Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: White Ornate Trim Double Snap Front Blazer

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

Stella McCartney White Ornate Trim Double Snap Front Blazer Bluefly has a number of cute designer blazers marked down right now, and this intriguing white blazer from Stella McCartney has caught my eye. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it, to be honest — it is somehow professional yet romantic at the same time.  I like the decorative, ornate details on one lapel, and I like the raised trim.  The blazer was $2,195, but is currently marked to $629.10 at Bluefly (and use code SHIP150 to get free shipping on orders over $150). Stella McCartney White Ornate Trim Double Snap Front Blazer

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  1. Remember the red, flame-type theme blazer that made everyone think of the devil? This is like what your “better angel” wears for working the opposing side of the deal. As with the other, I really like it, but I don’t think I could pull it off.

    • Ha! There is something a bit Hunger Games about it, isn’t there?

    • Olivia Pope :

      Half of this should be black. Then it could be a costume for Batman’s Two-Face (the 90s version of Batman, that is).

      I like the way this blazer looks, but would never have the nerve to wear it to work.

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes! I think it looks better how it is styled (with jeans) than it would if you tried to wear it to work, unless you work in one of those Lucky magazine-type environments. :)

      Has anyone else been taken aback by the high price of dry-cleaning lately? I changed cleaners bc the one I had been going to was breaking the buttons on my button-downs. I had about 10 things and it was $65! :-0 I checked the price list and men’s shirts are $2.40 but women’s blouses are $8, and to clean a dress is $16. Yikes!

      • lucy stone :

        Drycleaning is INSANE! My husband and I both are attorneys so whenever we take in our suits (which is admittedly not as often as we should) the bill is always over $100. We switched all our buttonups to no-iron ones which has helped quite a bit.

      • Lady Harriet :

        I try to avoid dry-cleaning anything for this very reason. Unlined/unstructured clothes that say dry clean go in the washer on cold, and then air dry. I use carpet cleaner to get any visible stains off of blazers or other things that might be really harmed by the washer, then they get aired out outside. This doesn’t work for wool, but I live in Florida so the few wool garments I own aren’t worn much. I also base my buying decisions on whether things are machine washable. Almost all of my clothes were bought used, so I’m definitely not going to pay more for dry cleaning than I paid for the item in the first place!

    • I do love this jacket even though it’s way out of my price range.

  2. To much of a splurge for me! My dad says I can ONLEY spend $120 in February, IF THE MANAGEING partner reimburse’s me 30% or $36, b/c my dad is planneing to have me start to do my own bookkeepeing. Yay! But he is still manageing thing’s for me and expect’s to until I get MARRIED! FOOEY! I do NOT want some guy takeing charge for me unless he is my dad.

    Frank complemented me on my fitbit and says that mabye he will get one for his wife, who is also a little heavy in the tuchus. I told him that my dad make’s me work out every day, and that I must walk to and from WORK. I did NOT tell him about 40 Karrot’s! YAY! The guy at Myrna was onley interested in stareing at my body, but did NOT want to talk about intelligent topic’s of conversation. I do NOT need a guy like that. I want a guy with a brain, like me. FOOEY on men that are not smart like me! FOOEY!

  3. I’m boring…but think it would look best as a classic blazer and no lapel details to make it romantic….
    Besides I could never pull this off at work.

  4. hellskitchen :

    With the buttons open, it looks like a ready-to-wear version of Bjork’s swan dress.

  5. When you’re out on a business dinner, what drink do you order? I don’t drink much and tend to like girly drinks but I’d like to order something more serious. I do like gin and tonics but feel like I should specify the brand… Tanqueray and tonic sounds like Snoop Dogg…

    • Wine.

      • Flying Squirrel :

        +1, it’s hard for someone to think that wine is gendered or feeble (unless, I suppose, you order a white zin or something).

      • do you just say “red” or “white” or do you go through the wine list thing?

        • If you don’t want to bother with the wine list, just ask for the house [insert wine here].

        • Diana Barry :

          I go through the wine list and get a riesling, gewurtztraminer, or pinot grigio if they don’t have either of the first 2.

          • lawsuited :

            To Flying Squirrel’s point, riesling and gewurstraminer might fall into the same “girly sweet white wines” category as zinfandel. I generally order a gin martini or gin and tonic to avoid wine snobbery, but Herbie’s suggestion of ordering the house white or house red is a good one.

            It’s also okay to stick with pellegrino if there really isn’t a drink you prefer!

        • You could also ask the waiter for a wine that would go well with your entree. I’ve pushed my wine tastes doing it that way.

      • +1. Definitely wine, whichever would go well with your entree. If you aren’t familiar with the list, tell your waiter what your entree will be, whether you feel like a white or a red, and whether you want something heavy or light. They should be able to take it from there.

    • Have you tried Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks gin? If it’s a really limited bar, I’ll get a bourbon and ginger with lime or a vodka soda. Sometimes I get a glass of wine or even a good beer. It’s okay to like girly drinks. Might as well enjoy your calories, especially given the proliferation of the cocktail these days. I wouldn’t worry as much about sounding like Snopp unless you order gin and juice,

    • Maybe it’s field-specific (I’m in law and my clients tend to be finance types), but I’ve seen >90% wine as the alcoholic drink at business dinners and can’t recall a brand being named at the dinner table (maybe at a bar waiting for people to arrive).

      I tend to be a very conservative drinker with clients (even when we have the box at an arena event), but haven’t noticed clients getting crazy (even though they may be cabbing or using public transit and often at least a few of them don’t have the spouse / small children to get home to issues). I tend to nurse whatever I am drinking b/c I do not ever want to be That Person.

      Anything at Tao, though, may be different (but it’s too loud to tell).

      • I’m in health care analytics and last time I went out with my bosses (2 men) we ended up drinking a bunch of white russians but that seems kind of college-y.

        • Anonforthis :

          also in health analytics. I had someone order our table a ROUND OF TEQUILA SHOTS last year.

          And it wasn’t even at one of the big crazy conferences! It was a client dinner!

    • Wine or Manhattans (just because I like them, and whiskey seems appropriately not-girly).

      • Whiskey is super girly.

        Because I am a girl.

        And I super love whiskey.

        • Kanye East, was it you and I who bonded over our floppy haired Tory love? I was at a meeting with a Tory minister today and all his aides were there. I was like, ‘oooh, hello….’ but then I asked kind of a snide question about foreign policy and undercut my appeal.

          • Yup. That was indeed me and my long-standing crush on David Cameron’s hair.

            It’s more the hair and the accent than the politics. I blame early 90s Hugh Grant movies..

          • Yeah, definitely not the politics. I asked him a question and you could just see the him thinking ‘bloody foreigners’.

        • ME THREE.

        • goirishkj :

          We need a whiskey girl club. Mmmmmmmm. And Kanye and Cb, well, I just love British politics in general.

    • Boodles gin is better than Tanqueray. But I don’t know if bars generally have it. You could always order a vodka tonic – there are more reliable top-shelf vodka brands available.

    • Hendricks gin and tonic, or better yet, a Hendricks gin martini straight up with cucumber. Settle for olives if they don’t have the cucumber.

    • If I’m ordering at dinner, it’s usually a red wine (typically cab, maybe chianti). If I’m at a bar, it’s probably a whiskey and ginger ale.

    • Bombay Saphire and Diet Tonic.

    • I usually drink Belvedere & soda. Tastes like water; no calories from tonic. Wine’s also good.

    • Sauvignon Blanc. 95% of the time.

    • Bombay Sapphire and Hendricks gin are awesome. They make better martinis than mixed drinks (because why ruin awesome gin with club soda), but if you like gin, try these.

      As for wine, figure out what kind you like, and then if there are multiples on the menu, ask the bartender for a recommendation. I tend to like reds that aren’t too dry or too sweet, so I look for malbecs or cabernets usually. I’ve never found a malbec I didn’t like, so that is usually my go-to for not-fussy ordering.

      I love this question because I feel like I should learn to like at least one ‘dark’ liquor for nights out with the guys (bourbon, scotch, whiskey), but I just. can’t. do. it. Any suggestions for a good intro into these types of liquors?

      • I love scotch (and bourbon), but dislike having them on the rocks or with water, because it seems to me I can’t taste them as well. This could work in your favor if you want to learn to like them, though; try ordering scotch and water (scotch and soda seems a little silly to me, but I believe it’s a respected drink). Also maybe avoid highland malts to start out, since the smokiness can get pretty strong.

        • Or, you could go in a different direction entirely, like Drambuie or some kind of cognac. Same color as whiskies, and they’re more interesting than g&t’s all the time (though I do love those too) but I think a milder taste.

      • Totally agree no not mixing the Hendricks, but there are those warm days where nothing will hit the spot like a G&T. I keep some cheaper gin around the house for that. (But to tell you the truth, I never manage to have any tonic handy)

        • lawsuited :

          Beefeater Summer gin is the best for G&Ts on a hot day – very fragrant and juniper-y.

      • My favorite bourbon is Baker’s.

        …maybe i should just order that…

      • I usually order a Jameson & ginger (ginger ale), which is I think a good entry to whiskey, bc it’s still a bit sweet. But it still impresses the guys that i am 1. ordering whiskey and 2. have a brand.

      • Thanks ladies :)

      • Suntory’s blended whiskey Hibiki is well-regarded by people who care about these things and does indeed go down very smoothly, at least for this red wine drinker. I think the 17-year old is reasonably well-distributed.

    • Ahem, I believe it’s Snoop Lion these days. But I’d never think twice about someone ordering Tanq and tonic. I second Saphire, though. It’s definitely my favorite gin. I do look at the wine list (because “house wine” sounds like my grandma) and pick a style I know I like at a mid-point price (e.g., the Chardonnay at $10/glass instead of at $6 or $18). If you’re not a big wine person, ordering Chardonnay should typically work for you. German wines are typically sweeter although difficult to pronounce if you’re not familiar with them. If you want to go with red but aren’t big on wine, Merlot tends to be very easy-drinking. Pinot Noir is also a good option, although you can get a much better Merlot for a lower price than Pinot.

      • I would only think snoop dogg if you ordered gin and juice. but then, you would also be awesome.

        • I have a hard time even thinking “Tanqueray and tonic” without mentally finishing “…yeah I’m f***ed up now.”

    • Seventh Sister :

      Usually wine, but I’ll order a beer (like a hefeweizen or even hard cider) if other people are ordering beer.

      As for cocktails, I find a vodka soda sounds pretty non-girly and tastes pretty good. I’ll also do a greyhound (grapefruit juice plus vodka) or a whiskey sour. Also, I will totally order a girly house specialty cocktail if one of the guys does the same.

      At home, I’m all about Mother’s Little Helper – one serving vodka, the contents of one juice box.

  6. Quincy is closing its online shop. There are huge sales, although I can’t find anything I like in my size: http://www.quincyapparel.com/collections/shop

    • Ditto. I really like the blouse I got from them but the rest is kind of meh and they’re sold out of my size in the blouses

    • darjeeling :

      thanks for the tip! Although now I feel like a chump for buying last week at 60% off (which in turn made me feel like a chump for buying in Dec. at 30% off). If you don’t already have the black sheath dress I highly recommend. I got the matching blazer and pants last week and the blazer runs big but is lovely. This is probably dumb but I just bought the gray dress in my size in Tall even though I’m 5’2; for the price I’m willing to have that trim at the bottom lopped off.

    • Diana Barry :

      Thanks! I got one of the sheath dresses for $30 – woohoo!

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Me too! although bummed that one dress disappeared as I was checking out….

      • Man that stuff went quickly. Managed to snag a blazer and a sheath dress, we’ll see how they fit!

    • I was thinking about ordering a pencil skirt or something for that good of a price, but when I took their size quiz, they told me they had nothing in my size. I told them my height and weight (5ft6 and a half, about 165 lbs, size 12 in most things) and they were all, “sorry, we only carry up to size 16”. What?! I figured a 33-inch waist skirt would probably fit me, but I’m not sure I want to take the chance.

      • Weird — it sounds like we’re almost exactly the same size, and it came up with sizes for me no problem.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      That went fast. By the time I had added stuff to my cart and hit checked out, they were already gone.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I did manage to find a skirt and a dress. Hopefully they fit. If not, maybe we should have a corpor e t t e clothes swap for quincy final sale items that didn’t work for people.

    • just ordered a skirt and dress sight unseen on final sale, which i never do. hope it pays off!

    • locomotive :

      just got the black elliot sheath dress too! it’s been a terrible wallet morning with the lord and taylor clearance sale going on too..

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Is Quincy only online or is there a brick and mortar?

  7. Flying Squirrel :

    Early TJ cuz I gotta know:

    I noticed that the care label on my jeans (Joe’s Jeans brand if it matters) recommends dry cleaning. Is this a thing? Are there really people who dry clean their jeans? If so, does it work? I feel like cotton never dry cleans well, but maybe that’s just my limited experience.

    • I wash my Joes and hang to dry. They seem to be doing just fine. Perhaps it is to discourage people from using the dryer and harming the spandex?

    • Don’t know about the brand specifically, but it sounds like CYA care instructions. They don’t want you to blame them if the jeans shrink. I’d machine wash cold, maybe on a gentle cycle and then line dry.

      But I also throw my merino wool sweaters in the machine (cold wash, cashmere/wool shampoo, lingerie bags, and gentle cycle) when the tags say dry clean.

      As long as the tag says cotton, and doesn’t say dry clean ONLY, I’d say wash them yourself.

      • My new apt has a fancy washer and dryer so I’m starting to explore the idea of washing my sweaters. What cashmere/wool shampoo do you buy?

        • I use The Laundress – you can either get it thru Amazon or The Container Store.

          • And I don’t have any fancy settings – I just use the “knit” setting (one of the 3 I have) on my machine. I don’t do all of my sweaters this way, but will do it for the merino sweaters I have (like the Jcrew Tippi). I will handwash the thinner, more delicate sweaters.

    • I have a few pairs of Joe’s that are supposedly dry clean only. I’ve been washing/drying them for over a year, and they’re fine.

    • downstream :

      I have several pairs of fancy jeans and I’ve been washing and drying them in machines for years and they’re fine. They shrink in the wash a little bit but then stretch back out.

      Some people do dry clean their jeans, but I silently judge them (and openly judge them anonymously on the internet)

    • I dry clean my jeans. I love designer jeans and they cost more than my work slacks. Dry cleaning means the seams don’t get twisted and they always look new. Don’t judge ’till you try it :)

    • I was trying on a bunch of Not Your Daughters Jeans in different styles, and of course, the one I actually somewhat liked was labeled Dry Clean, while the rest weren’t. The fabric content was the same in as some of the others, but the dry clean pair were very dark blue with some sparkles on them (that were fairly subtle – I didn’t notice them at first). I didn’t buy them, because I didn’t want sparkly jeans, but I suspect the dark wash + sparkles is probably the reason for that pair to be labeled as dry clean. Do your Joes have some kind of special effect to them or very dark wash or very thin fabric? That could be the reason they are recommending dry clean, maybe?

    • I don’t think I ever looked at the care label for jeans. I wash them all in the washing machine. For dark wash jeans, I wash them inside out and air dry to prevent fading. The other ones go in the dryer. I’ve been washing and drying a pair of Joe’s skinny jeans for over a year and they look no different.

  8. Nervous Girlfriend :

    Immediate Relationship TJ: So I’ve posted a couple times last week about my boyfriend going to Vegas and I asked him to check in with me, preferably once a day if possible, so I would know everything was ok. I haven’t heard from him since Friday…

    I’m sure everything is ok and he is probably fine. (I sent him a message last night asking if everything was ok – no response but I can tell he’s read my message).

    So now my question is what do I do/how do I deal with this? I know it’s only been a couple of days but I’m equal parts worried and angry and hurt/disappointed. I’m not going to start a fight with him, especially while he’s gone but I guess more than anything, I’m just so hurt that he went away with his friends for 6 days and couldn’t take 30 seconds out of the weekend to just send me a text saying hi.

    • I would be EXTREMELY hurt by this. In fact, this type of thing would be fatal to a new-ish relationship with me and very damaging to a long term relationship.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. Unless he didn’t bring his phone charger (my DH does this and then can’t call me), this is really not a good thing for him to have done, ESPECIALLY when you asked him to check in (and presumably he agreed?).

        • Ditto. Also my boyfriend is good about sending me a “crap my phone is at 2% battery” text (even if just during the work day) so I know not to worry if I can’t reach him/don’t hear from him for a while.

          Also – forgetting your phone charger for a 5 day trip = you suck it up and buy a new one.

          • hotels normally have a box behind the counter of chargers people left behind so you wouldn’t even have to pay for it.

    • Even the guys on The Hangover managed to get in touch with their significant others during their hijinks…

      I’d say these are some serious red flags. It’s not that he didn’t text, it’s that he knew how important it was to you and he chose not to anyway.

      • Agree. I would definitely be reconsidering this guy. If a man wants to talk to you, he WILL find a way. Phone charger or not, I guarantee he will find a way to talk to you. IMO this is letting you know how he feels about the relationship. Don’t make excuses for him. Wouldn’t you rather date someone that couldn’t fathom the idea of not talking to you for an entire weekend?

        • Agree 100%. Unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances (e.g., he’s in a hospital and none of his friends have your number AND he can show you the hospital bills to prove it), cut your losses and find someone who treats you better.

    • This would really hurt my feelings – for any trip, much less one preceded by the conversation you guys had. I’m sorry.

    • So sorry to hear that. I would be very frustrated. I posted last time that I thought he had some major red flags with the “everyone cheats but me.” Normally I don’t think not checking in would be a big deal, but the fact that you asked and he is not complying is- that is not compatible communication styles. I would let go of the worry for now, I am sure he is fine. Try to put him out of your mind until he comes back (even though I know that is easier said than done)

      • Oh, I posted below that this may be NBD, but I forgot about the cheating backstory…yeah, that’s a bit different and a check in would be much more important. I still say hear him out since there may be total craziness he can’t control (esp. if you’re in a very different time zone), but I also think it’s important to let him know that this is not okay if the relationship is to continue.

    • When my now DH and I had just gotten serious, he went on a mountain climbing trip and was due back at like 3pm. By 7 pm he still didnt arrive. Turns out they’d been late getting off the mountain and his phone battery died and it occur to him that I’d be worried. When he rolled in at 7:45 I burst into tears sobbing in a mix of anger and relief.

      I tell this story because he’s never done anything like that to me again. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want a check in (in fact, it would be crazy to think I’d go that long without talking to my DH), barring lack of cell phone coverage. If you asked him, and he agreed, and now he’s not, I think that’s a reason to be annoyed. You should definitely talk about it with him when he gets back, and see what his perspective is. Blowing off your wishes is a big red flag to me. That of course, is different than disagreeing with your wishes and having a mature adult conversation about it.

    • Do y’all normally communicate every day? Is this the first trip away one of you has had? I can’t remember how serious the relationship is, but this would be a big deal in my book. Not just because you are nervous about the whole strip club thing, but because its smart to check in with people. Has he communicated with you at all since he got there?

    • I think you should hear him out first. A couple things…v. early in my relationship with my now DH, he went on a 3-day climbing trip. I didn’t ehar from him for like a day after he was scheduled to get back, and I was freaking out. Turns out they got lost and had a crazy adventure getting back. I guess I was right to be worried, but I would have been wrong to assume it said something about how he felt about me.

      And just this weekend, DH went on a ski trip that I forgot about…so I freaked out that he was MIA for 3 days (not as weird as it sounds, we’re in a long distance marriage right now, so it’s not like I saw him packing up his ski things). In this case he could have called me this weekend, but he just didn’t. I was annoyed, but I also know he was with friends he hadn’t seen in a while…I’ve done it too.

      He also didn’t end up calling me during his Vegas bachelor party even though I had asked him to do so. Honestly, I knew for sure nothing would happen, but Vegas is always worrying. And as it turns out, it was mostly just that they were drunk/passed out for most of the times that it would have been reasonable to call me. When his Best Man had a Vegas bachelor party a eyar later, I didn’t even bother asking him to call. It really is easy to lose track of time there. I wouldn’t freak out until you know he’s back and still not returning your calls…

      • I agree -hear him out first. I emphasized (and still so) sometimes to my LT-BF that I don’t really want to know exactly what he’s doing, I just want to know he’s okay. I’d be happy if he had a heart monitor that I could detect remotely – as long as his heart’s still beating, I’m good. Heck, I went to Europe this fall with my sister and didn’t check in with him for the whole time I was there (4 days) even though I could have gone to an internet cafe and done so.

        My BF also went on a bachelor’s party thing to Vegas a few years ago. Maybe because I know him well, I didn’t really worry (best thing ever is to say to him sweetly, “I trust you, honey,” – apparently that takes all the fun out of it). Besides, if someone’s going to cheat or do something unsavory, they really don’t need to be in Vegas to do it. Opportunities arise everywhere.

      • Either he’s doing exactly the things that terrify nervous girlfriends everywhere or he’s not and is intentionally blowing off the agreement to check in to prove something. Either way it’s a problem, imho.

    • yeah this is not okay…. even if you hadn’t asked him to check in, it is not normal relationship behavior to not check in with your SO at least once a day when you’re out of town.

      • Really? Mr. TBK doesn’t check in daily when he’s out of town. More like every other day. When we were dating it was much less. We often didn’t talk while one was out of town unless the trip was maybe 5 or 6 days or longer.

      • Mine doesn’t always if he’s in a different time zone, although he’s generally not completely out of pocket.

    • Dude. Major red flag. You expressed what you needed to feel comfortable, and I assume he agreed. He then proceeded to ignore your needs. An absolute truism, but actions speak louder than words. I learned my lesson with guys who were big on lip service but little on action. You can expect this behavior to repeat when he doesn’t place the same value as you do on your needs.

    • Nervous Girlfriend :

      Wow thank you for confirming my gut reaction. I was scared I was being unreasonable because it had been only a couple days and even though we normally speak every day (we’re long distance), I know it’s not always in his nature to check in. We’ve been together for over a year now and honestly, I think I’m a little more sensitive now because things have been a little rocky for the couple weeks before he left.

      He did text the first couple of days he was gone and called on Friday but it’s been radio silence all weekend.

      Because we’ve been together for over a year and are fairly serious, I’m going to hear him out when he gets back but my brain is screaming RED FLAG.

      Any advice on how to start this conversation when he gets back? I’m scared I’ll either fly into a blind rage once I find out he’s ok or just completely break down.

      I still do trust him, even with his friend group but I’m sad to say that even though I’m hurt, I’m not all that surprised that this happened…

      • When is he supposed to get back? I would hold off being really, really concerned until after I knew he was supposed to be back home.
        As for what to say, I would say something like “I’m glad you’re back and had a great time, but it bothers me that you didn’t contact me all weekend after I asked you to.” Leave it at that and see what he says. Does he admit he messed up and apologize? Does he have a explanation for it? Or does he just blow off that he upset you? However he reacts will tell you how concerned you need to be.

        • Nervous Girlfriend :

          He actually just messaged (nothing fancy just hello with a smiley face and he wishes I could be with him) so at least I don’t have to be worried anymore.

          I think this is good advice – I’m seeing this as a major red flag right now but I will bring it up and see how he reacts. Now if only I could get my mind off of this stupid drama and back to work, my day would be so much better.

          • You can’t really honestly say you were worried about him, can you? If something had happened to him, you would have heard about it. You were worried about the two of you as a couple — and you should be. He showed you a real lack of respect. I’m pissed and I don’t even know you or him. Since he’s fine, there really is no legitimate excuse for his failure to contact you . . . period.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Honestly? I can totally see it, and it doesn’t for one iota mean he has done something untoward. He is hanging with his friends and having fun. Be careful that you don’t come off too needy or dependent. That’s a drag, and completely unattractive, in a woman or a man. He is an adult, and he isn’t your husband. One thing I remind people frequently is that my cell phone is for my convenience, not the convenience of others. I’ll respond when I am ready. And the more calls/texts, the longer it will take me to respond.

      I have a question – you asked him to check in with you every day to see if everything was ok? What do you mean by that – ok? Presumably if some emergency occurred, he would call you, yes? That sounds like, text me everyday so I will feel ok. That makes him responsible for your feelings/insecurity and that isn’t fair. Before you get anxious/upset, why don’t you wait for him to come home and tell you about his trip….

      • If he didn’t want to check in, he shouldn’t have agreed to. Even if he didn’t realize until he was there that he felt like it was a burden, he still could’ve sent a short text saying that he’d be in touch when he was back.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Well – did he agree, or did she just ask him to check in? I see now that she has had some other infidelity concerns, but if that is the case, just move on. Why put yourself through that kind of grief, and him for that matter? Maybe I just chafe at clingy-ness in relationships…

          • Need help finding help :

            Yeah, I don’t think I had noticed that he hadn’t been quiet the while time, just Sat & Sun, which is different in my mind.. I can see how the WE might be when the OP would like to chat, but now really don’t see it as him refusing. She wanted something, didn’t get it, but relationships are give & take like that.

      • locomotive :

        I don’t thinking asking someone to check in every day (or, at least once a weekend) is really that much. Texting is so minimal effort and a quick ‘hey! good morning’ requires literally 10 seconds and goes a long way. If you have been dating for multiple months and it is a serious relationship, I honestly don’t think you need to worry about being needy/dependent for asking for a TEXT or some sort of quick communication over a weekend.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I would agree. If she said, “I want to have hourlong calls about how much we love each other,” okay, yeah, that’s a little much. But a text to say hey, I miss you? I guess, sign me up for clingy — because I need that.

          If you care about someone, and you know it will make them happy to hear from you, I don’t know why you wouldn’t check in regularly, to be honest. And if she asked him to check in, and he didn’t say he disagreed, IMO that’s tacit agreement – it’s his responsibility to let her know if he’s confused about her expectations in serious relationships, or doesn’t agree with them, not just as it’s her responsibility to communicate her expectations.

          • I agree. I was long distance with my now-husband, and we would talk every day normally, as the OP here indicated she does with her BF. Obviously we wouldn’t have hour-long calls every night, and if he anticipated being too busy to talk at all he would say something, and definitely not agree to talk if he didn’t think he could (“I know I’ll be out with people when we usually talk, so I may not be able to step away, so I look forward to talking with you the next day”).

    • I have to agree with Moss. I would be really hurt by this. It’s just not the kind of respect and consideration that you need in a relationship. My now-husband went to a beer-fest weekend with his best friend when we’d only been dating for six weeks, and even though he was dead-drunk in the middle of a field in Indiana, he still managed to send me sloppy texts and dorky photos the entire weekend. And if his answer is some kind of “out with my bros!” thing? DTMFA.

      (I’m also a hard-liner about this. Other ladies might be more forgiving than I am!)

    • Olivia Pope :

      To me, the problem isn’t that he didn’t contact you. Some of us don’t need as many check-ins and we really just don’t think about it. (I just went on a trip for 6 days with friends. I did not call my fiance everyday.)

      The real problem is that you clearly expressed your needs and he ignored them. To me, that is a reason to end a relationship. Trying to force someone to consider your interests when they don’t already is usually futile.

      • Nailed it.

      • Love the handle Olivia!

      • Well, yes, but are we sure he “ignored her needs” and just didn’t get caught up in the excitement and forget to call/text whatever? If this was a years-long relationship and he never checked in despite being asked multiple times, sure. But sometimes it can take a little while to fully understand another person’s needs.

        But I am also old and remember a time when people did not have cellphones and it would have been quite unreasonable to expect someone on a trip to call you every day.

        And see what Divaliscious11 said above.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          IMO “Caught up in the excitement and forgot to call/text” IS ignoring her needs. She said, “I need X.” If X was a problem, it was his responsibility to say THEN “I’m sorry, I can’t call/text you every day because Y.” If X became a problem in the trip, it was his responsibility to say, “Hey, I won’t be able to call/text you every day because Z came up.”

          Forgetting to do a pretty simple thing she told him was important is, IMO, a huge deal. It’s functionally saying “You are not enough of a priority for me to actually remember you and do something that’s important to you.”

        • Even when I’m embroiled in excitement, traveling, out partying with friends in other cities, etc, I can still remember to check in with my husband because I know he appreciates it.

          “Getting caught up in the excitement” so that he doesn’t contact her may not be blatantly ignoring her needs, but it sure shows where his priorities are.

          • I totally agree with this. I can’t remember the last time I was so overwhelmed with excitement from travel and partying that I disregarded other people’s needs. Perhaps when I was 8 years old at a particularly good Chuck E. Cheese night?

          • And maybe your “check in withs” are in sync? I can see where periodic v. daily v. once in 24 hours (so Saturday morning until Sunday evening) could be no big deal to one person and a very big deal to another (all the while the person is not not checking in).

            This reminds me of when in Alias, Sydney Bristow would sometimes go dark (although she would usually announce it first).

          • Yes, I call it the “I’m alive” update.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Exactly. The red flag isn’t that he didn’t contact you (we all have different levels of comfort re: how often we need to be in communication), the red flag is that you told him “I need you to try to check in with me every day” and he decided that wasn’t important to him. IMO that is disrespectful and hurtful.

        I think you’re right – for a yearlong relationship, you hear him out, but I would be extremely angry and it would be something I’d consider leaving over, barring a good reason (not “I forgot” or “I was busy” but “so and so got alcohol poisoning, so we’ve been in the hospital for two days.”

        • Nervous Girlfriend :

          I was seriously considering leaving over this but we just had a short text conversation and he seems to think he did nothing wrong because he checked in on Friday and again today.

          So clearly a longer conversation is in order tomorrow but my super raw feelings seem to have dissipated. I’m now trying to remember if I asked him to check in every day or just to check in. Maybe I wasn’t as clear as I needed to be and he thought he was doing ok…Maybe I’m making excuses for his bad behaviour because I was just more upset since I missed him

          Sorry to keep posting about this but I think I’m perhaps more sensitive because I was already feeling like I wasn’t a priority and this just reinforced that feeling.

          • MaggieLizer :

            Not realizing he did anything wrong is even more of a red flag, imo. You asked for more contact, you said you were feeling nervous about it, he should’ve done what he could to try to make you feel better. You shouldn’t have to beg for every scrap of attention he throws your way.

          • Sounds like you’re letting him bully you out of your hurt feelings for fear of seeming clingy / uncool.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Sorry, but this starting to sound way too parental/needy/insecure etc… He didn’t see a need to “check-in” EVERY SINGLE DAY with someone HE IS DATING, and that is a problem, because she needs it? Begging for scraps of attention? Seriously??? He is out of town on vacation. Um, ok….

          • I think if you can’t remember if you specifically said “daily” or if you just said “check in” then you really have no grounds to be too upset, and should use this as a learning point in your relationship about clear communication between the two of you.

            My husband is the type who sees cell phones as an annoyance, not a convenience, and one of his pet peeves is when he is out with someone who spends time on their phone with someone else instead of being with him. The good of this is that when I’m out with him, he’s not texting his brother about his plans for later. The bad of this is that when he’s out with his brother, he’ll often leave his phone behind in the car or hotel room as he doesn’t want to be bothered with it, especially since his cell is both for work and pleasure. So I need to be 100% clear with him “Call or text me every night just to let me know you’re alive and everything is ok” or our definitions of check in will not meet the other’s expectations.

          • I agree with Divaliscious and Meg Murry. If you can’t remember if you specifically told him to contact you “daily” then I think you need to set aside your hurt feelings and calmly discuss your expectations for future trips.

          • I am like Meg Murray’s husband. I travel for work (even to Vegas) and not always in my home time zone. I can check in to confirm that I’m not dead yet (and to say my plan has arrived or is delayed) and if I truly have time, but beyond that, I feel really annoyed (and usually have nothing to say: conference is fine, clients are fine, etc.). If I call and it goes to v-mail, I really won’t call back (and if I’m turning in, I will say that with a please no need to call unless it’s urgent). He may be wired differently and thinks he has been checking in periodically so what is the big deal (especially if you’ve been clear-for-you but not clear-for-him). If checking in with you is a task you’ve given him, I would find that annoying.

      • This. exactly this.

        If you have time to read it you have the time to reply with out. love you. or whatever. it takes 2 seconds. There’s a big difference between forgetting to check your phone because you’re having a blast then checking it, reading the text, and choosing not to respond.

    • This stinks. I had a BF like this — one who acted like it was a MAJOR deal to text or call me every day when he was gone, even though he knew I really liked daily contact. There were many reasons why he wasn’t the right one, but I have to say that this was one of them. I just found it really hurtful that he couldn’t take 30 seconds to do something that really mattered to me.

    • Devil’s advocate: maybe he read your text and was really, really drunk. The smart thing to do is simply reply with an “i’m ok, talk later.” but he probably forgot.

      I don’t know how old your boyfriend is, but my DH needed a couple years to grow out of stupid stuff like this. Once he realized it was because i worry, and not because i’m nagging/checking in, he got a lot better. it isn’t just stuff like this, but it’s also stuff like if he’s running late– I don’t care, I just need to know that he’s not laying dead on the side of the street.

      I saw you got a text from him, which probably supports my theory that his liver and brain are conspiring to make him a crappy communicator this weekend. he probably got caught up in the fun (the girlfriend-approved kind), and has been sleeping off a hangover ever since.

      • Nervous Girlfriend :

        I really don’t think I’m needy, but I do have some emotional needs and I would like to think that the man that I’m seriously involved with, and have considered spending the rest of my life with could take a couple minutes over the weekend to contact me.

        We’re going to speak tomorrow evening and I’ll consider my next steps from there. I’ve calmed down considerably since this morning once I did hear from him. If it seems that he wasn’t clear on what I had originally asked, I’ll probably express my hurt but let it go. If it seems more like he didn’t bother, I’ll probably have to reconsider staying in the relationship.

        As much as I love him and do see a future together, if he can’t make more of an effort on a regular basis for something he knows is important to me and is minimal effort, it may just not be worth it.

        But I do appreciate your devil advocate’s point – I’m sure he was just drunk and stupid all weekend and that’s probably why he didn’t message, I’m just not sure if I can accept that as an excuse/reason at this stage.

        And Parker – I sent him a text last night after not having heard from him for 2 days that was responded to this morning. I was trying to be the cool girlfriend and not freak out but I guess I’m definitely not her, when I’m already nervous about the trip and our relationship in general.

        To be honest, I now feel a bit stupid for making such a big deal over something that seems minor but it still raises a bit of a red flag for me. I’m inclined to let it go though because I don’t know if I want to end a relationship over this.

        Sorry for the novel – I’m just thinking out loud here.

        • While I am somewhat in Camp Let-it-Go as well (also in a LDR – we talk almost every day (every now and then we’ll skip day) and I probably wouldn’t have been terribly concerned had I known he was partying it up with friends in Vegas/knew where he was), it sounds like this isn’t about your dude not calling you for a weekend, but part of a bigger pattern of behavior. If that’s the case, then I think you’ve got some serious thinking to do with regard to continuing the relationship. If this was a one time thing/miscommunication, then I say voice your grievances, forgive him, and let it go.

    • Now that you’ve heard from him and know he’s fine you can plan your next steps. I’d definitely voice my grievance once he is home in a somewhat calm and reasonable manner. However, since he did check in daily until Friday and now again on Monday, he did technically stick to your agreement (call me and check in on me, “preferably” daily) so I’d tackle this more from an “you knew this was important to me and I’m a bit upset that you only did the bare minimum angle” rather than an making accusations of him not sticking to the agreement. From personal experience, I find it really easy to loose track of time when I’m travelling and not check in as often as I should – so give him a bit of the benefit of the doubt. That said, esp. given that you guys were somewhat rocky lately,it’d been the nicer thing to do.

      Maybe I missed something in your post, but since he checked in every day until Friday – why didn’t you check in with him once over the weekend? Or did you and he didn’t write back?

      • lawtalkinggirl :

        Good grief, you guys need to relax a little bit. I know some of you are old enough to remember the days before hand held mental support machines were ubiquitous and checking in daily became a relationship requirement. In my opinion, no news is good news. On the other hand, yesterday my boyfriend said he was “worried” when texted him at 6 pm to say that I was done with a 3-day backcountry ski trip and starting the hour long drive home. WTF? Was he ready to call mountain rescue at noon???

        • You’re upset that you were skiing in the backcountry (which, http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek btw), and your bf was concerned about your well-being?

          • lawtalkinggirl :

            Yeah, the avalanche risk was pretty much nil given the bulletproof snow pack and low angle terrain in the area I was skiing in. It is a little insulting if he thinks I might get into trouble skiing a 25 degree 500-foot slope. But I think we just have a different definition of the word “worry.” To me it means there is something seriously wrong and the phone is in my hand dialing 911. To him I think it means he thought about me and hoped my toes did not get cold.

    • Anonymous :

      I think this is mean and very hurtful.

  9. I work at a fashion school and I feel like this piece is something that would be on display as a student project. As in, more of an art piece than a garment. I have no idea where I would wear this.

  10. Booster Seat Thread Jack :

    Y’all, help!

    I need to move a child from a car seat to a booster-type seat. My co-workers are mostly guys and no friend / relative has done this recently (or isn’t there yet). Other than going by the amazon ratings (graco nautilus and britax something-or-other, we’re happy with the britax stuff we’ve had so far), I have nothing to go on and need to do something soon.

    I feel that a TON of thought went in to the first baby seat and then the next one and now it’s all OMG CAN I HAS BOOSTER SEAT?

    It’s OK with child’s age/weight and state law. It’s just what works well (it looks like you can use LATCH, on some / for a while, and then convert to seat belts, but some are belt-only).


    • well I went from very carefully choosing my Britax to letting my 4 year old pick out the booster with the stars on it… I did get the one with a high back because he still falls asleep in the car.

      • I did the same thing. Bonus points, my kids’ choice of a graco booster was so cheap we could buy four of them – two for each car, two kids in boosters – and stop messing around with the “which car has the carseat” game.

        I think we all learn to let go a little as our kids get older.

        • +1 for Graco.

          Cupholders are key — even if you have a no food/no drink rule in the car, cupholders are handy for toys, wipes, gloves, etc. Kids always seem to need to carry stuff with them.

    • Diana Barry :

      We have the sunshine kids radian (I think their name is now Diono) – it goes up to some absurdly high weight (like 80 lbs) and is tall. Our kids are tall and skinny so they will not grow up to the weight limit for a loooooooooooooong time. It is a narrow seat, which is good if you need something next to it. Heavy, though, so if you’re looking for something that’s easy to take in and out, this is not it.

    • Do y’all have a Buy Buy Baby near where you live? We were at one this weekend for the transition from infant seat to convertible car seat and they have store employees who are trained on car seats. We had a ton of questions and they were able to answer each one and steer us towards a seat we were comfortable with (and not the most expensive option).

      At least where I live, the service (and merchandise) at Buy Buy Baby versus Babies R Us is so much better, it’s not even a comparison.

      TL;RD version: My understanding is that you can’t go wrong with Britax.

    • We like the Graco Turbobooster.

    • Don’t forget that state law and seat recommendations are minimums – for instance, there are belt positioning high back boosters out there that say minimum of 3 years/30 pounds, but most car seat experts recommend staying with a 5 point harness to at least 4 years and 40 pounds, or as long as the 5 point is still fitting.
      That said, we went with putting our 38 pound almost 6 year old into a belt positioning high back that he would actually sit in for less than $100 each rather than spend $300+ on a seat that could keep him 5 pointed and accomodate his height, because we needed seats for our 2 vehicles, plus 2 grandmother’s cars and a spare for babysitters, and the 5 point was difficult to install properly.
      The safest seat is one that fits your car and is used properly every time. Trust your gut.

      • Booster Seat Thread Jack :

        Thanks (and thanks all). Her shoulders are even with the top strap slot of a 5-point car seat and she is >99% of height for 4.5 years, so there is just nowhere else to go but booster. With a winter coat on, it is uncomfortable (so letting the car run for a bit to warm up and hoping that no one steals it).

        We’ve found that most baby stores don’t deal with school-sized children and that other than that there’s Target and Amazon. Looks like there’s no right/wrong answer on brand/model.

    • Research, Not Law :

      We’re currently picking out the third seat, too. Wow. So unexciting.

      I found this website very helpful: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Product-Listing.aspx

      We’ve decided to go with a 5-point harness and belt positioner, rather than just a belt positioner. Other than that, the choice will be based on best cupholder and whatever my kid likes. Probably an Evenflo Maestro. We’ve had two other evenflo seats and liked them, and the elastic cupholder seems nice for different sized cups and snacks. I hate when juice boxes don’t fit in cupholders – I may actually bring one when we go shopping this coming weekend.

  11. What’s the best (ie. nicest, but also final) way to tell a guy you don’t want to see him anymore? We’ve been on two dates after meeting online. He seems nice, but he’s coming on waaaay too strong and I’m just not into him. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I also don’t want him calling me anymore. I’m new to the whole online dating thing, so I don’t really have this worked out yet.

    • I think you need to keep it polite and direct – “It was really nice meeting you, but I don’t think this is going to work out. Best of luck in the future.” If he continues to contact you, just ignore it. It sounds mean and awful, but in practice a clean break is your best bet.

    • Ooh, I’m good at this! My classic, irrefutable line is “Listen, it’s been really nice getting to know you, but my gut is telling me that this isn’t right for me.”

      This sounds terrible, but the reason that line worked so well for me is because someone once used it on me and I realized that it was non-specific enough to not be all that hurtful AND it’s pretty hard to argue with. You don’t even get into the hard-to-pinpoint “chemistry” argument, though I think it’s implied. Finally, the best way to use this line is to just keep repeating it if need be–don’t give them anything they can try to negotiate with.

      Ending things with an online date is hard, but really, the quicker the better. You’re not doing him any favors by dragging it out. Good luck!

      • Oo… I like this.

      • I had someone argue back with this line once! He was (much) older and used that to patronize me and say that he’s learned in life that you can’t ever tell whether something is right for you or not until several dates and so I needed to continue to go out with him because I hadn’t yet learned that. I laughed and said NO THANKS.

        But seriously, OP – this advice is spot-on. It *seems* so harsh to just put it out there – “I’m not into this” – but it’s really the kindest, best way to deal with times when, well, you’re not into it. It’s honest and clean and kind to the other person, who gets to move on without anything lingering.

    • Short and direct is appreciated I would think. I have also told a guy that I was seeing a few people and one of those relationships was taking a turn towards the more serious. It was an awkward conversation, but he later told me that he appreciated me handling it like an adult.

    • “You’re a great guy, but I just don’t think I’m the right girl for you.” This way it seems more like you’re doing them a favor. I’ve actually been thanked after saying this.

      Then no more contact. This approach works well in the long-term, because if you ever run into this guy somewhere on down the road, neither of you have done/said anything that would make things awkward.

  12. “On the one hand, I’m a working professional. On the other hand, I’m a die-hard fan of Swan Lake.”

    • lawsuited :

      Ahahahahahaha! I thought this was advice to the OP above on how to nicely but firmly end a relationship!

  13. Hey Fashion Police! I posted this last night – but who were your favorites from the SAG awards?

    • I thought it was kind of lackluster overall. Far less big misses than the Golden Globes but nothing that blew me away. My favorite was Marion Cotillard. I loved the dress and also the hair/styling. Others I liked: Kerry Washington, Nina Dobrev, Viola Davis, Mayim Bialik (first time I’ve ever seen her in something I liked), Kiernan Shipka (the 13-year-old from Mad Men), Katrina Bowden. I thought a lot of the big names were kind of boring. Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lawrence, Amanda Seyfried, and Naomi Watts were all kind of pretty but bland. Jessica Chastain wins most improved from the GG though, nice to see her in something that fits and doesn’t make her look hideous. Jenna Fischer is another one who often has a hard time dressing for the red carpet and looked really pretty last night, if a bit boring. I thought Anne Hathaway’s dress was fug but I also find her personality incredbily annoying so that may be part of it.

  14. This is the most beautiful blazer I have ever seen. I’d wear it over a black shift dress.

  15. Eleanor PSA to Need help finding help :

    I just saw your post at the very end of the weekend thread about looking for someone to help you finish moving/organizing, and I wanted to suggest you ask around for a girl/woman in college or late high school to help you.

    One summer when I was in college I helped a friend of mine do something like this. A family had just done a bunch of remodeling, so their house was pretty dusty and dirty, and the mother wanted it extremely clean because her toddler had asthma, but I guess didn’t have time to do it herself. She knew my friend’s parents, and asked my friend to bring a friend one Saturday to clean (she brought me). The paid us a couple hundred dollars each, and it took us most of the day She had very exacting standards for how she wanted the house cleaned, so I think it was better for her that she hired two random girls who would do exactly what she asked, rather than a service that already has a routine down.

    If you want the person to organize books and papers, as it sounds you do, I don’t think there’s any way to get around working alongside them, since no one can know how you want them organized but you. Also, I think you should only hire someone like this if you can think of discrete tasks someone could undertake, though (“Put all these boxes of books on these shelves in alphabetical order” rather than “Organize these piles of papers”).

    • Eleanor PSA to Need help finding help :

      Argh, sorry for punctuation problems and typos.

    • Need help finding help :

      We must’ve posted at the same time–jinx!

      I’d love to hire someone like you describe. There are a couple of colleges in town. In the past, my hiring there has been hit-or-miss. The girls who ignored my labels “dishes”, “tupperware”, “utensils” and just labeled a third of my moving boxes “pots and pans”, the folks who convinced me, on another move, that it would be a good idea to use my towels, cloth napkins, and dishtowels to pack other things…I always ask about following directions, and think I usually break things down (the woman who threw out all the stuff from the table had been told to clean the floors with the mop and bucket I handed her), but that’s not how it works out.

      Totally agree that “organize this” would be very dicey, at best

      • I’m sorry, but you sound like you’d be a total nightmare to work for…you are so particular, that you either need to find someone who you can give direction to and “let it go” if they try their best and it isn’t 100% done the way you would, or suck it up and do it yourself. You can’t both micromanage and outsource. It doesn’t work. You will make yourself crazy if you follow someone else around thinking, “No! Don’t do it that way.” At that point, you could do it yourself from a time and sanity standpoint–and I understand you don’t have time to do it all, hence the need to outsource.

        When I read the thread yesterday, I was goingt o suggest that you start in bite size pieces. 20 mins a day. 1 box at a time. Your house will be organized soon if you don’t try to do every room 100% right away.

    • If you’re in a major city, check out Task Rabbit. It’s a service where you put out an RFP for whatever project you need done that you can think of (garage cleaning, organizing, donating clothes for you post-closet clean out, errands, help building IKEA furniture, home repairs, moving tasks, etc.) & people bid on them. The people who do the work are background checked & peer reviewed (like yelp). It’s amazing. I use them all the time. For your situation, even if it’s not perfectly as you would like something organized, it will be a lot closer/easier to work with after.

  16. I’m trying to monitor/reign in my everyday spending. I know we’ve covered tactics before, but does anyone have any good tips for tracking your everyday expenditures? I want to record everything for a month or so to get a better sense of where my money is going.

    I haven’t found Mint very helpful for a few reasons (namely it doesn’t always sync with my bank and it doesn’t help with cash expenditures) but I’d love other tips–even low tech! Spreadsheets? I kind of want to go old school, but I’m at a loss.


    • Sounds like you probably want to eliminate using cash as much as possible (at least this way you’ll have a record in your bank account of every purchase you make). I’m not sure if your bank does this, but I have USAA and it lets me assign categories to each of my purchases. That way I can go back and see how much I spent in any given category over a set period of time.

      • Well, I don’t really mind using cash for small things like coffee, etc. The idea of trying to reach a minimum just to use my credit card seems counterproductive. But also, I guess I want to have things itemized within a purchase, too (i.e. Amazon: $90 is helpful but if it were broken down, that’d be better, too).

        Really, I just need to grow up and stop buying so much junk I don’t need!

    • I just got back into (or first time into) mint, and it DOES have the ability to enter cash transactions into the app, which has been helping me track. It’s great b/c it’ll even search for potential vendors where you are (if you do it at point of purchase).

    • My husband and I use a free app called EEBA. We created the account online (free) and have the same account synced to both of our phones. We have ‘envelopes’ for categories of spending (gas, food, etc.). It’s great and has really worked for us (and has eliminated a lot of arguing over money). We can set a weekly budget and see each day how we are spending in each category.

    • If you’re willing to use a spreadsheet (where you’d have to manually enter all the data), why don’t you use Mint as a starting point and manually enter what it doesn’t catch? You can enter cash expenditures into Mint, and if you have an iPhone, can do so via the app as you’re making the purchase.

      When I was in college and law school, I would copy/paste my bank statement into excel and manipulate it from there, so that’s also a possibility, but I love that Mint categorizes stuff for me (with some manual edits of course).

      • Mint will also allow you to break down your purchases (i.e. 90 total at Amazon, 40 on books, 50 on music).

        Perhaps you just need to play around with it a bit more to see all of the features?

        • Oh, I didn’t realize that. I guess I’m also a bit squeamish about having that info online (in a less secure place than a bank site). But maybe I’ll give it another try.

          • Meg Murry :

            If Mint makes you squeamish, you could try Moneydance – its software, not online, and its cheaper (although less fancy) than Quicken. It can download your bank info and remember your categories, and allows you to split up categories, and you can also have an account that is “cash” – so you could mark any ATM withdrawls as “transfer to cash” and then manually track your cash. Its free for the first 100 manual entries if you want to try it out.

            But personally I would look at where your money disappears overall. Is the real issue that you take out $40 each week and don’t really know where it goes? Or could you simply assume that any cash you take out of the ATM goes to “dining and entertainment” and try to focus on where else seem to be money blackholes. For me, Target, Panera and bookstores are where I always have my “I spent HOW MUCH this month” moments.

        • I was also going to suggest this. I find this very helpful for purchases at places like Amazon, Target, etc. where I may have bought a variety of items.

    • I am terrible at this so I can’t give specific experience, but I also hate Mint for expense tracking purposes. I think writing everything out or tracking expenses in a spreadsheet would be the most effective for me.

    • Lowest-tech of options: just keep your receipt from every single purchase, then at the end of the week empty them all out of your wallet and put them in a spreadsheet. Not fancy, but works – my husband and I did this for years, and it’s really not too big of a hassle.

      • espresso bean :

        This is what I do, using Google Docs spreadsheets. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done, and I can access them at work or at home. I actually just track expenses as I spend. If I pick up a coffee on the way to work, I take a few seconds to note it in the doc when I get there.

        It took awhile to get into the habit, but now I’m so used to it that I can’t imagine going more than a day without noting what I’ve spent. Good luck!

      • ditto, this exactly what we do. Every once and awhile I end up with some cash that mysteriously disappeared (ie, lost my receipt but I can see that I took it out of the ATM) but I figure it out given the date: “Oh that was probably when we went to Starbucks on our way to the game, so it was probably coffee + the cab fare.” Etc.

        My husband both keeps his receipts and enters everything into a doc on his phone, because he’s a rockstar.

      • anonypotamus :

        This is what SO and I do – manual entry into a google docs spreadsheet so we can both access it. We started out saving receipts and doing a weekly dump where we record everything, but in someways, I found it was easier to spend 2 minutes either in the evening or during breakfast the next morning recording the things from that day/day before. I tend to not have too many daily expenditures, and it was less intimidating to just do a few at once (and it makes it easier to remember if there are any purchases you didn’t get a receipt for). It is definitely eyeopening to see how fast things add up! Good luck!

    • If you’re trying to track every expense, your best bet may be an old school notebook. In my experience, if I didn’t write something right away, I would not remember.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      When I’m trying to get a snapshot of my spending I use debit card only for a period of time and then just use my bank’s online account statement to reconcile my spending. In the past, I would then use that to add up “eating out,” shopping, groceries, etc. Now I plan to use Mint to characterize it.

    • Young Consultant :

      I know this sounds super low tech, but I have recently had great success with just using an excel spreadsheet. I decided how much money I could spend daily on anything – cleaning supplies, food, entertainment, make up, clothes – all one budget. I excluded rent, utilities, and a few other regular monthly expenses. Then, I set up an excel that has rows built in for me to put in what i spent and what I spent it on. At the end of the day, any remaining money is added to the next day, so I can accumulate funds for a big purchase if I want. Or, if i overspend on a day, the amount I overspent by is deducted from the next day. I update it at least once a day and I have come to find it fun. It has really helped me to control and better understand my spending.

  17. Need help finding help :

    Reposting from the weekend thread because I got it up there so late.
    Ugh. Another weekend and we did NOT get the house in order. We moved a while ago and didn’t get everything put away before normal life started up again. Now I try to work in a home office full of books in boxes, where they’re in the way, not where I can use them, and I have to hold onto the bed or wall to get around my kid’s “temp” folded clothes storage to get to his closet. His room is just as disorganized as the rest if the house and it’s making us disorganized, ineffectual, and crabby. The place is also getting dirty…

    But how to find good help? I just read nearly the whole thread from last Feb. it’s full of anecdotes but doesn’t really have guidelines for how to find the right person and supervise.

    I have to micromanage, because I want the person to help me get those books on the bookshelves and get my kid’s room in order. There’s no way they can do either of those things without me working with them [well, maybe the kid’s room if they’re really good, but how would they understand my work well enough to sort those boxes? I don’t see it happening]. Also, when I hired cleaning services in the last, I was dismayed at things like “straightening” my papers by combining piles, taking things off the table and throwing them away… These things are obviously not the same as not arranging knick-knacks the way I like after dusting: my papers piles are my organizing system–combining them means I can’t work, and even if my grandma’s pancake turner is old, I like it, haven’t been able to find another like it, and don’t want it thrown out. Those are just a couple examples. I have quite a few other instances of trying to hire help and getting it wrong.

    Because of the unpacking/organizing (for real, not their wack definition) aspect, I’m sure I can’t use a service. My track record on hiring individuals has not been good. Where do I begin? I don’t think I know people who live in my area and have cleaning help.
    Mamabear suggested getting an organizer service first, then a cleaning service, so that’s a possibility, but I don’t know how to find an organizer either.

    • Need help finding help :

      I should probably also mention that this is a huge splurge for me. I’m willing to spend the $$ because I have to do something to get out of this spiral and get caught up so the rest of our lives go better, but I don’t foresee doing this forever or spending tons of money on it.

      • I can recommend a professional organizer named Colleen Klimczak. She is a local businesswoman for me (Chicago-area) but also does “virtual” sessions. I read her blog and have attended a couple of presentations she has given, and she is very down-to-earth and practical. Perhaps you’d like to work with her to create a plan of what you want to accomplish, and then if necessary you can hire someone local to execute it? Professional organizers do have an association, so I’ll bet Colleen could put you in touch with someone local. I will give her website in a separate link. Her business is Peace of Mind Professional Organizing, LLC.

        • http://peaceofmindpo.com/index_files/Page346.htm
          M. Colleen Klimczak, Certified Professional Organizer

      • Does your work provide an EAP? If so, try calling. They may have recommendations for professional organizers in your area.

      • What about Angie’s List? I don’t know if they list professional organizers, but I’ve had good luck with their recommendations for other home services.

      • I'm Just Me :


        You can search for professional organizers by zip code. Then check out their websites and services. You may want to hire someone to help you with your child’s room first, and then if you get along with them, tackle your next job (bookcases).

        Many organizers work side by side with their clients because they are establishing systems that the client will continue to use, not creating something that can be just put into place.

        Professional organizers frequently have contacts with cleaning businesses as well, so they may be helpful in that area as well.

      • Need help finding help :

        Those are great leads–thanks!

        And thanks for responding as though this is a normal thing. I’m really embarrassed to be so overwhelmed by simple stuff.

    • Eat this elephant one bite at a time. For things like books that just go on shelves, unpack them and put them there. It gets the box off the floor, you can organize them another day. Same with clothes, hang them up, put them in drawers. Make yourself some walking space. For boxes of misc. stuff that need sorting, put them out of site in the garage/closet/basement. This was really important for us. Our stuff that gets used regularly got unpacked within a few weeks. We also have a room that is a disaster of unpacked boxes and things without a home. But, that room has a door that I can shut when it get to be too much and the rest of our house looks normal. Take an hour a day to unpack a box or re-hang some clothes. Also, have an open box or bag that holds donations. Just add to it until it gets full then get rid of it. Prep the space, then fill it. You can probably make a set of file folders for the papers so that when it gets to orgaaizing those, you just have to file them (not find the folders, find the label maker, shred old files, read that cute card from 3 years ago, file one document and then oh shoot, it’s time for dinner)

      • Diana Barry :

        This is also a great post – but if you get overwhelmed just looking at the stuff (my husband is like this), an organizer will help you go through it “one bite at a time”.

      • Need help finding help :

        That’s the approach we’ve been trying to take, but it’s been a couple of months. We get one area cleaned up, turn our attention to another, and the first falls apart. I was also serious about the effect that living like this has on my organizing abilities and efficiency. Your example with the papers gets close to what’s been happening with the whole house.

        The one time I hired an organizer, she wound up opening envelopes and handing me the contents to file. Not helpful. Where do people get those amazing organizers who turn a pile of various kid-related stuff into glorious shelves and bins? Is there some kind of national association or credential I could look for? Also, would someone like that be willing to work with me in the office?

    • Diana Barry :

      I think you need to get an organizer first. And do one room at a time – probably your office first and then the bedrooms – so it’s not too overwhelming. I would use google to find one in your area, or you can ask for recommendations here if there are other r e t t e s near you.

      Once everything is all put away, *then* you can get a cleaning person and give them specific instructions about the papers. I am the same way with papers, and our cleaning person knows to pick them up IN THE PILE, dust underneath, and then put back exactly the way they were. I fired a couple of people for not listening to me on that.

    • I always see professional organizers advertising their services on craigslist, but i’m in the bay area where craigslist usage is very high. I have wanted to splurge on the same for ages, but I do go through my own manic cleaning phases where I get super organized and it lasts for… well, not very long, just until I get into another manic phase again.

    • Perhaps a legal secretary who wants to pick up extra money one weekend. You may have to pay more than for a college student, but they probably follow directions/organize better. Or, a law student who is probably more type A than the average college student.

      • Need help finding help :

        Ya know, the best student type I’ve hired around here was in her last college semester before starting law school. There is a law school here–maybe I’ll take out an ad in their student newspaper.

        • Need help finding help :

          Just called the law school, fingers crossed!

          But am still interested in info on professional organizers, just in case.

          • Silvercurls :

            Repeating from an earlier response:
            national association of professional organizers
            NAPO also has regional chapters which have web sites. Depending on your location, this might help you focus more quickly on someone in your area.

            The NAPO web sites (national & local) both let you search for people who have credentials and/or a particular focus on specific types of organizing challenges. The areas I recall include senior citizens, children, residential or business, chronic disorganization, and hoarding. Some sites also explain how long each professional has been an organizer and affiliated with NAPO.

    • I posted this above, but this might be the thread you’re checking (should have mentioned that I’ve found the quoted prices on TR really reasonable.):

      If you’re in a major city, check out Task Rabbit. It’s a service where you put out an RFP for whatever project you need done that you can think of (garage cleaning, organizing, donating clothes for you post-closet clean out, errands, help building IKEA furniture, home repairs, moving tasks, etc.) & people bid on them. The people who do the work are background checked & peer reviewed (like yelp). It’s amazing. I use them all the time. For your situation, even if it’s not perfectly as you would like something organized, it will be a lot closer/easier to work with after.

  18. Paging all Boston (and Boston-loving) commenters! I’m spending two days there next month– any suggestions for must-dos? Staying in Back Bay, won’t have a car, and I’ve only been once (about ten+ years ago), so must-dos can also include must-do-touristy-things. Thanks in advance!

    • When DS and I went there a few years ago, I found the folks on the Chow.com board for Boston incredibly friendly and helpful (you can search for my post there if you want to see what I mean). We ate lots of delicious things in different parts of town close to things we were doing.

    • What types of activities/food do you enjoy? The Musum of Fine Arts has a Mario Testino exhibit right now that is supposed to be good. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is beautiful, and small enough that it isn’t overwhelming. Obviously Freedom Trail is a big draw, but given the current temperatures, I don’t know how appealing that will seem. If you’re into technology, the MIT Museum is also manageably sized and really cool (in a tech/nerdy way). As for food, Toro in the South End has amazing tapas, but they don’t take reservations which can be a pain. Many of my favorite restaurants are in the Cambridge area, which isn’t that dificult to get to by the T. I’d definitely recommend Craigie on Main, Oleana, Bondir, Area Four (more casual than the other options listed, but delicious). There are many Portugeuse/Brazilian restaurants in the Union and Inman square areas in Cambridge. I would agree that reading reviews on Chowhound and Yelp are helpful. If you have questions about any specific places, I’m happy to weigh in.

      • LOVE Oleana. Also, Ole & East Coast in Inman. Inman is fun to walk around and look in all the little shops, more quirky than Newbury IMO.

        • I love East Coast Grill. But it’s a pain to get to if OP doesn’t have a car…

      • Also to add on about museums- the ICA has a “Totally 80s” exhibit right now (Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, etc) which I really want to get to. The ICA is a bit more fun when its warm out and you can stroll around the waterfront, but it’s worth a visit. It used to be free on Thursday nights- not sure if they’re still doing that.

        • I’ve been. It’s a nice exhibit, but didn’t take too long to get through…I used a museum pass and was glad I didn’t end up paying full admission. I”ve seen better at the ICA.

          I don’t think they’re still doing free Thursdays, but if so, it’s absolutely worth an hour or two on a Thursday. but it is COLD by the water now so dress wisely!

      • In addition to the others, I love the Harvard Natural History Museum. Lots of everything natural and sciency, old and new. The hall of minerals and the whale skeletons on my favorites.

    • What kinds of things do you like to do?

    • What do you enjoy doing? Where are you from?

    • Boston is so walkable and Back Bay is a great area. I would definitely walk up (down?) to the Commons / Boston Garden and stroll around there — the Swan Boats are my favorite, but I think they are put away in the winter– up to the State House and over to Fanueil Hall for a bit. Stop and get some clam chowder and a cold beer in Fanueil Hall. Also, just along Boylston is the Boston marathon finish line, the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church.

      Second the recommendation on the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum. I would also definitely try to get over to the North End for some Pizzeria Regina (& lemon ice, if it were summer).

    • I was in Boston last spring and didn’t have a ton of time, but I spent one afternoon wandering around on Newbury St. That was fun because there are a lot of stores we don’t have here. I’ve been to the Museum of Art before and didn’t have time this time, but would highly recommend it. I happen to love Ristorante Saraceno on Hanover St. (North end). It had changed since I was last there but the food was still great. I took a couple of colleagues with me. Much better than the place I ate at the night before that was dark and smelly.

    • Thanks everyone! If anyone is still reading, I’m from New York (so the temperatures aren’t great either), and love museums and eating embarrassingly large amounts of food (we might just be going to Boston for the clam chowder and cannoli). Great suggestions, and I’ll definitely check out Chowhound as well!

    • It’s been awhile since I lived there but I definitely recommend a visit to the North End to eat Italian food + Mike’s Pastries and a visit to Legal Seafood for clam chowder (it is touristy but it remains the best chowder I’ve ever had). JP Licks is (in my opinion) the best ice cream in town. They closed their iconic Newbury St location, but they still have a bunch of others. We loved Anna’s Taqueria for quick Mexican in college, their quesadillas are really unique. Zaftig’s in Brookline is a great Jewish deli with really good challah french toast + latkes. There is a long line on weekends though. I lived in Boston as a poor student, so I don’t have first-hand fine dining recommendations (my parents always wanted to take me out to the North End, not to the trendy places) but I’ve heard fantastic things about Craigie on Main, Ten Tables, Oleana, and No. 9 Park. I do NOT recommend Henrietta’s Table. I went there for brunch buffet with an ex-bf’s family and it was terrible.
      If you are a chocoholic, the Langham Hotel has a chocolate buffet on Saturdays. Its pretty pricey (something like $40) but its oh so worth it if you love chocolate. If someone in your party doesn’t like chocolate they can order off the regular menu, I remember doing that with a friend’s family because her dad didn’t eat chocolate.
      +1 on the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum if you like museums.

  19. Richmond VA :

    I have a chance to move to Richmond, VA for work (unsolicited offer from a work contact). Professionally, it would be a good move. I went to college and law school in Virginia and know the area well enough. It’s just that, over the years, I seemed to feel very looked-over and am not sure that what to do with my comfort level.

    My husband is from VA (not from Richmond) and I grew up in a bridge-and-tunnel suburb of NYC (so I am very used to the comments one can get, but that seems, so, high school). I always wind up feeling like Branson in a Downton Abbey episode (or at least a Tom Wolfe book — he, btw, is from Richmond). Do I just need to put on my big-girl pants?

    • I’m not sure what you’re asking. Why do you feel overlooked? Whom do you think overlooks you? What does growing up in a NYC suburb and bridge-and-tunnel comments have to do with this? And how does this relate to moving to Richmond?

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I live in Richmond, and I love it. I think it often gets an undeserved bad rap, and is much more cultured than most people think. Friends who visit regularly say “Wow, I didn’t realize Richmond was so X” (X being artsy, sophisticated, intelligent, fun, etc.)…

      I’m not sure what you’re asking, but I’ll be a vote of confidence for Richmond (if you think you’d like the job, etc.). I’m happy to give you more info. or be a sounding board if you have questions. You can email me at mintberry51 at google.

    • Yeah confused about your question. You seem to be saying that you feel that people are snobbish to you because you come from a lower socio-eco background (that’s what I’m getting from the Branson reference). Do you feel your NYC friends will look down on Richmond? Or that you think there’s a snobby group in Richmond who will look down on you for being a New Yorker? Not understanding what’s going on.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Richmond is a great city, but it is a big switch from NY. It is much more conservative and much more of a ‘old connections matter” vs just networking will do.

      • I agree with this. I lived in Richmond for 6 years, and recently moved away. It is pretty conservative. Social and business life both often revolve around your existing connections (i.e. you went to high school together) and people often aren’t looking to branch out beyond their existing friends/business connections. It took us longer to settle in when we moved to Richmond, but we did eventually make friends and were very happy there. The food is great, the history is awesome, and the outdoor activities are the best I have seen outside of a mountain town.

    • Richmond VA :

      In college, I got such a stink eye from a suite-mate’s mother and then from various relatives of a boyfriend from there (which high school did you go to; that’s a lovely outfit, but it’s not very Richmond; etc.). It’s not like I was singled out for being B&T — they’d say a lot of bad things about being from, say, Midlothian or anywhere on the South Side. There was a junior-high-ness of it that drove me batty. It’s a lovely place and I used to have a lot of fun in the Fan. It’s just that, now that I’m working and older, I’d not be having the fun (and would need to pick a school for my children — ugh, even in my current city)and feel like I’d be doubling down on the drama.

      Somehow my Working Girl self comes out really strong at times like this.

      • Ah, this does sound very Richmond. It took a while, but we met a ton of cool people from lots of different places. I think we were pretty good at ignoring or laughing at all the silly drama. We did find it annoying that so many people had never lived anywhere but Richmond, but on the balance I would absolutely move back. Happy to answer specific questions that you have.

        • Richmond VA :

          I have a friend with a military background who married into a VCC-Patrick Henry’s church family. They eventually left — he did not like the constant comments he got on his non-accent or his father’s golf handicap or whatever (it wasn’t the in-laws, it was that in his finance field, he didn’t have much of an escape). So, I’ve seen what leads to an unhappy ending and want to believe that there could be a happy ending before I get serious about this.

          My family is mainly missionaries / clergy, so we’re used to moving a lot (and also being cool with migrants and newcomers). And being poor, money-wise, but in a way that’s helped with our thriftiness skills while not making us suffer.

          It would be a closer move to family. I think in a smaller city, you rub shoulders more closely at work and possibly at home (so add: church, school, recreation). I am sure party poopers are here in my larger city, it’s just that I never see them. Bonus would be finally getting to go to homecoming games :)

          • mintberrycrunch :

            I grew up on the south side and my husband is a transplant, so maybe I just don’t run in these judgy circles to begin with, but I have not experienced this kind of stuff. I do have friends that are from the “old Richmond” crowd, but they usually are able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all…. and I just wouldn’t waste time interacting with people who have that attitude anyway.

            I do think that there’s an emphasis on connections here as far as work goes. However, I don’t know that this is always a bad thing. In my experience, if you’re well qualified and work hard, you will have no trouble being successful. And I appreciate the loyalty that I think I’ve gained by working in such a close knit community. I’m still fairly early in my career, so maybe my opinion on this will change….

    • I know what you mean. My BILs sister went to a debutante ball, so you can imagine the social group my sister married into. FWIW, it was generally old money (no money) people that are very judgy. It was hurtful to my sister at first but she and BIL have a great group of friends. And, we are even from Virginia, so pphhbbttt.

  20. Can we discuss Downton Abbey? SPOILER ALERT

    Holy moly, I can’t believe they killed off Sybill! Though once I thought about it, it made a lot of sense, as the story line becomes more interesting with her dead — now they can have all kinds of conflict with Branson over how to raise the baby.

    • um…. when you do a spoiler alert, you should leave some space between “spoiler alert” and the spoiler you’re about to give. the next episode is totally ruined for me now.

      • Aren’t spoiler alerts null and void if the show has already aired?

        • No. Especially not when it aired within the last 12 hours. That’s just mean, honestly.

        • I agree. If the show has aired, it’s fair game.

          • sure, if you want to be a d*ck about it.

          • Well, it’s not anybody’s fault except your own that you didn’t watch it when it aired initially. I just don’t know how it’s reasonable to expect everyone else to accommodate a bubble of your own making. The VCR/DVR/internet streaming are machines of convenience, not excuses to muzzle other people. Shrug.

          • it’s not about it being anyone’s “fault” i didn’t watch it yet. it’s about being considerate. if you want to talk about it, fine (and btw the poster apologized below which i appreciate). but there are more subtle ways of discussing it which doesn’t involve saying “X PERSON DIED” right under “spoiler alert.” seems like you’re having a hard time distinguishing between technical “rules” of spoiler alerts (whatever) and common courtesy.

          • Anonymous :

            Not to belabor the point, but would someone mind sharing when “common courtesy” ends and “we’re allowed to talk about it, spoiler comment or not” begins? Thanks.

        • I’ve always heard that, for TV, you can comment publicly (including sharing spoilers) once a show has aired in all time zones.

          I was surfing around on YouTube a couple of weeks ago and accidentally stumbled upon a video that someone made that included spoilers from last night’s episode. I would have preferred to be surprised, but I wouldn’t say that the show was “ruined.”

          • Wait til you see who gets killed off next!!!!!!! Not joking.

          • @ LP – I already got spoiled about that one too. Can’t wait to see how, the aftermath, etc.!

    • Can we kill off the “Bates in prison” storyline? zzzzzzzzz

      • darjeeling :

        YES. Also, the “petulant Daisy” storyline(s).

        • Yes, agree with both of these.

          Although honestly, I have kind of lost interest in the whole show. I think there are too many plotlines, and I don’t have much sympathy for anyone anymore. The parents annoy me, the surviving daughters are all b1tches, the husbands are maybe a little interesting but too nice, the grandmother has lost their wit (very few of the one-liners make me crack up anymore), the do-gooder Mrs. Crawley is so wholesome I want to vomit, the ex-prostitute plotline is predictable, I don’t really care what happens with any of the servants anymore, especially Bates (and honestly I would be a lot more interested if the new guy were gay and into the a-hole, and there were a gay romance instead of just more bullying from the a-hole). I kind of want the two old servants to hook up, but even that I have become meh about.

          Re-reading, I see that perhaps it’s time for me to stop watching?

          Also I will say that I watch Downton and then Girls (we have DVR), and I was also a bit disappointed by last night’s Girls, although I am at least looking forward to the plot developments on that show.

          • To clarify, I was using “a-hole” to describe Mr. Barrow’s personality, not an orifice. If I could edit, I would have looked up his name and just used that from the start. (I can’t keep the English names apart — they all sound so similar.)

          • The comment below is one of my favorites ever. (Don’t worry, I knew what you meant!)

      • Senior Attorney :

        No kidding. I loved him at first but now I’m just sick of him.

    • Dowager Dutchess :

      Please don’t do this! Your spoiler alert is not big enough to keep people from seeing this as the scroll down normally, and that’s such a big thing to ruin. At least alude to the big development instead of spelling it out.

    • Question: are the women of Downton Abbey freezing? Does the Abbey have central heating? Or are there huge fireplaces, offscreen, that we can’t see?

      Lady Edith has the BEST most lovely, Lanvin-esque clothes this season, but its all sleeveless silk shifts. Lord Downton has on at least three layers.

      That house is enormous. Is Edith freezing or are there some crazy high heating bills? THAT should be a storyline.

      • Freezing. Estate homes were very, very cold.

      • My guess is that Edith is covered in goosebumps at all times . On the other hand, crazy high heating bills might explain why Matthew thinks the estate is being mismanaged. Now I’m picturing him walking around telling Edith and Mary to put a sweater on already because money doesn’t grow on trees.

        • Anonymous :

          lol Series 3, Episode 6: Matthew raises the ire of Lord Grantham by telling Edith “put on a goddamn sweater”, so Lord Grantham sits by the fire and drinks scotch. Mary is annoyed and tells Matthew that only commoners wear cardigans. Anna visits Bates in prison, both are wearing cardigans. Ethel the former prostitute now cook burns a roast, wearing a cardigan.

      • They’re English – they have different standards of how warm is comfortable!

    • Mountain Girl :

      I found a BBC link to the British versions of season 3 and watched all of them when I had influenza a couple weeks ago. The British versions are slightly longer than the American versions so I enjoyed the extra little Downton fix that I got from that.

      If you are wanting to know what happens the internet abounds with links to all the episodes of Season 3.

      And, can I just say to hold on to your hats!

    • Sorry, I did try to put spaces in my post, but I guess they came out when it actually posted.

    • Speaking of… look what I found. I watched last night, but I’d already been spoiled. I don’t think I could have watched otherwise. Sybil was my favorite. But tonight I’m rewatching with my sister-in-law and I’m going to bring these: http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2013/01/downton-abbey-bingo.html

    • SoCal Gator :

      It was a shocker of an episode. So sad and lots more to come it seems. Can’t wait for next week!

    • Gurl just wait. It gets worse.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yea I saw facebook posts from british friends after the christmas special (tip for the unspoiled: don’t have british friends). That was a problem. I can’t decide if I want to watch it now.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          (It’s like they hired George RR Martin to start writing their scripts)

  21. Somewhat of a unique blazer. I can see wearing it to a meeting where you want to stand out. Not a good choice for my office, though.

  22. Anyone experienced having a job where you are better dressed than your manager?

    I love fashion and love to dress up in the morning. I know it is shallow but most days my love for dressing up motivates me to go to work. I work in a investment banking industry – not too formal – but I find that my boss dresses a bit frumpy. To put it simply, she is not interested in looking her best. Her normal outfit consists of flared black pants, baggy blouse (usually in black and white print) and black flats. No accessories. It clearly works for her. I have nothing against it. Although, sometimes it gets me thinking if I should tone down my sheath dresses, statement necklace, pencil skirts, nude heel. Thoughts?

    • What makes you think you need to tone it down?

    • One of the partners at my business casual office wears Hawaiian shirts almost every day. That doesn’t stop the people below him from dressing in typical business casual. One of the perks of being a boss at the very top is that there’s no one left you have to really, really impress. Of course it could be a problem if that makes her subordinates respect her less, but that’s her problem, not yours. Carry on with what you wear.

    • It depends. One of my bosses is sort of like yours, but she enjoys seeing well-dressed people and is generous with compliments. There is also another supervisor in the office next door who would not be so appreciative, particularly if her reports dress expensively – cashmere, Italian shoes etc.

    • I’m in IT. I’m always better dressed than my manager (man or woman). I don’t think I’ve ever seen my boss in a skirt.

    • Loved your statement “I know it is shallow but most days my love for dressing up motivates me to go to work”!! I so relate.

      Don’t change what you are doing. It sounds like you look great. I’ve also worked in environments where some people dress business professional and others wear frumpy/sad/outdated outfits. Don’t let that discourage you at all!

  23. hellskitchen :

    Rant – I just found out that they are canceling Emily Owens MD. Why?? Between this and the Mindy Project, I was excited that we finally had shows that featured smart, intelligent women in lead roles and hoped that this perhaps signaled the eventual demise of the real housewives brand. Ugh.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve never heard of it, which may be part of the show’s problem. That’s disappointing. I probably would have liked it, since it seems like most shows I like get cancelled. I’ll see if it’s on Hulu so that I can share in your disappointment.

      Meanwhile, Cougar Town and Everyone Loves Raymond are on for what feels like decades.

      • hellskitchen :

        That may be true. I don’t think they advertised it well enough. I sort of stumbled on it and was hooked. It’s a hospital drama that is at times intense and at times funny, but always feels realistic. It stars Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter and she’s an actor to watch… Has her mom’s effortless acting skills. Everybody Loves… still churns out new episodes? I figured they were in the endless reruns phase

    • It’s terrible and I’ve never wanted to punch someone so much in the face as I do her, her “best friend” (who is a mean b*tch) and the Mean Girl (who is also annoying). Also, the Classic Female B*itch Boss, the boring Chief.

      IT’S ALL SO BAD!!!

  24. momentsofabsurdity :

    Update on my friend in health crisis – the doctors say she most likely doesn’t have MS (though she does have an increased risk of developing it in the future and needs to get more tests and MRIs and such). I am so relieved and thanks to everyone for your suggestions on how to best support her – I went up to see her yesterday and I think she was really happy to have someone around to take her mind off the whole thing, and she was (obviously) incredibly excited to learn this news this morning.

    • Happy dancing for her that the diagnosis is not what she feared.

      Hoping that they figure out what IS causing her problems and that it is all manageable.

      Thanks for being such a good friend to her!

    • Thanks for the update – I was wondering how your friend is doing.

  25. Does anyone have any suggestions for non-traditional places to get bridesmaids dresses? I can’t stand the typical dresses that you order through wedding stores – they all are overpriced and seem to never fit right. But for various reasons, the whole “choose any dress in X color” won’t work either. Ideally I’d like to let my bridesmaids choose whatever neckline they want in the same color/fabric, but even places where I could pick just one dress would work too.

    • I think Target has bridesmaids dressed online. You could probably also just pick a regular non-bridesmaids dress out – it would most likely be cheaper and maybe even something they could actually wear again (as opposed to the “you guys can totally shorten this shiny red satin sweetheart dress from David’s Bridal and wear it again!” line that a lot of brides convince themselves is true.). Some lines carry the same styles in regular and plus sizes if that’s a factor.

    • jcrew is ideal for this

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think Ann Taylor has bridesmaids dresses, and so does J Crew.

      • A friend found her bridesmaid dresses at LOFT. They often have petite, regular, and tall sizing so the whole bridal party could be accomodated. Plus, the frequent sales help bring down the cost a little bit.

    • Diana Barry :

      I got mine from Aria Bridesmaid (aria dress dot com), really good quality. They have plus and maternity styles also.

      • Loved the Aria dress that I wore for a wedding. Enough that I wore it again for a charity event.

      • I just texted that website to my friend who’s I’m going to be the MOH for later this year (and there’s a store in our area that sells their dresses).

      • Another recommendation for Aria — the dresses are beautiful and the fabric is lovely. I really hate that silk-satin shiny stuff, and Aria’s fabrics are classy and high-quality. AND the dresses fit everyone in a size 2 – size 24.

    • darjeeling :

      my sister’s lovely dresses were from Jenny Yoo, which has tons of styles in each kind of fabric

    • You can rent bridesmaid dresses now: http://www.littleborroweddress.com/

      If I ever get married, I’m going to do this for my bridesmaids, assuming I have bridesmaids and not just my nieces.

      • anonypotamus :

        I was just going to suggest this! I think I am going to have my bridesmaids order from here. The styles look flattering and the site says that they made sure to try each style on a variety of shapes/sizes to ensure that it would look good on everybody. I am ordering one to try for myself so I can check out the quality in person (you can also go to their showroom in NY to try on if you are in the area) but you can’t beat $50/dress (for c*cktail length). I love the j.crew ones but have a hard time justifying the usually $250 price tag.

    • I was in a wedding and the bride found dresses at Ross for us. I think it is hit or miss at those stores, but she found matching dresses for something like $15 each.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      If you choose a color like black, gray, or navy, you might be able to get away with all of your bridesmaids choosing their own dress from whatever store they like. I have a friend who did this with gray, and then had all the bridesmaids wear matching shoes (in yellow). It was adorable, and all the bridesmaids were able to pick dresses they would actually wear again (instead of just dresses they *could* wear again). The colors were not spot on identical, and the fabrics were different, but I thought that made it look even more fresh. I loved it.

    • I picked a pattern (portrait collar jacket and straight skirt) and bought the fabric for each bridesmaid then they had them made wherever they were. My aunt fussed because they weren’t made exactly alike but all of them looked great and, honestly, close enough.

    • Anonymous :

      Just curious — why doesn’t choose your own dress in x color work?

    • Merabella :

      I picked out my bridesmaids’ dresses on Nordstrom. They all got it (on sale) from about $55-$80 depending on when they bought it. They came from all over the country, but Nordstrom has great customer service, and they will help get a dress to you wherever – and return it if it doesn’t fit. Plus they were actually pretty dresses. I hate bridesmaids’ dresses from David’s Bridal or whatever, they are always over priced and look like bridesmaids’ dresses.

    • My bridesmaids’ dresses (both wore the same style) were from Anthropologie. I wanted something that was pretty but unique and not like every other bridesmaid dress and they fit the bill perfectly.

    • Ann Taylor! Got all the dresses for my bridesmaids there, loved them!

  26. How bad is it to jump from firm to firm in a short period of time? I’m a biglaw associate on my second firm; I was at the first for under 2 years and I’ve been at my current firm for under a year. My group is super small and there’s no possibility of moving to another group. Right before I started, the main partner in the group left the firm; no other partners devote even 50% of their time to the group.

    The associate I work with most closely has been making my life absolutely miserable. She invents mistakes that I’ve made that don’t actually exist, she’s berating and condescending, and she bad mouths me to anyone who will listen as often as she can. She complains to higher-ups that I’m unavailable all the time, even though the only (1-2) times I’ve been unavailable are planned vacations that the higher-ups have specifically blessed and told her she needs to cover on her own. No one is involved enough to know that she’s lying, and everyone thinks she’s wonderful because she’s a martyr for the job and is good as kissing a$$. I try to avoid her but that’s pretty much impossible in a group as small as mine. It’s so draining to have someone tell you you’re not good enough all the time; I have to constantly give myself pep talks, but I still break down crying in my office about once a week, and that’s when I haven’t even done anything wrong.

    I know I shouldn’t let her affect my self esteem as much as I do and I’ve recently started therapy to help build myself back up. But I just hate being in this environment and I’m seriously considering looking for another job. I want to stay in biglaw; I like the work and I can’t afford to take a pay cut. How long do I have to stick it out in this firm before I can safely leave without hurting my resume? Or should I stay here and just learn to cope? Thanks, all.

    • Annon atty :

      I would usually advise against firm-hopping, but the head of the group leaving is a reason to hop (and an explanation for the question you will get re why you are looking again so soon).

      A few thoughts: Did they not tell you about the head guy leaving before you started (you might need to explain why you went after the head guy left — perhaps you had already leased an apartment and moved and figured it was easier than staying at your old firm)? I don’t think that there is a right / wrong answer here but it’s important to tell a story that is true and makes sense.

      Also, is there a story about why the head person left and didn’t take you (or others) with him or reach out? There might not be a story there (e.g., went to government, went in-house), but people will be on the look out for a hint that the person was shedding dead weight or that there’s a reason he went and didn’t take anyone with him.

      Been there (on the left-behind side), done that.

    • Annon atty :

      This is how I told my story:

      I was very excited to work for Partner Y at Firm Z. The work was top-notch and I learned a lot. Shortly after I started, Partner Y was recruited for specialty work at firm A, which was not interested in taking any associates. I was very happy at Firm Z and have a lot of respect for them and really wanted to continue working there. I have gained a lot of experience working independently and directly with clients, but I have realized that I miss having the guidance of a partner in my local office and want to continue working in this field. I can really hit the ground running. I would like to for your firm, Firm C, because Partner Q is a leader in the field, and has a great practice to which I could contribute.

    • I mean, your sanity should come first. If you’re really miserable, career repercussions might be worth it

    • Hearing your experience makes me so sad. That sounds excruciating! I would find a way out if I were you or perhaps find a way to set boundaries and confront her head on at times about lies she’s spreading (easier said than done, I know). Her behavior is vicious and destructive. I’m glad you are seeing a therapist. I know I would need one! It makes me think of that country song, “When you go through hell, keep on going, don’t stop now, you might get out before the devil even knows you’re there!” Keep pushing. Keep fighting. Learn from this, but also get out if you can.

    • Are you sure you want to stay in BigLaw? If it’s the $, I’d seriously recommend finding ways to change your lifestyle so you can take the pay cut. Because while your description of the senior associate sounds appalling, it is so, so typical of so many BigLaw types. Not everyone or everywhere, but you’re going to run into this person again. If you can’t handle her and if it’s hurting your sanity, I think you need to rethink BigLaw. (Btw, I’m not saying you’re not justified in being made crazy by this lady. Believe me, I’ve been there. And it’s totally crazy-making. But it’s also BigLaw.) If you’re dead-set on BigLaw, then I think you need to stay put, keep up the therapy (at least half of the people I knew in biglaw were in therapy), and find some strategies to deal with the situation. For example, are people actually unavailable on vacation? Maybe you thought you could be but the truth is that everyone schelps their laptops to the beach and bangs out a handful of emails and a memo here and there every day of their vacations. If so, then she’s right for being upset that you were unavailable. Also, take control of the narrative of your career. Don’t let her be the one who tells other people how you’re doing. Email the partners directly. Go behind her back if necessary. If she makes a mistake, grab the work, fix it, and present it to the partners with the explanation that she made the mistake, you saw it, and you fixed it. B!tchy? Yes. A little evil? Yes. But I do think that if you want to be successful in biglaw, you might need to play these games if she’s playing them. (People will call me out for this. I agree, it’s horrendous. But I’ve seen just this situation and I don’t believe you can play fair and still have your reputation survive.)

      • Miserable :

        Thanks, I appreciate all of this. As to the vacation thing – I would NEVER say I’m unavailable to work while on vacation, I always have my laptop and smart phone. The specific things she’s tried to get me to do would’ve required me to be in the office and cancel my vacation/flight/etc. I’ve canceled plenty of scheduled days off, but I’m not going to cancel something that the partners have told me is fine just because this mid-level is upset that she’s in the office and I’m not. And fwiw I’ve covered for her FAR more than she’s ever covered for me, so it’s not as if she can claim there’s no reciprocity.

      • Disagree with this. There are lots of places where you don’t have to work closely with terrible people. If you said you don’t like the long hours required or you didn’t enjoy the work but jsut wanted the $ than I would agree with TBK that should try to change your lifestyle so you can get out of biglaw. But it sounds to me like you will be much happier at a different firm. While all (or certainly most) firms have some people like this, you can almost certainly get into a situation where you don’t have to work so closely with one. FWIW, I know several junior associates who have been at 3 different firms in 2-3 years so its not necessarily a career killer. I think people do look at the second move a bit critically if you can’t provide a reason, but the head of the group leaving sounds like a pretty reasonable explanation to me.

      • Annon atty :

        It’s not just a Biglaw issue, it can be particularly acute at a smaller law firm (with the added drawbacks of smaller firms being harder to diligence, judge the soundness of, and lateral from). If you stay in Biglaw, not only will you be paid more in the short run, but if you leave, people will already understand why you’re likely doing so. I have friends who are very happy in smaller firms, non-profits, and government settings, but they had a lot of time to plan out a good move — it sound like you don’ t have that luxury this time around (but please don’t do the any-port-in-a-storm jump, either, though I would understand; the goal is to get somewhere where you could be at least 2-4 years).

        I summered at a Biglaw firm that I hated. I had the partner-left issue when I was at quite junior at a still-larger firm. I am now a partner at a different even bigger firm in a totally different area. I am surprised that I am still here, but what has made the difference over the past 11 years is that I don’t work with jerks or screamers.

        • Thank you for responding and sharing your experience.

          This is a relief as I am discovering I should think about my own first move, which is freaking me out…

  27. style advice needed.. :

    Can I learn from you amazing women?

    How old are you?
    What are your skin issues?
    What is your daily skincare regimen?

    Age: 43
    Skin issues: sensitive, hormonal acne, redness, aging (early wrinkles, a few dark spots)
    AM regimen: Cetaphil cleanser,
    Olay regenerist serum (under eye as well)
    Cetaphil moisturizer w/SPF 15
    Some eye cream w/SPF…. (?Dove – I got a free tube somewhere…)
    Beauty balm (trying some samples) with SPF > 30 – Dr. Jart/Smashbox/L’Oreal
    Clinique advanced concealer in a few spots
    Clinique redness solutions mineral loose powder
    PM regimen: Cetaphil cleanser, baby oil to remove eye make-up.
    Retin-A cream
    Olay regenerist serum (under eye as well)

    Expert input: My dermatologist recommended the Retin-A, cetaphil cleanser/moisturizer, and no other exfoliators (I’m extra-sensitive while on Retin-A). This was started when I finally went to a dermatologist last year after struggling with life-long acne.

    Likes: The mild cetaphil cleanser, Beauty balms in general, Clinique redness solutions powder works well. Retin-A takes time, but has made wonderful changes in uneven skin tone, pore size, and skin clarity.

    Searching for…?: Better AM/PM eye cream
    PM night cream with those various anti-oxidants etc..
    Wondering if a ?scars/spot lightening agent (too much with RetinA?)
    Very mild exfolliator for 1-2x a week

    Starting to realize I need to protect the neck/decolletage/back of hands (wish I had started to do this in my 30’s!!), and use the Retin-A and SPF lotions there as well. My skin “genes/DNA” aren’t great – the women in my family do not age very “gracefully”, so I need all the help I can get.

    Don’t smoke. Could sleep/eat/exercise better.

    I think I look about 5 years younger then I am.


    • Just turned 48. Have battled hormonal acne my whole life, am finally clear on Spironolactone.

      For skincare, I use a combination of drugstore items and a Rodan+Fields kit
      I like the anti-age kit, and I use it in combination with prescription Retin-A, which I have used for a long time. I am switching temporarily to the Soothe routine because all of my travel to NY has made my cheeks dry. I will continue with the Retin-A as I am fully acclimated and it doesn’t make me peel.

      I am religious about daily sunscreen and have been since my 30s, chest up. I wish I could go back and be more religious in my 20s. I also wish there were a better way to keep sunscreen on the backs of my hands, as I wash them a lot.

      I have two dermatologists. One is the one I’ve been using for a long time and she does my annual skin cancer check. The other is Dr. Rodan, above, whom I initially saw for a second opinion on acne and now I check in with her regularly because it is working.

      I get botox between my brows a couple of times a year.

      I don’t color my hair all over, but I do get very subtle highlights far too infrequently – maybe twice a year. I have a handful of grays around my face but I have decided I’ve earned them and will not be covering them. I reserve the right to change my mind about this.

      I think I look fairly young for 48, but then I look at my friends my age and we all look about the same, so I don’t know. I guess everyone is doing basically what I’m doing.

      Being somewhat overweight helps with facial hollows, though. My face is a bit more filled out than my friends’.

      • For hands – there are hand creams with sunscreen (Almay, Neutrogena, Boots, Lancome … to name just a few). I find this easier to manage than reapplying sunscreen after every handwashing.

        • Yes ,thank you, I have a couple of those actually. If I weren’t using shared restrooms at work I’d leave one in there. I was thinking there should be some sort of products that leaves the trace of sun protection on the hands through x number of washes. or maybe that’s gross. I don’t know. I think I’d use it.

      • Mamabear, if you don’t mind, can you tell me what dose of Spironolactone you have found to work? I’ve resisted increasing my dose (am currently on 50mg per day) for fear of side effects (primarily dizziness and fatigue) but I think it has stopped working after a couple of years on that low dose.

        • I use 100mg. I was at 25 then 50 with really no results and that’s when I went to see Dr. Rodan. She said she starts her patients at 100mg. I have no side effects that I can notice. Except, you know, no cysts.

          • Thanks, that’s helpful. My doctor also thinks I’m on too low of a dose.

    • This kind of thing always makes me feel like I should be doing more!

      I’m 48 with clear even skin and very few wrinkles or lines. I guess I’m lucky. I have very sensitive skin and eyes and am ultra-sensitive to scent, so I haven’t found a facial or under-eye moisturizer that I can use. I wash my face with Ivory soap. I only moisturize my face if I’m in a dry climate (the swamp-like humidity keeps us looking young!). I think I’ve used Neutrogena and/or Aveeno. I use Aveeno moisturizer on my hands, which do betray my age if I don’t keep them hydrated. I use MAC tinted moisturizer with SPF and don’t otherwise use sunscreen but I really don’t spend time out in the sun. I also use MAC Select Moisturecover concealer because I have dark circles and I’m very pale, so maybe that helps out with moisturizing. I have some wrinkles on my neck which I worry about occasionally but mostly ignore.

      • Merabella :

        I have super sensitive skin as well. I have had great success with Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich as an eye cream, and Boscia’s moisturizer. Basically I went into Sephora and said – Hey I want some eye cream/moisturizer that has nothing in it but moisturizer – thanks.

        • Interesting! I’ve used Clinique eye makeup and it doesn’t bother my eyes, but their tinted moisturizer smelled like medicine. Maybe I should try All about Eyes. My experience with Clinique is that if it bothers my eyes, they’ll take it back.

          • Clinique eyes chemical sunscreens in their tinted moisturizers. You may have been reacting to that.

    • Diana Barry :

      I am 34.
      Skin issues – just starting to get lines. Otherwise pretty normal/clear skin.
      AM – glycolic face wash (glytone), origins spf 35 moisturizer
      PM – regular face wash (bliss), glycolic moisturizer
      I exfoliate every 2 days in the shower with remede sweep.

      My derm just recommended the glycolic products, so I don’t know if they work or not yet. I can’t use retin-A or get botox until I stop nursing the baby, but both will happen then. I notice that I am getting forehead and smile lines, and my face is a little less full now than it used to be.

      I don’t color my hair yet – I only have one grey hair that I can see.

    • I’m 33 with sensitive combination skin. For the past few months I’ve had some pretty nasty breakouts for which my dermatologist has prescribed a 3-month course of oral antibiotics.

      My routine is basically the same AM and PM – wash (using the Clarsonic Mia) with either CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser or Cetaphil and moisturize with either Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer or Neutrogena Naturals Multivitamin Nourishing Moisturizer. At night I also use Differin lotion.

      I don’t always wear makeup, but when I do it’s Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and translucent powder. I remove makeup at night with Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes.

      Overall, lines/wrinkles are not an issue for me – although I tend to furrow my brow quite a bit and I’ve noticed that the crease doesn’t smooth out as quickly as it used to once I relax my face.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Age: 44, African American
      Skin Issues: – Combo, but my dry is very dry, upper Midwest so cold climate issues
      Skin Care: daily – water only wash, aloe vera gel then Kiehl’s Moisturizer with sunblock – night water only, Kiehl’s Creme D’Elegance in winter, Kiehl’s moisturizer in spring/summer/fall
      Clarisonic – 2-3x week at night, followed by aloe and moisturizer – my favorite cleanser is Cleu de Peau Cleansing creme, but will use the Clarisonic cleanser if I am out and haven’t made it to pick some more CDP. CDP is pricey, but it is so rich and yummy, and I literally use a pea size drop for my face and neck.

      I rarely wear make-up, but when I do, I wear MAC Select sheer pressed powder (applied with a brush), mascara and gloss/lipstick.

      I use this amazing make-up remover – can’t think of the name of it – bought it at some little store. I suppose i should start looking for it on-line for when I run out, but I use it so infrequently, it has lasted quite a while…..

      I don’t so much else, but most people think I am 5-10 years younger than I am so, its working…

      My vanity/spend is my hair….. lol

    • lucy stone :

      How old are you? 29
      What are your skin issues? Raging undereye circles, ruddiness, dry/dull skin, really sensitive skin (reacts to band-aid glue), eyebrow furrow
      What is your daily skincare regimen?
      Mornings: Clarisonic (Delicate head) with Clinique extra-mild liquid soap, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer, Clinique Even Better for underye circles, Benefit That Gal for redness, Carmex for lips
      Night: Wash off makeup with water, soap only if needed, Clinique moisturizer, Clinique moisture surge if very dry, Clinique All About Eyes rich, Vaseline on cheeks in winter, Carmex for lips

  28. Thanks for all the tips on what to say about why I left my last job over the weekend. My interviewer didn’t end up asking me about it other than in the context of my availability for an in person interview if I qualify for one. But, better safe than sorry and now I have this answer for next time.

    • Also.. do you send thank you notes for a phone interview? I would assume yes but I’m not totally positive. Thanks!

  29. 42; fair with oily skin; botox on frown lines between eyebrows

    AM: wash face; some sort of Neutrogena SPF with retinol stuff on face (including undereye — going for speed here; sometimes I dig out drug store eye products and use them), neck, and upper chest; in summer: SPF body lotion; Bare Escentuals powders b/c I’m the queen of oily skin; have been doing SPF since 20s on advice of law school classmate from LA

    PM: take off powder with Stri-Dex pads or similar or rubbing alcohol

    Am refusing to color my hair (95% pepper), but have found that any sort of hair paste / mud stuff will help to flatten the grays out b/c they are crazy wild (rest of hair is flat flat flat). That is my one tip to share (and wear a rashguard if you’re in a bathing suit outside)!

    Cannot complain, but think I hit the aging well lottery due to very oily skin that is tolerant of misuse. I often wonder about turning myself over to the beauty people but (A) cannot meaningfully distinguish between options and (B) think I would own more products but not actually use them.

  30. Does anyone have a tacori engagement/wedding ring? I’ve been looking at rings with my SO and am curious about quality etc. would love to hear your thoughts!

    • I have a Tacori engagement ring. I think the quality is good, but I have nothing to compare it to. My DH liked that Tacori was a bigger brand name for ease of future repairs, resizing, etc.

    • midwest anon :

      I don’t have one, but I looked at them with my sister’s now fiance. I found that they were priced higher than almost identically gorgeous, high-quality rings that were less well-known brand names. The price difference seemed to be about 10-20% depending upon the style. Personally, I don’t think a brand name is important, if you buy from a reputable jeweler. Just my two!

  31. What kinds of activities do y’all do on date nights? Usually for me it’s some kind of dinner (either going out or cooking together) activity plus a movie, or drinks, or maybe a board game. Looking for new ideas.

    • Interested in hearing this myself. How about one of those painting party places where you can bring wine and unleash your inner picasso? We like day dates when we can get them. Lunch, browsing shops, museuams, etc. Concerts (especially small venues) are fun. Same with local theater.

      • DH and I did one of those a couple of years ago through a livingsocial deal. it was super fun (i’m an art school drop out and he had never picked up a paint brush in his life) — our paintings of the same image are still hanging side by side in our livingroom. that said, i think it was a one-time type of thing

    • We don’t really do “date nights” per se. But we do go to see plays/shows/ballet/opera plus dinner once or twice a month. Also, once a week or so, we order take out (Indian or Chinese) and watch old movies on Netflix (I also record movies I may want to watch on the DVR for this purpose. IFC and Turner Classic Moviees are both good for this, and no commercials on TCM. I just scroll through the guide while I’m watching something else that doesn’t require my full attention). On weekends, we might go get brunch and go t0 the park (if you’re in NYC, you can rent a row boat in Central Park and row around a lake which is fun about once every two years). A few weekends ago, we went ice skating. Sometimes, we rent a car and go for a drive somewhere new, get lunch there, maybe do some random shopping. Sometimes, we’ll just go get a few drinks at a neighborhood bar. Other times, we’ll do martini nights at home (or sub your c*cktail of choice); in the summer, martinis turn into mojitos and we’ll just drink on the balcony. I have a friend who likes to do couples massage with her husband, although my SO isn’t so into that idea. I think the important thing is to just set some time aside for each other. Don’t overthink the specifics. Over the holidays, we ended up having the most fun evening just drinking a bottle of wine and making fun of the hammecher schlemmer catalog. It was not planned but it was a blast.

    • I like day dates as well – hiking (or something outdoorsy) and museums, mostly. Other ideas are theatre (both matinees and evening), “new” restaurants (like, new-to-us cuisine), conerts/ballet/other dance style/opera, or staying in and making more complicated recipes than we would usually tackle on a given night. My DH and I are pretty low-key people so we often make cocktails at home (also a fun activity if you like to experiment with different types of cocktails), and many of our “dates” are simply just walking around our city and stopping in at various shops (we live in NYC).

    • Mm I don’t know about “date nights,” per se, since I’ve never had the whole husband/kid/designated date night thing, but some of my favorite dates are: trying new restaurants (bonus points for making it a mini-road trip, like going someplace 45 minutes or an hour away that you would never usually go); visiting a vineyard or brewery; apple (or whatever fruit)-picking; hikes; going running; or checking out a gallery opening.

    • I just found a site that I’ve gotten some good ideas from: The Dating Divas. Some of their stuff is great, some is meh, but it’s much better than most of the other’s I’ve found while looking. We usually just go out to dinner, but I am seriously bored with that. I’ll be following this thread!

    • Bowling can be fun every once and a while. Always good for some laughs.

    • Some of our favorite date nights (we always go out to eat, often to a new restaurant–we have young children and it is a luxury to enjoy a meal and conversation alone!) have been:
      couples massage
      rented private outdoor hot tub and sauna
      window shopping local outdoor mall, then drinks and dessert in a trendy bar

      and, though not as romantic–any errands that are difficult with the children (christmas shopping for them is always a date night with dinner and frozen yogurt mixed in with the shopping)

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