests and hobbies and wear undies and pajamas?

      • No Problem :

        Mine actually doesn’t like sweets (can’t believe I’m dating him!), otherwise I would totally buy him chocolate.

    • We made an executive decision years ago that the purpose of Valentine’s day is to express our feelings, and the best way to do that is with dedicated time. So no gifts but always do a date or other activity together.

      • Agreed – this is what we do. We try and find something fun within a driveable distance and decided to prioritize each other for a weekend in lieu of gifts.

    • We have a rule that you can spend $10 at any chain store in our ‘hood (usually Rite Aid). I got some fluffy magazines one year that I loved b/c I never waste $ on those for me but I do love to ready them. I have gotten him a bag of hershey kisses and lottery tickets. V-day is such a racket but this and but budget limit makes it fun-ish.

      • We do this too! We set a low budget limit, a store, and some kind of silly rule. So it might be “$10 from CVS, nothing from the Vday aisle” or $15 from Target, but only the dollar spot.” or “$10 from Walgreens but only the back half of the store”.

        It’s fun for both of us. The element of surprise and thoughtfulness without the burden of some “meaningful” gift.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is such a fun idea!

    • Baconpancakes :

      We agreed to make our Valentine’s Day tradition learning something together, so we go to a class of some kind, usually the weekend before, and then just go out for dinner on the actual day because we like food and drinks. This year, I’ve been feeling a little bleh so I requested flowers, and I’ll be cooking a fancy dinner – lobster pot pie – in reciprocation. (We’re doing a mezcal class the weekend before, too.)

      I think it’s 100% reasonable that if either partner does it, both partners make gestures, whether they are gifts or cards or doing something nice for the other person. You wouldn’t expect a gift on your birthday and not give one back on his birthday, right?

      • Patricia Gardiner :

        This is so cool- love the class idea!

        • Baconpancakes :

          So far we’ve done a cheese pairing class, a glass-making class, and this year the mezcal tasting class. It’s pretty fun!

          • This is quite brilliant. Where do you find the classes?

            I also love the small-dollar-amount at CVS or the like. I would love to get fluffy magazines, Fritos, and a box of Good N Plenty for Valentine’s Day.

    • No reason not to if gifts are your thing. I finally just admitted that gifts are part of my love language (I like all the languages) so we are exchanging something small this year.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Our tradition is making a nice dinner at home. We don’t do gifts, although I insist that my husband buy me flowers. Silly, and not something that I would have thought mattered to me, but I was upset the one year he didn’t do it. But other than that, no. Generally speaking, though, we don’t do birthday or Christmas gifts either. We’d rather spend that money on experiences together – dinner, a vacation, etc.

    • He frequently gets me flowers, and usually cooks a nicer than normal dinner (he cooks most of our meals to begin with, so this isn’t a huge thing). We both hate going out to restaurants on V-day and in general I care more about celebrating little holidays like this than he does so it doesn’t strike me as terribly unbalanced that he gets me something and I don’t really reciprocate. If he cared about the holiday and I could think of anything he wanted, I’d be happy to get him something, but he’s really hard to shop for and doesn’t really care about receiving anything.
      This year though we have a baby due on the 15th, so we’re both hoping to be eating terrible hospital food on V-day!

    • Yes.

      My current SO went through a long period of single before meeting me, so I know he is excited about Valentine’s Day. Whether or not it is a fake commercial holiday is irrelevant: he’s excited, so I will try to make sure it’s special for him, too.

    • I’m terrible at gift-giving, too. Plus the boyfriend is trying to lose weight (so, doesn’t want sweets), is very picky about tech stuff, is very clutter-prone so I don’t like to give tchtochkes, and has plenty of clothing.

      So I just ordered him a Svengoolie t-shirt. It glows in the dark. And, we are going out on the 11th to a restaurant that is doing special VD drinks and food, but not an over-priced prix fixe menu. That starts on the 13th.

    • Linda from HR :

      Normally we do dinner somewhere nice, often splitting the bill, and I give him a card and some chocolate I know he’ll like.

    • I go to See’s and get my husband a custom assortment of all his favorite candies.

      And I often buy myself something lacy I know he will enjoy.

    • We usually get some kind of fun small thing to eat – a heart-shaped cookie from the local bakery or something. It’s cheap and cute and right for us.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      No. We usually go out to a fancy brunch somewhere around Valentine’s Day because brunch is more fun than dinner.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      We generally don’t celebrate it but I’ll sometimes get him booze anyway.

    • christineispink :

      Maybe not repeatable every year exactly, husband was negotiating a new contract with the cable company last week. He wanted to upgrade our Internet speed for $10/month. I said I didn’t have any issues with our Internet speed but he still said he wanted it. I venmo-ed $120 into our shared account for home/joint expenses and said “Happy Valentine’s Day”. It’s his favorite gift.

  9. Anyone have an idea as to where it is least expensive to buy NARS makeup, or if this is a futile effort? Online is fine; I’m just at the point of restocking and was going to shop around but wanted to see if this would be a futile effort. My sense is that it doesn’t really go “on sale” but I might just be able to get free shipping or some other loyalty discount at an Ulta/Sephora/Macys type store.

    • Doesn’t Sephora do VIB sales in April and November? That might be a good time to stock up. Some of their palettes are good prices too.
      Ulta sales/promos exclude almost all the prestige lines for cosmetics so I rarely bother with shopping there.

      • This is what I thought…I’ll probably just suck it up and buy now but plan better next year! I don’t go through it fast enough to warrant buying more than 1x a year at the most.


        • Were you looking at buying the blush? I was a Nars devotee but I had a Sephora artist use the Spehora brand blush on me and I was shocked at how much more I liked it (for half the price as well).

    • No, premium makeup doesn’t really go on sale and won’t be priced differently at different stores. Sign up for Sephora emails and buy when they’re having a good promotion (like the gifts you get for spending over $35) and rewards for points.

    • Anonymous :

      I think Nordstrom offers free shipping for all purchases. I saw some deals around the holidays at department stores, but I don’t think they’re still around.

    • Lord & Taylor sometimes lets you use the coupon on beauty. Usually 10-15% off maybe once a month. The Nars site also occasionally has 20% off, maybe twice a year.

    • Flats Only :

      I’ve been impressed with Ulta’s rewards program over the years. Once you get to platinum ($500 spent in a year I think) they have fairly hefty coupons a few times a year, some of which do cover prestige brands. Even without the coupons, you can easily rack up $5 or $10 worth of points to turn in. They sell drug store brands too, so if you need those items you can get them there at good prices and they count into your accumulation of points.

    • Ulta routinely does 20% coupons- I just used one for Nars makeup over the weekend.

    • KateMiddletown :

      FYI – Nars began selling in China recently so they’re doing animal testing now, if that’s an issue for you.

      • Hmm, something to consider, definitely. I have not been choosing them based on their lack of testing, but because their products work really well on me. I’m going to consider some alternatives…thank you for this!

        And thanks for all the tips, r e tt es! If I stick with them, I’ll look at my Ulta coupons and time out my purchases to the VIB sale in the future. And I’ll check out the Sephora blush!

  10. BR Ryan / Logan pants fit; middle-age spread; how to fix? :

    My BR Ryan fit pants are now OMG too tight (they are wool) and a hot mess. They are size 6. And the tightness is all in the seat area.

    My BR Logan fit pants are fine — size 6 that fits off the rack.

    I know that Logans are for pears but OMG how did middle-age spread happen in 12 months with no noticeable size changes elsewhere. I am the same weight I was in high school but I am now in my late 40s with kids in elementary school. BUT I am not even the same shape I was last winter.

    And the million-dollar question: how do I fix this (other than by more shopping???). The Ryans are of course the hot pink color that they don’t offer any more.

    • After a month of a strength training routine that’s heavy on squats, step-ups, and hip thrusts, I can see noticeable changes in my rear and my pants are looser in the seat. It doesn’t completely undo the fact that I sit all day, but it helps.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Ha lucky you. I found that strength training has made my rear rounder and higher and my waist a bit smaller so I now have pants that are too tight through the thighs and hips and then I have this weird gap in the back.

      • Strength training :

        I’m 48 and second the strength training. For four months I treated myself to two 45 minute personal training sessions per week which ended up being heavy on the jump squats, lunges, weighted step ups, etc. I’m shocked that my pants fit SO much better.

    • Anonymous :

      Pilates classes does it for me.

    • Mineallmine :

      Haha, I’m 45, same weight as college, but I just had to buy a bunch of new underwear due to rear end spread. It felt like it happened overnight. I wear mostly dresses, so it’s been the undies that made me realize how bad it’s gotten. So frustrating!

  11. My city won the Super Bowl, I have a big trial this week, and I have two final interviews at new firms.

    What else do I have? The flu. BLEH

    • Congrats! My city just got done hosting the Superbowl, it’s been frigid here all week and is set for another week of the same. Had a stomach bug last week, and just as I was getting better, woke up with cramps. Blerg. It’ll get better (eventually).

    • Anonymous :

      You should get a pass and be able to appear in Bellichick-style sweatshirts then.

      • Those things are hideous. I don’t understand the appeal. Certainly he could find some other bespoke option, right?

        • I think that they are hideous and awesome. And he owns it. I wouldn’t leave the house in what he wears, but I love that he does it. And I hate the Pats with the fury of an angry toddler with a full diaper and a rash.

        • Anonymous :

          He wears them because they are hideous. He wanted to wear suits to games but that was not allowed, thus he opted for the most hideous permissible option in protest.

    • Ah! That is awful!

      Congrats, though, on a *fantastic* win, Philly! I’m a lifelong other team fan, but man, you guys played SO well last night! Well deserved win!

      • Baconpancakes :

        It was a well-played game, but man, was it funny. SO many fumbles and the probably really painful and dangerous but hilarious crotch-to-the-face jump.

        • hahaha I loved that too — between that and Foles’ trick play, it was such an entertaining game! and the Sad Tom Brady memes are delighting me this morning.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Your local immunocompromised person chiming in: please don’t go to these things if you have diagnosed influenza. Getting it could kill me and many others in my situation who have chronic illnesses. I know they are important, but you should try as hard as you can to quarantine yourself.

      Sending you healing thoughts and congrats on the win!

      • +1 from a pregnant person.

      • Seriously. The one thing everyone understands, including judges and potential employers, is the flu – the real flu. It is a royal giant PITA to move this stuff but it needs to be done. Not only could you infect others, you are not even going to be at 50% of your game with the flu.

  12. I don’t like cooking and I find it very hard to find the time to do it anyway since I’m in grad school and working. Are there any food blogs or books with a focus on EXTREMELY time-efficient recipes? 30 minutes of active cooking is honestly too much some nights. Would love any tips or any ideas for grab-and-go foods that make your life easier (hard-boiled eggs do that for me).

    • I live alone and hating cooking for myself. I make a lot of stir fries, pasta, and grilled cheese.

    • Anonymous :

      When I was you, I didn’t cook every night. Maybe every week?

      I got good at fast meals that are like: chips + refried beans + cholula + cheese + jalapenos = dinner

      The next night, you can use the rest of the beans.

      Lasagna made on Sunday can feed you for Sunday and the next 3 days (I toss leftovers after day 4, but usually they are gone by then). You can use the cook-in-pan noodles and save a step. Also, vegetarian saves a step (or just throw in pepperoni).

      Saving time = saving time shopping, using canned / frozen items, saving on prep time, saving on clean-up time. [Invaluable to know as a parent now; wish my husband appreciated that cooking time is just one factor.]

    • Eavesdropping- wwyd? :

      Apples! Or the fruit of your choice, but apples are the best.

    • When I was in school, I really kept it as simple as possible. 30 minutes of active cooking…. honestly, I only did that if I was cooking with my housemates and it was a social thing. I didn’t want to cook for 30 minutes, for myself.

      I also tried to keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge so I could grab those for easy protein. It also takes no time to scramble an egg or two for quick protein. I also kept milk, cheese, tofu, yogurt, hummus in the fridge at all time for easy protein. Enriched pastas, and pastas made out of things like black bean/chickpeas etc… with a decent bottle red sauce to pour on top. I tried to make a vegetable or two. I kept easy frozen veg in the freezer at all times that could be boiled, and always tried to have some fresh veg. I prefer simple tomatoes/carrots than bland lettuce, but alternatively throw a salad together.

      So most nights, almost no real cooking. Just boiling water, or heating up/steaming in the microwave. I did love cooking indian food etc.. but that was only on a weekend, then I would make it in bulk and freeze/keep in fridge and nibble on it all week.

      But my salvation was Trader Joe’s as a student. I always had lots of their frozen options in my freezer, that I would supplement. Like their black bean burritos, and then I would throw some avocado/chopped tomatoes/squeeze a lime on top. That’s plenty of cooking for one night. My freezer was always full of their single portion foods (mostly asian/mexican/indian), dumplings, gnocchi.

      I worked crazy hours then, which you are now. Don’t force yourself to cook…. especially if you don’t like it. Just get through school.

      • +1 to Trader Joes. DH works late a lot so I am often home myself for dinners and the freezer section at Trader Joes is my savior. In addition to the single portion foods mentioned above, a lot of their burgers are great too. I also love their Cowboy Caviar (basically a salsa type of dip that includes corn and black beans), and their frozen jasmine rice and quinoa.

    • No Problem :

      One of my go-to weeknight meals goes as follows:
      -protein, usually fish (sautee in pan with butter if a thin piece like tilapia, or broil if a thicker fish like salmon) but sometimes steak (broiled)
      -vegetable (cut up some broccoli and steam, or steam the green beans that come prepped in the produce aisle, or a bag of frozen veggies you can microwave)
      -starch (baked potato in the microwave, rice or quinoa cooked on the stove)

      The key with broiling is to put a piece of foil on top of the broiler pan, then the meat on top of that. No need to clean the pan, just ball up the foil and throw away.

      Total time is usually 20 minutes or so, most of it not really active cooking. And if you make more than a single serving of veggies and starch, you can do the same meal the next night and all you have to do is cook the meat and reheat the sides.

    • Two tips:

      1) Check out https://www.budgetbytes.com/. It’s focused more on meal price than cook time, but often the recipes are super simple and fast too.

      2) I’ve mentioned this several times on here, but it bears repeating: You can take almost any vegetarian curry or daal recipe and instead of following the step-by-step instructions of sauteeing and bringing things to boil in a pot, just throw all of the ingredients in a large rice cooker (which can be purchased on Amazon for like $30). Currently this is my favorite recipe for that: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/harvest-tomato-and-butternut-squash-dal/

      • 2) is totally true. The flavors will be more muted, but it’ll still be tasty and nutritious. This is also true of any soup, crock pot, or instant pot recipe. They often have you saute certain things first, but all this does is bring out flavor. It’s not required in order for the meal to be cooked. You can also just chop everything up and throw it in and turn it on.

    • Anon in NYC :

      When I am cooking for myself, I eat a lot of eggs and keep it really simple: avocado toast topped with a fried egg and scrambled eggs with toast are two staples.

      The other things that I do are “assembly” meals:

      I make a minimal amount of stuff (grain, roast vegetables), and buy a lot of ready to eat stuff. Like, I make quinoa, and I’ll buy vegetables that are east to roast (already-chopped butternut squash, zucchini, bell pepper, already broken down broccoli/cauliflower), or, like, steam-in-bag green beans. (I roast my own vegetables because I think they taste better than roasted vegetables I can buy — but if you can find already roasted vegetables that you like, go for it!). Roasting vegetables takes about 30 minutes of cooking time itself, but not a lot of hands-on prep.

      Then, I buy already cooked meat (rotisserie chicken, steak, etc.), salad greens, and “extras” (marinated mushrooms, olives, artichokes, any type of cheese that you like). On any given day, I mix and match. So, a salad topped with quinoa, sliced steak, olives, cheese, and roasted veggies. The next day, a quinoa bowl with chicken, roasted veggies, cheese + salsa.

      Yeah, you spend a lot of money on convenience and prepared foods. But if you don’t enjoy cooking, it’s cheaper than getting takeout.

      • This is what I do too. I find Trader Joe’s has tons of things that work really well for “assembly” style meals (e.g., pre-cooked beets, tins of grape leaves, tins of white gigante beans, sliced salami, grilled chicken strips, microwavable chana masala).

    • Below are some of my favorite food blogs. You can look for ones that are tagged as 30 minutes.

      Budget Bytes
      Mels Kitchen Cafe
      Iowa Girl Eats
      Once Upon a Chef

      I made the Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper from Iowa Girl Eats last night and modified to make it very easy – browned the meat, added packet of taco seasoning, added one jar salsa, one can chicken broth and one cup rice. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer until rice is cooked.

      Another easy favorite of mine is to brown Italian turkey sausage and then add my favorite jar of pasta sauce. Make some pasta while the meat is simmering.

      Cook frozen veggies instead of cutting up fresh.

      Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store.

      Salmon can be made quickly – sprinkle some salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning and bake at 425 until done. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s not over cooked.

      The blackened tilapia from Once Upon a Chef is also very quick.

    • This thread made me hungry and I’m working from home so I just went into the kitchen and made a scramble using dried shallots from Penzey’s, leftover salmon, 4 halved cherry tomatoes, two eggs and some dried dill. Delicious.

      This is the kind of thing I make when cooking for only me.

      • (I added ingredients in order given, starting with just a little butter – oil would work too- and the whole thing took less than 5 minutes)

    • pugsnbourbon :

      My grocery store sells a packet of two salmon fillets. I baste them with a little maple or hoisin sauce, stick under the broiler for 12 minutes, and then eat with a salad. Super easy.

    • christineispink :

      When I was in law school every night was either fried rice (leftover stir-fry) or an omelette/frittata. Omelette is fast for one meal, frittata is great for multiple meals.

    • Thanks all – great ideas!

    • An excellent dinner that ready in 20 minutes:

      Boil water- put angel hair pasta in for 5 min
      Add a cup of crumbled feta
      A bunch of cilantro chopped
      A cup of sun dried tomatoes julienned cut in their oil

      Mix and serve

  13. Rothys sizing :

    Finally going to order a pair of the Point- are these true to size? I’m a 9.5 in most everything…narrow long feet! Thanks!

  14. Anonymous :

    Leaving my job and an exec asked if I’d like to chat about areas where the company can improve. I respect this person and don’t want to be rude. However, I don’t see a benefit to this conversation and would prefer to avoid it. Is there a politically correct way to decline?

    • Take the meeting and come up with something fairly bland and minor to tell him. Like the maternity leave policy would be more competitive if it were 2 weeks longer, or that that having a standardized format for performance reviews might be making people treat them as perfunctory, or something small and easy to “fix” like that. The benefit to you will be strengthening your relationship with this person (building a network is always important) and leaving a good impression of yourself as a professional. Of course don’t get into any substantive reasons why you’re leaving, or start to complain about everything that’s wrong with the company – you have the right instinct there.

    • Anonymous :

      Ha! I got the same thing when I left a job recently and it annoyed me too. But I came up with one or two honest suggestions, although steered clear of the heart of the matter. Hard to tell someone you don’t believe in their business case!!

  15. Eavesdropping- wwyd? :

    I recently switched desks to sit directly outside grandboss’s office. When someone walks into her office, they may or may not close her door- there really is no norm.

    Recently I overheard a discussion with a manager (not my boss, but same level) about another employee’s raise. No one closed the door, but should I have gotten up and closed it? Everything they said about him was positive- I had no idea what they were discussing till I heard, “of course we want to give him a raise”. 90% of the conversation was about how to build a business case, what kind of percentages are possible under the current budget, etc. So I potentially learned a lot from the conversation, but wasn’t the sensitive info I was interested in. All the same, I don’t think coworker would be thrilled I overheard about his compension that way.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I don’t think it was your responsibility to shut the door. If I were you, I might have gotten up and walked away once I figured out the topic of the conversation.

      The next time you hear grandboss talking about something innocuous, perhaps mention it to her later in the day. “I heard Sam is pretty excited about the Eagles’ win but you’re a Patriots fan. How do you think things will play out next season?” Basically, drop a bread crumb that you can easily hear convos in that office.

      • Eavesdropping- wwyd? :

        She’s well aware- and I’m perfectly visible as anyone walks up to her office.

        • If she is aware of it, I definitely would not close the door. It seems like she just doesn’t care that you can hear the conversation. Can you put in a pair of earplugs for the duration of the meeting so you don’t have to listen to it?

        • I wouldn’t drop a hint like mentioned above, that could easily backfire. If you’re uncomfortable, walk away; otherwise, keep working and do your best to ignore the conversations.

      • No, that’s not what adults do. If it continues to be a problem, OP can speak up easily.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Following. My boss is grandboss to most people on my level, and I can hear everything that she talks about, even with the door closed, thanks to our HVAC system. She was discussing a bonus she was trying to get for a coworker, and while coworker was thrilled about it, I just don’t think it’s really any of my business. I’ve got a white noise app that helps a little bit, but we have some loud talkers in my office, so it’s not foolproof.

    • Nope. Keep your mouth shut.

    • nerfmobile :

      I used to sit near my manager (in cubicles), and (since we work with a lot of remote people) I overheard a lot of phone conversations that were not necessarily my business. I’m generally a “keep it confidential” person anyway, and once she realized that she could trust me to do so, she gradually began having more conversations at her desk instead of in a phone room. Occasionally, she actually intended for me to overhear them for intelligence-gathering purposes. I learned a lot that way, both useful information as well as how to approach certain kinds of interactions. As long as your grandboss knows that you can hear her conversations, this can be a useful strategy and opportunity for you.

    • I agree with others that you can walk away (restroom break?) if you don’t want to overhear. My office was across from a manager’s once and he put everything on speaker phone, including that one time when they were discussing breaking from the mother company to merge with another. And anyone who walks down the hall to the kitchen and bathroom would hear the conversation. I was horrified on his behalf but it wasn’t on me to keep his phone calls discreet.

      • In this situation, I went to my boss and said: “I just wanted to let you know that I can hear every word of your conversations if you don’t close your door. Obviously, I’m not spreading it around, but I wanted to let you know in case there is anything you don’t want me to hear.” (After inadvertently hearing a partner discussion on speaker phone about personnel issues that were decidedly not my business.)

        But then I liked and respected my boss.

  16. If you told a friend you would pick her up at the airport and she chose a flight arriving at 10 pm (at an airport an hour away from where I live) and a return flight departing at 6 am at same airport, would you feel comfortable asking her to get a Lyft for one of the legs instead? I’m really sensitive to losing sleep and I can handle picking her up or dropping her off at one of those times, but doing both sounds terrible (especially since we will be attending a wedding that weekend that is going to go late). Lyft is very readily available and it’s what I would do if I were the traveler, but I did tell her before she got the flights that I would pick it up.

    • Definitely ask her to get a lyft for the departing flight. If the flight leave at 6am, usually you need to be there an hour before (5am)and the airport is an hour away, which means you need to leave at 4am to drive her. Not reasonable to expect you to do it.

      Arriving flight means you leave your house at 9pm, pick her up around 10:15ish and you’re home again 11:30 approx. – that’s not too bad so I would definitely pick up.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Agreed. The only person I’m taking to the airport at 4 AM is myself or my parents if I’m being very nice. Otherwise, I’m not getting up. That means you have to get up before 4AM and that’s cruel and unusual punishment.

        • Hah, I wouldn’t even take myself at 4am which is why my flights are always after 10am if I can help it. I wouldn’t dream of imposing this on anyone.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I’ll only do it for cross country flights so I get in earlier (West to East) or if I’m coming back from a weekend in my hometown and leave Monday AM to get to work on time.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Does she realize that the airport is an hour away? For the 6am flight, assuming she’s checking in the recommended hour before her flight leaves, you will have to leave your house at 4am. I think you can easily beg off the 6am flight – most people will be reasonable about not making their generous host get up before 4am in the morning.

      • Baconpancakes :

        ETA: I think it’s completely reasonable to say “I didn’t realize your flight would be so early. Could you book a Lyft/shuttle/etc for your departing flight?” When you offer to pick someone up from the airport, it’s normal to assume you’ll be maybe a little late for work, but not assume you’ll be getting up at 3:30 in the morning. I think the social contract here allows for addendums to the agreement to pick up said friend with no penalties imposed for breach of contract.

    • Absolutely. Of course she can’t expect you to get up at 3:30am or earlier to get her to her departing flight?

      There must be planned shuttles/alternatives to get to the airport because of the wedding, yes?

      I would probably try to do one of the times, just because you already told her you would. Probably the pick up time. But she’s a grown up, with a job, who planned an out of town flight to a wedding… so she can afford a Lyft.

      Just be honest with her…. those times are rough for you.

    • And if she’s uncomfortable with Lyft, you can prebook the Blue Shuttle.

    • I’d pick her up but not drop her off. And I’d stop offering to do airport pickups if I didn’t want to

    • Honestly, if you agreed to do it without caveats (e.g., “I can do it as long as your flights are between 8 am and 8 pm” or whatever), I would just do it. I’d be annoyed if a friend agreed to get me and then asked me to take a Lyft. But I live 75 minutes from the airport and take 6 am flights all the time, so getting up at 3:30 to catch a flight is routine to me.

      • Linda from HR :

        Right, it’s routine for you, it’s not routine for many people. I wouldn’t ask a friend for a ride and then book tickets, assuming my friend would be okay driving me at any time of day. I’d figure I had a ride if my flight was at a reasonable hour, and if I had to book a super early or late flight, I’d look into a Lyft or something before expecting that person to drive me.

        When someone’s doing you a favor, the considerate thing to do it make the favor easy on them when possible.

      • Anonymous :

        Lol no this is ridiculous. She’s doing her friend a favor not agreeing to a contract for services. It is not routine to get up at 3:30 a.m. to do someone else a favor – especially not when you’re staying up til midnight to do the same friend a favor within a couple days.

    • Personally, if someone offered to drive me to the airport without knowing the times, I’d double check first with them before expecting them to get up at 3:30 to take me to a 6 AM flight. I would not assume that kind of wake up was included in the offer.

      So I agree with others that you can bow out, with apologies for the inconvenience to her, but don’t offer in the future unless you know the times and know you can do it.

    • I would do the pickup- you told her you’d pick her up, yes, not drop her off? Plus, I’d imagine that you would either wait up or wake up when she came to your home, so you’ll probably lose that couple hours of sleep anyways. Definitely ask her to get a Lyft on the way out, though. I wouldn’t be bothered by that at all- if you wanted to be super duper nice, you could offer to split the cost with her.

    • Say no to both. When you offer to give someone a ride to/from the airport, it’s implied that the ride will take place during normal waking hours. Neither 3:30 a.m. nor midnight are normal waking hours. I would really hope that your friend already knows that and recognizes that by booking flights at those times, that means she’s probably losing her free airport transportation. If she really needed the ride then she should’ve checked with you before booking those flights. Say no without guilt.

    • Anonymous :

      Adults don’t take adults to the airport. This is college kid behavior. No. You shouldn’t do this, esp given the flight times.

    • I agree that dropping her off is a bit of a stretch. My only question- do you think she’s really worried about budget? When I had fewer financial resources I booked those very early 6 AM flights because they were much cheaper. And I did have a few occasions where someone would pay for me to fly to a wedding or event because they knew otherwise I couldn’t afford it, but airport cabs were still really difficult for me because they could be so expensive. If she’s young or you have a suspicion that this trip is a significant financial stretch for her, I would tend to book a shuttle or uber for her and pay for it. Or just take the hit and get up early.

      If you have no reason to believe this is a financial issue for her, then I agree, give her info on a shuttle!

  17. Can't tell anyone irl :

    …(except DH of course), but after 3 years of trying, 5 IVF retrievals, and 2 embryo transfers, I am finally pregnant for the first time ever! Of course there is such a long way to go, but I am so so happy today. I appreciate the mentions of infertility on here which helped normalize the situation for me.

  18. I would feel comfortable asking them to get a Lyft — especially since a 6 am flight means being at the airport by 5 am which means leaving at 4 am which means getting up 3:30 am!

  19. I’ve got an overnight layover in Amsterdam for a trip this spring. Flight lands at 5 pm and leaves the next morning. I am staying a hotel next to the airport, but I figure that still gives me enough time to get in to the city center and have dinner somewhere. Any suggestions for dinner accessible to public transit? I’ve never been to Amsterdam.

    • Much of central Amsterdam is walkable if you take the train to Centraal station. I’d go to Gebr. Hartering or Breda for a nice but not stuffy sit-down meal, with the bonus of a pleasant canal-side walk to and fro the station.

  20. Baconpancakes :

    What’s everyone’s experiences with Shoes of Prey? I want a pair of green ballet flats, but with some kind of interesting detail on them. Can they customize the shoes beyond the site options? And are they comfortable and of good quality?

    • I can’t speak to the customization (my pair are plain black leather), but I have been happy with the quality: I think they look really nice. They took a *lot* of breaking in, but are now pretty comfortable.

    • I’m really happy with my Shoes of Prey purchases and was pleased with the return process when one of them didn’t fit.

  21. Icebreaker :

    I’m hosting a meeting with ~20 people and am looking for an easy fun icebreaker that only takes 5 minutes. It’s a fairly introverted group, mostly 20-something guys. Any suggestions?

    • Ice Breaker :

      I was at an event a couple of weeks ago, and the ice breaker was “What was your first screen name?” It resulted in some pretty funny responses. Another good one is “What is something people wouldn’t know about you by looking at you?”

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        thanks – stealing both of these for upcoming meetings

      • AttiredAttorney :

        Also like the get to know you question of: what was your first job? Pinterest is also good for icebreaker games and questions.

    • Two I’ve used that tend to go over well with 20-something guys:
      – what’s in the trunk of your car right now? (assuming you live in a car-owning area)
      – what’s the best dessert (or meal) you’ve ever eaten?

    • Have everyone take out their phone and share (no cheating!) the last song they listened to. (I say use a phone because it’s pretty easy to see the last thing you listened to; if someone doesn’t use their phone for music, they can just try to remember what the last thing was.

    • We did a nice one last week – also group of 20. Each person wrote 4 secrets about her/him, then we split into groups and we got assigned cards of 4 people and were supposed to assign the secrets to the correct person. It was great because I knew most of these people for 5+ years and I had no ideas of some of the less-known facts about them.

  22. Ladies, kind of gross question. I’ve been spending a hour on the elliptical a few times per week. I wear old navy sports [email protected] Underneath the band of the [email protected] my skin has gotten raw and irritated – would switching to cotton work? I walk home for about 10 min after – the gym showers are gross – is that too long? This has really put a damper on my exercise enthusiasm

    • Anon in NYC :

      Try body glide for the chafing.

      • +1 for body glide. I also use a sports detergent to wash my workout gear. If the problem continues, I’d look at a different sports bra. Elliptical isn’t super high impact so it sounds like this bra may not fit you the best.

    • Before you leave the gym, can you do a quick wipe down under the band with a baby wipe or something similar? When I was really into hot yoga, I found a difference a substantial decrease in break outs if I immediately wiped my face and chest with a cleansing wipe so I imagine it might be the same for other areas…

    • I’ve had that issue too, and I found that a swipe with a face/body wipe that contains tea tree oil or witch hazel has helped. Those areas can be (grossly) prone to fungus if they stay warm and damp.

    • I’d take the bra off and just free-boob it home.

      I drive home from the gym, and don’t shower there, but I do make sure to take off all my sweaty clothes and put on a clean (ish – I work out about twice a week and use the same tee for the drive home for two weeks or 4 workouts). Not sure if that’s the problem, or chafing, as Anon in NYC said.

      • Anonymous :

        This. As soon as I get in the car after a workout, I peel off my sports bra and put on a dry cotton t-shirt and go braless. (Or I do it in the locker room at the gym, but my primary workouts are at Orangetheory studies which are small and tight, so I just use my front seat. After nearly 30 months of BF-ing two kids, the world has seen enough of my boobs and it no longer bothers me to change in public…)

    • Switching to Cotton will be worse.
      Bodyglide will help.
      Take the bra off at the gym directly after the workout, even if you don’t shower.
      Also, when this starts to happen, its often a sign I need to replace the sports bra (assume its because the band gets stretched out & starts to move around)

    • Thanks for these good ideas! I had honestly never thought to just take the d— thing off. Will also try the baby wipes, that sounds convenient and easy.

    • Find a seamless bra. It’s the seam that’s causing the irritation.

    • Anonymous :

      It sounds like your bra just doesn’t fit so the band is moving and causing friction. Bodyglide or vaseline can help with this, but a better solution would be to find one that fits you in the band. They make traditionally sized sports bras where you can get both the right band and cup size instead of just having to buy a SML letter size that fits the cups but provides zero band support.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 to a better fitting bra. Also, I got an infection from wearing a sweaty uniboob sports bra. It was like a half dollar sized ingrown hair, except there was no hair. I ended up on antibiotics, it was painful, and quite unpleasant with some drainage. My PCP said it was likely due to the friction, compression, and 20 min. ride home in a sweaty bra. I bought an Elomi underwired sports bra that lifts, separates, and supports, and its made a world of difference + no further infections.

  23. Working mom to be :

    Thinking about telling my boss I’m pregnant today (12 weeks)… I wanted to wait but I’ve been feeling awful and would like a little flexibility on coming in late/leaving early, which I think he will give me. But do I have to tell him? I think it will be more awkward if I leave it as an unspecified medical thing. Has anyone done this?

    • Is there a specific reason you wanted to wait? 12 weeks is the standard time to announce, even if you’re not feeling awful and don’t need to explain why you’ve been tired or sick. I would tell him now. I agree it’s sort of weird to say you have an unspecified medical issue when you’re likely already visibly pregnant or will be in a couple of weeks and you’ve reached the normal point at which people announce pregnancies.

    • I have the stuffiest old-man academic boss, and I was terrified to tell him I was pregnant. But I needed flexibility for the same reasons as you, plus the ability to work remotely and not get sick in our bathrooms that we share with students. It wasn’t bad! He asked no questions but genuinely said congratulations, and completely agreed to flexibility. Don’t worry! I think you do have to tell him, mostly because it’s going to be pretty obvious in a few weeks.

    • Yup, just tell. It’s never as bad as you build it up to be (I’m pregnant with my 3rd and finally told my boss at 16 weeks…I work remotely so she had no idea). If you wait then tell a few weeks later it’s just more awkward.

    • I would add that if you’re not visibly pregnant, there is no reason that you have to tell your boss at 12 weeks. For various reasons, people may want to wait until closer to 16 or 20 weeks. You should tell your boss when you feel ready to do so.

      • People tend to know you’re pregnant long before you think you’re showing though. I lost weight in the first trimester and didn’t surpass my pre-pregnancy weight until 18 weeks and I was still wearing my normally clothes until I was at least 20 or 22 weeks. I announced at 16 weeks and literally everyone told me they had known since I was 8-10 weeks along.

        I don’t think you have to tell your boss you’re pregnant *just* because you’re visibly showing, but I think because she needs the flexible hours, that’s a good reason to tell now. It seems odd to ask for an accommodation for vague “medical” reasons now and then turn around and announce a pregnancy in a few weeks, especially when she is already out of the first trimester and the miscarriage risk has declined significantly (I’m aware pregnancy losses happen after 12 weeks, but they happen all the way until the end and you obviously can’t go the entire 9 months without disclosing the pregnancy).

        • Did they say how they knew you were pregnant? I can’t figure out how people would possibly know, unless you’re throwing up regularly in the bathroom or something.

          • Just based on changes to my body. I was never sick at all at work. Even if you don’t gain much or any weight, your body changes in early pregnancy and most people experience some bloating in the abdomen before 12 weeks that looks like a baby bump (even though the uterus is still in the pelvis at that point). I didn’t think it was obvious since I always bloated a bit before my period too, and like I said I could button all my regular pants until at least 20 weeks but a lot of people (including my generally unobservant male boss) could tell much earlier than that. Many women also get slightly rounder in the face very early.

          • Elegant Giraffe :

            I’ve accurately guessed (to myself of course – not to the pregnant person or out loud to anyone else!) several coworkers’ pregnancies. I’ve noticed things like complexion/glow factor (or sometimes the opposite – hormonal acne) and change in routine. I had a couple of coworkers who I spent lots of time with. They started eating different things for lunch and having lots of personal appointments during the work day. I assume those were dr appts or coming in late/leaving early due to not feeling well.

      • Disagree strongly on 12 weeks being “standard”. Many women I work with (myself included) told at 16 weeks, and one waited until the anatomy scan at 20 weeks because of a hereditary family defect she wanted to make sure was not going to come in to play.

        Maybe for my second I’ll feel compelled to tell sooner because (1) you show earlier after your first and (2) it won’t be as scary because I’ve already told my boss about kid #1, but by allllll means, you tell when you’re ready.

        If you feel like you have to tell at 12 to get accommodations that you need, do it. If you want to wait 4 more weeks, then that’s completely fair too and no one will be upset that you waited.

      • Thanks for this comment, I am 13 weeks and so not ready to tell yet! This thread is making me feel a little guilty though.

        • I’m 31 weeks and a guy I work with, who has three young kids/a not-long-ago pregnant wife, had no clue I was pregnant when I told him at 28 weeks. I’ve been showing since +/- 20 weeks. Some of that is due to cluelessness and some due to winter clothes and my deliberately choosing some looser fitting styles.

          Nosy people will be watching you and speculating, even talking among themselves about you (another guy told me he was watching my drinking habit for weeks at various events and he “totally knew”….?!), and other people literally will have no idea and, in all seriousness, think you’re just getting fat.

        • I have never been pregnant but I wouldn’t feel guilty about waiting to tell the office as long as you gave them enough time to transition your work. If they guess before you tell them, that’s ok.

        • Don’t feel guilty! Pregnancy is a complicated time. For most people, waiting a few weeks to tell until you are ready will not cause as much of an impact as you might think. My own OB suggested telling people at work around 16 weeks, especially in light of certain complications. When I did tell, people seemed genuinely surprised. (And no one said anything along the lines of “you should have disclosed at 12 weeks.”)

        • I think 12ish weeks is “standard” just because many people are waiting to get past the first trimester, for the risk of miscarriage to go down, and (these days) to get back the maternal-fetal DNA blood test results. It’s not a rule, but it’s a relatively common time to announce for those reasons.

    • Don’t stress about it. Particularly if your boss is a man, I predict it will go like this:

      You: “I wanted to share some exciting news. SO and I are expecting a baby!”
      Boss: Congratulations!
      You: Thanks! I’ve been having a difficult pregnancy so far and my OB recommends X and Y so I need to Y AND Z.
      Boss: Okay.

    • Different anon :

      I had to tell as soon as I found out (at barely 3 weeks) because I was so violently ill that I couldn’t sit upright without vomiting. Not exactly how I wanted that to play out, but I was grateful for the understanding and accommodations once they knew.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Perhaps it is the far loner length of mot Canadian mat leaves, but most people I know told their immediate boss at like 6 weeks and then made a more widespread announcement later.

      I told our managing partner and my supervising partner at about 7 weeks to both cover myself if I needed to work from home or come in late and to allow time for them to find someone to cover my desk/files for however long I chose to take off (we have up to a year available although I ultimately was off for 5 months).

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      This is your health and your baby’s health- neither are things about which you HAVE to tell your boss by 12 weeks. People may guess or they may not, depending on your symptoms. I’m in the “wait to tell work” camp bc 1) when women have been pregnant in my office, other (female) co-workers have immediately started complaining about them/their work product and 2) I had a MMC at around 10 weeks, used Misoprostal, was at work when it took rather violent effect and the whole thing was pretty traumatizing b/c all of my co-workers found out and some were less sensitive than others.

      One of my co-workers, who’s also the loudest in complaining about pregnant employees slacking, claimed she had known all along (a lie, because another employee admitted to me that the same b*tchy employee was shocked when she heard I was pregnant and then miscarrying), and also said to me, “I guess you won’t make the mistake of having Lean Cuisines in the future.” Due to morning sickness, something bland like Lean Cuisines were about the only thing I could keep down and due to fatigue I didn’t have the energy to go out for lunch.

      Anyway, that was a long anecdotal response in which I really just mean to say…tell work whenever feels right to you. 12 weeks vs 14 weeks vs 16 weeks likely has little to no effect on their planning for your maternity leave and is still more than sufficient notice. Pregnancy is one of those incredibly unique and often difficult experiences that everyone understands differently. Do what’s right for you.

    • Anonymous :

      What’s the harm of telling? If people will steal your work, that’s a reason. If there’s a reason, sure wait, but otherwise I’d tell – it gets more awkward if you wait too long. (Mom of one)

  24. A company recently recruited me to Bellingham, WA, which is a fairly small town (at least compared to the big city I left on the East Coast). I’m in my mid-30s and single, but very social — I left a great group of friends behind on the East Coast to take this job. I wanted to see if there are any fellow Corporettes in the area who might be interested in grabbing coffee, or if anyone has ideas about how to meet people.

    • Aw, I just left that area–too far to easily visit. I will say that outdoor sports are THE thing, so if you have any interest, or willingness to try it out, you’ll meet other enthusiasts with a wide variety of personalities and backgrounds.

    • I’m in Seattle, not Bellingham, but I’d echo the other comment about outdoor activities — people here go bananas for anything outdoors. I’ve also found that the social rhythms in the PNW are a lot different than the east coast. There’s a natural reserve that can come across as aloof, and it takes a while to get to know people. There’s also much less emphasis on status symbols or class markers. Be patient and friendly, and the friendships will come, I promise! It just takes time.

      • Thanks so much for the advice! I have colleagues who commute from Seattle and Vancouver, so I figured if I need to get to a city, either one is always an option. I am excited to get into outdoorsy stuff — clearly, the option wasn’t entirely there on the east coast!

      • Eeertmeert :

        Seattlite here, too. Born & raised through early teens on East Coast. Been here since the early 1990s.

        PNW friendliness does not mean people want to actually be your friend, it is just politeness. Many are conflict avoidant, and uncomfortable with moving casual social acquaintances into inner circle friends. You have to prove yourself in order to gain a native PNWers friendship/interest, versus that native PNWer thinking “I wonder what this new person is all about, I would like to find out”
        It’s possible to make friends, but you must be actively putting yourself out there and cannot take it personally when (not if) “would love to get together” means “I am not going to actually make room in my life for you” over and over.

        Bellingham is rad, but similarly insular.

        I sound jaded, but I can’t tell you how many times I have bonded over this subject with other transplants. The Seattle Freeze is real. You can’t take it personally, but you don’t have to like it!

        Not to freak you out, and it’s an awesome place to live, and the people mean well. But they are reserved, and it’s not easy to make friends. It’s just different.

        Find other folks who have moved from out of state. If you like sports, check out a bar that’s showing games from out of state teams. Soccer is hugely popular here. Breweries are super popular as well. Anything outdoors.

        Also, a good raincoat with a hood is golden.

  25. Senior Attorney :

    Anybody doing the Outfit Challenge? Here’s today’s prompt:

    A classic professional look is one I like to call “the Column of Color.” (I’ve seen it other places too, so the name isn’t my invention.) This is pretty basic, and in fact a great “old faithful” kind of look: Top in Color 1, Pant/Skirt in Color 1, Blazer/Cardigan in Color 2. If you ever buy a blazer or other cardigan that you don’t know what to do with (or that maybe you bought because it worked with ONE outfit and now you can’t get it to work with anything else), the Column of Color is your friend. It’s a great choice for the morning after the all-nighter you had to pull for work (or, hey, fun) because it’s foolproof. Note that you can use this with other challenges, including:

    black/navy/white (Day 1)
    Pop of Color (Day 2)
    Shades of… (Day 3)
    Menswear Inspired (Day 4 — for example if you wore suit pants with a matching vest or shell in the same material as the pants)
    If you want to elevate this challenge to the next level, you might want to try adding TWO layers on top of your column of color — say, for example, black top + black pants + pink blazer + long colorful scarf tucked in collar of blazer. Stylists sometimes do this with an unexpected item like a denim jacket (matching top/bottom + denim jacket + blazer).

    A long pendant is often a great look with this, but it works with a lot of other accessories as well.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am wearing black BR Sloan ankle pants, black sleeveless top, and a really fun jacket I bought at a Cabi sample sale last weekend — white with tiny black windowpane check pattern and a peplum.

    • I love the column of color and wear it all the time so it’s no new for me, but i’m definitely doing it. I don’t really have a fun blazer that I never wear, so I’m wearing a cardigan in a bright color I usually save for the summer. We are having beautiful weather here in the bay area!

    • I am … and I kind of did the mixed prints and pop of color challenges too, ha! I’m wearing a navy sleeveless top and pants with a white and navy polka-dot cardigan, snakeskin heels and a bright turquoise pendant/drop earrings. I never do the column of color so this is new for me!

      Unrelated but I had to brag – I ran a half marathon yesterday and PR’ed!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Black ponte pants, black crew neck short sleeve sweater from Uniqlo, and a burgundy ponte blazer, with a Harry Potter Deathly Hallows pendant (Alex and Ani in Georgetown) and black and purple street Pumas. Plus a black jacket where, gasp, my blazer shows at the bottom of the jacket. The horror.

  26. In-House Interview :

    I have an in-house interview today. Anyone have any tips?

    • Don’t say you want to move in-house for better work-life balance. That is a pet peeve among my (older, male) colleagues, even though that’s the reason most of us went in-house.

      • +1; not a great signal for any job interview, imho.

        Going in house will allow you to focus all your energy and attention to serving one dedicated client, that’s a nice bonus if you spin it as such! Maybe the ability to be involved in the business end of things as a partner (if that’s the culture there–maybe you know that, maybe it’s not readily obvious; I’m a lawyer but not in an in house role at the moment so obviously ymmv)

        • Anonymous :

          I’m in-house, so be careful about saying you want just one client because that’s not always the case. While yes, you will be working for your company, you will likely have many different clients (business lines) within the company. Think of it as your main business, but then finance, IT, HR, marketing, etc….all of them will likely be your client.

      • +1 never say that. I like the idea of saying you want to have more focus. It would help if you can honestly say the area you’ll be focusing on in-house is the one you’re most passionate about.

    • I haven’t interviewed in-house but a lot of my friends have. I’ve heard that compared to law firm interviews they are way more focused on the big picture and on the business aspects that have nothing to do with law (e.g., they want to know what you know about the company and industry, and how you can advance the goals of the company in general, not just how you are an expert in patent law or whatever your nice is) and that you need to be able to articulate a clear reason for wanting to move in-house (and ideally to that company specifically) besides just wanting to get away from law firm life.

  27. denim jacket for boulder shoulders :

    I’m on the hunt (have been hunting foreveerrr!!!!) for a dark wash denim jacket that will fit my muscular shoulders and upper back. I’ve tried Lee’s, Levi’s, Union Bay, and a bunch of random brands on Prime, and all of them ended up too tight in the shoulders and too boxy in the waist. Also, why is everything distressed? Give me a nice WHOLE dark wash denim jacket that I can wear with skirts and dresses.

    If this is a unicorn, could a tailor nip in the waist if I buy a jacket to fit my shoulders? I’ve done that with a ponte blazer, but not sure if they can bring in the waist of a denim jacket.

    • Have you tried the Gap Outlet? I like it better than regular Gap many times. And I have a jean jacket from there from the early 2000s that I’m pretty sure is the same thing they’re selling as the Icon jacket…


    • No advice, but I feel you. I just can’t wear structured jackets. That is, not if I want to be able to freely move my arms!

    • Anonymous :

      Tall sizes have bigger shoulders. BR, Gap, LE, Eddie Bauer all have roomy shoulders in talls so that you can size down a size or two.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m similarly broad-shouldered (in my case, with small bust and slim waist). Even though I’m average height, I find that wearing a “tall” size, one size down from my usual size, works well for blazers. I haven’t tried this for denim jackets, but it might also work? It looks like Gap, Eddie Bauer and ASOS currently offer denim jackets in tall sizes.

      • Anonymous :


      • I was not aware of this hack! I will try this in future next time I need something to fit my stupid shoulders. I’m only 5’6″ so it never occurred to me to try tall sizes!

        • denim jacket for boulder shoulders :

          Ha, I’m also 5’6″ and felt silly trying tall sizes. But my waist is really long relative to my height and the darts for bust/waist/hips on dresses always hit at really weird places. I kept wanting them to be just a couple inches lower, so one day I tried on a tall and voila! Magically, the darts hit at the right spot! I could probably stand to have the hem taken up 2 inches, but usually they hit just a bit below the knee, so it’s fine.

    • denim jacket for boulder shoulders :

      Thanks for the recs! I’ve used the tall size hack for sheath dresses, so maybe that would work for jackets. And the Gap suggestions look promising. I’ll get ’em shipped ASAP :)

  28. Glacier National Park :

    The Spouse and I have decided that this year’s vacation will be Glacier National Park. I’ve been looking online to decide how long to stay, what to do, etc, and have concluded that it will probably be a good idea to stay part of the time on the east side and part on the west side. I also think a boat tour or a red bus tour looks fun. We are not hardcore hikers and would probably go at the end of August.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how long to stay to get a good overview of the place?

    • I went to Glacier last year and did what you are proposing. I went for a week at the end of August, staying in Kalispell for a few days, then near Browning for a few days, then back to Kalispell to depart. I mostly hiked, but I also did a full day horseback trail ride, made a half day trip out to Whitefish, and spent another half day driving around stopping whenever I found something that looked interesting.

      Since you aren’t hardcore hikers, I think a week would be fine the first time you go. There is far more than a week’s worth of stuff, but a lot of it IMO is hiking-related. I didn’t take a red bus tour, but I did take a short boat ride on Two Medicine Lake.

      Hopefully, others who have more experience can give you more info!

    • Anonymous :

      I would normally recommend a week to anyone visiting for the first time, although if you’re not big into hiking you may be able to get away with 4-5 days. Is there any way you can push your trip back until after Labor Day? The park will be very crowded in August and if you’re not on an academic schedule, early September is a much nicer (and I would guess also cheaper) time to go.

    • Anon in MT :

      Glacier is my favorite. I would do a week if you can swing it. There’s a wide variety of hikes for all levels. I would definitely recommend the Highline Trail starting from Logan Pass. If you go before labor day there will be a shuttle from one of the lower trailheads so you can do it as a loop via Granite Chalet (you would take the shuttle back from the Loop or leave your car there and shuttle to the start at Logan Pass).

      If you can get in to Cracker Lake when you’re on the East Side, access the trail from Many Glacier Hotel, it is soooo worth it. The lake has a really cool color due to sediment.

      Glacier Guides Lodge in West Glacier is amazing to stay at (but it books up). Dinner/drinks at Belton Chalet just down the road is also highly recommended.

      If you have enough time in the area, side trips to Big Fork and Whitefish and Flathead Lake might be fun. Flathead Lake is relatively warm (for Montana!) for swimming. If it’s the season for Flathead cherries, don’t miss out on those. Also have lots of huckleberry everything. I wouldn’t really recommend spending time in Kalispell – it’s a relatively rough town (relative to all the pristine places around it) and not that much to do there.

      Go around to Polebridge and eat bear claws (the pastry, not the actual thing) if you have a chance. Super cool place and world famous for its pastries.

      I’ve also heard that the Canadian side of Glacier is stunning (and you’re so close to it) but I haven’t been there.

      • This is a much better response than mine!! HAHA

        Echo all of this. I have a terrible memory, clearly. I did Big Fork, Whitefish, Flathead Lake, and Polebridge + bear claws.

      • Anon in MT :

        Also, don’t let fear of grizzlies scare you off from doing fun hikes, but take it seriously and bring one bear spray each (have it on your belt or otherwise easily accessible – not at the bottom of your backpack) and make sure you know how to use it before you go. (Most locals will be happy to give you a short demo.) Glacier is very grizzly dense – if you’re there for a week you’re very likely to see at least one. Hiking in groups is the safest, and make lots of noise when you’re in wooded areas where you can’t see around the turn. (But don’t bother with bear bells – just talking loudly is fine, or singing if you feel like it.)

      • Anon in MT :

        Also (I keep thinking of more stuff – I just love Glacier that much) – it is very acceptable (and safe) to hitchhike short distances on the Going to the Sun Road to get to the start of your hike or back to your car. We hiked Siyeh Pass – highly recommended – and left our car at the end of the trail and hitchhiked down the road to the starting trailhead. It is an amazing hike – around 10 miles, incredibly scenic, lots of mountain goats and big horn sheep, glaciers, lakes, peaks, etc. Moderately hard – definitely a lot up uphill at first, but I was totally fine with moderate fitness.

        • Anon in MT :




    • Glacier is the best! Native Montanan here. If I were you, I’d stay on the east side longer, either near Many Glacier (the best hiking is here, and the hotel is beautiful! there’s also a cute motel, which is cheaper) or St. Mary’s (maybe the Rising Sun Motor Inn, or camp, or there’s a hotel.) East Glacier Lodge is also beautiful and has amazing grounds; stop there even if you don’t stay there. You can also stay outside the park, near Browning. You definitely need a car; you can drive up across the border and visit Waterton if you want Canadian Rockies (but I actually prefer Glacier; it’s also less developed). On the west side of the park, Lake McDonald is a beautiful lake; stop and see the lodge. I find the west side on Going to the Sun a bit crowded, but if you go up to Kintla or Bowman lakes, it’s beautiful and empty. Two Medicine is also empty.

      From Many Glacier, you can take a boat across Swiftcurrent Lake and another boat across the second lake and then either hike to Grinnell lake (easy) or Grinnell Glacier (medium difficulty but worth it). Iceberg Lake is another amazing hike. You can also do a boat tour at Lake McDonald or St Mary’s Lake; sometimes they have sunset ones which are fun. be sure to try something huckleberry.

      For airports, you can fly into Kalispell (west of the park) or Great Falls (east and south). If you go to Kalispell, you might want to use one of your days to visit Flathead Lake (take a boat to the deserted Wild Horse Island!) Great Falls has a great Lewis and Clark museum.

      Lake McDonald Lodge is a bit too crowded

    • Glacier National Park :

      Thank you so much, everyone! I was getting a bit overwhelmed with all the options so it’s good to have some suggestions for food, itineraries, and lodging. That’s the challenge with a NP — there’s so much to see that every single “Things to do in Glacier” is different. Plus most of them seem to assume that we want to hike 20 miles every day, which we don’t. :)

    • Shenandoah :

      You’re going to have such a good time in Glacier! It’s one of my favorite places.

      In West Glacier, I can recommend Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake (via Trail of the Cedars). Hidden Lake in Logan’s Pass is another great short hike. There’s a short, flat trail in Many Glacier that goes around Swiftcurrent Lake that might be fun to do before dinner at the hotel (which is also a good spot for drinks). There were several little hikes around waterfalls in the Two Medicine area as well. It’s such an amazing experience just driving Going-to-the-Sun Road and stopping at all of the overlooks.

      I can’t speak to the red bus tours, but I did a boat tour from Many Glacier to Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine and then did a hike to Grinnell Glacier. That’s definitely an all-day excursion and you could shorten the hike by just going to Grinnell Lake. You’re still going to get incredible views and you can see other glaciers without spending the full day hiking. That area is also great for spotting mountain goats and moose.

  29. Leesa- Sapira :

    Anyone have the Leesa Sapira mattress? Would like to know if this is any better than the regular leesa. thanks

    • AlexisFaye :

      I did not, but if you’re in that price point (and shopping online) i bought the Bear a few months ago, and I have loved it. Before it I bought the AmeriSleep, which was highly reviewed, but I had problems with it feeling too hot. The Bear has not bothered me.

  30. Anonymous :

    Does anyone know a photo sharing site that lets you set different levels of access for different users, i.e., you can choose to let certain users download your photos but not others? This is in the context of a new baby and I’ve looked at the major baby photo-sharing sites (Moment Garden, Lifecake, TinyBeans) but none of them have this feature as far as I can tell.

  31. Anonymous :

    So in an effort to kick a minor bout of acid reflux this weekend (bc I’m prone to it and wasn’t wanting it to become a days long thing), haven’t had any tea or chocolate (my 2 caffeine sources) since Sat. Doing ok but really want one or the other this afternoon even though I know it’s better to cut out acid sources for as long as I can. So any alternative snack suggestions? Preferably things available at au bon pain, Pret etc?

    • Herbal tea?

    • Anonymous :

      Is caffeine the trigger? If so, decaf tea is a good alternative. I like a lot of the pastries and cookies at ABP but they are all very rich and buttery and I would think they’d be just as likely to trigger reflux as something with chocolate.

    • Milk.

      Hot vanilla. I actually prefer it to hot chocolate. My favorite cafe makes it with fresh vanilla bean and it is to die for.

      Or just take a TUMS/chew able calcium, and have a low caffeine tea.

      And why not just have an over the counter PPI at hand, for when you have a bad week? Because it is worse for your poor esophagus to have recurrent reflux than to take a few doses of a PPI.

      Sleep on a wedge tonite.

    • Anonymous :

      FWIW, my acupuncturist recommended lemon water for acid reflux — it has changed my life. I don’t know the science behind it, but the interwebs confirms this is a valid treatment.

  32. New job needed :

    I’ve been posting for a few months about discrete issues at my dysfunctional small firm for a few months and every time I do everyone commiserates and tells me I should move on. I’ve been job searching for about 4 months with no offers yet. It’s getting harder and harder to function. I felt so depressed yesterday thinking about work, almost couldn’t get out of bed this morning, and was nearly in tears during my commute. Now I’m at work and can hardly focus I’m too miserable and angry at my awful boss. I really hope I get an offer soon.

    • Can you take some time off to recharge?

    • I’ve been there. One day near the end, I was so depressed and miserable that I started crying at work (like, full on crocodile tears and red nose and streaked cheeks) and literally couldn’t get it together – I said I had an emergency and went home for the afternoon. So I FEEL you. I was shaking my fist at the universe. But the happy news is that when I just about reached my breaking point (aka, two weeks after The Crying Incident), I saw a post for a great job and started that new job 2 months later.

      It’s so hard, but there is hope and you will find something else. Just keep applying!

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs. I was in your shoes a couple of years ago, also at a small law firm. I knew immediately that it was not a good fit for me but it got progressively worse and within a few months of working there I cried almost every evening, did very little except go to work and sleep, and most mornings I would drive to work and then sit in my car for up to an hour or more, because I could not will myself to get out of the car and go into the office. In hindsight I was depressed and probably should have just quit to preserve my mental health, but I somehow managed to stick it out for 15 months until I got a (wonderful!) new job. Good luck! You will get through this and remember that if it becomes truly unbearable, you can always opt out and get a minimum wage job to pay your bills while you figure out your next steps. No job is worth destroying your health (including mental health) for.

    • It sounds like you are depressed. I would make an appointment with your doctor or a local psychiatrist to see if medication would help. I’ve been there and it makes such a difference. I think you should also see a counselor so you can vent about all this to them and they may be able to give you some coping measures to get you through the day. Just knowing that there is someone you can get it all out to on a regular basis will help.

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs. +1 to talking to your doctor about medication. I’ve taken an anti-depressant before, and it made a world of difference. I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed, and it helped in a few weeks. I don’t take anything now, and I see medication as a tool I can use if and when I need it. I hope you get some support.

    • Do you have some basic skills to fall back on and do a temp job through a temp agency? i.e. I know I can always do bookkeeping (for much less money but we would survive). In my experience the toxic work environment is so poisonous it’s nearly impossible to get the head fog to clear enough to do a great job with applications. So sorry you are going through this.

  33. WFH attire :

    I am moving to 100% telecommuting role. What do other WFHomers wear? Athleisure seems too casual, same with T and jeans – I don’t feel “serious” enough in this. A blazer seems out of place. Thoughts?

    • biglawanon :

      I telecommute full time. I wear “lounge wear,” AKA PJs that are socially acceptable enough to run downstairs to get a package. If I get cold, I wear a bathrobe. I don’t wear a bra. My lounge wear is clean, and I do take a shower/brush my teeth so I am not gross.

    • I WFH 100% But also do childcare dropoff. I shower every morning, get dressed in at minimum a bra and underwear, socks, pants/top/dress (pants can be leggings!). I brush and dry my hair and do minimal makeup (powder + mascara).

      I drop the kids off, work all day, pick the kids up. Sometimes I run an errand or two. When I know I have a video call, I put on a work top and lipstick.

    • Anonymous :

      If you want to feel more put together, I think this is where lines like Lands’ End Starfish, J. Jill, Joan Vass, and Eileen Fisher come in. Comfortable but put together. You may find similar items from other brands, of course. For example, I have (from several years ago) a high-quality sweater knit pants, sleeveless sweater, and long cardigan set from Jones NY that would work really well for this. Jersey and ponte and pima cotton dresses with leggings or tights would also work for me in your shoes.

  34. London vacation suggestions? :

    Hey all,

    My parents are planning a trip to London in the spring (probably April-ish). They asked me for suggestions on restaurants, hotels, and activities but I’ve never been to London so I’m not much help.

    They are both in their mid-sixties and very physically active so they’re not put off by activities that require a lot of trekking or whatnot. Dad’s a lifelong anglophile and history fanatic, Mom is an avid gardener and loves animals and the outdoors.

    Does anyone have any London and/or London-adjacent ideas that they’d be willing to share with me? If so, then my folks and I would be very grateful.


  35. For London Vacation Suggestions

    -Kew Gardens!
    -Natural History / Victoria and Albert museums
    – Covent Garden for food and shopping
    – Ritz for tea (overpriced but worth going once)
    – live theatre

    Also Cambridge is 45 mins away by train and worth seeing for a day.

    Have a wonderful trip.

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