Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Stretch-Tweed Pants

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

slim stretch-tweed pantsBloomingdale’s is apparently continuing their Cyber Monday discounts to today, offering 25% off sitewide. Happily, this includes a lot of Bloomingdale’s exclusives like these cute stretch-tweed pants from Theory. These are a great way to start getting patterns into your wardrobe — if you’re new to mixing patterns, try wearing them with a thick waffle-knit sweater in black as a way to bring a little bit of pattern mixing into your repertoire — if you’re an intermediate try pairing a black and white printed blouse (floral, animal print, whatever) beneath a plain black sweater. If you’re expert level, go bolder — just keep the colors in the same family (black and white) and you’ll look polished and put together.  The pants were $345, but come down to $258 at checkout. Slim Stretch-Tweed Pants

Here’s one similar plus-size option, and these $50 pants (super similar) come in regular, petite and plus sizes.

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  1. Tanks that don't ride up :

    I asked this yesterday but I think it got lost in the many afternoon posts. Any favorite brands for tanks that don’t ride up? I prevent this from happening when I am wearing shirts by making sure they are loose. However, when wearing a tank under clothes it can’t be that loose and when they are more form fitting they won’t stay down by my hips. I am a pear. Thanks!

    • Duluth Trading company advertises a “No yank tank”… I haven’t tried it but the reviews are good.

      • Isabella the She-wolf :

        I have some of their shirts from years ago- quality is generally good, but the cloth is thick knit. On the plus side, they aren’t sheer, but on the downside, they can be lumpy when layering.

      • Definitely try the no yank tank, I have several and they’re great. They are quite long, so that could be a drawback if you’re petite.

    • I use Merona tanks from Target and don’t have a problem with them riding up. I’m also a pear.

    • Are you looking for a tank/cami that you can wear under a shirt for the purposes of showing less cleavage? If so, I highly recommend getting a half-camisole (that you wear directly over your B*a). I wear them under wrap dresses all the time. No issue of riding up or showing any lumps. It’s a very clean, sleek fit.


      • …best product name ever?

      • This looks great, actually. A number of styles, demis and camis, and made in the US!

        The company has it’s own website, if you want to skip Amazon or see a bigger selection.


        Thanks, Two Cents.

  2. I’ve been promoted and my (windowless) office is huge — bookshelves, upholstered chairs, etc. — but bare. Help me. I’ve never been in a space like this!

    • A set of three, large canvasses is good for filling a lot of wall space without spending a ton of money.

    • Flats Only :

      Try a large sized fake plant like a ficus tree to fill in a corner and make the office seem less sterile. You can get high quality ones that don’t look junky – just keep it dusted.

      • Slight threadjack- how do you dust large fake plants? I use a swiffer on most surfaces in my house and office, but that doesn’t cut it for the plants.

        • Inelegant solution? I shake them violently so most of the dust comes off, then I dustbuster vacuum around it and use a cattail duster on the rest.

          It is this reason I have moved them all out of my office (they came with the space).

        • Flats Only :

          Swiffer. Make sure to get one with shiny leaves not the matte fabric leaves, which really hold dust like crazy.

        • Microfiber cloth.

    • I’d also add a non florescent light.

      • Nudibranch :

        If it’s not too big, swooshing the whole thing around in a sink full of soapy water w/a little dish detergent has worked well for me. Then rinse under sink, shake dry and go.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Love the idea of non-fluorescent light. I used to love my little desk lamp for working in the evenings.

      If large scale art from someone local isn’t an option (but it should be! check out street fairs — lots of artists pop up in holiday market type things and they often have very office-appropriate art, landscapes, animals, abstraction…) you could get and frame a set of three-four posters of something you love, ideally in the same size and style, like…

      If you like National Parks — https://www.rangerdoug.com/

      Into the history of dance — https://www.allposters.com/-st/Ballet-Dancers-Vintage-Art-Posters_c85739_.htm

      Chicago? — https://studiochris.com/collections/posters

      Patent law? — https://www.etsy.com/shop/PatentPrints?section_id=19654687

      Something you’d be happy to talk about, and happy to look at each day.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I had a windowless office a few years ago and I got a few pieces of framed art that actually looked like windows with beautiful views outside. It was fun and cheap.

  3. MM LaFleur Review :

    Made a small order from MM LaFleur. They have a good selection of dresses with sleeves and invisible zippers, which I was looking for. I ordered a navy dress that fits well. I’m surprised at the quality though. Mine had a loose string at the bottom, which unravelled the hem of the dress. It’s also not lined. Sad to say that I’ll be sending back.

    • Yeah, everyone is always raving about the quality but I have found the quality to be hit or miss. I was hoping it would get more consistent over time as they grew.

      • +1 I found the quality really lacking for the price. I don’t think I’m that picky, either. My main source of work clothes is J Crew Factory.

    • Anonymous :

      I have become a convert.

      I don’t need things to be lined (and I have slips) and didn’t find any clinging when wearing tights (the main reason I have a slip). Nothing (absent BR wool suiting) is lined anymore. And the $120 dress I got as an MM lower-cost avoider? Miserably pilled within a couple of wears. Hours with a sweater shaver.

      I have a couple of things from them — the Etsuko dress fits me like a dream. But I’ve just given up on the rest of the world — they have a few great cusp-petite things and I’ve been shocked at how few other places there are where I can wear dresses (for me: no BR, no JCrew (they offer petites, but if the waist is in the right place, the length is too short)).

      I can’t speak to the separates, but they’ve been good travel pieces for me.

      At any rate, I say if you are struggling, it is worth a try-on.

      • Anonymous :

        Also, the washability of the pieces I own is a factor in the cost part of the equation. Significant cost vs some dry-clean-only other pieces I have.

        • Nylon girl :

          My Talbots dresses & skirts are lined & their sales prices are awesome.

          • I used to swear by Talbots but their stuff that’s online only has resulted in shocking amounts of orders + returns to the point where I don’t bother. I’m 5-4, but their petite stuff is too short in skirts and dresses for me to wear to work.

            I wear a mix of MM, DVF (not the wraps though, they gape on me), BR (sadly no dresses), and Athleta. Weird and random.

            I’ve never washed my MM, but I dropped half of a burrito on my light gray Etsuko and was able to clean it up in the bathroom like it never happened, so I love them for that and wear a lot when I’m traveling and need something that can stand up to some airport restaurant / in-flight turbulence abuse.

          • I just ordered a Talbots dress and was surprised at the poor quality of the lining. It’s a bad poly that hangs a half inch below the hem, so that it looks more like a costume dress. Is this standard or did I just make a bad pick? It’s the sleeveless Berkeley Tweed dress fwiw, still on their site.

      • Many Boden dresses are lined and I love them.

        • Triangle Pose :

          And washable. I’m much rather pay $109, $89 or $112 on sale for a boden ottoman dress in a classic shape than almost double that for MM La Fleur. I have their elbow length sleeve jardigan and I love it but I think their dresses, especially the Etsuko, are overhyped.

    • MM LaFleur Review :

      Agree that washability is a huge savings. As mentioned, the dress did fit well. This was just irrelevant given the unravelled hem.

      As a sidenote, many Ann Taylor dresses are lined and machine washable. They have a nice navy one right now with cap sleeves. I was looking for something longer sleeves.

      • I am a big fan, but have had hem problems with two garments now – mostly the Etsuko type fabric. They are always very good about taking it back despite it being outside the returns window and being worn, but it’s still frustrating to have it fall apart on me.
        I’ve had better luck with the ponte materials there.

    • Ugh, this is still an issue? I had three items with unraveled hems. I complained and they claimed that they were working on a solution. This was in the Spring. I’ve stayed away since.

    • shamlet96 :

      yeah, I’ve thought about ordering but i don’t love the fabrics (or the prices, for that matter). I stick to j.crew, j.crew factory and BR (on occasion).

  4. Baconpancakes :

    If you loved my copycat outfit question last week (http://www.whowhatwear.com/minimal-work-style) and you wear an XL, we can twin! I got this and it’s perfect and on sale: https://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/SWEATERS/pullovers/PRDOVR~G9612/G9612.jsp

    It’s very thin, works best with a smooth bra, but I like the weight and the swing of it.

  5. Baby names :

    My husband and I have one of the 5 most common surnames in the US. We are expecting a baby girl soon and the only name we both love is very very common (also in the top 5). We both love the name and I think it sounds great with our last name, but I am a little worried about our daughter being not only one of several in her class with her first name but potentially not the only FirstName LastName. Thinking further down the road, it will also be very hard for her to establish a search engine presence for herself unless she uses her middle name, but that’s probably true even if we choose a much more unique first name. If it weren’t for our super common last name I don’t think I’d worry so much about it but the combo of super common first names and super common last is giving me pause. Any thoughts?

    • Yeah just go for it. The Andrew Smiths of the world survive just fine and it might be nice to to be immediately recognizable.

    • I would avoid mostly because it will immediately be dated. Like how there are no little girls who are Jennifers or Jessicas anymore. Pick something off the top ten list.

      • Sorry, but I think this is terrible advice. (Maybe it’s a troll? I’m still biting.) Names, just like everything else, go through trends and cycles. If you pick a top ten, it will also immediately become dated. Pick the name you love. It’s not the worst thing in the world to have a common name, and it’s not the end of the world for her to use her middle name if need be.

        • Unless I totally misread Anon’s advice, I think you’re in total agreement — pick a name OFF the top 10 list, not ON the top 10 list. OFF could be read as ON in this case but that interpretation wouldn’t make any sense together with the preceding sentences…

          • Anonymous :

            This. Not a troll. Although I see how it does not read clearly. ‘off’ as in below the 10th spot, not as in ‘from’.

            Do not pick a common name. It is no fun being one of 4 Jennifers or Olivias in a class. Pick a name from below the list’s tenth spot at a minimum.

      • Jennifer and Jessica were popular an entire generation ago though – it’s not like 5 years from now people are going to be like “Ewww, Emma is SO last year.” Will it be a popular name in 2040? Probably not, but I don’t really see how that has much relevance to a kid born in 2017.

        • Eh, I think having a dated name can be tough as you age in the workforce – it can be an automatic signified that you’re from a certain generation. That said, I’m a fan of names you like, but I’d make an effort to find a unique first name. I have a super common first name (hate it, I was always a version of “Jenny K.” In school) and a unique last name that makes me very searchable. There are pro’s and con’s to that kind of visibility. Personally, I’d love to have super unique first name and really common last name.

          • Most names become dated at some point. Just pick a name you love.

            I think it’s hilarious people are thinking about whether their child’s name will rank highly in search engines. Oh my gosh. You cannot control the future. Let it go.

        • No, no, no. The problem with Jennifer and Jessica is two-fold. It’s that they were hugely popular but also newly made up. I mean, find a Jennifer or Jessica from 200, 300, 800 years ago. Now, Katherine or Elizabeth, that’s a different story. A name that’s hugely popular but old is totally different than a name that’s hugely popular but made up (recently).

      • I agree with this– I love love love the name Ava but can’t bring myself to use it because every fifth kid at our daycare is named Ava. The Emma and Olivia of today are the Jennifers and Jessicas of the future. If you don’t mind that, that’s one thing– but Jennifer and Jessica are the Susans and Debbies of their day, too.

    • Distinctive middle name or middle name starting with a distinctive letter? Like Zoe, so she can be Jennifer Z. Smith instead of just plain Jennifer Smith?

      • 1 of 4 Susans :

        And now living on another continent, I have the same problem at the dry cleaners – have to specify Susan E,

    • Flats Only :

      She may eventually be grateful for the anonymity of not coming up first on internet searches. Honestly, I would not worry about your child’s future ability to establish her brand.

      • seriously, for all you know she’ll be a world-renowned actress and everybody will know her name.

      • Honeycrisp :


      • My spouse has a very common first and last name (like James Taylor). Especially for this generation, where every silly teenage prank is document, some anonymity would be nice.

      • Exactly. I have an uncommon first name and an extremely rare last name. I’m the only one of me and I make a constant effort to keep myself off the internet for a modicum of privacy.

      • Anony Mouse :

        +2 I have a very rare first name. If you know how to spell it, you can find personal information VERY easily. I try to keep my online presence to work-related materials, but public record details like my home address and voting record show up with very little effort.

        • +3. I have a fairly uncommon first name and an incredibly unique last name (basically everyone in the US who has this last name is my relative) and some of the things that come up in Google searches are very awkward, even without any “bad behavior” on my end. For example, if you search for my first and last name the first page of results includes a permit we filed with the city for our kitchen reno and it states the total cost of the renovation. I found this out when a colleague said to me “You spent $XX,XXX redoing your kitchen!?!” Yes it’s awkward that my colleague was googling me, but it’s still something I wish was not so easily discoverable. And that’s not a youthful indiscretion at all, it’s just private information that I wish could have remained private.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes! I used to have a very uncommon combination of first and last name and it was kind of awful to be so googleable.

    • I had two friends in school that shared an uncommon first and an uncommon last name. They were the only people in my class to have a name twin. Just pick a name you like.

    • I have an extremely common first and last name. It doesn’t bother me at all. So what if my haircut place has to find me by address because there are three people with my name in their database. Not a big deal at all. Who even knows what the internet will be like by the time she’s old enough for search engine searches to be relevant in her life.

      • Seconded. Super common first (a name that has been popular for many many decades) and super common last. It’s never been an issue. I don’t really care if people can’t automatically google me.

    • She will do something dumb and the internet is a searchable archive for that. Consider being very common to be a feature, not a bug.

      Jane Taylor says to the interviewer, “I’m sure that you’ve seen a bunch of Jane Taylor insta-feeds / websites / ill-advised FB posts . . .; luckily, that’s not me.”

      If you name her Hildy-Anne, there’s no deniability.

    • Agee that common is a feature not a bug in the age of the internet. I have a common name (Google brings up 20M hits), and I love it. I’m unsearchable which is great, and if I wanted to be searchable, I could up my internet presence with a website, using my middle initial, etc.

      Also, I find that I often get identified with something extra when people mention me, which helps other people remember me (e.g., I’m meeting up with [Jen, the lawyer you met][Jen, my friend from NYC][Jen, my friend from University][Jen, the redhead]).

    • Lila Fowler :

      This is me. I have a Common first name and a Common last name. There is another person with my name on my block. There are 8 people with my name at my firm. My sister had another girl with her same first and last name in her high school class. I get other people’s email every day. I am not google-able. actually really enjoy that last part. Having someone else get my prescriptions, my mail and cancel my hair appt? Not so much, but not the end of the world.

      I really like the above idea of having an uncommon middle initial. My first name has a very common middle name, and guess what my parents picked? So I share the same first/middle/last as many other people. I will say, one of the things I am glad I did was clean and freeze my credit early so I couldn’t be crossed with others.

      If possible, a name with a nickname or initials that go together may also help.

    • A good friend of mine has a very common first and last name and he loves that he’s virtually anonymous on the internet. I think of that as being more of a pro than a con. Also, he frequently goes by his initials, which helps cut down on confusion when he’s around someone else with the same thing.

    • I’m one of those. There is in fact another identical First Middle Last within my same firm, which is mildly annoying but also funny. It’s not ideal but I’d still prefer my common name to a more unusual one that’s harder for people to remember or pronounce.

    • Anonymous :

      I went to college with someone else with the same first and last name. It was annoying sometimes (like when her dad called me by accident at 7 am on a Sunday morning and didn’t immediately understand he had the wrong girl) but not a big deal. Also name popularity is somewhat regional and culturally specific – in NYC Moishe always makes the top 10 list since it is huge in the Orthodox community, but it’s rare outside this community. My point is, your child may not always live in a place where the name is common.

    • So, here’s a take on this. Would you be asking this question if this were a man? My guess is no. People are much more comfortable with John or William for boys, and it’s precisely b/c they expect men to have careers and be dependable and blah blah blah. Why is that not ok for a girl!?!

      • Baby names :

        Yes, I’d absolutely have the same concern if she were a boy. It happens that I don’t like many currently trendy boy names like Aiden, but there are some like Noah that I like but I’d be hesitant to use for the same reason. We absolutely expect her to have a career and that’s actually been front and center in our baby name discussions – I’m adamant that I don’t want anything too cutesie or little girlish, and I want a name that wouldn’t seem out of place for a Supreme Court Justice or Nobel Laureate (not that we expect her to be those things of course, but we want a name with that much gravitas). I’ve gotten a lot of good advice from this s*te, but it’s annoying that some people think literally everything is a microaggression/evidence of unconscious sexism.

        Thanks everyone for weighing in! My husband is REALLY attached to the original name and it seems like it’s not worth fighting him on a more unique first name.

  6. Isabella the She-wolf :

    Recipies for churning out a large batch of Christmas baked goods? I need to make about 25 packages of something to go in gift baskets. The baskets are usually already pretty heavy on all varieties of chocolate chip cookies. Any suggestions?

    Target audience is very conservative elderly folks, so probably no kale ;). I’m a pretty good baker with good tools, but short on time in this season.

    • Cheese straws/coins? A nice alternative to a bunch of sweet stuff.

      • Isabella the She-wolf :

        Ooo! A good ideas, and I may also have to add thsee to my fancy cookie platters.

    • Spiced nuts? Sugared cranberries? Caramels? Brownies? Those are all pretty simple and fast to make.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Food and Wine Magazine has a great recipe for spiced nuts in the November issue. I made it for Thanksgiving and everybody loved it. You can find it on the internet.

    • How about mini pumpkin muffins? My favorite recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and I’ve baked it in many forms.


    • A little time intensive, but my very favorite treat – make sandwiches with Ritz crackers and peanut butter, then dip in melted chocolate, let harden on wax paper. You can sprinkle decorations on top before the chocolate sets. These are our favorite family treats and we made them as favors for our wedding, too!

    • Chocolate bark with dried fruit and nuts? I like to do white chocolate with dried cranberries or cherries, finely chopped crystallized ginger, and slivered almonds. It’s pretty quick to melt the chocolate, pour it on a silicon mat, and sprinkle on the toppings.
      If nut allergies are an issue, you can just leave them out or switch to sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds/pepitas.

    • Homemade chex mix

    • Blondes. Some people do not like chocolate(I don’t understand but…) and bar cookies are easier to make lots of

    • I made 4 dozen cookies in about an hour for our church Senior Outreach using:

      – 2 rolls Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough
      – 2 packages Reese’s peanut butter cup minis

      1″ balls with a peanut butter cup squished on top, baked for 9 minutes at 375. My only grip is that they had to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before I could move them to the rack, or else they were melted lava goo.

      I feel “guilty” that they aren’t 100% homemade, but whatever. It was fast, done, and I’m sure the seniors will love them.

    • Slice & bake cookies are my favorite for large quantity, low time, cookie tray filler. Hazelnut shortbread ones dipped in or drizzled with dark chocolate are amazing.

  7. Trapped in BigLaw :

    I keep reading that you can really save a ton in BigLaw. Now that I have two kids in a MCOL city, I feel that that locks you into a bigger house payment (based on family size, paying either for a neighborhood that is close-in and/or has good public schools and/or private school tuition); extra child care / camps in the summer (so we are spending more than we spent during the 2-in-day-are years for child care / camps when you count school breaks and summer vacation and regular after-school/evening sitters).

    I feel like I am truly a hamster trapped on a wheel.

    If I were in the NFL, I’d just live in a cheap 1-bedroom and save every dollar b/c you know there’s no longevity there. But if you have some longevity and try to be humane to your family, then you’re not saving enough money for when you decide you just can’t take it anymore.

    And I don’t know anyone else battling with this. I work mainly with guys (with SAHWs in the outer burbs) or people who don’t have kids (or if they have one kid, are probably quitting soon or are definitely leaning out). Help? Advice?

    I feel like I am doing something wrong. I make good $, but my cash burn rate is shockingly high (a lot of which I feel is on basics like mortgage and child care). And I could save on one (but not much — in my city, houses get bigger the further out you go, but not less expensive until you have a > 1 hour commute each way or the schools are so bad that I’d have to add in private school tuition).

    When I was single, I didn’t save so much of what I made b/c I was paying off my loans. And I chose to live close-in b/c otherwise I felt I’d lose what free time I had due to commuting.

    • I’m not sure what your question is. It sounds like you bought too much house with the excuses of location or if we move into x neighborhood, we need private school; surely there was a house in your own district a bit smaller/cheaper than what you bought. No you can’t live in a studio like a 22 yr old college grad, but you can live below your means — which you didn’t set up your lifestyle for and now feel trapped in biglaw. So either change your lifestyle — the real estate market is hot everywhere which means a house can be sold — or get used to your job.

      • Yup. You don’t need a good public school for kids under 5. They can share a 2 bed apartment. You have options.

        • +1. I find that people frequently have inflated ideas of what they absolutely need vs things that make their lives easier and may have a lot of value but aren’t 100% necessary. I would reevaluate your lifestyle to see how much this applies to you.

          • IDK — a lot of the stock advice is geared to people with no kids and/or non-BigLaw schedules

            Kids + BigLaw = something has to give (and you make the $, you have no excuse re having adequate child care / schools / etc. and people are living if you are unavailable for hours each day on your ultra-long commute b/c of frugality (I have a colleague who “has” to leave before HOV restrictions (um, no; no one forced you to live out past the airport for your budgetary convenience when we’re all still here working or are only out of pocket for 15 mintues)).

          • I mean, that’s fair and all. I’m not saying that they spend way too much or anything. I’m simply saying that I think there are very few people who couldn’t save a bit by reexamining what’s absolutely necessary vs what’s just nice to have (and everything in between). It’s totally fine to decide that you think those extras are worth it to you. I’m just saying to back to the drawing board with a more critical eye about what’s necessary. Maybe you’ll come up with something useful. maybe you won’t.

        • My kids are in elementary school. Say in somewhere like North Arlington. I first lived in a tiny apartment in Courthouse. I struggled to pay down law school, but was working so much that I didn’t want to live further out (where I’d need to buy a car and pay for parking and pay in time) or somewhere less safe (b/c I routinely got home so late there was little foot traffic). And then I had kids in a tiny older (but still pricey house). Schools are good here. If I move further out, I’d have a longer commute where I’d really struggle with where is the time coming from. And houses would be newer / bigger / fancier, but not less expensive.

          And child care — we pay on the books and every school holiday / vacation / summer camp, I just keep coughing up $. And then there is the convenience of eating out / meal prep vs cooking (hard to do when you get home after 6 and everyone is hangry already). You can eat only so many meals of yogurt and/or granola and/or spaghetti and/or nuggets.

          I replaced law school loans with a bigger house payment AND my kid expenses are what my loan expenses were.

          Going to Small Law — all the expenses and schedule drama, much less $. I’m not sure what the solution is.

          • Spending less money. Monday- leftovers. Tuesday- nuggets and broccoli. Wednesday- spaghetti and meatballs. Thursday- sheet pan meal. Friday- pizza. Saturday and Sunday- cook, enough to freeze some.

          • So you feel trapped because of child care expenses, yeah? If you went to a company with easier working hours you wouldn’t need so many child care hours covered, seems like.

          • I think I could do a lot of things that cost less $ if only I had the time do it them. And if I have 5 hours on a Saturday, I choose to spend it with my children and/or husband (so no more meal-prepping for the week the way I could when the kids napped for 2.5 hours every afternoon).

            I think that this explains the doctor-families I know — trapped into having the expense of a nanny until a kid is old enough to drive, living close to work (vs commuting longer and seeing their families less and/or having no time to do anything but work). They make good $ but are spending just about all of it.

            Mom of two school-aged kids who works 60+ hours/week and has to pay for things with $ b/c I no longer can “pay” for things in time

          • Is there another parent in the picture? Do they make money or have time to deal with childcare or meal planning?

          • Agh!! These conversations always frustrate me. KIDS ARE OPTIONAL. You elected to take on this additional expense, so deal with it. That might mean you live in a less nice house. That might mean that you have to lean out at work. That might mean that you eat nuggets every night for dinner. That might mean you have to spend your Sundays meal planning, even though you don’t want to. Whatever. You selected this option, and now have to execute on it. You are not entitled to have kids. This wasn’t a given outcome–you made a choice.

      • You always gotta love the financial “experts” here who perpetually have their noses in the air and their knickers in a twist about other people’s lifestyle choices. Not helpful. Actually just judgemental and *itchy. I’m sorry for these ladies; it must be terrible to wake up every morning and have to be them, all day long. I wish they wouldn’t take out their unhappiness on the rest of us, though.

        OP, I feel you. Not in BigLaw but DH and I make a decent amount of money and I feel like it all goes places, everywhere except where it should, which is into our savings. We’re doing okay with retirement and college savings but we’re not getting anywhere with saving for our next house, because it seems it’s literally always something. After-school care went up 50% this year and summer camp went up by a third. Had to get a new (used) car for DH when his car’s transmission broke and we can’t do public transportation or car-sharing due to crazy work schedules. Elderly parents need financial help and leaving them twisting in the wind is not an option. Roof developed a leak; that was a $7500 solution. I calculated what we pay for all our combined insurances the other day and was bowled over. But dropping coverage is either not an option or extremely inadvisable.

        I think for us the key is that whole “comparison is the thief of joy” concept. By most standards, compared to most people in America we’re doing great. Compared to the people who smugly post here about how much money they save (while conveniently omitting facts like “my mommy and daddy paid for my college so I didn’t have loans to pay off;” “I don’t have kids and therefore have no idea what daycare bills are like,” “I live in a studio apartment and have never had to pay for a major home repair,” “I don’t like my parents and would never give them money in a million years,” etc. etc.) I’m maybe not doing so great. But it’s cool. I feel like not having debt is positive and I do feel like we will eventually get where we need to be, financially, if we keep working at it. I need to do a better job of focusing on what I have vs. what I don’t have and I’ll do that. Maybe that would help you? Dunno. But I feel your pain and I’m sending you empathy.

        • “You always gotta love the financial “experts” here who perpetually have their noses in the air and their knickers in a twist about other people’s lifestyle choices. Not helpful. Actually just judgemental and *itchy.”

          Truly adore this comment. Thank you.

          Longtime, loyal reader, but +500

          • Frozen Peach :

            SLOW CLAP.

            It’s so easy to judge other people’s financial choices. And yet, when people ask for perspective or help, I frequently find that there’s so much judgment of perceived mistakes, or differences in values that drive different financial choices (for example, helping parents, the perspective that children are optional). The savings shrews here would tell me that I’m nuts for tithing when I have law school debt. But those are my values, so.

            OP, don’t listen to these folks. I feel you. I left BigLaw to go in-house and have been able to change my financial picture because I have more time now. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I didn’t take a pay cut going in-house– that said, I have nowhere near the potential salary growth I’d have in BigLaw. But I do feel that reclaiming my time has been the single factor in helping us start to escape this trap. In BigLaw you have so little time that you end up buying it back to have any modicum of a decent quality of life.

          • Preach to this whole sub-thread re: judgement.

        • Well what do you expect if your question basically boils down to “I spend too much money so I can’t save enough; what do I do?”

          • Anonymous :

            Yup. I am sympathetic. It is hard. But what else is there?

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I am also sympathetic because I am in the same boat (though my boat sounds smaller). I would love to save more, but I don’t really want to spend less. So I guess we’re looking to earn more (fingers crossed that that will actually happen in the near future! Mr. Hair has an interview this week!) … or we’ll have to sit down and make some hard decisions about what to cut. Blah.

        • Thank you!! I needed to hear this today. We make a lot of money by Canadian standards (top 5% easily in the country). I am a bit behind because of high student loans but we have done really well the last few years mostly due to smart real estate decisions and the fact that I am pretty frugal. But we were posted into the town my husband is from and made the decision to buy near his parents (we are military and our kids don’t know any of their family due to seven moves in less than a decade). We spent a lot more than I would normally be comfortable with and the government just increased the minimum wage by 50%, substantially increasing our childcare costs. I feel like I am drowning and seriously going broke after a number of years of lots of saving and feeling like I was over that phase. I am trying to juggle a commute (which adds to the childcare$, a husband who’s boss assumes he has a SAHW who can do everything, a brand new insane job I have to learn, and now….pinching pennies and doubling my household management labour by trying to save on food and shopping around/doing without. We will also be fine, eventually and are better off than most people….but I am feeling sorry for myself today.

    • Nothing to add, other than I feel your pain.

      No kids, but struggling to pay off debt as fast as I’d like because SO is in a non-profit path and we have a lot of debt (does not qualify for repayment plans). I make top of the market here, but the cost of living is skyrocketing and I feel like I will never have a moment where we can enjoy being debt free + kid free (b/c biology, etc.).

      We live so incredibly frugally. It’s really disheartening.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I unfortunately haven’t seen anyone resolve this easily – but a few thoughts:
      1) You can totally have 2 kids in a 3 bedroom house… my grandparents had 4 kids in a 3 bedroom raised ranch. More space always equals more $. I used to abut a really nice area in a big city and tons of immigrant families of 5 or 6 would move into 3 bedroom town homes as their focus was schools. Decide whether you want a fancy / larger house or you want good public schools and be willing to trade off for what you want.
      2) Have you explored potential charter options / parochial schools? This could help with both the extra childcare issue and the needing to live in a more expensive hood. Private / parochial schools in particular tend to be more amenable to two working parent families and have stuff like extended day / early opening more readily / cheaply available
      3) You might find that moving to a less desirable neighborhood + private school might be cheaper. I used to live in Houston – to live in the nice close school districts you were looking at $800k for a house vs the $200k I paid for mine (same distance, diff school zone). There is some child number where just paying the $10 – $20k a year for private school makes more sense in a high property tax area

      • In my city, it’s hard to find a house for less than 3K/month in mortgage (and decent 2-BR apartments aren’t much less).

        Private school is probably 1.5K/month/child, so it’s better to just pay for the house in a good school district that is close to work.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Yeah, I grew up with six siblings in a four-bedroom house!

        • I can relate. I live in a 2-BR house and it’s the only one left in the original ‘hood. Everyone is tearing them down and building ~1M 4-BR houses, so it’s not like you can easily find something smaller/less expensive if you want to be in a close-in walkable neighborhood with sidewalks.

      • Anonymous :

        I know plenty of middle class New Yorkers who have 2 kids in a 1 bedroom apartment. I totally understand not wanting that – I certainly don’t – but people live this way all the time.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m going to be the outlier here and say there IS value in a larger home.

        We doubled our house size and mortgage. I spent years trying to persuade myself that our smaller home should be enough. Despite the extra expense, I’m so much happier with a bigger house because:

        1. our home is now the hangout zone for our kids and their friends
        2. both sets of grandparents now visit more often and stay longer because they don’t feel like they are on top of us/overwhelming our small home

        I try to tell myself that maxing out 401(K) and setting aside some extra retirement savings on top plus being able to cover our expenses every month and still do an occasional vacation, while not as amazing as others’ lives, is pretty good.

        Plus we live in an area where housing prices are insane so I don’t feel like I’m throwing away money on a house that will lose value.

    • I dunno, I feel like maybe you bought too much house. To give another data point: I’m in big law in a HCOL city. I live in a close-in suburb with great public schools. We live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, but nothing extravagant. It cost less than 1/2 of what we would have been able to get a mortgage for if we had wanted. We don’t have crazy expensive cars or a crazy expensive lifestyle, but we have a cleaning service once a week, go our for dinner when we have time, and take one or two international trips a year. We spend a ton on daycare, but we still save a huge proportion of our income, so that if/when I jump ship, I won’t feel like I can’t handle it financially. To be fair, my spouse makes decent money, so while I’m the main breadwinner, I’m not the only one supporting our family.

      • Yeah, either you bought too much house or you had too many kids. Sounds like one kid would have been a more appropriate choice.

        • A bit late for this to be helpful, don’t you think?

        • Anonymous :

          Says the sad single gal who probably couldn’t find someone willing to have kids with her in a million years, with a million dollars dangling as enticement. You and the “kids are a choice” lady up above need to understand something: “I chose not to have kids” and “I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to have kids with me” are two very, very different things. And in these financial discussions I am convinced the people who post these comments are very much in the latter camp, not the former.

          • Meh, she's right :

            I’m not either of those posters on this thread, but I have posted similar comments on other threads. Having kids *is* a choice, and many people do have more kids than they can afford, especially if they’re unwilling to sacrifice other aspects of the “American dream” like the McMansion, nice cars, expensive sports and summer camps, etc.

            Fwiw, I’m not a “sad single gal” – I’m married and we have one child but finances played a big role in our decision not to have a second. We earn more than most people in this country (although not close to Big Law money) and we could have literally provided food, shelter and clothing to a second child, but it would have required sacrifices similar to the ones mentioned above – a smaller house in a worse school district, no fancy summer camps or private college tuition, etc. and we didn’t want to make those changes when all of us, including our first child, had become accustomed to our current lifestyle. Without those sacrifices, a second child would have been very financially irresponsible. So we made the choice not to have one. I think it’s fair to point out that how many kids you have is a decision like any other and there are consequences to it.

          • Was this necessary? You have no idea whether or not she can find someone to have kids with her. Many happy couples decide not to have children. I get that you feel piled on here but how is attacking back making the situation better?

          • D*mn. I’ve been reading this blog since maybe 2010 and this has got to be one of the most cutting comments I have read. This is some bs.

          • OUCH. This is cruel.

          • Anonymous :

            So, i am the poster who said, “have less kids,” and I am a sad, single girl who couldn’t find anyone to have kids with her. And, i agree that “no kids by choice” is different than “no one wanted to have kids with me.” However, that still doesn’t change my original position. The OP would have been better off with one kid. Even the happy, married people still need to make smart decisions. She couldn’t afford two kids, in the way she wants to live. She should have made smarter choices. She had two kids, and now she is going to have to figure out how to make that work. The fact that I am single doesn’t change the fact that having kids is a choice.

          • What a shallow statement and a reflection of the terrible society we have right now. Babies are not luxury items.

    • Put me down for (due to kids):

      House expense (formerly 1BR apartment in HCOL city, now a house in MCOL new city, good public schools) — 3K
      Annualized child-care expenses, per month (2 kids in public school, but need after-school, vacation, teacher work day care and summer camps (mostly designed for non-working mom schedules) and post-camp care) — 2K
      Health insurance (family plan; when it was just me, it was free) — 2K

      I have girls — my friends say that the boy food bill can be catastrophic, esp. if they have friends over.

      And no one has eaten yet or turned on the lights.

      I moved cities in part b/c the HCOL city would have eventually resulted in the sort of commute (largely for schools and/or not everyone in Dupont/Roslyn/Courthouse is OK with a bunch of kids living in the apartment next door) that would probably have lead me to quit law for something very 9-4 (not sure what that unicorn of a job is). Even so, it is barely manageable most days.

      • Are you still in biglaw or doing something else in a MCOL city? Do you have a husband? Does he work? Bc I don’t see how your numbers add up. When I was in biglaw senior, I was bringing in 10k/month alone; say you’re married to someone bringing in another 4k/month in some other industry. That’s 14k/month with expenses of 7k/month; add in another 2k for utilities/phones/car payments. Where is the other 5k/month going?

      • Ok, so as a counterpoint: DH and I make a combined $350k. Neither of us are BigLaw. We are 33/34.

        3 kids, all under 5. Boston suburbs.

        House: $3700/mo (mortgage, insurance, interest, taxes)

        Childcare: 45k/year

        We drive luxury cars, though one is now 7 years old. We have our loans mostly paid off (we had about $120k between us across grad and undergrad). We have $400k in retirement assets, $180 in non retirement savings, and $20k in college savings.

        I work from home, travel occasionally, but can do a 9am dropoff to school. Either DH or I can make a 6pm daycare pickup. DH leaves the house at 7:30 and is never home later than 6:30 (often has to log back in after kids go to bed, but not before).

        All that to say, we do well for ourselves, but we haven’t been making this much for that long and we are in a good financial place. And neither of us are working biglaw hours and pulling in biglaw salaries.

        You might consider looking for a role with less pay but more manageable hours. We do a lot of our own cooking, and use it as bonding time with the kids. We do *not* do our own yard work or scrub bathrooms.

        Could we be among the families in our (very nice) town in a $1.4M house? Sure. But we bought a $700k one instead.

    • You don’t need an expensive home or expensive summer camps to be “humane” to your family.

      • A 3K/mo house payment is not terribly expensive, even for a BigLaw first year associate. And anywhere you have BigLaw is going to be a sort of expensive area to live in.

        • Just because there are options that cost *more* does not mean the $3k choice is affordable for OP. And I say that based on OP’s original complaint that she doesn’t have enough money left over.

          • JuniorMinion :

            $3k / month would be HUGE house expense to me. I pay $1200 / mo all in including insurance. HHI of ~$280k w/o factoring in bonuses.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Oh man, JM, I’m so jealous of your income to housing costs ratio.

        • Anonymous :

          Where did OP say her house payment was 3k? I would imagine it’s much more than that. Even a fairly junior Big Law associate should take home around 10k per month after taxes – that would leave quite a lot left over even if the house was 3k (assuming childcare is 2k or something like that). And that’s not factoring in a spouse’s salary. I’d guess her mortgage is 5k+ if she is struggling to save on a Big Law salary.

      • Denverite :

        Summer camp is expensive. It just is. Add to that that most camps go from 9 to 3 or 4, so you must tack on the costs of before and after care, and I spend at least $250/week for each kid when school is out. And that’s at the Y! All of us–including those of us on public sector salaries–have to pay for care when school is out. Whether that care is from a parent who isn’t drawing a salary or from paid childcare (and at school age, that means camp or nanny), it has a cost. It’s not an issue of humanity; it’s an issue of childcare.

        A word for those of us with kids who have special needs–living in a lower COL area and sending kids to private school isn’t always an option. The wait list and costs can be prohibitive, sure, but beyond that private schools aren’t obligated to accommodate your children. That includes parochial schools, which would not accept my kid.

        There isn’t an easy solution and indeed it’s what drove me from the DC area to a great western city with a decent COL and innovative public schools. I traded a promising career for a good job with good pay and life I wouldn’t trade with anyone. I didn’t know how to make it work in DC.

        All that is to say–I’m sympathetic. And it sucks.

  8. update - that is not my name :

    Thanks to all of you for responding to my post last week about “Craig”, the guy who introduced me as Jasmine to his work colleagues (that is NOT my name). Many of you told me to dump him asap, which I was inclined to do before I even wrote my post. However, reading everyone’s comments was very validating.

    Craig called me the other day. He launched into a full scale apology, saying that he recognized what a rude thing he had done. His explanation was that he was very nervous and flustered to introduce me to his boss and his work colleagues, that he had trouble saying my actual name (this is true) and that in the heat of the moment, the name “Jasmine” just came out.

    I reminded him that I had told him before that Jasmine was not my name and i didn’t like being called that. He then explained that he used to work with a Chinese woman who told him she had two names, a Chinese name she used at home and an “American” name she used with friends and professionally. He somehow made the leap that Indians follow this same cultural tradition and he assumed that I must have an “American” name and so calling me “Jasmine was no big deal.” ?? I told him that I have always been called one name and one name only and that it was ridiculous for him to assume that the Chinese and Indians share similar cultural traditions.

    He said that he felt terrible about the situation and even relayed the incident to his sister over Thanksgiving. His sister was evidently horrified and told him, “just because you’re a hick doesn’t mean you have no home training.” :) :) Go, sis!

    He also kept insisting that he was not a racist and not “anti-Muslim”. I told him that I was glad of that but fyi, I’m not Muslim. I told him a while ago about how I celebrated Diwali and I figured he would know enough to realize I was Hindu.

    In the end, while I felt his apology was sincere, his utter cultural ignorance and cluelessness were so off putting and I realized that I just couldn’t respect him. And I feel so mortified at being introduced as Jasmine — we work in the same industry and I can easily see running into his work colleagues in the future. Let’s hope that I wasn’t memorable and they will forget that I was introduced under that name. So needless to say, I broke up with him.

    thanks, ladies.

    • Good for you!! It’s not your job to educate him – there are these things called the internet and books . . .

    • Good grief. Go you!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Dodged a bullet with that one. Phew.

    • Definitely doesn’t sound like a good match. Good for you.

    • I was thinking about you after your last post! He’s so ridiculous I can’t even. I’m glad that he was remorseful, but even more glad you dumped him.

    • Good for you!

      And if you do run into the work colleagues, it’s no big deal to say “Actually my name is XYZ, Jasmine was just Craig’s silly nickname for me.” I wouldn’t think twice if someone made that clarification to me.

    • you learned he can’t handle himself in the clutch. You’re better off without him and hopefully he learned something as well. Don’t take him back.

    • Wow. He’s never heard of stopping digging when in a hole. Congrats on being well rid of him.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Good for you! Man, that guy…

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Oh my word. Even if you had an “American name,” he would have to ask you what it was!!!!! Sounds like you are well shot of him. Good for you (and his sister, wow!)!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray for you, hooray for his sister, and OMG boo for him!!

      • Anonymous :

        His poor sister though! She just had to sit through his idiot at Thanksgiving and now she’s going have to listen to him complaining about being single at Christmas. At least OP could dump him and get away!

    • Linda from HR :

      When you mentioned the apology I was hopeful. I’m not surprised he assumed you had an “American name,” I had wondered that reading the original post, but his mistake was thinking he could GIVE YOU that name, rather than letting you say “my name is ___ but you can call me Jasmine.” Chinese people who move to the states choose their American names.

      And . . . did he honestly think you were Muslim?? Because you were from India? He didn’t assume you were Hindu? Does he think everyone from that general region and/or with that skin color is Muslim? That’s bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. He’s an idiot, and while he apologized, he didn’t seem willing to get his crap together and stop being an ignorant manbaby, so kudos for walking away.

    • He is epic. Completely clueless on how to deal with other cultures. He would benefit from travelling abroad. Being stereotyped as American as he would travel might open his eyes a bit. And he might as well learn a thing or two about countries and cultures.

    • Standing and cheering! Thanks for reporting back!

  9. TTC/Genetic testing :

    Did you undergo any genetic testing before TTC? I’m 36 thinking about TTC #2. My doc prefers Recombine carrier screening. The other option is Quest: Fragile X CF, SMA and sickle cell. I’m leaning toward Quest because I feel genetic testing is a little bit invasive – I don’t want insurance companies to know everything about me plus it might affect my ability to buy private life insurance in the future.

    • Anonymous :

      Why is your doctor recommending this? Are you an Ashkenazi Jew, French Canadian? Do you have particular family risk factors? It’s an expensive test, not standard care, and does carry risks related to future insurance. I’d have lots of questions for my doctor about why they were pushing this.

      • Interesting! :

        Asking out of genuine curiosity – what risk factors do French Canadians have that would make genetic testing advisable? I am French Canadian and have never heard of this.

        • Like Ashkenazi Jews, because it historically has been an insular group, there’s an elevated risk of cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs, and several other diseases.

        • KS IT Chick :

          From what I’m seeing in the NIH archive of research papers, there is a specific genetic combination that is common among descendants of the original 8500 settlers in Quebec: “Rare pathogenic alleles with high penetrance and associated haplotypes at 10 loci (CFTR, FAH, HBB, HEXA, LDLR, LPL, PAH, PABP2, PDDR, and SACS) are expressed in probands with cystic fibrosis, tyrosinemia, beta-thalassemia, Tay-Sachs, familial hypercholesterolemia, hyperchylomicronemia, PKU, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, pseudo vitamin D deficiency rickets, and spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay, respectively) reveal the interpopulation and intrapopulation genetic diversity of Quebec .”

          I’m not a geneticist, but the abstract is making me want to read the full paper!

          • Not a scientist, but I can recall this back from high school biology class in the 1980s. Even if my family had been in Maine / Louisiana for centuries, I’d get tested. I’ve done 23andme and had both children >35 and I’d rather know what it was possible to know easily.

      • Anonymous :

        I know two people with no known Jewish heritage who conceived a baby with CF because they were both carriers and didn’t know it. If you can afford genetic testing, I would do it regardless of your ethnicity and age. I don’t see how being an asymptomatic carrier of a genetic mutation would affect your ability to get insurance. It’s not like you have the disease.

        • You can do CF testing in isolation from a broad genetic panel. In fact, my OB does it as a standard of care.

          Mother gets tested for CF. If positive, father is tested next. Same for R-factor.

          But a full genetics panel for the couple is typically not offered unless there are hereditary risk factors as described above.

          • This. I think I had this done, albeit after I was pregnant which seems a bit backwards. My doctor does it standard, based on your genetic risk factors.

          • I already tested negative for CF so I can opt out of it but I’m interested in testing for other diseases. AIMS – interesting that it was done after!

      • Could you expand on the risks related to future (private health or life?) insurance? Is it better to do Recombine or Quest to minimize my risks? I might look into self pay for Recombine.

        I’m Southeast Asian. My current doc is a reproductive endocrinologist (but not undergoing any fertility treatment). My previous doc tested for CF about 10 years ago so I assume it’s standard procedure now that I’m older plus the results might affect my decision to have #2 (qualify of life concern, etc.).

        Thanks ladies, appreciate your input.

        • Wait you already tested yourself for CF? You don’t need to redo genetic testing. Your genes do not change because you got older. Ask more questions.

        • Age has nothing to do with whether or not you are a carrier for genetic diseases like CF, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell, etc. That is all determined from birth and won’t change whether you’re 9 or 90. What happens when you get older is that you are more likely to have a child with a spontaneous DNA mutation that could result in a disease such as Down’s Syndrome. But there is NO way to determine this by testing you or your spouse, the only way they can tell if the baby has Down’s or a similar disorder is by testing the baby’s DNA (there are tests that do this and they are standard practice and generally covered by insurance for all women over 35).

          • Right, I should opt out of CF testing again. Are Quest/LabCorp results more accurate than Recombine? You seem to be against prenatal testing, you wouldn’t do any yourself?

          • +1. I had the screening with no. 1, now pregnant with no. 2 and no screening b/c it’s all done already. The only reason I can think to do it in your situation is if it’s a different father for no. 2 and you have some things that require a positive match from the father.

          • Anonymous at 10:30 :

            I’m not against prenatal testing, although testing the parents for diseases they might carry is not standard at my OBGYN unless both parents are of a certain ethnicity or have family history of one of the relevant diseases. DH and I don’t have the relevant ethnicity/history, so we followed the advice of our OB and didn’t do it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing it if it would give you peace of mind though. It sounded to me like you were confused and thought your risk for CF and other genetic diseases changes based on your age, so that’s why I posted before that it’s unnecessary to test for these diseases just because you are ‘advanced maternal age.’
            The Harmony test, which tests the baby’s DNA for Down’s and a few other chromosomal disorders is standard at my practice for all women over 35 and was covered by my insurance for all women regardless of age, so we did that (I was 34 at delivery).

          • Anonymous at 10:30, I see, thank you for clarifying. I guess my tolerance for risk is lower now that I’m older so I want added peace of mind before having to go through tougher tests like Down’s.

    • I had a panel of tests done before TTC because of my Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (although I’m only half). Not sure if it’s one of the ones you name. My insurance covered it. I wasn’t a carrier for anything so my husband did not need to get tested. I never thought about risks for future insurance. It’s just testing that I knew all my Jewish friends had so I did too.

      • +1 I’m also half Ashkenazi. My husband is 100% so we had him do the genetic testing panel and when he didn’t come back as a carrier for anything we skipped doing it for me. We actually did this fairly early in our marriage, long before we were really thinking about kids. It was just something we knew we had to do and wanted to get out of the way. It’s absolutely standard for Jewish people and I don’t know any Ashkenazi person who has had a baby in the last 10 years or so without doing the genetic testing first. I think it’s becoming increasingly common for everyone though – many of my friends who aren’t Jewish were offered it before in their most recent pregnancies.

        • This is interesting because my husband is also 100% Ashkenazi but the genetic counselor never offered it to him as an option first. She said standard was to test me, and then if I’m a carrier, to test him. Seems to make more sense the way you did it. I guess it’s too late now since I’m currently pregnant.

    • I did it. It was actually cheaper not to go through insurance though (which may alleviate some of your concerns). The testing company sent me a form letter saying it will be $X if you pay yourself or $X+$Y if you go through insurance. (I think they didn’t want to deal with the paperwork.)

      • Terry, which company did you go with, what tests and how much if you don’t mind sharing?

        • Counsyl. I have Ashkenazi heritage and they did what they called a “Family Prep Screen 2.0” which included a host of diseases (and not just, for example, CF). I believe the cash price was about $350.

          • I did Counsyl for my prenatal testing. They tested me, I was negative, so they didn’t test my husband. It was 100% covered by insurance. I am 50% French Canadian, though they would have done these tests regardless of that.

          • There is a company called JScreen. It is only $100. If you are Jewish, a lot of orgs also offer programs to help pay for the cost. When I was in college there was free testing available through Hillel.

      • I had this same experience (cheaper to pay out of pocket than to go through insurance). Also with Counsyl. Which explains why our health insurance system is so broken!

    • I would 100% recommend doing pre-conception genetic testing, even if you don’t have any family history of diseases. It’s VERY rare that both you and your partner will both be carriers of the same thing, but it does happen. DH and I are both carriers of a genetic disease that we have no family history of, and we didn’t find out until we did Counsyl testing when I was already pregnant (I had switched doctors once I got pregnant and my old OB never mentioned doing genetic testing). We then did an amnio and confirmed that our baby inherited both carrier genes from us, meaning that she’ll be affected by our genetic disorder. Fortunately, our specific disease is relatively minor, as far as these things go, and she’ll be able to live a largely normal life, albeit with some extra challenges. However, getting this news was honestly the biggest surprise of my and DH’s life. It was like the doctor called and told us our child would be born with no arms, due to our family histories, yet literally everyone we know of on both sides of our families has two arms.

      It’s made pregnancy much more emotional and scary and sad than I otherwise thought it would be, but I’m also glad we know in advance (her condition can be progressive and/or not always evident at birth) and are able to prepare to help her as soon as she arrives. If we had a more devastating genetic disease, this knowledge would have given us the option to terminate, which can be the most compassionate choice with some of these conditions.

      Looking back, though, I would give anything to have done this testing before I was pregnant. I thought it was only for people who had family histories of disease, and I didn’t know that there were tests like Counsyl out there that could easily test for a broad range of conditions.

      I’ve shared our story with a few close friends who are also TTC, and one couple pushed their doctor for genetic testing after hearing about what we’ve gone through. Turns out they are both carriers of a different genetic disease that they also have no known family history of, and they are now pursuing IVF to grow their family.

      If you’re worried about the cost, Counsyl was 100% covered by our insurance and even if your insurance denies it for some reason, I believe out-of-pocket cost is typically less than $200.

      • Wow, thank you for sharing! I’m glad it turned out to be relatively minor but I understand it’s still very challenging. I’m more concerned about privacy than cost (don’t want results to be part of my permanent medical history). I’m leaning toward paying for the test myself ($345) and asking them to send me results directly so I can choose to share with my doctor.

        • I’m one of the Counsyl people from above (50% French Canadian). I need to clarify – it wasn’t done after I was pregnant, but was done at the order of my reproductive endo that I was seeing at my fertility clinic. I, too, was glad that I had the Counsyl done pre-becoming pregnant. I also did a full suite of other genetic tests around 13 weeks pregnant as part of standard practice prenatal testing. I don’t think that was Counsyl, but the results (lowest level/effectively no risk) were the same.

          I agree with Anon at 12:05 pm that, in hindsight, I’m fortunate (in a very twisted way) for needing to see an RE at all and that she did the tests before we got pregnant. If I had found out at 13 weeks there was something meaningfully wrong, after a significant struggle to even get pregnant… I’m not sure what I would have done. Doing anything/everything to avoid being in that position (aka getting tested pre-pregnancy) is my strongest suggestion.

    • Yes, do it. I used Counsyl. It was not covered by my insurance but it was under $400.

  10. What has been your game changer, in terms of getting your s – it together?

    A planner or product? A pep talk? An app? Sticker chart? App that’s motivating?

    • Anonymous :

      Prioritizing going to the grocery store every Sunday. If I do that, more things fall into place.

    • Anonymous :

      Exercising before work. Makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished something that day and should keep it up.

      • I second this. Exercising before work creates a far more productive work day!

      • I’ve started exercising before work, and while it does make me feel accomplished being DONE with my workout by 6am, I am also exhausted by 10am. I probably need more sleep ….

        • I had the same issue and found a solution– immediately after your workout make yourself take a 15-20 minute nap before getting ready in the morning. For some reason you “reset” and don’t hit the same wall.

        • New Tampanian :

          If you’ve just started this habit, it can take a while to “adjust” – make sure you’re staying hydrated enough and eating enough protein.

    • Cat Lady In Training :

      I have become a huge planner convert-I use a weird Bullet Journal/Getting Things Done notebook combined with Trello to keep everything moving and to not overlook the million and one details my work projects contain. I also started figuring out my “sticking points” at home and work-I was losing papers simply because I hadn’t worked out a system for filing some random things. My clothes were mess because I didn’t have a good organizational system in my dresser/closet. I found Stylebook helpful to get my wardrobe under control, which led to a cleaner bedroom, which led to a better laundry system, which meant my kitchen wasn’t as cluttered…I also use UFYH. Sometimes I need an app to yell at me to clean my bathroom.

    • Relocating 15 minutes away from work. More expensive? Yes, but I bill my time and I cry thinking about the hours and hours I wasted in traffic when I had to commute by car (no public transit option) to my “cheaper” housing. I bought myself at least two extra hours in the day, while reducing the stress of traffic. More time to exercise, meal plan, etc. etc.

      • YES! This is life changing. I looked forward to my 15 minute walk to work every day. Sadly I moved farther away due to better public schools, and I really miss it.

    • I suppose it depends on what you mean by getting my s__t together!!

      I have to use a paper planner to keep my calendar straight. Having my schedule UTD is how I keep my S together. I put everything on it, including regularly scheduled things like riding or running/gym. It’s a combo to do list and planner for me. I list out what I need to get done on the weekends on it, e.g., grocery store, laundry, whatever. I see it, I (tend to) do it.

    • – Moving the washer/dryer into the kitchen – I’m always on top of laundry

      – Keeping stamps in my purse – The few bills that have to be mailed don’t languish on the sideboard waiting for a stamp.

      – Click and collect groceries – grocery shopping takes 1/8 of the time, so I don’t put it off and end up getting takeout because we only have onions and mayo in the house

      – Shared Google calendar and shared Google doc shopping list – I enter appointments into my phone as I’m making them and invite my husband to every event. We also “run through” the next day as we get ready for bed.

      – Capsule wardrobe – I don’t spend much time deciding what to wear in the morning

      • My washer and dryer are in my kitchen because that’s the only place they fit in my apartment, and I’m surprised by how much I love it! I can start a load of laundry, make dinner, and switch the laundry as needed without walking away from what I’m cooking. Sounds simple, but makes a huge difference!
        I also keep stamps in my purse too, and it’s made a huge difference in getting those envelopes out of limbo and in the mail.

      • Yes to stamps! I keep a few in my wallet and a few pinned to the board at my cube. Makes it easier to send out cards too :-)

    • Cooking three large dishes on Sundays. Weeknight dinners with two small children are infinitely easier when all I have to do is make rice in the morning, and just heat up leftovers.

      Also, working out after the kids have gone to sleep. The house is quiet, husband is doing his thing, and I have no interruptions. I put on an online video and do my thing. Feels blissful. :)

    • Bullet journal. I used to have a paper to do list and transitioned to electronic and then i never had my s—- together. I went back to paper and it’s much better for me.

      My journal isn’t going to win any award for cute design and it’s not going to be featured on Pinterest. It’s a book of to-do lists and some meeting notes, organized by date.

      Sometimes it’s the little things.

    • THESE THREE THINGS: “If I get nothing else done but *these three important things* my day will be good!”

      I use this mindset with work on my desk (the “real doozies” I put off are picked off one at a time this way), chores at home, and quality time with my kids (read story to the youngest…check in and just chill in oldest’s room tonight).

      It helps give my day direction instead of feeling like I’m just putting out fires or time is slipping through my fingers!

    • I was just thinking about this. Two things make my weeks run more smoothly:
      1. Getting my food together – Grocery shopping/ meal planning/ some meal prepping
      2. Getting my clothes together – pick out all work outfits and make sure they are pressed

      If I do both of these things (and let’s be honest, sometimes one of them doesn’t happen until Monday night), I’m doing well. This was one of those weeks and I felt good about it Sunday evening. I’m also a huge list person. I try to make the next day’s to do list before I leave work for the day. It also helps me not think about all I need to do when I’m trying to fall asleep.

    • Frozen Peach :

      – The Ink and Volt planner. I am obsessed. I used it faithfully this year and have instituted at least six new positive habits that have actually stuck.

      – Agree with stamps in your purse.

      – All leftovers in freezer unless specific plans to eat them. This has cut down so much on food waste and keeps us from having to clean out the fridge. It’s amazing to have some meals that are just two servings of leftovers that are unappealing the week we have the first batch, but are delightful a few weeks later. And I save odds and ends in a specific area of the freezer and make chili a few times a year with leftover BBQ, taco meat, baked beans, etc.

      – We have a big family whiteboard calendar. Each of us has a color, as does God (for church-related stuff). If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t count. If it is, nobody can claim they didn’t know.

      – Creating a routine of taking a few minutes each morning to read a few reflections/spiritual daily readers.

    • Using a Day Designer (paper planner)

      Family Google calendar for shared and kid stuff

      (Trying to) Clean the kitchen every night. Waking up to an orderly kitchen makes my day better.

    • Things that help me:
      1. Meal planning and grocery shopping on Sunday for the week
      2. Prepping the kids lunches the night before
      3. Having all laundry washed and folded Sunday night (especially socks! Why can my kids never find socks?) I also have the kids set out their clothes, shoes, jackets, and pack backpacks the night before so we aren’t trying to find stuff in the morning.
      4. Family calendar and review nightly so I know what is coming up over the next few days

      I guess (after looking at this list) if our food and clothes are situated then things run more smoothly.

    • Getting out of a toxic job situation
      Having a partner who calls me on unhealthy behavior

    • Harping on this but it really has changed my life by helping me implement many of the things above
      The fabulous app (not on IOS yet)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m two months into bullet journaling and pretty obsessed. The “Habit Tracker” thing works for my desire to get brownie points for everything I do. And often my desire to keep up a good streak makes me exercise on days when I really don’t want to (all the days).

      Not entirely sure my s__t is together, but it’s certainly helping.

  11. frustrated :

    My iPhone 7 started having charging issues at the end of September/beginning of October. I tried all sorts of things at home (different chargers, cleaning port, etc) and finally went to the Apple Store on 10/11. He tried something and said to see if it worked at home. It didn’t, and my phone died for real right before Thanksgiving. I went in yesterday and the person at the Apple Store told me it’s an internal hardware issue, nothing I did wrong, it’s unfixable, and I basically own an expensive paperweight. I bought the phone Oct. 2 2016. He said if I had documented the issue 9 days earlier, I’d be under warranty. I tried looking through old texts and emails to see if I could document complaining about it before 10/30, but I can’t see my own texts of course, everyone I might have texted about it has deleted texts, and apparently I complained to my husband about it in person, not over email or chat. I guess I’m not sure what I’m asking for here – do I just cut my losses, pay what I still owe on the phone (I’ve been paying it off monthly with my phone bill) – which is not chump change – and buy a new phone, which I feel like I can barely afford? Ugh. I feel like I have no chance of convincing them it happened before the warranty, even if it is true. If they didn’t even offer to fix it, I have no idea what to do. Send it to a third party place? How do I even know what ones are legit?

    I am annoyed because this is the first brand new phone I ever bought. I am annoyed because the apple store guy told me “you now have a very expensive paperweight.” I am annoyed because an expensive computer should be designed to last more than 13 months.

    Please offer commiseration or magical Apple store tricks or tell me to just deal with my First World Problems and spend a thousand dollars I don’t have.

    • tin-foil hat girl :

      planned obsolescence. it’s real and apple is the devil.

    • Didn’t you go to the apple store on 10/11 for this issue? Why wouldn’t that count?

    • I would try one of the third party repair places before buying a new phone. My husband’s cousin works at one (some kiosk in the mall) and he has been able to fix lots of stuff on our phones when we were ready to give up.

    • My daughter’s iphone 6 “bricked” a week or two before the year was up and they pleasantly brought her out a new phone. It’s just good luck that she made the deadline by days and bad luck that you missed it (even though you clearly have a claim that you were in warranty).

    • Anonymous :

      My coworker’s strategy in these cases is to tweet at them, tell them you’re very disappointed, and ask them what they can offer to remedy the situation. At the very least I would try calling or emailing their customer service, or taking it to a different Apple store (if that’s an option) and explaining what you’ve explained here. If you pursue this calmly but firmly, I think there’s a strong possibility you’ll get some kind of concession, if not a new phone (though that would be my goal).

    • Moonstone :

      My only advice is to buy the cheapest iPhone, the nobody-talks-about-it SE model. I too have an expensive paperweight and am reluctant to give Apple a lot more money. The SE is the same size as the old iPhone 5, which seems teeny now but is perfectly serviceable … especially if it’s going to work for only two years. It’s $350.

    • Anonymama :

      If you backed up your iPhone you should have your texts in the cloud.

    • Go back to apple store and tell this whole story to them. And ask him how he would fix this problem if he was in your shoes. Also say how this makes you question if you will buy an apple product in the future, because you were so close to your warrantee and they should really honor it. I bet with a different employee, if you go into it really calm asking for help, they might meet you half way. I have always had amazing luck getting my stuff fixed for free or replaced way past the warrantee.

  12. Ms. Claus :

    I’ve been drafted to coordinate the office holiday party and am coming up short on how to make it happen. This is a heavy-drinking crowd of about forty for lunch, plus their plus-ones for drinks later on, so totaling about a hundred. I have a thousand dollars to work with for lunch for forty and booze and nibbles for a hundred. Folks bring random dishes in, and I can ask them to bring specific things, but we don’t have a full kitchen to heat things up — just a microwave and fridge.

    Any ideas for either drinks or food? I’m planning a Costco run for alcohol, but I’m not sure how to get enough drinks given the budget constraints. For the main lunch food, I was thinking fried chicken and biscuits (pimento cheese and jelly for the vegetarians), but not sure if that’ll fly. I’m in DC, if that helps.

    Any words of wisdom would be tremendously appreciated!

    • Former Retail :

      If the people on your team eat pork, I might sub ham for the fried chicken. Easier to eat.

    • For alcohol, $500 buys you 40 bottles of $6 wine and 300 cans of domestic beer. Which is plenty, if they finish that, party over.

      That leaves you $500 for food. From Whole Foods (so a local grocery store prob cheaper) you can get two large turkeys, cooked and ready to serve (use these for the lunch, tell people to bring a favorite side, let them figure that out), plus a tray of anti-pasti, dips, and cheese (for the nibbles) for $430, which leaves you $70 for disposable plates etc.

    • Can you ask people to bring in mixers/seltzers/paper plates/cups/napkins/ice/etc.? I’d guess those who don’t cook would MUCH prefer to do that and it will allow you to ‘assign’ some of your budget for those items to nicer food or more booze. I’d also assign the people you know can cook to desserts or set up a ‘cookie tasting’ – sweets tend to be SO overpriced at bakeries during the holidays while raw ingredients (sugar, butter, eggs, chocolate) are almost always on sale.
      Food wise – have you looked into catering from local ethnic places (or heck, Qdoba). Our local falafel joint does amazing hummus/spreads/salads/etc. for much cheaper than just about anyone but Costco. Ditto with Qdoba – make your own nacho bar/fajita stations would be a huge hit for most people I’d imagine.

    • Flats Only :

      Find out how they did it last year with such a small budget, and use that as a starting point. For booze I would stick to wine (big bottles or the boxes) and beer (one light domestic, one “medium” like Sam Adams seasonal, one IPA). Check Total Wine to see what they can suggest for cost effectiveness. Check Chick-fil-A for catering if your crowd isn’t too left leaning to enjoy it.

    • Could you do punch instead of wine/beer and cocktails? Epicurious has several boozy punch recipes that could help stretch a budget.

    • Pimento cheese and jelly is not a meal! Seriously though go to Costco. Veggie platter, fruit platter, cookie platter, fancy buns, crackers, hummus, cheese, falafels, taco dip, tortilla chips, potato salad, coleslaw, rotisserie chickens. Boom food done for cheap. Costco for alcohol too

    • Flats Only :

      And remember that people will eat more if there is more variety. Keep the menu limited to 2 entree choices (1 vegetarian) a salad, rolls and see if people will bring desserts. If you have four or five entrees people will want some of each one, which will mean you have to buy even more.

      • As a conference manager, let me suggest the subtle trick of plate shaming to minimize this problem. Do not get dinner-size plates – only provide lunch or snack plates. Guests will not pile their smaller plates as high because they’ll look ridiculous doing so in a social setting. This has saved me many a time when the food-to-guest ratio was a little dicey.

        On a related note, guests will generally eat two slices of pizza regardless of slice size. Always get your pizzas cut into 10+ slices.

    • Order a meat and veggie lasagna or baked ziti from an italian place and then have a big salad that you can get at costco.

  13. KateMiddletown :

    Best cases for iphone 8 (plus)?

    I just upgraded from a 6+ and really like my spigen slip case + glass protector combo, but my favorite thing is the silicone freebie credit card holder I have stuck to the back (never bring a purse to the gym again!) Do those work with the glass back phones/wireless charging ones?

    • If the case is too thick, it won’t charge wirelessly – definitely won’t work through a credit card or two. Most cases for the 8 and X state whether they are wireless charging compatible. I suspect you’ll have to decide between the thicker case/silicon pocket and using the wireless charging (or switch cases for the gym). FWIW, I adore wireless charging; I couldn’t give it up now that I have it.

      • KateMiddletown :

        What kind of charging situation do you have at home/work? I plug mine in the car, on my nightstand, and I have a USB to my computer @ work.

        Any wallet-case suggestions?

        • I used to plug in via USB to my work computer, and use a cable on my nightstand, but I’ve switched to a wireless charging pad for both. I keep a cable in my car, but rarely charge there other than on trips.

          Since I wirelessly charge daily, I don’t have a wallet case. but my SO has the one below and does like it (he plugs his phone in).


  14. Not Legal Counsel :

    Hostess Ettiquette Question for the Hive:

    I have been invited to a social cocktail party at a country club. I only know one of the three hostesses at the event. What is the rule for hostess gifts? Do I bring one for just the hostess I know, all the hostesses, or none at all, since it isn’t at a home? If I should bring one for all of the hostesses, what should I bring?

  15. Tis the season of holiday parties. I am invited to one in a work colleague’s home–it is a department party. The attire is cocktail but she informs me that people will not be wearing shoes. Really people! Is this a thing? Making adults in cocktail attire leave their shoes at the door? So annoying to me. I don’t want to be barefoot in your house in the winter! I guess I’m just venting.

    • What planet are you from? It’s EXTREMELY common to take off shoes when entering someone’s home. And it’s no longer an Asian only custom. Pretty much every family I know with children follows this practice, to avoid spreading germs and dirt and gunk. Not weird at all. Just wear tights. You’ll live.

      • The planet many of us live on, where you don’t make people go shoeless especially at a fancy party especially at a work event especially in winter. Vaccine the day after if you are that uptight. Shoes are fine and it’s normal to expect to be able to wear shoes at a party, especially if you have the nerve to set a formal dress code. You’ll live. Or don’t host fancy work parties! Uptight rude and ridiculous.

        • Vacuum not vaccine. I hope obviously

        • If it bothers you this much you are not obligated to go. It’s a party, not a summons. When you go to someone’s home as a guest, it is courteous to follow their rules. If I’m going to a Jewish friend’s house I’m not going to bring a pork dish. If I’m going to a home where shoes are not allowed in the home I’m not going to wear shoes, nor am I going to make a stink about it.

          • Who said anything about making a stink? I’ll do it. I just think it’s rude. Having the rule is rude.

          • It’s a work party. So nope, not so easy to just not go.

          • Umm, the OP said it’s a work party for the entire department? She most likely feels like she needs to go.

          • Yes it’s a work party and of course there is more pressure to go but you still don’t HAVE to go. No one will force you. I find this whole thread so ridiculous. #firstworldproblems

          • I find you ridiculous TwoCents.

          • Anonymous :


          • This entire website is the epitome of #firstworldproblems. Doesn’t mean it isn’t valid to talk about what we do here. Obviously there are strong differences of opinion on this issue – I don’t find it ridiculous at all.

      • Here we go . . . :

        I agree that it’s extremely common for a casual visit, but if you are hosting a c o c k t a i l party, you need to get over it and let people wear shoes. My house is a no shoe house for a variety of reasons, but if I host (rarely) I do not require people to take their shoes off. Come on. It’s one night! Don’t host if you don’t want shoes in your house IMO.

        • Yup. I’m a shoe wearer, and I’ll tolerate taking off my shoes for a casual visit, but I won’t keep going to “fancy” parties where you expect me to stand around not fully dressed. I look and feel ridiculous and I think it’s very bad hosting.

          • Baconpancakes :

            The whole point of fancy, impractical shoes is to wear them to parties like this, where you don’t have to walk a ton, you can sit down for a bit, and your shoes are meant to complete an outfit. I sympathize.

          • Another anon :


          • +1,000. It’s beyond rude in this kind of situation. Host needs to get over herself. And to put it on the invite????

          • Anonymous :

            People like this should not be party hosts for other people they don’t know. Period. I don’t mind taking my shoes off when I go to my brother’s house – he has a baby and a toddler who are on the floor all the time; so I get it. But to volunteer to host the office party and then demand that people don’t wear shoes??? So rude. And clueless.

          • @ Anonymous at 11:02 – I agree that it’s rude to ban shoes, but IF she’s going to do it, it’s a good thing she put it on the invite. It would be incredibly rude to wait to tell people until they’re at your door. At least with advance warning I can be prepared – have a recent pedicure (definitely not a given in the winter), bring/wear warm socks, or bring slippers with an insole/orthotic insert.

      • This! I didn’t realize until I came on this site that Americans wore shoes inside their homes. I thought they just did it on sitcoms because it was inconvenient to show characters putting Can’t imagine wearing street shoes instead the house regularly.

        Wear a dress and thick opaque tights so your feet won’t be cold.

        As a side note, in Canada we address this by bringing separate shoes to wear inside after we change out of our boots in the front porch. But given that she specified no shoes, I wouldn’t bring inside shoes.

        • Yup. Here in America land of no maternity leave we wear shoes. At least some of us do. I know. And most of us don’t even die from it!! Land of opportunity indeed. If it’s a slushy mess, sure. But most of the time it isn’t. Wipe your feet on the doormat and good to go. My feet are always cold in shoeless houses.

          • This is such a bizarre comment. What a strange issue to get so worked up over!

          • but that’s what you have guest slippers for! Stored in a giant slipper!

        • +1 I can’t believe that there are people who wear shoes that have walked over gosh knows what outside and then wear those SAME shoes in their home.

          Also, as anecdata, definitely not an Asian specific custom anymore. All of my WASP friends do the no shoe thing as well (mostly those with kids, but even some of the kid-free contingent follow it too)

          • I can’t believe there are fools who are so paranoid they don’t sit on toilet seats either but turns out y’all do exist!

          • I don’t get this. I’ve worn shoes inside the house my entire life. Number of problems this has caused me = zero. It’s a non-issue.

    • Yeah it’s a thing. It’s either a cultural thing, and I respect that in many Asian homes shoes are simply not done, or it’s a rude thing (srsly people just clean the next day or don’t volunteer to host a work party). It’s really inappropriate and obviously not cocktail attire friendly. I’d wear jeans, a cute top, and Christmas socks.

      • It’s really inappropriate and obviously not cocktail attire friendly.

        This is very interesting to me. I’ve been to a few more formal parties (not c o **tail but where folks were more dressed up) and we all took off our shoes because those were the house rules. I guess I don’t see shoes as “completing” or essential to an outfit the way others seem to do. But I grew up in an absolutely no shoes in the house ever, to the point where wearing shoes inside another person’s home still feels odd to me.

        • Yeah shoes are part of an outfit. Clearly. Do you go to a wedding with no shoes? Work? Church? Brunch? Nope. They are part of your outfit. If you’re not wearing shoes you aren’t any sort of formal.

          • Do you go to a wedding with no shoes?

            Actually, yes. Pretty much every Hindu wedding in a temple. You are wearing a glam sari, gold jewelry to the hilt…and no shoes. Shocking, right?!

          • I mean I already said I get that their are cultures where this is the norm, so congrats on your gotcha?

            Shockingly enough, some of us wear shoes as part of being fully dressed. It’s a thing.

    • Flats Only :

      Yep. It’s a thing. At least you got a warning – I went to a party with the two month old remains of my last summer pedicure and had to go barefoot – ugh. Plus my shoes were the highlight of the outfit. Bring a pair of socks.

    • This was the shock of my life when moving from the Southeast to the Midwest. People do not wear shoes in houses! Had to make sure my socks and pedicures were up to the reveal!

    • Carrie Bradshaw :

      Just don’t wear your new Manolos….

    • Pretend it’s the end of a night out with your girlfriends and you’ve all ditched the heels and are lounging around barefoot in cocktail dresses ;)
      And to echo huh above, you’ll live. Anecdotally, I’ve found people who are adamant about this rule are also particular about having very clean floors and welcoming homes, so don’t worry about your feet getting dirty or being cold. Wear tights if being barefoot freaks you out, but otherwise use it as an excuse to get a pedicure and be gracious to your colleague for hosting everyone in her home.

    • These sort of comments always make me laugh. When I was a kid, even my barbies took their shoes off before going into their dream home (srsly). But I know it’s a pain for some people. My recommendation would be to wear tights or bring indoor flats to wear (like those cheap ones people keep in their purse).

      • I’m with you- it’s kind of funny how much people get weirded out by not wearing shoes when for me it’s totally normal! I think the indoor flats suggestion is a good one. I’d probably wear tights, but that’s because I’m basically never without them November through February.

      • +1 I mean, it’s kind of weird for a party that has a cocktail dress code, but it doesn’t really come down on the side of rude for me.

      • Legally Brunette :

        + 1

    • We have a dog and child in a snowy climate and so we are a shoes-off house. With family for the holidays I try to enforce shoes off as best I can (esp. with crawling children) but for a hosted holiday party I figure there are so many crumbs/spills/assorted grossness that my floors need to be cleaned and mopped the next day anyway so I may as well let people keep shoes on (but not boots, pls keep your snow and salt off my floors!).
      I also have lots of hosiery that works for holiday parties – that’s the one upside of living in a cold climate I guess? Pick up some fishnets or sparkly tights and call it a day – hey, at least she gave you a heads up!

      • I agree with you about the distinction between every day and big party. But your dog is the filth culprit

        • Yeah, the people can keep their on, but the dog should definitely take his shoes off before coming in the house *eyeroll*

        • Massive Eye Roll :

          Yeah, no. People who are that meticulous about keeping their houses clean, clean even more when they have dogs.


          • Anonymous :

            Yep! my friend washes her dog’s feet after every single walk outside. Or booties.

      • What do you wear to be fancy in — a fancy dress with fishnet hose? Isn’t that slippery? Do you put on socks? Or slipper socks? I’m totally confused about the actual attire you’d wear to this no-shoe fancy party.

        FWIW, I have some super-slick socks that wouldn’t be safe to walk in on wood floors b/c there is no grippiness. But I have some wool ones that give me a little bit of traction (probably combined with my ulta-cold feet that sweat a little).

        My tights are so slippery that I’d be afraid of wiping out on anything but carpet.

        • Wear a black dress and fancy textured tights – maybe fish nets or wear slipper socks in black with black trousers and a festive top.

          and maybe practice walking at home? Super surprised that this is a concern. We’re a no shoe house with all hardwood throughout and minimal rugs. I entertain regularly and we’ve never has an adult fall.

    • I’ve had this happen before and I find it similarly irritating. A no shoes policy is fine for a casual evening with close friends, but it’s super rude and a bit weird when you’re hosting a fancy work party.

      • ThisThreadIsCrazy :

        No, it is not rude. Her house, her rules. You want to impose your rules, then offer to host the g***arn party next time. You don’t get to decide what is fine and what is not. Your need to match your idea of what “fancy” means is relevant to none. So stop whining about it, there are many REAL problems on earth.

        PS: The number of super aggressive “anon/anonymous” comments in the same tone are a giveaway.

        • this!

          Hostess gave a heads up so guests could dress accordingly. That’s good manners. Complaining that someone doesn’t entertain the exact way that you would is not good manners.

          • No. She is prioritizing CARPET over GUESTS.

          • No. She is prioritizing not being gross.

          • Anonymous :

            Some people consider not tracking germs and pesticides in the house to be a health issue, particularly if you have an immuno-compromised family member. She may be prioritizing the health/comfort of her family over the comfort of her guests, but it’s not as simple as just “CARPETS vs GUESTS”.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m the anonymous at 12:19, I *have* an immune-compromised family member in my house, and tracking germs and pesticides in has never been an issue raised to us by any doctor ever, at all.

        • FirstWorldWhiners :

          Anonymous @1219: Even if she is, that’s her house, her life, her priorities. I would any day prioritize the cleanliness of my carpet (where my kids crawl, play, lay down and read books) so that my kids’ faces don’t have sh*t you walked on in the metro/on the streets than your selfish superficial need to “look fancy”.

          “She is prioritizing CARPET over GUESTS.”
          YOU are prioritizing BS over GRATITUDE TO THE HOST.

          • Anonymous :

            Then don’t host. It really is that simple.

          • FirstWorldWhiners :

            LOL. I should not host, coz it inconveniences ONE selfish superficial person!

            I will host (refer above to many comments: my life, my house, my rules). You can stay home and make conversation with your shoes instead of real people.

          • Anonymous :

            You’ve seen all the comments. It’s running about 50/50, so there are lots of “selfish superficial” people out there (says the person concerned with her carpets. . . )

    • It’s the height of rudeness to tell guests, especially work guests, that they can’t wear shoes. I have an obvious foot issue and wear an orthotic and would be very embarrassed to go shoeless at a work party. This is putting your carpets before guests and it’s ridiculous.

      • completely agree. You have no business hosting a work event.

      • I have recovered from, but still have twinges of plantar fasciitis. At home, I wear really ugly, but very supportive Crocs. I guess I’d have to haul a pair of inside shoes to the party, because going shoeless gets very painful after a while.

        I get it if it’s very wet or slushy or snowy, but otherwise I think being a good host means prioritizing your guests’ comfort. Let them wear their shoes.

    • I’d bring brightly colored fuzzy socks to wear inside. If I can’t wear shoes then I need something to keep my feet warm! Thank goodness she gave you a heads up so you don’t have to be physically uncomfortable in addition to feeling uncomfortable about your outfit.

    • Clearly the OP wants to feel validated in her opinion and every comment telling her otherwise is a cause for a curt response. I absolutely understand that it is customary in your home to wear shoes. That’s great. You grew up in a home where that was the norm. You do you. But I’m not sure why you feel so adamant that just because this is how you do things in your home, everyone else should also follow that norm.

      • Uhhhh why are you so sure the OP is responding? Lots of us hate no shoe homes.

      • +1 Unless you have a medical issue that requires special footwear, the vehemence of OP’s anti-barefoot crusade seems unwarranted. Much like the real world, not everyone on the internet will have your same opinions about things. Move on.

        • Yeah, I think everyone agrees that a medical issue is different. I generally have a no-shoes household but if I knew someone was coming who needed to wear orthopedic shoes, of course I wouldn’t expect that person to take their shoes off. We also don’t strictly enforce it with our elderly parents who have trouble bending over to get their shoes on and off (they take their shoes off when they’re coming in for the last time that day, but generally don’t take them off if we’re just going to be home for an hour or two before heading out again).

          I’m surprised people are saying the heads-up from the hostess is rude, I would think if you don’t know the house is no-shoes it’s much better to find out in advance so you can wear tights or even bring a pair of indoor shoes if you want.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Just a head’s up, many of us who wear orthotic inserts don’t advertise the fact, and many orthopedic shoes do actually look like normal shoes now. I’m currently wearing orthotic 3/4 inserts in my normal, flat-soled riding boots, and they make such a huge difference for my PT.

            When my PT is flaring up, I really don’t want to walk around in tights, but wouldn’t tell you that my cute black suede booties that go great with my outfit are actually the only thing that will keep me from limping tomorrow, because I don’t want to talk to my coworkers about that.

            I agree the information on the invite is more polite than just springing it on people, but if you really feel it is important to you to take your shoes off, the most polite thing to do is to great guests at the door with your shoes off, have a bench and socks and slippers next to the door, don’t say anything, and if people take their shoes off, great, and if not, you sweep the next day. The pile of shoes by the door, combined with the host’s shoeless state, lets people make the choice on their own, and if they don’t want to remove their shoes, they can keep their reasons to themselves.

      • ThisThreadIsCrazy :


      • I didn’t get the sense that all these comments pushing back on no shoes were OP. Some of the comments are mine and I’m definitely not OP. If anything, I’m taking away from this that there is no “norm.” There are clearly strongly held opinions on both sides. Personally, I wear shoes in the house, have never had a problem result from it, and would feel silly standing around in a fancy dress with bare feet (or tights or slippers or fuzzy socks).

        • Another anon :

          Yeah, I commented above and I am not the OP.

          I am negatively reacting largely due to the fact that this is a work party… It’s fine to do what you want for your own party, but you want to be a bit more broadly considerate for a work event and having to take shoes off at a fancy work cocktail event is something that many people feel strongly about. This is not just a few people whining on the internet, but a pretty common complaint I’ve heard in person as well.

      • I don’t get this. I have my preferences, but I also understand that like most things in life, I don’t get to control everything and make it to my liking 100% of the time. It happens. I don’t get making such a big deal out of such little things, (again, regardless of which side you fall on.) We don’t get to expect everyone to do what we want or what we think is reasonable.

    • I live in the land of snow and slush, and many homes near me are no-shoes. For assorted visitors, family, etc- no problem. But it would be very odd to me to attend a formal work party that was shoes-off. If I were the host here, I’d either bend the rules, ask people to bring *inside shoes*, or simply not host. I would not ask or expect coworkers to remove shoes and wear socks/tights/go barefoot.

      Unless these coworkers are mainly buddies-outside-work, i really do find this odd.

      When friends of mine have formal affairs in their homes, even those with no-shoe policies allow shoes inside. In bad weather, guests typically wear boots/bring indoor shoes.

      • +100 Boston, here. But for sunny dry days in the late spring through early fall, every house I go to – friends and family – is no shoes. I’m sure there are pro-shoes-on folks up in snow country also, but in my circle, it’s for sure the minority.

    • I live in Canada, and while removing shoes is pretty common in the summer months it becomes universal in the winter months because (sensible) people are arriving in snow boots. I think the “no shoes” rule is more properly described as a “no outdoor shoes” rule. I know people who bring their own indoor shoes like moccasin slippers or flats and that’s not seen to violate the “no shoes” rule. I’d avoid stilettos though as residential flooring like hardwood or berber carpet isn’t really designed to withstand that like commercial flooring in an office or restaurant would be.

      • I’m Canadian and I would die a thousand deaths before I would order a guest to remove shoes. We are very slack about shoes in the house and I don’t have a problem with it all. My grandmother, however, would have ordered the Pope to take his shoes off had she shown up at her door.

    • Did you all wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or what?? I can’t believe there are this many comments b*tching about this. If you don’t want to take your shoes off, don’t go.

      • KS IT Chick :

        I’ve seen this same discussion on virtually every website I read at one time or another, and it always gets heated. This is a relatively civil go at it compared to the 3-year-long argument on Apartment Therapy (comments running past 1K now and no signs of slowing down). That one includes insinuations about the parentage of participants who take opposing views and outright statements about the cleanliness of others’ homes, despite the participants not knowing one another in real life.

    • Anonymous :

      Why is a work party being held in someone’s home? That is what is odd about this whole scenario.

      • Not really. My small law firm holds a summer cookout for the attorneys and staff in a partner’s house. It’s a nice, large home, and feels more intimate than a restaurant or conference room. Also less expensive.

    • Anonymous :

      Just because no one said it, some people do not wear shoes in their house for religious reasons.

      • What religion is this?

        • Can’t speak to what Anonymous 1:05 pm was referring to, but I once sublet an apartment from a Muslim woman who required that I remove my shoes just inside the door. My understanding was that she didn’t want shoes touching a surface (the carpet) that she used as part of her prayers.

    • Seventh Sister :

      I’d find that irritating as well. If I’m supposed to get all gussied up in a cocktail dress, I’m not interested in padding around someone’s house in tights or hose. It’s a great way to ruin a pair of stockings, people who have no-shoes households often seem to think their floors are a LOT cleaner than they actually are*, and if I was going to wear house slippers I’d be at home.

      For everyday or a casual party, fine. But a fancy party, it seems like a little bit of an unconscious power play (I care more about my rugs than my guest’s comfort) and I don’t have pretty feet.

      At least they warned you.

      *My in-laws are the WORST about this. Their floors are often dusty, or sticky, or occasionally wet (yay frantic dinner prep) but we’re never supposed to wear shoes. Oh, and they often want to show you something outdoors, and I’m supposed to walk through their house, then walk in socks/barefoot into their backyard where they keep bees and a fine collection of rusted junk? Goody goody gumdrop.

  16. What brand/where do you get your towels? Mine are due for replacement and I honestly can’t even remember where they are from-possibly JC Penny or Macy’s?

    I want good absorbency and ideally last a long time. My current ones are 7-10 years old (ah!).

  17. Has anyone done Mysore yoga? Thoughts compared to other forms of yoga? A new yoga studio by me only offers Mysore yoga in the morning and I’ve googled it a few times but I still don’t really get it. I’m not sure if this is typical of Mysore yoga or something specific to the studio, but the class runs from 6-10 and you just show up/leave when you want. I’m confused by how I can ensure I get a full workout in. Is it a routine that repeats over and over? Or should I plan when I go to be there for the standing positions? #confused

    • Call the studio and ask them all of your questions.

    • At my studio, Mysore runs on a drop in basis. There is a specific routine (based on ashtanga sequence) and you work through the sequence at your own pace. you have to commit to a certain number of sessions per week and the teachers know you and work with you on adding postures. Often studios will do ashtanga intensives to teach you the sequence. I personally prefer a bit.more variety and can’t commit to that many days so I stick with vinyasa classes.

    • Metallica :

      It’s Ashtanga yoga (former practitioner here.). Ashtanga originated in Mysore, India. Typically in a “Mysore” class they will run through one of six series of postures and you can go at your own pace. FYI though, Ashtanga is HARD (I’ve had some medical issues and can’t practice it at the moment) and I would not recommend attending a Mysore class until I had some familiarity with the Ashtanga primary series, even if I had background in other types of Yoga. I came to Ashtanga from a bikram background.

    • Anonchitect :

      Mysore yoga is my absolute favorite — I’m so sad that I no longer live near a studio, but so happy for you that you do! You do have to commit the sequence of poses to memory, but the teachers supervising the drop in class will help you get there, adjust your postures as needed, and give you new poses to learn as you’re ready. I loved the workout and the movements themselves, but also really liked how a class where everyone is doing their own thing at their own pace cuts down on some of the competitive/comparative instincts I tend to have in regular led classes. I also felt that I got more attention from the teacher, since instead of her having to explain each posture to the whole group, people tended to know the deal and she could focus her attention on giving individual corrections. Call the studio and tell them you’re a new student, and they’ll help you get started.

  18. I’m struggling to let go of my frustration with my family from the holiday. I know I can’t change them and I’m pretty proud of how I handled myself in the moment. But even now days later I’m feeling angry and resentful and sad that they can’t just be… better. If anything, remaining calm and rational at the time makes me feel even more irritated after the fact than completely telling them off like I did when I was 15. Do I have to choose between this lingering irritation or guilt at treating them poorly? How do I let go?

    Fwiw, here are some of the highlights:
    1. She claims to be very socially liberal. She brought up the recent assault allegations; according to her, the women are lying. I asked what is your basis for that? “It’ll never be proven either way.” Then why assume the women are lying? “They want fame.” This devolved into a discussion of campus assault. Queue such gems as, “when they dress like that they’re asking for it” and “they have no business being at parties anyway.” I asked, if all women dressed and acted the way you think they should, assault wouldn’t exist?
    2. My mother and her BF of many years have a severely dysfunctional, likely abusive relationship. According to her, though, they’ve had their issues but now everything’s perfect; sometimes you have to stick it out. Opposites attract! I didn’t say anything.
    3. She said this by way of criticizing me for ending things with a guy I was casually seeing for ~4 months. She only knew about him was because she’s extremely nosey (long story). He was nice enough, but he didn’t have his life together at all. Apparently that’s not a good reason to break it off. She says, I’m not saying you should’ve stayed with him but he seemed very nice. Then why do you keep bringing it up? I stopped seeing him in August. This is why I don’t tell you I’m dating.
    4. Can’t leave out the BF – he mansplains everything to me, including my own job (which he knows zilch about). I asked some jargon-laden questions that would be soft balls for someone in the know. Apparently that makes me an uppity jerk.
    5. After all this, my mother complains endlessly about how I don’t spend enough time with her. I’m never around, I don’t stay long enough, when are we going to have a “real” visit. I basically don’t respond to these comments. Dear god, please help me survive Christmas.

    • My sister does all kinds of stuff like this – she’s like a composite character of all the people you mentioned.

      I just remind myself that I can limit our visits to once a year, and that I have good friends who love me and function as my real sisters for the rest of the year.

    • Edna Mazur :

      Can you skip doing Christmas with her this year? It sounds like you need a break. Could you suddenly have a great opportunity to travel, or need to work, or volunteer, or have a friend going through a difficult time that needs your or other plausible excuse?

    • The nuanced life did a great podcast on this last week, might be worth a listen.

    • Honestly, I tried for so many years to thoughtfully probe and discuss these ideas hoping that my family member would see the light. But what ended up improving it the most was: one year around the dinner table I got so angry (my family member was insisting that rape was bad but other sexual assaults were NBD and people should stop “freaking out” about them) that I bellowed “You are wrong, you have offended me more than you can possibly imagine, and I will NOT step foot in this house again unless you shut your mouth right now.” Like, *bellowed* it. It shocked everyone, including myself. And it worked.

      • I’m sure you’re proud of yourself but you sound unhinged, much more than your relative.

        • What? Did you read the part where OP’s relative thought non-rape s*assaults were NBD?

          • Anonymous :

            Not agreeing with the relative but unless someone was m*lesting the poster at that moment, i’m thinking bellowing takes it a bit far in a hypothetical discussion. People ARE allowed to disagree with you even relatives at Christmas.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree with lawsuited – if someone says s. assault is NBD then bellowing is basically a complete appropriate response. So glad I’m not related to anyone where I’d have to hear that kind of garbage.

        • Nope. Not at all. You go, lawsuited!

        • I agree. Bellowing in anger over a hypothetical discussion is ridiculous. If you’ve truly argued and reasoned with this blowhard over this issue for years, then get up, push in your chair, and quietly announce that you will not stay and listen to such an offensive stance. THEN LEAVE.

          Can you picture Martin Luther King shrieking, “I will not set foot in this house again unless you shut your mouth right now!!!” No. He had dignity. He would have got up and walked away, showing ten times the power that you did.

      • Nudibranch :

        Good for you!

        Sometimes bellowing works.

    • Anon for this :

      My mother, who is otherwise a sane and pretty liberal person, is really weird about sexual assault. She repeatedly talks about how girls might be lying and these « poor men » will have their lives destroyed (somehow the victim’s life never comes up in these discussions). I really lost it last time we were together and told he literally every girl I know has been the victim of some form of assault or harassment, including her daughter (as in, me) at that her constant harping on the subject was causing me to not want to see her anymore. She has a least dropped the subject although I doubt I have changed her mind. No advice, just comiseration.

  19. Test.

  20. wildkitten :

    Anyone want to vicariously shop? I am going to a holiday cocktail party on Friday. Any suggestions for dresses I can buy on Amazon prime? Size 14, apple shaped. THANK YOU.

  21. Holiday Blues :

    Do you all have any words of wisdom for dealing with work stress? I have been slammed with work this year. The last several projects I’ve been on have not gone well and the workplace is getting increasingly toxic. I’ve dealt with plenty of stressful situations at work, but I’ve never had the difficult situations or string of disasters I’ve had this year. The lack of success on these projects and the personalities I’ve been dealing with have been hitting me pretty hard. I dread thinking about work, but it’s all I can do and it’s taking over my personal life. I’ve never been so miserable!

  22. I applied for an internal promotion within in my department, and it appears I didn’t get the job. I haven’t received formal notification yet, but they removed the job posting. I enjoy my current job and have a great boss, but I got my hopes up about this promotion. It would be work that I would enjoy doing even more (and have done before), higher comp, better opportunities for personal growth, etc. I’m feeling pretty down about it and feel almost embarrassed that I didn’t get it (silly, I know).

    • I’m sure you know your company’s internal workings better than I do, so maybe you’re reading this right, but to me taking down the job posting doesn’t mean anything other than they aren’t accepting any new applications.

  23. For the poster who was OMG so offended by Meghan Markle not getting an annulment because she went to catholic high school (i think? Idk) news today is that she will be baptized in the Church of England.

    Problem solved! Just like Henry VIII intended!

    • Oh lord. She’s not even Catholic! Kate Middleton was confirmed into the CoE too. She grew up Methodist I think.

      • Catherine didn’t go to church at all but was nominally Anglican. She needed to do the bells and whistles for a full Church wedding.

    • This is neither here nor there but imo annulments are much more of a problem in most cases. I get it if you’re Britney Spears who married her friend as a joke in Vegas for a grand total of 24 hours, but when someone like Jay Mohr claims to have only been married once because he managed to get an annulment from wife no. 1 who he was married to for years? Give me a f-ing break.

      • Totally agree. My former boss was married 20+ years and her husband left her for his side chick, then got an annulment by going to the Vatican with a substantial contribution. Ridiculous.

        • Annulment :

          My ex-husband did the same thing (not to the Vatican level though). Not only did it invalidate our marriage, but it bastardized our son. Money drives the Catholic church.

          • Anonymous :

            That’s horrible! I’m not Catholic but it seems to me like annulments should be reserved for special situations, like where the marriage was excessively short and produced no children or where one spouse can prove the other spouse deceived them into marriage or something (like an intentionally faked pregnancy although I don’t know how you would prove that). It seems like if you’re just a normal couple and you get divorced, you shouldn’t be able to pretend like the marriage never existed.

          • Anonymous :

            I thought annulments did not affect the legitimacy of children?

            Also, my sister got divorced from her first husband (which was a courthouse ceremony, not in the Catholic Church) and she got re-married. Her second husband wants them to have a ceremony in the Catholic Church and so my sister has to get her first marriage annulled even though it wasn’t even in the Catholic Church!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      That makes poor Prince Harry the Anne Boleyn of their relationship, which, yikes.

  24. Back in the early 1990s when I started my career we were required to wear hose. My friends and I were all obsessed with Donna Karan microfiber Jose – they were a thickness in between sheer hose and tights, and had a really soft, matte texture. They also lasted almost forever. (But not quite, or I’d still have some)

    I haven’t seen hosiery like that in a decade. Do any of you remember it and know of any dupes? Donna Karan’s current collection is not made of the same fabric.

    • Flats Only :

      Back in the early 1990s I loved the hose from Casual Corner, which unfortunately is no more. I wear Hanes Silk Reflections now. I tried the house brand ones from Nordstrom, and they were very soft and a great color, but they would not last more than one wear for me.

    • Try JC Penney’s house brand — if they are the same as they used to be, they would usually wear/wash well. (But I havent’ bought or worn in 15 yrs, so…..)

    • I can’t stop laughing at microfiber “Jose” – I have no idea if that is a typo or the actual name of the product, but it is making my afternoon.

  25. What would you buy yourself to celebrate paying off substantial student loans? I am always so practical, so looking for a small splurge (~1k) on a timeless gift to myself that I can keep as a reminder of how hard I worked to do this. Any suggestions?

    • A nice watch or jewelry? Congratulations!!!

    • Jewelry for sure. Or a piece of artwork.

    • A deposit in a Roth IRA if you’re eligible and have already maxed your 401k. Assuming you’ve done both of these, put your money in a brokerage account. Don’t get in the habit of rewarding yourself with spending money. Your future self will thank you.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Really? I am my future self and I’ve got retirement under control, but I also thank myself for the special purchases I’ve made along the way.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Stocks are my retail therapy. And before people freak out, I mean index funds, mutual funds, and occasional shares of Berkshire.

        • Berkshire A or Berkshire B?

          Because wow, dude.

          • Anonymous :

            Lol. A shares only in my dreams. Not sure how it happened, people have a bad day and go out to dinner or buy a pretty dress, I log into my brokerage account and buy shares.

      • Yes, as I said I am super practical. I already max out all retirement vehicles. I can put the large chunk of extra money I will have every month going forward to a brokerage account. But I really want to treat myself to something to celebrate, and I see nothing wrong with that given how responsible I generally am with money. I’m sick of being responsible!!

        • Anonymous :

          Congrats! When I paid off my student loans I rewarded myself with a cleaning service 2xs a month. When I come home to my nice clean house I am reminded that I paid off all that money with no help from anyone. Sounds like you are looking for a gift so this may not work for you but I thought I would throw it out there anyway.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe something like a signet ring? I was thinking of school rings, since it’s for student loans, but the ones for my school are very understated and classic and I know a few people who wear theirs every day.

      I love buying myself jewelry but I just decided that when I pay off my loans, I’m buying a plane ticket and taking myself on vacation to celebrate.

    • Just bank the money. Why do you need to use this occasion to spend? Dad has taught me to be more of a saver, b/c he knows I can NEVER afford to buy a 3BR 3Bath apartement in Manhattan, so he challenged me to save $200,000 over the course of the next year. Even though it is NOT easy, if I do, he promised to transfer the apartement into my name within 3 years, and he is going to move to North Carolina with mom. YAY for them, but I will finally be on my own, living as a real adult, all before I am 40 years old! YAY!!!!!!!

    • Tattoo? Nevertheless she persisted? A friend has that written on the inside of her right arm, so when she flexes her guns there it is. I love it. But maybe there is a quote, or an image, that reminds you of perseverance? Or whatever the total was, like “$108K” somewhere either hilarious or meaningful. You pick. :)

      I’m trying to think more outside the box than jewelry so bear with me…

      A one time scholarship to a student at your old high school? I graduated 28th in my class (just shy of all the awards) and would love to give an off scholarship to whoever sits in the 28th spot. Imagine giving $1,000 to whatever kid is stuck in a seat matching your student loan balance…wouldn’t that be a fun reaction to see?

      Any cosmetic procedures you’re interested in? Teeth whitening? Hair removal? I think lasic is $3K so that’s probably out… But you could buy a few splurge pairs of prescription glasses/sunglasses for 1K.

      Interested in any CEU classes? LOL

      Want to step into the world of dog ownership? $1k can get you started, and a dog will love you for years. Mine is the best $500 (plus $300 spay) I’ve ever spent in my life. She’s a big fluffy standard poodle and has given me more joy than its appropriate to admit. My children accuse me of loving her more than them.

      I’d suggest a vacation but can anyone go anywhere for less than $3,000?

      New couch? (I’m at the age where a new couch sounds exciting. Forgive me if you’re not there!)

      If you think about it and decide that you’d rather not have a memory of the loans hanging around, you could always donate a sum to a charity and then kind of let all the memories of past stress and struggle go. $1k could buy a lot of new children’s books at your local (or childhood) library. The library could even tuck a sticker inside the books they buy saying, “Purchased by an anonymous donor who encourages all children to persevere and chase their dreams.”

  26. Winter accessories :

    Any tips on storing winter hats/gloves/scarves in a way that’s easily accessible but still organized? I have a hall closet with a shelf above the rod that is really too high for me to reach on a daily basis. I was considering some of those fabric shelves that hang from the curtain rod but was wondering if you all had other ingenious solutions!

  27. Can anyone comment on what salary a Small to midsize Chicago law firm with a minimum billable hour requirement of 1800/year might pay? Practice area is commercial/employment litigation.

    • Anonymous :

      Somewhere north of $55k? I think?

      • Rainbow Hair :

        In my experience, for someone with ~4 years experience, it was about $60k without benefits (though it was not small-to-midsize, just small-small — small enough to get away with no benefits). That was general commercial litigation at a firm in the loop.

    • Anonymous :

      I was at a firm in a city much smaller than Chicago with a similar billable hour requirement that started associates around $70k. I would expect starting salary to be closer to $100k in Chicago because of the cost of living, but a smaller firm will definitely pay closer to $70 than the Big Law $180.

  28. Job Rejection :

    Has anyone turned a rejection into an offer, either from the same org or at another? I got rejected from a position because they are going with a candidate that had more experience in a certain area. I had a great connection with the manager and staff and he was incredibly complementary of me when he let me down. My friend suggested that I see if I can leverage that rejection into a some other job by getting that manager to help me out. Has anyone had any experience doing that?

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