The Best Cookware and Kitchen Appliances

best cookware for busy womenFor today’s post in our (very occasional) Home series, let’s talk about the best cookware and kitchen appliances. What is your favorite cookware to use? Is there any particular pan or kitchen device that you find you absolutely must have?

Psst: Good job, ladies — after we last discussed the best sheets and the best towels, I’m now obsessed with Garnet Hill.

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What to Do if a Colleague Takes Credit for Your Work

How to Deal When a Colleague Takes Credit For Your Work | CorporetteHow should you respond when a coworker takes credit for your work? Reader N writes in with this great question:

Surprised I can’t find this in the archives: How do you deal with a colleague (usually male) stealing your ideas, passing them off as his own in meetings with clients and/or repeating what you’ve said as though its his original idea? The phrase “I just said that” comes to mind, but it seems unprofessional to bicker in front of colleagues. What’s a gal to do?

Great question, N — I can’t wait to hear what the readers say. It’s worth noting that this sort of thing has become more recognized in recent years, almost to the point of being a punchline: woman in meeting says, “Hey, how about we do X?” and is ignored; two seconds later a man is called on who says “Hey, how about we do X?” and is lauded for his great, original idea. (Readers who can remember actual instances of this, please share — Pantene commercials? SNL? I feel like I’ve seen it all over the place.) A few notes about the different ways this can occur:

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Finding and Joining Professional Organizations

Finding and Joining the Right Professional Organizations | CorporetteHow do you find out about professional organizations that could be a good fit for you and your goals? How do you decide which organizations to join, whether for networking in your niche, business development/new clients, or just better opportunities? Ladies, what are your best tips for finding worthwhile professional organizations? 

Psst: We’ve also looked at volunteering and joining a nonprofit board.

Many readers offered their advice when we last discussed professional organizations, and we’re including their best suggestions in our list of tips:

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How to Handle Being Called the Wrong Name at Work

How to Handle Being Called the Wrong Name at Work | CorporetteBeing called the wrong name at work can be embarrassing, frustrating, and — eventually — infuriating. We haven’t talked about the wrong name problem in quite a while, so let’s have a discussion today. (By the way, we’ve also addressed changing your name (or not) when you get married (and divorced), gender-neutral name problems, and hyphenated names in email addresses.)

First of all, as someone with the name Katina (often misread as “Katrina”) and the nickname Kate (sometimes mistaken for “Katie”), as well as an “ethnic” last name: I can certainly relate (and so can Kat, as she pointed out in the original post). I’m guessing that for most of you who’ve dealt with this problem, being called the wrong name is simply due to coworkers’ innocent mistakes, and not passive-aggressive behavior from, perhaps, a difficult boss — although we’ll address that too. We’ve gathered some advice from Corporette readers, and here are seven tips:

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Stressed About Filing Taxes?

Stressed About Filing Taxes? | CorporetteLadies, we have a bit more than a month before (dunh dunh dunh) Tax Day. Are you done with filing taxes? (And, who is doing them?) Are you stressed about them? Are you looking forward to a refund? Are you nervous about how much you’re going to have to pay?

For my $.02, I’m just starting to get stressed. I’ve used an accountant for as long as I can remember, but this is the first year I’m trying to use a bookkeeper as well. (I’ve never actually used TurboTax or similar software for filing taxes — my father may have used that when he “helped” / did my taxes for me my first year or two out of college.) But after law school, a friend recommended an accountant to me — this wonderful, older gentleman who I really liked. I had a simple tax situation at the time, and his services were, perhaps accordingly, pretty affordable. When we bought the apartment in 2009, though, he nearly missed a major tax credit; thankfully we caught the mistake before we signed our taxes. When we started looking for a new accountant, we knew income from Corporette was making our tax situation more complicated, so we were ok to sign on with a fancier accountant who cost 4-5 times what my former accountant charged. (Something else I learned when I switched accountants: estimated taxes aren’t optional for business owners, which was something I understood after talking with my first accountant. Fortunately it wasn’t a big problem since the extra income was so small back then, but it really drove home how much the first guy was hurting more than helping.)

Every year since signing on with my new accountant, he’s sent us a huge “Tax Planner” PDF as part of filing taxes. It’s about 50 pages long in tiny print and asks a zillion questions, and it’s always taken me hours and hours to complete. This is the first year I’m trying to outsource the tax planner to a bookkeeper; my hope is that my reviewing it will take a lot less time than my doing it. (Gotta delegate, right?)

In terms of actual taxes, April 15 is usually pretty rough as a self-employed business owner because my retirement savings are due, to be invested in one huge chunk, usually; final taxes for 2015 will be due, which may be higher than what I paid the previous year in estimated taxes; and the first chunk of estimated taxes for 2016 will be due, using new numbers based on my 2015 taxes. Those are three unknown numbers — and in the past we’ve had some nasty surprises where I needed a lot more in cash on April 15 than I had set aside. (Hooray for the emergency fund!) Now, after paying work-related bills, I earmark about 40¢ of every dollar I earn for month-to-month living expenses, and save the rest in Ally accounts that get 1% interest for taxes and retirement. I’ll breathe a happy sigh of relief should April 15 come and go without too many surprises.

Ladies, how about you — do you do your taxes by yourself? Do you consider them complicated or easy?  How did you find your accountant? 

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Lunch Workouts: How to Fit Them Into Your Workday

Lunch Workouts: How to Fit Them Into Your Day | CorporetteLunch workouts: are you able to fit them into your workday? What are your best tips and tricks for exercising during your lunch break? I’ve blogged before about some of the quickest workouts you can do at work, as well as some of the best workout DVDs you can even do in an office — but we haven’t talked about this in far too long, so let’s discuss.

Lift weights. Cardio is great for getting out anxiety, but strength training plays an important part in burning calories, setting your metabolism, and keeping your body and bones strong — and a plus for weights is that you don’t necessarily sweat a ton while doing them, making for an ideal midday workout. Another option if weights aren’t your thing: look for a studio class like barre, yoga (not bikram!) or Pilates.

Make it easy to freshen up. Get over the idea that you need a full shower — dry shampoo and baby wipes can go a long way after lunch workouts. Here a few things to try instead of a real shower, depending on how sweaty you get and what’s important to you to clean:

  • If you really want your body clean, but are OK with dry shampoo on your hair: wear a shower cap so your hair stays dry in the shower.
  • If you’re okay with just wiping down your body with baby wipes (or post-workout wipes like these) but want your face clean: wash your face.
  • If you have bangs (or other parts of your hair) that look horrible after the gym, consider just washing them, either in the sink or shower, and leaving the rest of your hair tucked into a shower cap.

Move your “lunch” break. When I worked in an office, I often worked until 8 PM or even 10 PM. Work permitting, I found that a great time to go to the gym was 4:00 or later. You can come back to the office just as your support staff is leaving and meetings are winding down, which means you can switch from weekday clothes to to evening/weekend workwear, i.e., comfy clothes. Know your office, but I think wet hair in a bun or clip would be more accepted at most offices after 5PM than right after lunch.

Keep it simple. If you’re trying to move more or start a fitness regimen, remember that exercising doesn’t always have to mean a SoulCycle class or CrossFit session — going for a 20-minute walk at lunch or a coffee break is a great way to get started with lunch workouts.

Ladies, how do you fit exercise into your workday? Are you a fan of workouts in the mornings, evenings, or afternoons? How do you commit to lunch workouts?

Pictured.

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