Coffee Break: ‘Light Bright’ Ponytail Holder

Tasha  'Light Bright' Ponytail HolderIf you’re a fan of the low ponytail or half-updo, particularly for quick-and-easy office hairstyles, I always love to keep little fancyish holders in my desk such as this one. They’re not too fussy or fancy (nothing bridal or childlike about them), and it takes zero time more than a regular ponytail holder — but it looks just a touch more polished. My top choice of the four colors available here would actually be the white cabochan (it’ll go with everything and would look great against any color of hair), but it’s also available in yellow, a coral “taupe,” and lime. The holder was $12, but is now marked to $8.04 at Nordstrom. Tasha ‘Light Bright’ Ponytail Holder



  1. Someone on the morning thread was asking for birchbox alternative, not nec. involving beauty products. I just heard about nature box which sends you healthy snacks, which may work.

    Alternatively, consider your birchbox settings – they customize your box based on your preferences.

    • That was me, thanks. I’ve re-customized my settings a couple of times, but I am still not loving it. I do love snacks so maybe that is an option.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Graze box is similar – they do them in the US now, it’s all relatively healthy and there is a ‘light’ option.

  2. saacnmama :

    I’m curious what ‘r3tt3s think of this professional photo

    • I have no issue with her hair or her makeup (she doesn’t appear to be wearing much/any, which is refreshing).

      However, she should have changed out of her pool-side maxi dress. Suits not required, but business attire please!

      • Anonymous :

        Lol- you’re nicer than I am as I was thinking more like “last nights unflattering cocktail dress”!

    • I don’t find her lack of makeup refreshing, I find it unprofessional looking. She doesn’t need to look like a dime store Barbie, but a little bit of foundation and mascara would go a long way towards looking like she’s in charge. She also needs a better bra and a higher neckline.

      • Okay, we can agree to disagree :)

        Signed, Anon at 249pm (who isn’t wearing any makeup, but is still very much in charge)

        • Anon, I do think that some women can get away with not wearing makeup and still look professional. Particularly if they have great skin naturally or vibrant coloring. But with this woman’s freckles and pale lips and lashes, she looks a lot more like she just came straight from yoga or driving the kids to soccer than out of a Cabinet meeting.

          • Houston Attny :

            I disagree. I don’t think it’s her freckles or ‘pale lips and lashes’ at all. Imagine the same photo but with a higher-neckline blouse and maybe a jacket. Quite professional.

          • What do the freckles have to do with it? Do I need to cover my freckles to look professional?

      • I think her face looks fine, and I usually pro-makeup all the way. I felt like I loaded it on for my firm picture, but you can’t tell. I think she may actually have face make up and lipstick. But the attire is definitely unprofessional. Higher neckline and blazer are in order.

      • Cordelia Chase :

        Gus: the voice of patriarchy, the sneaky patriarchal self-policing running among us!

    • Orangerie :

      I mean… a tank top? Seriously?

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Argh I can’t view the picture from abroad and OMG do I now really want to based on the comments…

      • Aww, lame! It’s Samantha Power’s professional headshot on Maybe try this link :

        I tried google image, but i don’t see the same pic on there.

      • How weird! I can see it!

      • Anonymous :

        It took a long time to load for me (in the US). Maybe it’ll work if you try again later?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think she looks fine. I’d guess she is wearing some sort of jersey wrap dress. It wouldn’t be my first choice because I like to wear at least short sleeves, but many places allow sleeveless tops/dresses.

      I like that she isn’t wearing makeup since I rarely do and don’t see it as a professional requirement.

    • I think her hair and makeup is fine. I think TV shows/movies have warped our sense of how women need to look to be ‘professional’. She clearly knows what she’s doing to have gotten to her position. Jessica Chastain was the most unrealistic looking CIA agent ever.

      However, I do think any high level government person should be wearing a suit in their professional headshot. ;o\

      • Yes, and not knowing her natural hair texture, for all we know she could have blown it out and/or straightened it. If I do I medium effort blow out on my hair it looks like her picture, which is a vast improvement over my air dried hair, but much quicker than full out blow out doing tiny sections with a round brush.

    • I’ll admit that the only camera I own is an iPhone….but, really is that the best photographer the DoS can get? C’mon. The lighting is bad and the cropping is I don’t even know. I was always under the assumption that a professional photographer is supposed to make you look better. My nieces and nephew take better self portraits.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree that the photographer didn’t do her any favors with the cropping or lighting, but w/r/t to the great makeup debate above, IMO it looks like she’s wearing makeup. It may not be full coverage Makeup Forever HD foundation to eliminate all evidence of freckles (gasp! she’s Irish!) but I see blush and her undereyes certainly look better than my 28 year old eyes do without makeup. The idea that certain natural features are “okay” to leave uncovered in a professional setting and others aren’t is offensive to me.

      • I forgot to mention that I looked at all the UN ambassador head shots and the skill of the photographer/editor is consistent.

    • Go her for doing whatever she felt like. [With those creds] she’s totally allowed to not wear make up and a sleeveless top for her UN picture. Paving the way for future generations of professional women. First we shed the 80s man style blazer for women, today we shed the need for a blazer at all.

    • I think it’s not a big deal at all that she’s not wearing makeup. Good for her, she’s beautiful and rocking it. But I agree that I expect a woman in a position of power to wear something more formal in a professional picture. While it sucks that men have defined what business wear is, the standard remains and I think the top is way too casual looking for a government professional.

    • I don’t care at all about the make-up/no make-up. Or her hair. If her face is clean and her hair is neat, that’s all that matters. But I do object to the top (or dress or whatever). I’m in DC and I see these photos a lot. No man ever appears in anything except a suit and tie. That includes men with some rock star credentials. Appearing in a photo like this without suit and tie is just not done. I don’t believe the rules should be different for women. Is it really that hard to put on a jacket?

      • Orangerie :


        • I also agree. I don’t know why it is considered a mark of liberation not to wear a blazer or a dress with sleeves. It’s sort of like saying, “woo hoo, I went to a fancy wedding in a cotton sundress.” Isn’t part of the fun in life dressing differently for different occasions? She’s obviously very accomplished and good for her, but to me her choice of attire is the equivalent of a male ambassador wearing a shortsleeves shirt in his head shot, or maybe even a tee shirt. I realize that my next sentence may as well be “get off my lawn, you d*mn kids” but that’s my two cents there. As for her hair/make up, it’s fine – I don’t care what she does with that as long as she looks neat.

      • This reminds me of the article a while back about the wardrobes of male vs female news anchors: Suit and tie vs sleeveless low-cut dress. I don’t like the idea of dictating how anyone dresses, but I also don’t like a norm of men looking several levels more formal than women when they hold the same jobs. much less a potential expectation that women wear low necklines and bare arms all the time.

      • Anonymous :

        Another thing men don’t do: spend time carping on each other about whether a person who is highly distinguished looks good enough. This thread is a real bummer.

        • Olivia Pope :

          Thank you! I thought even posting this topic was wildly inappropriate. It’s one thing to talk about sleeveless dresses or bare faces in the abstract, but actually critiquing a real woman’s photo (that she probably can’t easily change at this point) is horrible. I felt even worse when I saw other people participating. AND someone wrote her full name and where she works in a comment, so if she googles herself she may see a bunch of randos on the internet talking about her face, hair, clothes, etc.

          What about, “I recently saw a woman wearing a sleeveless dress in a professional photo. Are we doing this now?” Then we could have had a productive discussion about professional photos versus know-your-office outfits without the mean girl vibe.

          • Olivia, I agree with a lot of what you said, but about posting her name in a comment and her finding it. I only did that because she is a major public figure. She is written about in the news pretty much constantly, there is a lot more stuff on google about her than this one comment. And even if she did see it, there are sitting Senators saying much more horrible things about her to her face than anyone said here today. So, I get what you’re saying and I don’t think anyone should ever post the real name and photo of someone here who is just a regular person, but this is similar to a discussion about what Hillary Clinton or the Duchess of Cambridge wore or did in public.

          • Get over yourselves :

            I don’t think the United States ambassador to the U.N. is going to be overly concerned about Corporette readers’ opinion of her headshot.

        • I definitely understand the sentiment, but I’m not sure that’s true. As others have said, this is equivalent to a man wearing a polo or t-shirt in his professional photo, and while I can’t picture a lot of concerned debate among men about that I can definitely picture them noticing and at least making gibes. I’m leaving hair and makeup totally aside because I agree they really don’t factor in.

        • I agree. I just hope folks think twice IRL before making these types of comments about other professional women, justified or not. Hard to avoid coming across like an airhead or a b*tch, or both.

        • Anonymous :

          Agree. I think this is a real low point for the site. The pic maybe gets a thought “oh I wouldve worn a suit.” But to come on here and post it, when her subordinates and coworkers read this site, and even if they didn’t- just so sad to see. Nothing about it is so offensive it needed this discussion, and I find it pathetic.

        • anon in tejas :


      • Midwest Transplant :

        Agreed. My only concern is that I double checked to see if there was cleavage. Hope to never have that as a concern.

        Hair and makeup/ no make up look perfectly professional to me.

    • I don’t love the top, but I don’t think makeup is a requirement for professional women at all, especially in DC. The majority of the professional women I encounter here wear little or no makeup.

      • I agree that the outfit could be better, but DC is kind of weird. I think you are judged more harshly for appearing to put a lot of thought into your appearance – why are you shopping for clothes/make-up/getting your hair done when you could be doing research to solve the current great economic/political/scientific crisis!?? We’re kind of a bunch of geeks here (which I do love, don’t get me wrong).

        The cynical part of me also thinks that government employees should not look too nice or our salaries become an even greater target for budget cuts.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I think in a non-corporate position of power, where the title next to the photo is “Amabassador,” she doesn’t need to look made up. She looks groomed and clean, her hair is neat and doesn’t say “s3xy hair,” and I’m also willing to bet she’s wearing some concealer and possibly mascara. But the dress(?) ehhhh doesn’t strike me as professional. This would be the equivalent of a male ambassador wearing a polo shirt.

    • I actually like the face with the amount (or lack) of make up that is on there. But the dress/top looks a bit unprofessional, imo. And not because the lack of sleeves, but rather the fact that it isn’t fitted properly and is a bit open. If it had been up to the collarbone, I wouldn’t have had a problem, I think.

    • saacnmama :

      I agree with Anon 2:49 and Zora.

      It rankles me, though, that she’s dressed so unprofessionally while not wearing makeup or doing much with her hair. Simple hair and no/minimal makeup can certainly be professional (and too much emphasis on either gives the impression that those things are more important to the wearer than her career), but pairing them with that top just makes them look as unprofessional as deep necklines and sleeveless tops.

      B, do you think men ought to shed their jackets for a new professional attire for them as well?

      • Actually, I love men in suits & jackets… they look so much better in them.

        I actually thought about this issue a bunch, more in my own life. Men can look “professional” just by putting on a collared shirt + slacks, maybe even a tie. On the other hand, if I put on a collared shirt + slacks, I end up looking like a waitress or that Amanda Kendrick in Up in the Air (uptight, interviewing, etc). I don’t like that men’s professional attire has come to mostly dictate what women’s professional attire is. I wish there was a similarly simple way to look professional as a woman. I’ve settled into pencil skirts + silk blouses and other interesting tops for now, but I don’t think it’s a perfect solution.

        I don’t necessarily think that she had to wear a jacket in her official photo, but do tend to agree that that particular shirt/dress was perhaps not the best choice for “US Ambassador.”

        Ultimately, I’m with Olivia, why are we harping on this clearly accomplished woman’s choices??!

        • We do have many ways to look professional without putting on a collared shirt and slacks. A simple sheath dress in a light-weight wool with a higher neckline and sleeves along with a statement necklace would be just fine. Accomplished or not, people need to dress in a professional manner.

      • I agree with this – I think face/hair wise she’s absolutely fine, but that is not a smart-looking shirt/dress. She does need a better bra, as someone said, but a plain shell top or something would look so much better whereas that looks a bit washed out.

        Similarly, I’d ding a man wearing a clearly 10 year old suit and shirt that was a bit scraggly at the edges.

        • anonymama :

          Many of the previous UN ambassadors have looked a bit scraggly as well… civil servants aren’t exactly known for their glamorous dressing.

    • I think she looks great without make-up and that it is absolutely not a requirement to be “professional.” If more women at the highest levels followed her example, then maybe other women wouldn’t spend so much time and money on products that are expensive, often made with unhealthy chemicals, and that require extensive time and energy to use. That being said, I do think a suit jacket or some other kind of professional top would be more appropriate for this picture. If she were, I would pass this picture around to my friends as an example of how I’d like to look and work someday.

    • She looks professional to me. Not the appropriate dress for a congressional hearing or anything, but not out of place.

    • On a different note, I LOVE how expressive Power is with her hands/arms when she talks. Look at this pic of her in a small meeting with the President. She is so passionate about whatever she talks about! ;o)

      • Agreed! I think she looks more professional in this shot than her headshot. I’m ok with the no makeup but the clothing in her headshot is not professional. She is an ambassador, not some low level clerk, and her clothes should reflect her position.

    • Let’s pretend that sleeveless is ever okay. The neckline is way too low and the chain to dainty. As far as no makeup, that is fine although I happen to find makeup to look more professional. Won’t judge you for not wearing it though.

    • I honestly don’t know how you look at this woman and her resume and have an issue with her hair or makeup. I love makeup, wear it every day, and wouldn’t go to work without it. I am also not likely to ever be an ambassador, a professor at KSG, or a Pulitzer Prize winner. While fashion/style has a role in helping one show that he or she belongs or understands certain norms, after a while the constant policing of other people’s wardrobe is just petty and gross. She isn’t wearing pajamas, and her hair isn’t in curlers. She is wearing a sheath dress. It just isn’t a big deal.

      • +a million. This is the weirdest thread I’ve ever seen on this site. Seriously, people, this was beyond unnecessary and absurd.

        • Yeh

        • Brooklyn Paralegal :

          I’m late on this thread, but I agree. Someone made a comment about about how her freckles make her look unprofessional? Excuse me, but that is just ludicrous, not to mentioned rude, if not all-out mean-spirited. I have tons of freckles and no, it’s not because I went to the beach, it’s because *I just have freckles*.

          And the policing of this woman’s headshot is really disgusting and low. I’m really disappointed in this entire thread.

          • Brooklyn Paralegal :

            Also, that weird comment above was me! I accidentally hit “enter” while typing in my handle and this is what happened. Shaking my head at myself.

          • Fake Doctor :

            I’m super late to this tread, but I’m glad there are a few other people out that found the vast majority of these comments inappropriate. I was down right furious with people’s critiques of this accomplished civil servant (I even had to stop reading the thread for a while and calm down). I had my first “Well, I might just have to stop coming to this website,” thoughts. Vicious, superficial, inappropriate.

            I hate to delve into the details of what she is wearing, but if I saw a powerful women in DC wearing this top (say with a skirt and simple black heels), I wouldn’t look twice. Don’t you have anything better to Pearl-Cluth about than this??

          • +1

      • Anonymous :

        I completely agree with you. PLUS, I’ve had dinner with Samantha Power and she’s gorgeous in person on top of being witty and intelligent. I met her when I was 15 and she left a lasting impression.

  3. suddenly shopping :

    Does anyone have a Talbots offer code they aren’t using? I have to make a big purchase today or tomorrow. Thanks!

  4. mintberrycrunch :

    I’ve been looking for more professional looking ponytail holders. For a long time I was in the “you can pry this generic black hair tie from my cold, dead wrist” camp, but I’m realizing it’s not the most professional of looks, so I’d like an alternative.

    However, I don’t love this one. Any other suggestions? What do you all use?

    • saacnmama :

      I like barrettes, especially a curved one that is plastic and looks like it’s carved to look like lace. When I was younger, my hair didn’t all fit in even the really big barrettes, but it does now

    • If you have a Henri Bendel near you, they have a great selection of fancy ponytail holders. I have some like this one, which I get a lot of use out of, particularly one that’s tortoiseshell looking. It looks silly the way she’s wearing it in the middle of her head in this picture, but in a sleek low ponytail, this kind of cuff holder looks very attractive and professional.

    • SCHRUNCHIES ! Yay!

    • Back when I had long (a bit shorter than shoulder-length) hair, I wore Goody Spider Clips pretty religiously, especially for court when I had to look a bit more put together. I found they worked really well for my fine, not-quite-wavy hair, and I got a lot of compliments on them. I’ll post the link below so as not to get caught in moderation.


    • I use the ribbon ties you can find at various retailers (or on etsy) often in either black, white, or otherwise coordinated to my outfit.

    • Sephora makes these hair elastics that are nearly invisible in my brown hair. I love them.

    • Check out – I’ve found some great, professional-looking things there.

    • Why not keep your black hair tie and upgrade your earrings instead ??

  5. Breathing coach? :

    Does anyone here have any experience with getting someone to help you improve your breathing? My PT has pointed out that I take short, shallow breaths (especially when I’m stressed), and I notice it when I exercise. Also, I think breathing better would help me with stress and anxiety. A friend in Europe (a similarly stressed lawyer) once hired a breathing coach to help her. Has anyone here done that? Any other tips?

    • marketingchic :

      No experience, but it sounds like yoga could help?

    • Famouscait :

      You could inquire with acting or vocal coaches. Both areas of study require learning how breath works, how to change your breathing, etc. As a theatre major, I spent my first year of college rolling on the floor and learning to breathe. I’m such an expert, in fact, I’m doing it right now as I type this. =)

      • +1 for vocal coach. I used to take voice lessons and my instructor had students who came to him specifically for this purpose. A good, experienced vocal instructor will be able to cater to what you are looking for.

        • Breathing coach? :

          Interesting. I had never thought of a vocal coach. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • There are some things you could try on your own, I think. One of the things voice teachers do is to have you lay on the floor while singing. It forces you to breathe from your diaphragm and you can actually feel it. Try laying on the floor and breathing in and out. See how that feels and see if you can recreate it standing up.

    • Have you been to an ENT to rule out physical problems?

    • You could also go to a speech language pathologist. They don’t just work on speech disorders, they work on all kinds of oral issues including breathing and swallowing. An SLP can also teach you how to breathe properly, especially during exercise.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        +1. My asthma caused Vocal Chord Dysfunction, which basically means my breathing was messed up, and it messed up my vocal chords too.

        My ENT suggested a speech pathologist. And they gave me exercises to do on my own.

    • Cordelia Chase :

      I’ve experienced the same/similar thing. I think the best thing you can do is (this is hard to describe) consciously relax your whole body, whenever you notice you’re breathing shallowly or even just because. This is one of those tricky things were, if you try to consciously control it, it makes it that much harder to deal with.

      I do this any time and anywhere – waiting in line, in car, my office chair, while running (heh!), and it really helps. A good analogy is that deep relaxation technique where you progressively relax every part of your body. It may take a little while of you doing it to actually start to feel its magic, but it will happen. Eventually, it has the power to do wonders. Just LET GO (which feels counterintuitive because stress/anxiety make us scrunch up tightly, and you’re going to LET GO), relax, and TRUST YOURSELF to relax naturally and let your breathing deepen all on its own.

  6. Also, to clarify, I have no problem with makeup. I just don’t like wearing it personally, and resent the implication that it is somehow required in order to look professional/put-together/appropriately dressed.

  7. Carrie Preston :

    I am a big fan of just wrapping a piece of your own hair around the elastic & securing it with a bobby pin. Embellished holders strike me as really making a pony tail look young.

    • marketingchic :

      When I try that, I am always annoyed by the pin digging into my head. I think I’m bobby pin challenged.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Try one of those bendy clips. Not sure what they’re called, but we used to wear them to hold back a strand of hair on either side. They’re also popular for Jewish men wearing kippot. You can get them in your hair color, and they grip much better than bobby pins.

        • Baconpancakes means these –

    • I’ve never had an embellished ponytail holder that didn’t stretch out and become worthless, no matter how much i paid for it, so I’m just a barrette lady now. Both for half-up and full ponytails.

    • Can someone please explain how the whole “wrap and pin” thing is done? If I try, the pin pokes out the other side of the wrap, and the wrapped piece of hair is instantly all frayed and messy looking. I have reasonably fine, collar-bone length layered hair. Is it that my hair is too fine? Too layered? Too short? I’ve seen “wrap and pin” so many times, but I’ve never seen any instructions on how to actually do it properly.

      • I used to wrap a piece of hair from within the ponytail and pin it underneath the elastic, so that the pin was flat against the back of my head and the tiny tail of the wrapped piece was hidden beneath the ponytail. That said, I was doing this with waist-length hair, so if length is your problem, then this tactic might not work.

        Are you sure you’re getting enough hair in the wrap?

        • I suspect I just don’t have thick enough hair. I can’t take too much at once or else I get a really, really skinny ponytail (and it’s already a little skinny). That means I need to wrap it around twice to fully cover the elastic. Once I’ve done that, the tail piece is very short (like an inch or two) and so it sort of gets all spikey poking out from under the ponytail. Plus, it never stays in the bobby pin. It just slides right out. But even if I pinned from underneath the tail, the top of the pin would still stick out at the top of the elastic. (My ponytail is much, much narrower than the length of a bobbypin.)

          • Solve the last problem by angling the bobby pin down. So, pin underneath, with the bobby pin pointing down toward your neck underneath the ponytail.

      • Too layered is my guess. If the piece you’re wrapping is shorter than the rest of your ponytail and cut and an angle, it will frizz/fray.

      • I have similar hair and a similar cut and I can’t do it, either. I think you probably can’t do it with layers. I also don’t want to do it since my ponytail is already a little thin to begin with :(

      • marketingchic :

        Try hair videos like on I’m still no expert (see comment above) but it helps me a lot to watch someone else do a hair style. One thing I picked up from her is to leave out some hair below your ponytail, then wrap that around and pin it. I also use some pomade on the “wrapping hair” to hold it together. Of course, then I’m impaling myself with my bobby pin . . . . need to try the bendy clip . . .

      • Also, although I don’t exactly know what wrap and pin mean, I generally find that wearing my hair up (and getting it to stay up) is easier when I use the right product. You need a little bit of texture, particularly if your hair is fine to begin with. I use this Oscar Blandi Texture and Volume Spray. Just spray it on before drying your hair. I think something along those lines might help.

      • Carrie Preston :

        So I isolate the strand I’m going to wrap, curl it so it is bendier, and then smooth some hair wax on that piece too. The wax and curl help it get and stay in place. I just use one bobby pin and play so it doesn’t dig into my head. It takes a few minutes but is pretty easy on the styling scale.

  8. Halp! Am I the only person who wears through the elbows of my sweaters all the time? Do I have insanely bony elbows that are just cutting through the fabric? Literally all of my sweaters have destroyed elbows now, except 3. Do I try to fix them? Or just keep buying new sweaters every year? I don’t understand.

    • Anonymous :

      Zora Zora strong and able, keep your elbows off the table!

    • I do the same thing, as well as tear through the elbows of dress shirts. Combination of pointy elbows and very muscular arms.

    • This happens to me in dress shirts. I don’t put my elbows on the table, but I lean on the arms of my chair. Kind of glad to hear it happens to other people- though it’s a bit of a pain and I haven’t figured out what to do (other than stop leaning on my arm rests)

    • Merabella :

      I do this ALL THE TIME! It is a combination of leaning on my elbow and broad shoulders/larger arms. It doesn’t matter if I go up a size in a shirt or no. I have decided I’m just going to have to rock the professorial elbow patches…

  9. SoCalAtty :

    I posted a week or so ago about porcelain dental veneers. Since the enamel on my front 2 teeth is totally gone on the front, they have started to square off and erode. They look ok right now, but eventually those front 2 will need crowns. The other 4 fronts / over to my canines are ok, but if I were to do the crowns, we’ve talked about doing 2 crowns in the front and then 2 veneers on each side to reshape my smile a bit and preserve those teeth, which still have enamel but it is going. When I was in the office he took tooth colored composite material and bonded it (temporarily) to my teeth to give me a “sample” of what it would look like, and I was amazed. Of course, now that I’ve seen the difference, I want it done!

    Here is the drawback: he wants to charge $2100/tooth (and there are 6 of them)! Now, I am in Los Angeles, and this dentist is specifically in Encino and works with a really well known lab. This also includes a visit to the lab itself, where the guy he works with sits with you in natural light and custom tints the veneers / crowns to totally match your coloring and existing teeth.
    I did give my family dentist a call, and he said yes, from the last time he saw my teeth that work is inevitable, but he charges $900/tooth and does it all in one visit at his office. Now he is a family dentist, outside of Sacramento, and doesn’t bill as a cosmetic dentist at all. The other option is my co-worker’s dentist. She has beautiful teeth and showed me a few porcelain crowns he did for her – it sounds like he charges around $1500/tooth.

    Since it’s my face, I feel like I should just save up and go with the expensive dentist I have…he really is an artist, and so is his lab technician, and I am close friends with his assistant. I’m going to ask for some kind of discount, since I’m theoretically going to be doing 6, but this is the first major dental work I’ve ever considered, other than braces when I was 12! He just did 2 small fillings on molars for me, and they are really perfect and he did a very good job. At least we do have a health savings account I can put up to $6800/year in pre-tax to cover some of the cost (he said I could do them in Oct/Nov, and pay half them and then half in the new year).
    Am I crazy for considering spending this much money on something that is, at this moment, mostly cosmetic?

    • goldribbons :

      Are you crazy for considering spending this much money on this? Absolutely not. Besides, if you already spent thousands of dollars on braces, why have less-than-perfect teeth if you can afford beautiful perfect ones?

    • Anon in NYC :

      You are not crazy. I would do the same.

    • SoCalAtty :

      See, this is why I ask these questions here! Most of my closest friends are long time, pre-law school friends, and 0 of them could even consider spending this kind of money on something that wasn’t completely necessary for them to continue functioning. When I mentioned the cost, the reactions ranged from stunned at the price to telling me I was outright nuts for even considering it, and “have you considered going to Mexico.”

      Goldribbons, you have an excellent point. My teeth are perfectly straight and lined up, and this would fix the only defect. My teeth were a little short already, and the erosion from lack of enamel has made them shorter, and for the same reason I can’t whiten them because there is no enamel to whiten.

      By splitting the payment, I could pay $6k in 2013 and $6k in 2014, all pre-tax. You guys are right, since I can afford it (I’d probably skip a big vacation in 2014 in favor of something on a smaller scale, but I didn’t have anything going next year anyway) and it is, after all, my face, I shouldn’t feel guilty about doing it!

      • I don’t think you’re crazy for spending the money. However, I wouldn’t outright dismiss the idea of going to Mexico (or some other medical tourism destination). You can get really high quality dental work in Mexico City and probably pay about half of what you’d pay in the U.S. Definitely look into it, but if you feel more comfortable with the dentist who gave you the estimate, then go with him. It’s your smile!

      • Anon for this :

        I am on my second set of veneers. First set were placed sophomore year of college. Just replaced them last year at the ripe old age of 41. I had mine done in LA on the westside and was not charged anywhere near $2100 per tooth. I had my front six replaced, insurance covered a bit because they were replacements and more necessary at this point rather than purely cosmetic. I paid half in 2012 and half in 2013 using the max out of my flexible spending account. All in, including what insurance covered, was about $7k and totally worth every penny. It required two trips and a temporary “flipper” (like the little kids on Toddlers & Tiaras except cemented in) because my original dentist took a lot off my teeth 20+ years ago. Plus it takes the lab a few days to make the veneers. One piece of advice – go a bit whiter than you think you should if you are a coffee drinker; the coffee will continue to stain and darken your teeth.

    • Anne Shirley :

      You’re not crazy, but I would classify these as a want, not a need and allocate my budget accordingly. I can see how others would make a different call, but I’d be putting these in my post-debt life bucket.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Well, yes and no. I max out my health savings account contributions every year, so this would come out of money that wouldn’t otherwise be available to pay off other debt anyway. I think they said my insurance would kick in maybe $2000 total towards the bill.

        Of course, none of this is getting done until the end of the year when 1) my home renovation project is finished and 2) the horse is sold (and, as a result, the debt is paid off)

    • I don’t think it’s crazy at all but, in my experience, all dentists, even crazy expensive ones, have some room for negotiation. I would go to him with the other estimates and see if you can work out some kind of a discount.

    • SpaceMountain :

      I had a friend whose wife needed Lasik. It was really expensive in their East Coast city; they took a trip to Wisconsin & had it done there way cheaper. I wonder if you could do that for dental work, too. You’re talking about a lot of money — if you can get it done cheaper in Arizona or something, it might be worth a try.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This. There are many cosmetic dentists around. Price does not always equal quality. So Cal, you know where I live. My dentist is the official dentist for a major NHL team. His partner now has his own cosmetic dental TV show and moved to work in another state. You could probably ship him (my dentist, not the one that moved) your file to get a quote. If it is way cheaper, you just have to buy a plane ticket out here and you can bunk w/ me and get it done.

    • Spending a chunk of change to preserve teeth that you want to have in your head for the rest of your life? I’d say that this goes beyond cosmetic and would really impact your life were you not to get it done or have it done poorly.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        +1. If I had that much in my HSA, I’d get it done in a heartbeat. I’m so self-conscious about my smile.

    • Merabella :

      I think this is a bit crazy cost wise for what you are getting done. I would shop around for costs on this kind of thing and not just go for the first guy out of the gate. I have a great dentist in OC if you want a rec.

      • Merabella :

        Also, I’ve had my veneers for 15 years and they are holding up great, so I definitely think it is worth it to get it done – and it will last.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I would totally do it, after doing my due diligence to make sure the price was reasonable. If you’re in the Pasadena area, you might want to call my periodontist, Dr. Charles at Charles & Morishita, for either a second opinion or a referral. He is the best best best and wouldn’t steer you wrong.

    • These numbers scare me because I’m going to need the same work soon and definitely don’t have that kind of money. That said, it’s your teeth and you’ll see them every day in the mirror for the rest of your life, so of course you want them perfect!

    • In your situation, I think I’d go to the family dentist for half the price, especially since it’s someone you already trust. It sounds like the price is only higher because of geography.

  10. post-SSRI :

    I have a question for the women who have an SO who was on SSRIs.

    DH was dealing with depression and got on Prozac for treatment. There were side effects that put a stop to our LGPs but I am so glad his depression got better. Long story short, he decided to stop the meds. The doctor said it would take a few weeks to start up LGPs again. But it’s been a few months and he can fill his hose only occasionally. He is no longer depressed. Is this normal and just a matter of time? Should I be worried?

    • Hang in there... :

      It took my DH a long time (a year or more?) to overcome this problem. And as you say, it’s now a “sometimes” problem. Can he “fill the hose” when he’s gardening by himself? This could be an important point – if the problem is only when you’re gardening together, there may be emotional/mental issues at play. Depression is a beast and it takes a long time to overcome. Hang in there.

      • post-SSRI :

        Thanks! Yes, he fills mostly by himself (although sometimes I feel a poke when we are together but it’s not sustained). Per Dan Savage’s advice to a LW in the same situation, I’ve been enjoying what we can do together while not pressuring him to perform with me.

    • +1 for Hang In There.

      My DH had the same issue, and it took some time to get better. But it did.

      • post-SSRI :

        Thank you so much–both of you! Thank you–the googling I’ve done only yielded horror stories. It’s a huge relief to know that this isn’t unusual or permanent.

  11. Question for the bakers amongst us. I have started seeing a boy, and I want to be a stereotype and bake for him to make him love me. I kid… But I do want to bake him some bread, because he loves it and I know he would really appreciate it. Here’s the catch. I would presumably be sharing the bread with him, and I don’t love sweet breads. He will not eat vegetables, so something like zucchini bread is out, but something with spices like rosemary would acceptable. He’s also not big on cheese, so I’d like to stay away from that, too. (Meanwhile, I’m trying to work on him being less picky, but since this is supposed to be a nice surprise from him, I want it to actually be something he’d like… But seriously — who doesn’t like cheese, and why am I dating him?) So, any suggestions for bread recipes that are delicious and would fit this bill?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Plain yeast bread is plenty impressive in my book! Or what about hot buttery rolls?

    • Anonymous :

      Has he actually had zucchini bread? I never used to be a big vegetable eater either, but there is so much sugar, flour, cinnamon, and oil in zucchini bread that you barely even taste the zucchini.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Have you tried the no-knead bread recipe? It’s seriously the best homemade bread I’ve ever made. It’s like French bread, so it’s not a quick bread or the like. If you’re looking to spice things up a bit though, I’m sure you could add some dried herbs to it.

      • Ciao, pues :

        ditto this. so yummy. so easy. we sometimes add rosemary, salt, and pepper to the top for added fragrance and a pretty finish.

    • Just pointing out that declining zucchini bread because you don’t like vegetables doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t taste like zucchini, and if you do it right you can’t tell there is any zucchini in it except for the green flakes. (By do it right, I mean grated the zucchini before you add it, instead of cutting it up in to chunks. I swear I know someone who did this). It takes like whatever spices you put in. The zucchini is just for water content.

      Maybe you need to look at a focaccia or the like – that tends to work with rosemary.

      • I totally agree that zucchini bread doesn’t taste like zucchini. My grandmother has an amazing recipe for it that I LOVE, but if he saw green bread, or bread with green chunks, it would be a nonstarter. I think a lot of his food choices are illogical, and I’ve pointed it out, but I don’t want this to be an argument — just a nice gesture…

        • Give it time. My SO used to tell me he didn’t eat this or that. I just kept cooking like I always do, trying to make sure I included some things that are his favorites. He was willing to try things and ended up liking everything I made. The kicker was the day when he called me up and asked me how to grill asparagus!

        • Huh – i suppose you could peel the zucchini first, and then grate it. That would get rid of the green… I don’t think the peel adds anything one way another.

          But then would he consider it a bait and switch if he likes it and then you say “AHA! It has VEGETABLES”?

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard great things about Amish Friendship Bread. You would need to get or make a starter, but it seems fairly easy.

      • Houston Attny :

        Amish Friendship Bread! I had completely forgotten about that! My mom used to get the starter, and then you bake some and pass some on, and the whole world is better. It is wonderful, and now my mouth is watering. :)

    • One of my aunts made something like this when I was growing up and it was delicious:

      • just Karen :

        This! I make a very similar recipe, and it is easy and fantastic! This recipe says to brush with milk or buttermilk, but I brush mine with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt while it is baking. It is AMAZING with tomato soup.

        • Yeah the one I have (at home, of course) is made round and just baked in a Pyrex dish rather than a loaf pan. Easy peasy.

    • Beer bread!!!! The base is SO simple ( but you can reduce the sugar to taste) and you can play around with the flavor by using different beers and adding whatever spices you’d like! Garlic and rosemary is one of my favs; I don’t eat meat but I’ve seen ones with bacon out there too.

      • I was going to suggest beer bread as well – 1 can of light beer and 3 cups of self rising flour. Add spices to your liking. The lighter the beer, the better the bread.

      • Beer bread is yummy! You can also experiment with the type and flavor of beer used.

    • I feel like there’s a difference between yeast breads and quick breads like zucchini breads. Zucchini bread is really like zucchini cake.

      • Zucchini bread IS really like zucchini cake! That is why it is so good. Banana bread and pumpkin bread are good suggestions as well, in the more cake-like category.

        • I always cut the butter with applesauce when I make those :) I feel better about eating more of it.

    • If you want a sweet/dessert-like bread, I’d recommend this:

      For something savory, perhaps:

      I have made both of these several times. Good stuff (and the prosciutto one is kinda sexy).

    • Rosemary with Kalamata olives or sundried tomatoes or caramelized onions in no-knead bread!

    • Anonymous :

      This is a bit off-topic, but I just discovered a relationship deal breaker — doesn’t eat vegetables. Of course you don’t have to agree, and it’s very sweet that you want to bake something to his liking, I am just stumped personally at how I could eat daily with someone who does not eat vegetables. I would feel completely inadequate because I couldn’t figure out what to feed him. Plus, we’d have to eat very different meals. How do people manage this in a relationship — serious relationship, not just eating in restaurants on occasional dates?

      • My SO doesn’t like/eat most vegetables. We live together. I make sure to cook some of the ones he does like, and then I also prepare plenty of vegetables and vegetable dishes that I devour solo. We both eat meat, so there is always an option for him at every meal. No one starves :)

        • Sydney Bristow :

          My boyfriend and I are the same. He actually is the one who usually cooks though, so veggie sides tend to be things he likes (corn, bell peppers, and onions). I have no problem adding my own favorites to our meals and I just know he won’t eat those. No big deal.

          The only thing that has ever bugged me is that he hates ground beef and one of the very few things I can cook well is lasagna with ground beef. I rarely make it anyway, so now I just make it when I know others will be around who would like it.

          • Or cook it with ground turkey or pork instead. Doesn’t affect the flavor.

            My friend married a guy that didn’t eat veggies. Then she started cooking yummy food. Now he eats veggies. Turns out no one had cooked really yummy savory veggies for him before.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I honestly don’t know why that never occurred to me. I’ll have to try that!

      • I am a vegetarian and my SO is very much not – he will eat some veggies, but not many. I don’t love his eating habits, but I love him and he’s reasonably healthy. We just cook separately most of the time, though sometimes I’ll make a veggie-based dish and he’ll add meat. Most restaurants also have something for both of us (that might be harder if you’re vegan though). It’s not your job to “feed” him, unless you’re set on being a stay-at-home spouse or something.

      • My friend is a vegetarian but cooks meat/poultry/fish every day for her husband and son. I’m always surprised at how good her cooking is when it’s something she doesn’t even taste for herself.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And on the other side of the coin, to me it would be a relationship deal breaker if I felt like my SO were scrutinizing my food choices and finding them wanting. If I didn’t want to eat cheese, for example, I’d expect my partner to respect that and not be judgy about it.

        I get really tired of the whole “dietary choices as shorthand for morality” thing.

      • It does not matter if your SO won’t let veggies touch his lips, as long as that “carnivore”meat is otherwise well versed in using his mouth and tongue for other things that are important to you. My SO dos not eat fresh fruit because of the skin–thank goodness I am considered skinless!

      • anonymama :

        My now-husband has actually converted quite a bit… from someone who wouldn’t even want to be in the same room with any kind of seafood to someone who happily downs raw oysters and loves cooking fresh crab at home. I think an open mind is key… he was always willing to at least try things, and I don’t try to make him eat things he really doesn’t like.

      • I think not eating vegetables is one of the easier things to deal with in a relationship food-wise, because its so easy to make vegetable side dishes or throw vegetables onto pastas, casseroles or into other dishes at the last minute after serving the non-veg eater. I would have a much harder time with someone who doesn’t eat fish, since that’s a staple of my diet and I imagine some carnivores would find it very difficult to cook for a vegetarian or vice versa. That said, I’ve found that you both expand your horizons to include some of the other persons tastes, so cooking for someone with very different tastes doesn’t require two separate meals every night. Also, most people don’t have an endless number of meals they cook regularly (I’d say I have less than 15 “go-to” meals that I rotate through along with meals out) so I don’t think it would be impossible for me to come up with that number of shared meals with just about anyone who doesn’t have a crazy-long list of dislikes.

        • You may have identified why I think this would be so hard. I don’t have “go-to” meals. I am an improvisational cook, as in, go to the market, figure out what looks fresh and what I already have, and then go from there. And this is almost always veggie-driven. I very rarely cook the same thing twice. I can’t even remember what I’ve made before most of the time. But I’m sure that would change if I were routinely trying to cook for someone with different tastes. Cooking is one of my few nurturing habits, so accepting that someone might not appreciate that would be very difficult for me — probably because I’d then have to figure out some other way to show affection. That is probably a good exercise for me, though.

      • Wildkitten :

        My BF wouldn’t eat vegetables on his own, but he makes them because I’ve explained that having vegetables to eat is important to me. And I’m important to him. Ergo, feeding me vegetables is important to him. That’s enough for me. (He eats the vegetables sometimes, but I don’t really care that he does, I just need to have them for my own metabolism).

      • Merabella :

        My DH doesn’t really like veggies, but I also think that he was never introduced to different ones as a kid – so it isn’t so much that he doesn’t like them, it is that he doesn’t KNOW them. He was raised in a very different environment than I was, I grew up in CA where great produce is abundant. Since we have been together I’ve introduced him to new things. It was seriously a coup when I got him to eat different types of lettuce (not iceburg). So if your SO doesn’t eat veggies at the get go, be patient, you may be able to introduce them to him over time.

    • SoCalAtty :

      What about multigrain bread? America’s Test Kitchen has a ton of great bread recipies. Add some nice brie…and you’re done!

  12. I need to find a new job because my current job is exhausting in all the wrong ways. But therein lays the problem: I’m too exhausted when I get home at 10/11 at night to start searching and writing cover letters. I tried getting up earlier a few days, but then I’m just that much crabbier earlier in the day at said job. How did you ladies who switched jobs do it??

    • goldribbons :

      Hire someone to help you? Go back to your last school (undergrad/grad) and ask for a career counselor to help you? Ask a friend for a cover letter template? Work on this during your lunch break? Leave early once and work on job searching for a few solid hours? Take a personal/sick day to get your search started? (Labor Day is coming up, too)

    • I have had this problem in the past (too busy and exhausted to make time to job search) and the only solution for me was to take time off (not a lot, a day here and there) to focus on the search.

  13. My awkward life :

    So, while I was out celebrating and drinking with friends this weekend, an intoxicated law school classmate (we graduated a couple years ago) decided to tell me that he has always had a crush on me and has been disappointed that I am taken. (I am now engaged to the person that I dated throughout law school, and the drunken classmate knows this.) I was so taken by surprise that I just said something awkward in an attempt to brush it under the table, and then proceeded to pretend like it didn’t happen slash avoid him for the rest of the night. I’m not worried about the future–I rarely see this classmate, I highly doubt he will even remember saying this to me, and in any event it’s just not that big of a deal.

    My question is, what would you say in response to something like this? It’s not that this kind of thing happens often, but I just honestly don’t know how I could have responded in a respectful, less awkward way. It’s kind of flattering to hear, but just. so. awkward. Any ideas?

    • I would just say something like, thank you, that’s so flattering. anything more and it becomes inappropriate, anything less and you risk really hurting the person’s feelings.

      • I agree Lily’s response is a good one. But in the drunken-bar-night-oversharing situation you described, I wouldn’t even make it sound like I’m taking it seriously. I would laugh it off with something like: “Okay, way to awkward-up the night, dude!” and then ignore it and change the subject. And then make an effort NOT to avoid him so as to not make it seem like I actually took it seriously. If I was the one who said something embarrassing, for example, I would feel better if the person acted like they thought I was joking and we could both brush it off and not have any future awkwardness.

        • My awkward life :

          Yea, I think this is what I was trying to do, but clearly I failed to execute. Also, is it weird that I felt like I had done something wrong after it happened? I had to tell my fiance about the incident just so I could stop feeling guilty.

          • Aww!! really, I know this is easier said than done, but really try not to dwell on it. People do dumb things when they are drunk. It has absolutely NO reflection on you whatsoever, it’s all this guy’s own issue and in his head. You didn’t do anything to feel guilty about. And, trust me, as someone quite a bit older than you, things that are even more embarrassing WILL happen to you in the future. ;o) It’s a part of life, and we deal and move on. And laugh about it years later, I promise.

    • Ciao, pues :

      Something similar happened to me with an old high school friend 3 or 4 years after we graduated from HS and hadn’t seen each other since. After last call at a bar in our home town, I saw him and a couple of his friends in the street outside the bar, helping a passed out friend into an ambulance. I was like, “OMG, HS Friend, is everything okay?” and he replied, “OMG, Ciao! Yeah, this guy’s just wasted. Hey, I always had a crush on you in HS– how come we never hooked up?” It was too funny to be awkward, and I never said anything since I figured he probably wouldn’t remember anyway!

  14. any recs for good fashion pinterest boards to follow? i’m looking for ones that will give me outfit ideas (weekend/date wear, not office wear) and affordable options. nothing too high-fashion. i’m in my late 20s and tend towards a girly classic style.

    • goldribbons :

      I recommended the blog Putting Me Together earlier today and she might have a pinterest… I really like the blog though.

  15. Orangerie :

    Why people think it is appropriate to microwave popcorn and seafood in a communal kitchen is beyond me.

    See also: my obnoxious cubemate who holds personal phone calls out in the open, despite there being a conference room and 2 empty offices within 10 feet.

    / end rant

  16. tough lay :

    My boss just described our counterparty as a “tough lay” (as well as nitpicky and territorial). My first instinct is that this is something sexual. But I googled and didn’t find much either way — some poker references, some basketball references, some frito-lay references…does anyone know what this means? I’m curious more than anything. Could also just be a mis-speak on the part of my boss, who this morning used the phase “escape patch” in an email.

    • A tough lie is a golf term for being in a really bad spot/hard shot to make. Perhaps he botched the term.

    • Need to Improve :

      Is your boss male or feamle? What about the counterparty?

      • tough lay :

        Both male. Boss happens to be a very sweet guy, although sometimes his language is a bit off (we are a white-shoe firm, WASPy and snobby, and he recently called something “a load of horseshit” — both gruff and hick, to my hear).

        • Ha! I tend to use “horseshit” more often than any golf term. Different strokes, I guess.

          No advice on “tough lay,” but it sounds like your boss is a real character.

        • Ha, regardless of size of firm and level of sophistication, most lawyers I know can swear with the best of them.

  17. Kat, something is up with the comments for me. I can only reply to any one comment and then have to close the browser and re-load the site’s page in order to be able to reply to someone else. Just hitting refresh doesn’t work. FYI.

  18. For those of you with cats–do you have any amazing magical methods of getting them to stop going to the bathroom outside the litter box? He has never done it before and then all of the sudden last week he started going on piles of laundry (#1 and #2). I had him checked and it’s not a bladder infection.

    • goldribbons :

      My sister has cats and she says this is anxiety if it’s not a physical problem. Have you called your vet about it?

    • No magic, just takes time :o( . Look up online for behavioral training techniques. And you might have to try a couple of different ones before you find one that works.

      1- redirect. Everytime he does it immediately take him to the box and put him in it firmly.
      2- limit his roaming so he is always in the room with the box for a while
      3- do you have enough boxes? Some cats don’t like to have to go too far to get to the box. It’s not fun, but when I have foster kittens, I have a litter box in each room, so that they never have an accident because they can’t get all the way to the box in time.

      The only thing that worked for a kitten i had recently was whenever I wasn’t there, they were closed up in the bathroom where they had the box, food and toys. And I would only let them be out of the bathroom when I was right there with them, and could physically take him to the box. He finally stopped doing it after about a week of that.

      other issue: scents. Is this clean or dirty laundry? If he smells other animals, the #1 could be marking. In which case, getting the laundry out of his reach, or using citrus scents to clean up/spray around the area. Cats don’t like citrus smells.

      It is so frustrating, I know. Good luck!

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’ll be interested in the responses. My cat has litterbox issues periodically. For a while he just will. not. go. in the litterbox, and then all of a sudden he’s back to normal like nothing ever happened. I’ve been through a bunch of different litters, and mine seems to like the Breeze system the best. The pee goes to a pad underneath the box so there are never those little clumps of pee-soaked litter that you can’t get out of the box.

      Some things I do: 1) don’t leave anything on the floor – no clothes, shoes, stacks of paper, the mail you haven’t read and just kind of threw in the corner, magazines, towels, even bathmats; 2) eliminate places to “hide” his stuff – close doors to rooms you’re not in very often, avoid having little niches in your house that are out of the way where he might go; 3) make sure the litterbox itself is really clean (or get a new one if it icks you out to clean it); 4) make sure the litter is really clean at all times; 5) transition to a different type of litter; 6) get an additional litterbox – if he’s peeing in the same place all the time, put the box there; 7) if you don’t have one already, get a litterbox with an open top; 8) pay attention to his behavior – does he tip you off somehow before he’s going to mess?

    • Agreed, it could be anxiety. (We’ve had cats on valium before, and now one is on Prozac. I’m tempted to just put it in our water for cats and humans alike.) First, though, see if there’s anything different in the house (new cat, either inside your house or hanging around outdoors, new baby, different litter in the box?) that might be upsetting him. Also, keep the cat box scrupulously clean and maybe think about changing up the cat litter. We’ve been using some super-expensive stuff called Dr. Elsey’s (I could have that mis-spelled) Cat Attract and it does seem to help. And make sure there are no textiles on the floor — no piles of laundry, no throw blanket trailing off the couch, etc.

      This is a tough situation — we’ve got 7 cats and are currently in a bad situation w/r/t cat pee in the house (DH just managed to avoid someone peeing on my thankfully vinyl briefcase a few days ago) after a new addition to the group and a couple of un-neutered male strays who keep congregating on our porch — and I hope you can nip it in the bud.

    • Anon in ATX :

      Our cat who has had these type of issues in the past just decided one day he could no longer tolerate using the same litter box as the other cat, which he had been doing for almost 2 years. We added a second box right next to it and the problem vanished. The only other times he does this is if the box is not up to his cleanliness standards, so we have to be vigilant about scooping, even though one of them is an automatic litter box. Good luck, I know how frustrating this behavior is.

      Also, my cat initially started doing this when he developed a chicken allergy. Does your kitty have any other signs of allergies, e.g. itchy face/head?

  19. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Yup, I have this problem too in IE8

  20. Hi ladies. My daughter is a rising junior and economics major at a highly-ranked women’s liberal arts college in the Boston area. She’s interested in looking for internships for next year — any area of business is fine, she has no particular calling for industry vs banking / finance. It can be anywhere in the country. The college’s career placement service is closed (!) during the month of August. What specific steps and networking can / should she do while she waits to get back onto campus and use the career services? I came of age in a different economy entirely, when job / intern searches were much easier, and in my branch of the working world, there aren’t internships that I could steer her towards. She has an up-to-date resume so that’s all set.

    • This will sound mean, but I don’t think she needs to take any steps or do any networking, becasue obviously her mom will step in and handle it all for her.

      • Dude, unnecessary.

      • She specifically asked for steps her daughter could take, and given her age, it’s obviously been years since she was in that situation herself. Your comment was unnecessary. There’s nothing to suggest that she was going to “do it all” for her daughter.

        • Anonymous :

          Eh I thought the same thing. Whose mom helps them with college internships? And the panic at the closed career services office seems a little much. OP, your daughter is obviously very bright. She will be fine!

    • I don’t really think there is much to do at this moment. Go to the career fair when she is back on campus if she wants, and look out for info sessions from companies she is interested in. Her career services should send out invites for those info sessions, as well as for internship applications when those are due. Apply through the school’s recruiting process. But the internship application period isn’t even until spring semester.

    • She should probably just wait until the school year starts and the career center opens, since I doubt there’s anything she can do in the next month that will make a difference. Also, if she’s going to be a junior, she’s likely able to handle an internship search, with guidance from her school.

      • I agree. I don’t have kids so I can imagine this is stressful for you especially when it’s so hard for someone her age with a college degree to get a job.

    • She should reach out to anyone and everyone she knows in a business-related field (aunts/uncles/family friends/friends’ parents, etc.) and do some informational interviews to learn about different areas of business and occupations (she’s looking at a huge field here) so that she can speak intelligently about what she’s interested in doing and why (e.g., consulting, marketing, risk management, and finance are all different fields). Also, she should start reading the WSJ daily.

      • DC Summer :

        This. Also, don’t helicopter. She’s clearly competent and she will be just fine on her own.

      • Agreed. Many schools have alumni databases so students can reach out to individuals in various fields for informational interviews/resume advice/etc. If not, she could start asking around to see if you have any family or friends in related fields.

        Like others have mentioned, she’ll have more resources once she’s back on campus. She can go to career fairs and employer information sessions. Many companies do not start interviewing for internships until they finish full-time hiring, so she has some time.

      • One more thing – there are prep programs now for people who want to go into business jobs right after college. Tuck Business Bridge comes to mind, but I know there are others as well. They might be options for your daughter to pair with an internship, since I think they are only for a few weeks.

      • She should research which fields she’d be interested in, and which firms hire in those fields, and then research their internship offerings and apply.

        And she should be doing this without prompting/help from mom.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Late reply but–one thing I found helpful beyond the usual advice was to go and look up the Fortune 500 businesses and move my way down the list to see which had quality internship programs (obviously I skipped a ton of them, I didn’t go through 500 companies). Then I made an notes in my notebook when the application processes opened, etc. I think I did that my freshman year, and it really helped me to focus and plan for the next few years. For my summer internship this year, I wanted to stay local, so I filtered it by my state (the Fortune website does this automatically). You can also look at top private company lists as well. I found this useful because 1) it gave me a good idea of what was out there and 2) helped me focus on what I admired in a company, where I wanted to work, etc. This really helped for my cover letters because I could talk intelligently about why this internship program was better than others in the industry, etc. Ultimately, I’m interning at a great company this fall that wasn’t on the list, but it has the same brand recognition that I was going for.

    • I would suggest that she speak with professors that are around. They may be tuned in to what opportunities are around and be able to put her in touch with alums (both recent and more established in the field) for informational interviews.

    • anon prof :

      Sorry for the late reply but hopefully you subscribed to comments. She could contact her alumni/alumnae relations office for potential alums to contact who have offered to have interns or to have coffee with students or have someone shadow them for a day. That office should be open all summer. And I think you’re right to be unpleasantly surprised that career services is closed in the summer–my liberal arts college slows down in the summer but offices like that don’t close completely.

  21. oh, and sorry to be all over this post, but I just had to give a shout out to k-padi and SF CPA for the wonderful evening watching Princess Bride in the park!! Anyone in SF: you should be friends with these two, they are so awesome! k-padi brought tons of really nice wine, and SF CPA actually brought me a birthday cake!! And we quoted all the lines along with the movie and laughed a LOT. It was one of my best birthdays ever. I love thissite and all the wonderful people I’ve been able to become friends with IRL! <3<3<3<3

    • Zora, I wasn’t there, and it sounds awesome. (Unsolicited suggestion to anyone who likes the movie – read the book, you’ll love it! Not getting into book v. movie wars here, but the book has more detail and depth that they couldn’t cover in a short movie). Also wanted to add that you seem like a great and very warm person yourself – happy birthday!

      • The book is equally amazing. I love them both! And thanks, it was a great night ;o)

    • It was soooooo much fun! Happy Birthday! SF CPA was so awesome and her sleeping bag kept me so warm!

      BTW, I can’t find a date for Opera in the Ballpark–except that it’ll be announced Summer 2013. Boo! Boo! Booooo!

      • Inconceivable!!! ;0) Darn SF opera, post your dates already!!

        And thanks again, chica! yer the bestest

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I love Opera in the Ballpark!! Definitely one of the things I miss about living in the Bay Area.

    • Houston Attny :

      I love this! Wish I was in San Francisco for this fun evening (and because it’s not 99 degrees there). :) Happy birthday!

      • Thanks!!! :o) it was a happy one, which is more of a big deal than I can explain. Wish ALL THE R3TT3S had been there!! Mwah!!

  22. Does anyone have any recommendations for good dad-to-be (or new dad) books? I feel like all the pregnancy books are geared toward women. The sections of those books for men often act like (1) the guy has no idea how to be a decent person (e.g., don’t be a jerk if your partner is too tired to go out and party all night, you jerk) or (2) the guy is some sort of earth father/crunchy/new age type (nothing wrong with that but SO not my guy). Also, they tend to be entirely woman-focused even if ostensibly written for men. I’m looking for something that will let my husband know what’s going on with and in my body, but that also addresses the feelings men have when their partners are pregnant (including the ones people aren’t “supposed” to feel, or things guys might be worried about). My FIL died a few years ago and I know my husband really misses his counsel as we embark on this whole baby thing. I’d like to give him a book that could help fill that gap a little bit. Any good suggestions?

    • Famouscait :

      Maybe I missed the official announcement(?!) but congratulations on the baby news!!!

      • Thank you! I think it was a slightly low key announcement, but we got the official word from the Dr Friday and the follow up test today was very good. :) The grandparents-to-be are already in complete overdrive and I think Mr. TBK has started telling random passersby on the street. So much for waiting 12 weeks.

    • “Dude, You’re Going to be a Dad.” My husband LOVED it, and he isn’t a big book reader, let alone pregnant book reader. Lays things out in a very guy-centric manner and gives very practical advice. I even read a few sections because they were better than typical “girl” pregnant books.

    • Anonymous :

      Expecting 411 was fairly neutral in its tone — plenty of Partner Tips too; tons of info about pregnancy.
      Not a pregnancy book, but The Birth Partner is excellent and written for dads (or doulas). It addresses fears during labor/birth as well.

      • I was going to suggest Expecting 411 too–really, for both of you. So much less alarmist (and woman-centric) than the ubiquitous What to Expect When You Are Expecting. Also, for when the little TBK is born, Baby 411 is far and away my favorite baby care book. The whole series (there’s also Toddler 411, which I found to be less helpful because I felt like I had it under control by that point) is done in a readily accessible Q&A format.

        Also, you didn’t ask, but buy Baby Bargains for the best review of all things baby products (it’s not just for the cheapest product; it analyzes all the options).

    • SV in House :

      The Expectant Father series by Armin Brott. My DH, who is not a big book reader, got a lot from it. I have since given it as a gift to a number of expectant dads and gotten thumbs up from all of them.

    • SpaceMountain :

      “Star Wars: Vader’s Little Princess,” by Jeffrey Brown

    • The blog “The Good Men Project” has some interesting posts on parenting.

  23. Veronique :

    Any suggestions for a good physical (not chemical) facial sunscreen? It can be anything from drugstore to sephora, and ideally something I can sample (sephora, whole foods, etc) if it isn’t cheap. I currently use Josie Maran argan oil ss, which was great in the winter but turns me into a total oil slick in the summer. I have caramel-colored, combination, sensitive skin, so I’d prefer something that isn’t too drying (no alcohol) and won’t give me a ghost face!

    • Charmed Girl :

      Skinceuticals Sheer Physical Sunscreen– I’ve tried this a couple of times and it’s light and has a lovely, matte texture. I haven’t actually bought it yet (still getting through others I have), but its on my list for the next buy. Added bonus SPF 50.

    • Turquoise :

      If you can find it, Invisible Zinc is the best. Last time I found it I had to order from Australia, though, and one bottle was DOA. Paula’s Choice also has some nice stuff. I’m allergic to the chemical versions!

    • I use John Masters Organic SPF 30. Goes on pretty well.

  24. I just realized that today is a bit of a milestone for me in this country. I moved to the US some two decades ago today! I completely forgot and it is a work night but I should be done in about an hour and I’d like to do something festive to celebrate. Any ideas? My original dinner plans were to make fish tacos and just have an easy dinner with the husband followed by maybe a movie or some tv watching…. Should I do something else? For some reason, I’m blanking on American foods and all I can think of is burgers, bud, and apple pie. I’d like to not totally ruin my waist line though ;-)

    • Anne Shirley :

      Corn on the cob!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Corn and tomato salad (corn and tomatoes are from the New World!), s’mores (ok not healthy but S’MORES), mac and cheese (make them with leeks, white cheddar, and panko on top), cornbread and chili, regional BBQ, clam chowder, chocolate chip cookies, biscuits (with anything – ham, gravy, butter and honey, lunch meat, on top of a pot pie, with soup, on the side with a salad, etc), fried chicken, black and white cookies, lobster roll, meatloaf, gumbo, philly cheese steak, tomato pie – should I go on?

      Pretty much all American food is regional, so I’d go with something from where you live.

  25. OMG, now I’m hungry, Baconpancakes!

    (By the way, I always read your name as Bacon*pants*, thanks to the lovely Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax …)

  26. My husband really liked “Be Prepared” as a pre-fatherhood book. He said it was funny but informative.

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