Thursday’s Workwear Report: Striped Button Front Blazer

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

Ooh: apparently I’m into stripes this week. LOVE the striated, almost agate-like look of this blazer from Tommy Hilfiger. I also love that the blazer has functioning patch pockets, and a really versatile light gray color.  It’s $139 at Lord & Taylor, but take 20% off with code SALE. Striped Button Front Blazer

Here’s a similar blazer with more of a Southwestern vibe in lucky sizes down to only $33, and a blue/green/yellow/ivory striped blazer for $84. Not similar at all, but this blue knit blazer is only $29 and looks like a great deal. In terms of plus sizes, I can’t find a similar one in gray, but Talbots has several striped blazer options.

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  1. I want a seersucker dress with sleeves. Instead, I found this. While initially confused, maybe it would be helpful to nursing mothers?

    • Sharing the product link would be helpful

      • Wow. That is … not good.

      • Nah, no one will wear this because if they do, they will just be told on a whisper “you misbuttoned your shirt.” And then they will have to explain, “Nope, I paid $300 for this ugly shirt to look like this.”

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Oh my. That looks like you just rolled out of your boyfriend’s bed with a hangover and could not find your own clothes.

      • Paging Gordon Gartrell, paging Gordon Gartrell.

        • HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

          I loved that episode. I always knew that Denise Huxtable was incredibly prescient about fashion.

      • Linda from HR :

        That’s the product of so many bad decisions. A designer thought that would look good, someone looked at it and went “yeah, that looks great! no no, you’re not crazy at all” and someone at Nordstrom was like “we must carry this in our store.” What was everyone on?

    • What is that? I am so confused.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      I share again for your enjoyment, this gem:

      For nursing: yes, but only on one side; after that you’d have to wear the Shirt inside out.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        What the what?!?! (I’m referring specifically to the last one shown. But they’re all terrible)

        They all look like someone bought patterns to make a few different shirts out of the same fabric, but somehow mixed up the pieces when it came time to sew them together. And just said, “F— it, I don’t feel like starting over.”

      • That first pic (Jenning’s insta)? I totally saw the one on the left in real life (in a stripe, not the chambray). It wasn’t horrible…but it took awhile to make my brain adjust to what I was seeing.

        Also, all totally unnecessary (and unwearable).

      • As an engineer, I must say that is an egregious crime of form over function. FOOEY.

    • Rachel Comey is solidly in the category of fashion I don’t “get” but hip people seem to love. I think the driving ethos is supposed to be “I’m so gorgeous I can dress like this and it doesn’t matter.”

      See: those horrendous clogs that are everywhere on fashiony lifestyle bloggers.

    • How is this sold out in most sizes?

  2. Anon for this :

    Can anyone with experience share thoughts on the following:

    – Moving, as a late mid-level associate, from a small firm to a big law, multi-office firm.

    – Working, as a late mid-level associate, at a small (~10 attorneys), niche-oriented office of a big law firm, in a mid-sized city.

    The background is, of course, that I’ve worked in small firms my whole career and work in a niche transactional area, but may have an opportunity to lateral to the above. I’m trying to figure out how it would impact my actual life (other than the fact that I’d be making a lot more money).


    • You may have to fight to be paid market and keep your class year. My experience in going from small boutique to biglaw was that laterals didn’t get that big salary and senior associates were going to have to take a few extra laps on the partnership track. They didn’t want to bump them ahead of associates that had been at the firm already. Having a book of business that you are bringing may change this. That being said, if you are interested in a counsel track, this isn’t always a negative.

    • I did this last year. Anon at 10:42am is right on point. While yes, I make more money, not significantly more. Also bumped back class year wise. However, on exact same partner track as anyone else who lateraled at my time. It has been a good move for me – but I will say that you have to establish boundaries at the get-go and not fall into the “big-law” mentality that gets put on all new associates regardless of class year.

  3. For those of you with standing desks who work in a more formal environment, do you wear heels around the office but change into flats at your desk?

    Basically, what type of shoes do you like to wear with a standing desk, and any recommendations for footpads or similar that I’m not thinking about?

    • I don’t wear shoes when I’m working standing up – I put them back on when someone comes into my office. I stand on a shock-absorbing mat.

    • I stand most of the day in a business casual office. I wear flats and stand on a memory foam mat. If my office were formal, I would still do this. I’d just be wearing the flats with a suit instead of ankle pants, a flowy blouse, and a cardigan.

    • I’ll sometimes kick the heels off at my desk and stand on the mat without shoes, but my office is arranged so that no one can see that I’m doing that.

    • All flats. I have both formal and business casual-appropriate flats. But the standing desk removed heels from my life entirely (and I’m not sad about it).

    • I got a standing desk a few months ago and have been wearing my more comfortable shoes with padding and arch support. some are flats, some are heels. The Cole Haan Tali wedges are great for this.

    • I stand in flats or barefoot on a cushioned mat. I rarely wear heels while standing…maybe a comfortable wedge from time to time.

  4. Importance of hobbies :

    So I recently had a realization that I thought I’d share in case anyone else has had this problem and has spent too long trying to figure it out. For the last year or so, I’ve felt unmotivated and tired a lot and like all I ever do is work (despite working 40 hours a week only). I was getting discouraged by all the time spent preparing for work and commuting on top of that and feeling like I not only didn’t do anything outside of work, but that there wasn’t TIME to do anything (I’m an introvert and need time to recover on the weeknights, but spending that time mindlessly browsing the Internet wasn’t helping at all – it was just more time spent in front of a screen). I made the effort to read more and to plan more fun trips for the weekends, and it seemed to help a little bit, but I recently figured out that it was a lack of structure and hobbies causing the problem. When I was younger, I had better routines – Saturday was for art class, Monday night for volleyball, Wednesday for standing lunch date, etc., so there was always something on the calendar to look forward to that didn’t require any special research/planning/preparation on my end. It’s nice to plan weekend getaways, but it can be draining to figure out all the logistics and details. Having real hobbies (unrelated to my computer) that get me out of the house on a pre-scheduled, low-effort basis is what I was missing. I can’t wait for a fresh start on this and to see if it really does help. I’m joining a new gym and picking up an old hobby I’ve long neglected and I’ll take it from there (and in the meantime, drastically reducing computer time at home). It has helped to see readers here post their hobbies on various threads – it made me realize I don’t have enough.

    • Thanks for posting this. For a minute I thought I had written it, as I am going through the same thing. I think you are definitely on to something. I have picked up one new hobby, and am going to be looking for others and working on some routines.

    • Good on you! I bet you see a major improvement in your overall quality of life soon.

      Having a routine makes all the difference for me too. I work similar hours, about 50-55 per week. Most days I workout before work at my favorite studio, volunteer to walk shelter dogs after work, and work on keeping up my French at night by doing my workbook or watching a French TV show to prepare for my weekend class. Throw in book club and dock diving dog training on the weekends, I do something every day of the week.

      I think I pulled myself out of a 3-year long funk by having so many hobbies I enjoy. I feel much more relaxed yet invigorated after doing my hobbies than scrolling online (surprisingly draining)!

      • But that’s not similar hours at all. 40/wk is 8/day. 50-55/wk is 10-11/day.

        I’m not OP but I generally stick to 8/day and feeling dead tired if I have to push to 9 or 10 hr. Hearing people putting in 50-60/wk as being normal makes me feel like a wimp.

      • Anonymous :

        This is all great, but I have to confess that once I saw “dock diving dog training” everything else disappeared. Would you please share more about this, either here or on another thread soon?

    • Linda from HR :

      Reminds me of when I got started on mine. I’d wanted to do it for a while, when I moved from my parents’ house in the suburbs to an apartment in the city I was like “yeah! I’m gonna do the thing! it’s gonna be great!” and I knew where to do it, when the stuff was happening, but actually going was super hard. I was tired on Friday nights! I didn’t wanna go out after work during the week either (you can tell how active my social life was -_-) I was afraid to commit to doing something at a specific time on specific weeknights because what if something came up at work? What if I just couldn’t get myself out of the apartment that soon after work?

      The first few steps – signing up for classes, going to my first social – were some of the hardest, and after a year or so I was going out and doing stuff most nights of the week.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Threadjack, but your user name makes me think you’re a Kimmy Schmidt fan. Or are you *actually* a Linda who works in HR??

        • Linda from HR :

          I work in HR, but my name isn’t Linda. So glad someone finally got the reference!

          • Minnie Beebe :

            I super-heart Kimmy Schmidt. I think I might rewatch season 3, since I feel like I missed half the jokes the first time through. :)

            But my god, the Lindas! It *is* a weird name for a baby.

        • That Kimmy S scene is DEAD ON accurate to the HR department I used to work in (except it was Kathy and Lisa, plus me).

      • Anonymous :

        Lauren Graham shot a pilot this season called Linda From HR. I always thought your name was a reference to that! It didn’t get picked up, sadly.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I really want to make social routines more of a thing in my group of friends. We used to have a standing Wednesday night dinner at a local pizza place with 50% off wine bottles, but then some people moved away and other people started coming who changed the group dynamic, and it fell apart. It was really nice just knowing that I’d have that decision to socialize taken care of, and see friends in a low-key way.

      But tonight is the first night of my new pottery class! I’m so excited! I haven’t thrown in 10 years, and it’s right across the street from my office, so I can just hop over.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Also I am flabbergasted that people yesterday were aghast at the idea that food is a hobby. The sheer circulation numbers of food magazines alone, let alone all the people who watch Great British Bake Off…

        • When I read that I wanted to respond that I am a size 2 and my hobbies are eating and busting trolls, but it was too late in the day.

        • ponte python's flying circus :

          Ha! Food – consuming it, preparing it, watching other people come up with inventive ways to prepare it – is one of the great joys of life, to me.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          That show makes me think that yes, I COULD be a baker and own a patisserie in a little French village, dam*it. I love it.
          Then I go to Starbucks and buy coffee cake and read trial transcripts.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Food is totally my hobby. So is fitness. I think they complement each other well. I’ve even gotten into baking my own bread and my sourdough starter is now officially the thing I’ve kept alive the longest (bad track record with plants and all).

        • Linda from HR :

          I think it can be. A “hobby” is something you invest a lot of time, energy, and usually a good bit of money into, it’s a priority in your life and you have a desire to keep doing the thing, keep getting better, and keep trying new things within that hobby. So yeah, food can totally be a hobby if you’re always trying new restaurants, buying new cookbooks and actually trying the recipes in them, writing your own recipes or food blogging, going to quirky little food stores and buying stuff you never heard of, making a point of eating the best local food when you travel, etc.

    • I could have written this. I waste all my weekends sleeping in and lazing around the house, and I think the problem is a lack of structure or routine. This has given me a push towards a regular schedule, so thank you!

      • Importance of hobbies :

        You’re very welcome. I know what you mean about “wasting the weekend” – spending all my time sitting on my butt at home seemed like it should be “relaxing,” but it just made me feel more stressed about never doing anything outside of work. Also, in the past, it was always much more relaxing and enjoyable to come home in the evening after a day spent doing something fun elsewhere. Then it actually feels cozy and rewarding and not just lethargic. Good luck with fixing up your schedule!

        • I definitely always do feel better after a full and active day. Good luck with yours too!

        • Linda from HR :

          I used to waste weekends. In college and living with my parents, I could easily spend the whole day barely moving from the couch. I moved into my first “real” (i.e. not on-campus) apartment about four years ago and since then I’ve gotten in the habit of using most of my free time productively – running errands, cleaning, decluttering, etc., and recently I realized I tend to go stir crazy when I’m idle for too long.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Brilliant! Someone posted here recently about hosting a standing Wednesday/ midweek social hour at their place, and I thought that was a great idea – not to have to deal with the stress and emotional labor of coordinating and herding other human beings you want to see socially.

      Also, this article talks about the importance of hobbies and other meaningful pursuits:

      Church and other religious worship used to provide such an outlet for many people, but the growing number of atheists and nonreligious among us need an outlet too. As a runner I personally like the Church of the Sunday Long Run – collect a couple of friends and go out for a 10-mile jaunt :)

    • This was me in my old biglaw job right before I met my husband. All of my close friends were moving across the country; I was working long hours; I was totally miserable! The friends that were here were starting to get coupled off and not going out much and the single ones were really into the bar scene and that was never really big for me. I just really missed having a friend to watch movies with. So I made a list of all the things I wanted to do and signed up for them in their latest slots. Monday and Thursday nights: volleyball. Saturday: musical instrument lessons. Sunday: improv classes. I joined meetup and whenever I could went to different stuff just to do things and meet new people since I wasn’t cooped up at my job. I also bought weights and some exercise equipment and did at-home workouts 6 nights a week whenever I got home from work, practiced painting my nails (because salons were always closed when I got home), practiced cooking and baking, got back into painting and watercolors (which I would do while catching up on Jeopardy!). It was so much fun. Turns out a lot of my friends also wanted chill nights in but didn’t know what else to do other than the bar scene. (But Tuesday night trivia was also a blast!) My husband jokes that when we first met, I had no time for him and it was true! Then it was really nice to get into some new activities together: we ‘meet at the gym’ 2-3 times a week, cook and bake together 2-3 times a week, and I do my hobbies when he does his (like I paint my nails while he goes swimming).

    • So glad to see all these comments. I am finding that in the second year of bereavement adopting new routines that work for me is proving very helpful for me.

  5. Anonforthis :

    For those of you with the Lands End tugless tank, how do they run? I’m 5’3″ and 120 lbs – would you recommend petite because of my height? I read through the reviews but there are a million and I’m intimidated by all the choices!

  6. Career coach? :

    Tried this a few days ago but thought I would try it again –

    I’m a mid-level in BigLaw. I’ll leave eventually (probably in a year or so) and want to think about making an intentional next step. I’d like to continue to use my law degree. Does anyone have recommendations on career coaches who can help to brainstorm? I’d like to open myself up to possibilities before focusing on a particular path.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      There is a former BigLaw partner I know who left to become a coach and she specifically deals with women undertaking career transitions (either out of law or into different areas or returning from mat leave)…but she is in Toronto.

      • Could you post the name of the Toronto-based coach?


      • Any idea re pricing (roughly – is this something that costs $500 or $5000)? And does she only work with local candidates?

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I think there are various “packages” depending on what you want and how much support is required. I cannot recall but I think the price is likely somewhere in the middle for a bundle of sessions. As for whether she works remotely, I don’t know but am sure you could just email her.

    • My law school dean of students (before that she was a Skadden associate and then a partner at a Chicago firm) is a coach who does career and other topics for lawyers. She’s in Chicago but my sessions are on Google Hangouts or phone. (I’m on the west coast.) Someone else here posted about her a few months ago so I reached out to her. She’s not cheap, but it’s cheaper than the shopping I was doing to distract myself from my low-grade misery! She is also willing to bill firms but I didn’t want to ask mine to pay since I wanted to work with someone on how to leave my firm and what to do instead.
      Her name is Amy Gardner. She emails me from amymgardner [at] and she did a free session to help me decide if I wanted to work with her.

  7. More headache advice :

    Ladies, I’ve been a few days behind in comments and wanted to chime in with my headache advice. TL:DR: Find a physical therapist or pilates instructor with additional training from the Gray Institute (link to follow). Also I second the advice for rolfing (I am doing that next for longer term relief of some of my underlying issues) and/or myofascial stretch therapy, and for an elimination diet to identify food triggers/sources of ongoing inflammation.

    Full version: I have had hormonal and tension headaches since middle school. Had been a heavy triptan user for several years. A couple of years ago I gained a lot of weight after a bought with pneumonia (I am also hypothyroid) and went to a Crossfit-ish gym to get back into shape. I had a headache after literally every training session, was running through my prescription of 12 triptan pills per month. I have a bunch of muscular-skeletal misalignment issues from old injuries and felt like that was contributing. Headaches would show up a couple of hours after training and were worse when lifting over my head,doing lots of shoulder work, and especially ropes or sled pushes. My shoulders are completely uneven (I grew up in the age when it was cool to wear a backpack on one shoulder. I literally cannot hold a bag on my right shoulder, it will slip right off). Years ago I switched to crossbody purses only because I realized that going out shopping with a purse would trigger a headache…my left shoulder would creep up to my ear and it would be impossible to relax it. A few weeks ago I traveled for work and had to walk a while with my laptop in my heavy shoulder bag…it triggered the worst migraine I had in ages and convinced me that I need to switch to a backpack. Over the years I’ve found relief from chiropractors and acupuncturists but was still getting frequent headaches. My acupuncturist recommended a pilates instructor with advanced training in functional movement from Gray Institute. She spent a full hour evaluating my imbalances and gave me stretches to do at home, and especially before exercising. Basically I have a muscle in my back that does not want to activate. So unless I stretch and loosen it up and get it moving first, the surrounding muscles will compensate and that leads to the headaches. From the outside my form looks fine, but I am using the wrong muscles to do the work of the exercise. Doing her stretches before exercise completely eliminated the post-exercise headaches. I continued to see her every other week for a few months for refinement, but stopped going and just do the stretching routine now. It was pricey ($85 an hour for a private session) but totally, totally worth it. Now that I am using the right muscles, some of my strength actually feels like it’s diminished (like pushups) but I am actually working the spot that’s supposed to be worked after years of working around it!

    Around the same time, I had a food sensitivity blood test, which I’ve mentioned here before. Some people think it’s total bunk, but I swear it helped me so, so much. I was sensitive to strange things (wheat…not gluten; cow’s milk; cranberry…which i was putting in fizzy water every night; basil, which i was using on salads every night; lemon). I never would have figured some of those out. I did an elimination diet – was down to about 12 foods for a two weeks, then started adding back in. I lost 12 lbs in about 6 weeks after years of the scale not moving, despite intense workouts and nutrition coaching. A lot of it was inflammation/bloat – my rings were looser, my socks weren’t making indentations on my ankles anymore. But the best improvement was digestion and lack of headaches. Now that I no longer get the post-exercise headaches AND I’ve reduced the overall inflammation in my body, I have a stockpile of triptans. I get it filled maybe every other month just in case, but haven’t used them in months. I think the inflammation was keeping my body on high alert, so a night of poor sleep or not enough protein, etc (all my old triggers) would push me over the tipping point and cause a headache. I am back to eating just about everything, but try to space it out…ie if I have pizza, I try not to eat anything with wheat for a few days afterward.

    If you think your headaches are tension related, something else that has helped me is a hot compress (I have one filled with rice that I put in the microwave for a minute or two) on the tense spots. For me, that’s my forehead, jaw, and left shoulder/upper back. I lay down with that, and use a meditation or sleep app to help relax.

    Hope this helps!

    • More headache advice :

    • How do you go about getting a food sensitivity test? Is it expensive?

      • Also curious!

      • More headache advice :

        I got it through my nutritionist. I used the LEAP one but there are others out there. I think Izabella Wentz’s Hashimoto’s Protocol book recommends another one. A functional or integrative medicine doc (there are MDs who call themselves these things, not just chiropractors as the discussion here last week may lead one to believe). The test was about $300 and I used FSA funds to pay for it. You can try an elimination diet first – most people feel a lot better eliminating wheat/gluten, dairy, soy. But if you have tried that and have lingering symptoms I think the testing is helpful.

    • I’m glad you posted because I’m not a daily reader at this point and I missed last week’s posts on headaches.

      I’ve never done Rolfing but do get “massages” from someone who does structural integration work. The most helpful component for me is probably the Graston/ASTYM/Gua Sha work. I am considering buying a FasciaBlaster to work my fascia on my own even though I think the intended purpose of this product is BS.

  8. Midwest Mama :

    How do you pick out lipstick shades? I’m looking for a nude for me and a red, but I’m not sure how to pick out shades that look good on me without trying them on. I don’t wear lipstick very often, so I usually just buy it from the drugstore. Any tips on selecting the right shade for my skin? And any recommendations for good long-lasting (either matte or not) drugstore lipsticks?

    • According to Buzzfeed, your perfect nude lipstick is one that matches your n!ppl3 shade.

    • I’m a drugstore lipstick fan myself. I recommend e.l.f. (at target and walgreens) and Revlon’s balm stain sticks (they kinda look like chubby crayons). The original work better than either the matte or the glossy. For Revlon, “honey” is a great your-lips-but-better shade on me (I’m white with dirty blond hair). I like the orange-y red color “rendezvous”; “romantic” is a sheer true red.

      For e.l.f., the “beautifully bare” line has great nudes; I wear “sheer berry” almost every day (it is a bit more of a berry color, but light). For a red, I recommend their moisturizing line; there’s an orange-y red and a true red. They have good staying power and no weird taste. Also, all the e.l.f. lipsticks are $3-5, which is great.

      Also, not drugstore, but this would be a great time to go to Sephora… don’t be intimidated by the ridiculous and ridiculously well done makeup on the employees; they’re super helpful. also, the sephora house line is pretty cheap AND you can return it if it doesn’t work out.

      One other drugstore red I’ve had success with is Kate Moss’s line for Rimmel — they are in red tubes, I think with a “love Kate” on them.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If you’re not used to reds, I’d suggest ordering Lipstick Queen’s Medieval to start with. It’s more of a sheer red, but definitely red, and it looks good on just about everyone. Lipstick Queen isn’t matte, but it’s natural enough that when it wears off, you never get a ring around your lips.

      If you’re like me, and prefer to have just a few lipsticks, I’d strongly suggest going to Sephora or Ulta and getting someone to help pick lipsticks, because the colors with great formulations and colors that work great for my skin are the ones I go back to over and over again, while the ones that almost work sit in the drawer and then I go back and buy another drugstore lipstick again to try to find one I actually like.

    • I love the Cover Girl Lip Perfection crayons, Maybelline Kissable Balm stain (also in a crayon format), the Revlon chubby stick balms and lip butter sticks, and the relatively new Burt’s Bees lipsticks.

      My preferences are simple: the more similar to a balm/stain as opposed to lipstick proper, the better (I find it more comfortable, and only a few applications throughout the day = a pleasant tint as opposed to “LOOK AT MY LIPS, EVERYONE!”), and I’m essentially a toddler with my aim/application, so a soft crayon format works best for me.

      • Oh, I should add: my favorite fancy non-drug store lip color is the NARS lip pencil, Dragon Girl, matte. This red is perfect on me. A blue red (as opposed to an orange red) works great on my Snow White complexion. Worth the $

        • +100
          Also NARS Bahama is a good neutral if you’re pale and dark haired

        • Cornellian :

          Out of curiosity, what’s a snow white complexion? Obviously very fair… is it just very fair with dark hair?

          I never know how to describe myself. I’m very fair with blue green eyes and honey blond/brown/red hair. Basically all colors except orange and browns work on me, but all lipstick looks strange to my eyes.

          • Yeah, that’s what I’m familiar with. Snow White the fairy tale character was always portrayed as pale pale pale with raven dark hair, and everyone has always referred to me that way. My hair has lightened a bit as I’ve aged–used to be almost black, and now it’s more brown with auburn (and white…) streaks–but I’m still basically Casper the Ghost.

            I’d say you maybe are more peaches and cream, or sticking with Disney fairy tale ladies (ugh to princesses), Sleeping Beauty?

        • I am definitely olive skinned with warm undertones and also love Dragon Girl. I think it is very versatile – my fair skinned/cool-toned friends like it, my olive-toned Asian friend loves it, and it works well on me. Give it a try. The pencil format is very friendly for newbies to lipstick, too. As for “my lips but better” try the Tom Ford n*des or one of the Bobbi Browns. FYI, I am someone who wears aquafor lip balm pretty much every day, but sometimes you need something to jazz it up!

      • The Burt’s Bees ones are great and easy to wear.

    • Do you tend to wear more silver or gold jewelry? Silver=cool, gold=warm. If you hold up a white sheet of paper, does your skin look yellow (warm) or blue (cool)? Are the veins on your wrist bluish or greenish? I’m more on the warm/neutral side with fair skin and dark hair, so my go tos are WnW Liquid Catsuit in coral corruption and NYX Matte lipstick in Alabama. Really anything by NYX is awesome and very inexpensive.

      • Midwest Mama :

        I have dark brown hair, brown eyes, medium skin that tans easily to a yellow-ish tan. Definitely warm undertones and look better in reds, pinks, and corals than blues and greens.

        • WnW Liquid Catsuit is really long lasting. I reapply once after lunch and that’s it. I would recommend the coral based on your coloring.

          • Baconpancakes :

            This is always confusing to me – by some accounts I should be a warm (gold jewelry, correct concealer has yellow base, hair is naturally a golden blonde) but I look best in blue, black, and green, and pink, I burn in the sun, and I look best avoiding makeup with orange tones.

    • anon a mouse :

      I find it impossible to pick out lipstick from the packaging alone. I often will stand in the drugstore and google-image-search the line that I’m looking at, and look for it on someone with my coloring to pick out the right shades.

      I’ve also started buying a lot more from Sephora and Target because they will take back opened cosmetics. (I have heard CVS does this too, haven’t tried yet.)

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I only recently started wearing lipsticks and I’m experimenting with Wet n Wild – it’s super cheap and there’s tons of options. At $2 a pop, I can figure out a few shades that look great on me (mauve, berry-pinks, blue/softer reds) and ones that don’t (coral and orange-reds). When I’m ready to upgrade, I have an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

        • Midwest Mama :

          I was looking at W n W too because of the price, but does it last? It seems like I’m always drinking water or coffee, eating, etc and lipstick wears off so fast. I’m intrigued by a product like lipsense but don’t want to 1. pay the price for it in case I don’t like it or 2. participate in an MLM.

          • Wet N Wild also makes liquid lipsticks. They dry matte and last much longer. MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick – I recommend Rebel Rose

          • pugsnbourbon :

            As others have said, the Liquid Catsuit stuff STAYS. The $2 semi-matte lipsticks (black tube, clear lid) need to be applied once in the morning and after eating. There’s some transfer to water bottles and cups, but the lipstick still looks good.

    • Not drugstore, but Nars velvet matte lip pencils are great. They last forever and Nars has great colors. Lord & Taylor lets you use coupons on beauty products from time to time, so you can get them at a discount. Color wise, make sure you don’t go too light when selecting a “nude” color. A makeup artist told me that is a big mistake many people make.

  9. NYC Hair Cut :

    Anyone have any advice about where to get a nice hair cut in NYC- the closer to the Financial District, the better but all recs are welcome! Right now I’m just looking for a cut between $50-$100, but in the future I might want to have my highlights/balayage redone and I’d generally like to have it done at the same place/by the same person. I’m fairly new to the area so any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!!

    • I love my stylist but she’s in Brooklyn – Jocelyn at Danka Panka. I’m a total cheapskate but she is worth it – cuts my hair dry, so it looks great when I air dry it (every day).

    • I’ve been going to Meg at Salon V for over a decade and she’s fantastic. It’s on 8th street between Fifth Ave and University Place. A cut with Meg is slightly over your price range (now that she’s become a part owner) but cuts by other stylists aside from the owners would be in your range. Also they give you a free drink during your service! :)

    • Not in the Financial District, but if you’re willing to go to Murray Hill/South Midtown East, I get my haircut at Magnifique by Boris (the owner) and it is within your price range. I’ve never gotten color done there, but I know they certainly do that too.

    • I love Whittemore House and they do fantastic color but not cheap.

    • You might not see this but I love Fox and Jane Salon on Orchard in the LES (there are other locations too). I go to Ronan, cut is $79. He’s super talented, given the price. I’m sure everyone else there is as well.

    • Nathalie at Miwa Alex, East 22nd Street

  10. Does anyone have any experience with tailbone removal, or surgery to fix a dislocated one? My tailbone became dislocated during the birth of my daughter 2.5 years ago. It went back and up, and physical therapists have said there is nothing they can do externally to get it back in place. I had some sort of shot to numb the area so I wouldn’t feel it, but it just went from painful to mildly annoying and it is already wearing off. I can’t sit normally on a chair (I have to position myself just-so), and I also feel it when doing high step-ups at the gym. The soreness is pretty constant.

    I’ve heard that you may not recover from the removal process, and there could always be pain when sitting, which is very depressing.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      That sounds so painful – I had no idea you could dislocate your tailbone during childbirth.

      When I was a kid I bent my tailbone after taking a hard fall. My parents took me to my doctor and then a chiropractor – not a woo-woo one that thought they could cure cancer, but one that focused on back and muscular pain. The adjustments didn’t hurt and the pain went away. Plus my posture improved.

      Tailbone injuries are pretty common among competitive Crossfitters – might be an avenue to research. Good luck to you!

    • Ugh. I’ve actually thought about this too.

      I was in a car accident (hit by a drunk driver) years ago and my injured tailbone was the least of my concerns at the time, but it has stuck with me the longest. They think a broke mine and it healed incorrectly. It hurts when I sit for any extended period of time, and I have to sit just so. I feel like an old lady that can’t get comfortable in a chair…

      I agree that a PT that works on core/posture is helpful to give you strategies for managing. I went through a bunch of (probably useless) treatments including ?ultrasounds of some sort, steroid injections, topicals. Over time (decades….), it has improved, but continues to flair.

      Actually, I did consider the surgery, but I had also heard it doesn’t always work. And it really bummed me out how my doctors totally swept it under the rug, and made me feel a little ?bad about complaining about it. But to be in pain whenever you are sitting really stinks.

    • Cornellian :

      I do not have the same injury, but late pregnancy and childbirth separated my pelvis ~4 cm and I would second the recommendation for a pelvic physical therapist. At the very least, I bet the PT will know everyone else in the field and be able to speak to different surgeons/patients’ outcomes/etc

      • +1 pelvic PTs have seen it all and in my experience are far more compassionate with child birth injuries than OBs. Would definitely at least try an opinion

    • Anonymous :

      Hopefully not too late for you to see this. My tailbone was also dislocated when I gave birth to my daughter 2.5 years ago. I would recommend second, third, forth, fifth, six opinions. Keep searching. Start with every physical therapist in your area who specializes in women’s health/pelvic floor and/or does manual work because in addition to the issues with the tailbone itself, you probably have some soft tissue issues too that need to be worked out for you to see any lasting improvement. Not all physical therapists are the same, so keep trying until you find a good one!

  11. No Problem :

    I’ve been at my corporate job for 10 years, and while I like my coworkers and most of the work is ok – I’d give the job a B overall, I’m just done with working for The Man and trying to figure out my next move. I definitely don’t want to move to a competitor, and probably could move into some other part of my industry (e.g., related nonprofits, government, trade associations), but those are each unattractive for various reasons.

    Lately I’ve started thinking about going into business for myself. This is purely a thought exercise at the moment because I don’t even have an idea for the type of business or type of work I would do. I am also not a risk taker and this could obviously be really risky, but I feel like I need to do something outside my comfort zone. Worst case scenario, my current company would likely take me back if things didn’t work out after a few months.

    But if I did decide to do this a year from now, what would I need to have in place to make the leap? Obviously health insurance (could stay on my company’s COBRA for awhile if the exchanges disappear) and at least a few months of savings, but what other resources or things am I missing that I need to start thinking about now? I know I’ll need to set up an LLC or something, but I can do that closer to go time. Let’s assume that I don’t need much in the way of capital in order to get started.

    Would also love to hear inspirational stories from anyone who has done this – I say this on a blog started by someone who did! Just thinking about this makes being at work a little less dreary.

    • As someone who has been self-employed, it’s highly likely that you’re going to need more than a few months (think at least a year) of savings unless you have a client base that is coming with you immediately and little to no overhead and start up costs. I am also not a risk-taker and I would never, ever go back to being self-employed. Some people love it, but it was far too much stress for me. I don’t like sales, I don’t like BD, I don’t like being in charge of all of the administrative stuff, and I wasn’t good at setting boundaries because I had bills to pay so I worked 7 days a week.

      I like knowing when my paycheck is coming and how much it’s going to be. Also, doing taxes was a PITA. I hated having to keep track of everything and then paying estimated quarterly taxes was a B.

      • Oh, you’ll also need to make sure you have whatever insurance is appropriate for your field. You’ll need an EIN (super easy) so you can set-up separate bank accounts – do not comingle funds.

        • Sorry! I keep thinking of things.

          If you are going to do any sort of promotion/marketing, you will want a website and social media presence. I don’t take business seriously if they don’t have a website – it’s 2017.

          • No Problem :

            Oh no, these are great! I appreciate your perspective. I know being self-employed can be a huge PITA in general but it’s good to hear the specifics of what is stressful.

          • Happy to help. It really does suit some personalities better than others.

            Personally, I work best with a set schedule, other people to bounce ideas off of (and kvetch with), someone else to worry about copier/printer toner, group health insurance (please please don’t take this away from me), and someone else to keep a office building roof over my head. But in exchange, I am willing to give up not having complete control over my earning power, being my own boss, etc.

            Having my own business is not the right situation for me, but it certainly is for others!

          • Oh and you will need business cards, obvs. If you want/it’s appropriate to have marketing materials, it’s also probably a good idea to spend a little cash on a professional looking logo. First impressions are important and you can tell when someone has thrown things together, you know? I am not saying you need to spend thousands of dollars, but keep in mind that what you use originally should be what you want to go with for a long time. Changing branding mid-stream is confusing to your clients/potential customers. IMO anyway (but I have a marketing background so YMMV).

            Also, before you decide on a name, check the state where you are planning to form your business to see if that name is available. Then check to see if a website address that makes sense for that name is available. It stinks to be super gungho about your name and find out that you can’t register under it in your state (or even as a dba) and there is no remotely applicable web address available.

    • Don’t have any specific advice but I’m in a similar situation to yours and look forward to hearing from others. Sending encouragement to you! I think life’s too short not to give risks like these a (carefully planned) shot if the upside would dramatically improve your outlook on life/enjoyment level.

      • No Problem :

        This is exactly why I’m considering it! Life is too short to spend time doing things you hate when there’s an option to spend that time doing something you don’t hate.

    • PatsyStone :

      I have a sister who’s doing this. What I’ve seen from her experience is that it takes way longer than you expect to get your business going, let alone make a profit. It’s a million baby steps. Registering, logo, graphics, web design, insurance, vendors, business contacts, and on and on. She just took a new higher-paying job but she’s is still working to get the pieces together. Now she estimates it will realistically take three more years before she may be able to consider it as a sole gig (assuming all goes well). I’m way too risk averse to ever do something like this, but seeing her create her dream is really inspiring.

  12. Resuable Ziploc Bags? :

    I’m trying to reduce my plastic waste and would like to stop using so many ziploc storage bags. I do try to reuse ziploc bags, but it just still seems wasteful to me. I’ve seen some recommendations for Stasher bags (silicone, reusable, dishwasher safe), but I was wondering if there were any other brands/products that I should look into. Thanks!

    • Can some of what you are putting in ziploc be stored in glass containers? glass lock type or mason jars? Could you use reuasble plastic or metal containers for freezer storage or times when breakage/weight makes glass not useful, like packing lunch?

    • Baconpancakes :

      Also following – I’m really torn on the stasher/other reusable bags, since they won’t replace ziplocks completely so it’s just one more thing to have in the house.

      • Why not just use Tupperware? It works in 90% + of situations where you would otherwise use a baggie. You could also save bags from loaves of bread and the like and use that. That’s what my grandmother did, and I found it embarrassing, but here I am doing the same thing.

        • +1 to Tupperware. I use Gladware Freezerware – it can go from the freezer to the microwave and it’s recyclable if you’re done with it. I almost never use baggies.

        • Baconpancakes :

          When I have things like pretzels to take to lunch, or ten peeled garlic cloves to freeze, a Tupperware is impractical. I need something more flexible that takes up only the amount of space of the actual object contained.

          • Resuable Ziploc Bags? :

            This is my problem too.

          • I would use kid-size lunch containers for this purpose. They’re plastic, dishwasher proof, and they are small enough to carry maybe 10 pretzels or a handful of nuts or a small amount of berries. I actually take them sometimes for my own lunch snacks (and I also use them to carry shampoo when I am traveling). Google isn’t pulling up the exact one we have but I’ll send a link later tonight.

          • Something like this (see the two smallest containers on top)


          • Baconpancakes :

            I can get on board with the lunch containers, but when I freeze banana chunks, three different kinds of one cup of berries, leftover sausage, chicken bones and vegetable tops for stock, pesto, and cubes of tomato puree, I need a flexible bag. Stacking up rigid containers for all of these in my pull-out-drawer freezer would be literally impossible.

          • Pretzels in washable reusable pouches? Amazon seems to have a bunch.

          • Anonymous :

            Seconding the small containers or jars. They are easy to stack and can hold the kinds of quantities you’re talking about.

    • Not a bag, so not as lightweight for portability, but we use glasslock containers instead of ziploc at home. You can microwave them, even put them in the oven! They are dishwasher safe and we put just about everything in them. We also have silicone ‘food huggers’ for other things you might put in a ziploc like cut lemons, etc. I think we last bought a box of ziplocs two years ago. That being said, these are not the greatest options for transporting food to work. Also… my mom has been washing ziploc bags for like 20 years. Not the same ones for years and not gross ones, but if all you had in it was some granola or a pbj sandwich, it gets re-used the next day. She also uses wax paper for some things or wraps things (sandwiches, baked goods, etc.) in old-fashioned cloth napkins.

      • Same. We use glass containers for almost everything, including leftovers storage and for taking things to work. I like containers with lids that have removable rings for ensuring a tight seal and we take smoothies/soup to work in mason jars, which don’t leak.

      • Resuable Ziploc Bags? :

        Yep, that’s what I do with ziploc bags too in terms of re-use. We have started to transition away from bags and primarily use containers for food storage at home (although we could be better there too, with storing a half cut up pepper, etc.). The portability is a challenge for me. I bring breakfast, lunch & a snack to work daily – breakfast + lunch are in containers and I don’t really want to carry a third container from a bulk/weight perspective. The food huggers are interesting! I’ll look into those.

      • Do the avocado “food huggers” actually keep it from turning brown? I’ve been intrigued by these.

        I’m so glad someone posted this. I’m trying to decrease my dependence on disposable plastics too.

        • I have had the food huggers for years and got so excited when they came out with the avocado ones but never ended up buying them either because I used the whole avocado or put it in the glasslocks that I have. They work very well for lemons, limes, and onions, though.

    • I would consider these because, like ziplocs, they’re great for fitting items into a very full fridge (in odd space on the doors, in corners, etc), unlike rigid containers. But they seem expensive and not likely to hold up.

    • In addition to the glass containers and Mason jars, I use mesh bags (to avoid the plastic bags) with drawstring ties when I am buying produce. The bags can be washed when needed and are sold by a local supermarket chain (Wegmans – a terrific store!)) in the northeast.

    • Have not tried them, but what about these?

      I use tupperware for just about everything, including things I freeze. I still have some sandwich bags left over from like 5 years ago that I use occasionally but when those run out I might try these.

    • Someone gave my son a set of Itzy Ritzy reusable, zippered bags and I have love them for my lunches (I use a Yumbox for his lunch). They fit a sandwich but are also good for a few crackers, veg, etc. Easy to wipeout from day to day and launder well.

      I also reuse small glass jars (Bonne Maman jam jars are the perfect size). They freeze well and hold a perfect single portion for lunches.

    • It’s surprising that people buy ziplock bags and at the same time throw out bags (bags from bread, tortillas etc) — keep those bags and reuse them!

  13. comfy slippers that last? :

    Looking for slipper recommendations! I don’t wear shoes inside the house (ones that go outside, I mean), and I work from home, so I want something durable for the whole day. I want something really comfortable but also safe — I don’t want any that make me slip on hardwood floors/stairs or feel like they’re falling off when I’m walking and going up/down stairs. (I guess if they’re technically shoes, that’s fine; I’ll just keep them clean by only wearing them inside.) I’m talking pretty cheap, like $25 or less, but if it’s worth it, I’ll go higher. I’m replacing a pair of Lands’ End loafer-style slippers that wore out (after not too long, grrrr). Also, I don’t like thong-style flip flops/sandals — nothing between my toes! Thanks!

    • Haflinger isn’t cheap, but they come very well-reviewed. I have the ones without the cork bottom, but I’d probably get cork bottom next time so they’re a little more structured and so I can wear them outside quickly.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        They’re more than $25, but my house shoes are a pair of Birkenstock Arizona sandals. I’ve had them for years, I can wear them with or without socks, and I find them to be so, so comfortable. I found the pair that’s my house shoes on sale somewhere, so they’re kind of a sparkly dark green color– not something I’d want to wear out anywhere, but they’re perfect for indoors.

        Haflingers have a similar cork footbed, and are very, very nice (I used to have a pair, years ago, and I loved them.) But I find the wool to be too warm for year-round.

      • Yes, Haflinger is way more than $25, but they are great. I have the cork bed clogs because I need the structure and support. Great for up and down stairs, not slippery, fantastically comfortable.

    • I wear Acorn Fleece Mocs (ordered from Amazon). They’re machine washable and have a rubberized bottom. You can also throw them in the wash, which is great when they get smelly. I’ve had the same pair for about 3 years.

    • You can get Vionic slippers on Amazon sometimes at a deep discount.

    • Those Acorn Mocs look like your best bet: they are very cute and affordable! I have a pair of GoldToe ballerina-style house shoes that I wear every evening and wash weekly. I’ve only had them about two years and they’re starting to get a bit ratty but for $20 I think they work fine. They have a non-slip sole. If you want something cuter, try Tom’s – they make house shoes. Those might be slippery though. Nordstrom Rack always has Ugg house shoes that are inexpensive, comfy and have a non-slip bottom.

    • Cloudnine sheepskin. Sounds like you might prefer the ones with a stiff rubber sole, because the suede soles are slick and not as much protection.

    • I’ll watch the recommendations here. These are exactly what I need!

    • When I was working from home, I lived in Toms. There are knock-offs out there, but that alpargata style could work. A flat espadrille?

    • Anonymous :

      I wear leather ballet slippers with split canvas/leather soles.

    • Thanks for all the recommendations! I’m trying the Acorn Summer Weight slipper ( and the Acorn Novella ( I’ll either keep both or return one; we’ll see. They are both over my initial price point, but I want something that will last!

  14. I GOT THE JOB! Well, contingent on references— it was a quick final chat this morning about any concerns that I had, and they will make an offer soon. It’s a big, fantastic opportunity, high up at a federal agency! I won’t of course give notice until I have an offer letter, so I can’t tell anyone, but I’m really, really excited.

    Oh, and it’s nearly triple my currently (modest, but not paltry, either) salary. A gigantic step up— it will be very interesting to manage, but I’ll really looking forward to paying off all student loan debt! (And buying a few new pieces of clothing for the new job.) : )

    FYI, for the 3 in-person interviews, I wore a black Halogen skirt suit (twice)— once with a silk print Pendleton blouse, and once with a rose-colored Ann Klein v-neck shell. Today, I wore a gray-and-black dark patterned dress with a cropped black suit blazer, a gray/black snakeskin belt, and black patent pumps.

  15. Florida manatees :

    Going to Florida in October. Staying at least a night or two in St Augustine.
    We would love to swim with manatees, as close to that area as possible (hour or two away by car is fine). Any recs on manatees, plus where to fly in and out of ? Thanks very much.

    • I’d suggest possibly some research on manatees and manatee protection throughout FL before moving forward. Many marine mammal protection and rescue organizations discourage actually swimming WITH marine mammals, but encourage viewing them from a distance. There are often springs and other waterways inland where manatees congregate when it gets colder, so you may be able to *view* them.

      I have a family member who is very heavily involved in marine mammal protection and research in FL who has evangelized this to me; sorry if I’m preachy and raining on your parade!

      • FloridAnon :

        +1 to what Pompom said… There’s nowhere near my area of FL where you can swim with them, though it’s easy enough to see them in the winter when kayaking, etc, but yes… enjoy them from a distance.

      • I’m not sure what this advice is based on, but I don’t see how swimming in the water near a manatee does it any harm. The organized manatee excursions are super super careful not to hit the manatees and the boat captains are trained to spot and avoid hitting manatees. Plus, they use very low horsepower so that if they did bump one it probably wouldn’t be fatal. You’re a thousand times more likely to kill a manatee if you just get in a motorboat and go out looking for them. Family friends struck and killed a manatee that way :/

        • The problem is likely due to the stress of constantly having boats and people around. Granted, I’m not a biologist so I don’t know if that’s a problem for manatees to the same degree it is for other animals. But it’s not like just because you’re not running over them it’s totally harmless.

    • Crystal River is the only area that I know of in FL for manatee swims; it’s on the Gulf side though so you are looking at 2.5 hrs drive from St Augustine.

      • +1. I did it in Crystal River with River Ventures. I think I’m generally hypervigilant when it comes to animal rights (I didn’t ride elephants in Thailand, don’t visit zoos or Sea World, don’t participate in the feeding of wild animals and don’t touch animals like sea turtles that can be harmed by human interaction) but I did my research and had no ethical problem with the manatee swims. The animals are not caged, fed or otherwise coerced to be in the area. It’s a safari basically – they’re wild and you may see them, you may not. I went in the off-season and we only saw one from far away and didn’t disturb it at all. I believe we were theoretically allowed to touch them if they approached us (they didn’t), but they were free to swim away, and unlike some animals like sea turtles, I have never heard that being touched by humans is harmful to manatees’ health. The biggest threat to manatees is definitely motorboats and the boat used a very low powered motor and killed the engine whenever a manatee was spotted. I was very impressed by how much focus was on conservation and making sure the manatees were not freaked out. It’s totally different than those encounters with caged dolphins that some resorts offer.
        Fwiw, I drove to CR from Orlando (by myself) for one night just to do the manatee swim and I thought it was so worth it. I love animals though.

  16. FloridAnon :

    Flying into Jacksonville will probably be your best bet. I’m no fan of MCO- kids are great, but sharing a plane with tons of them on their way to/from the Mouse is not a great experience.

    • LOL. I have a toddler, and my parents live in Orlando. I love flying into MCO because I’m never stressed about my kid being loud, crying, or annoying everyone on the plane. Plus, on the way in, families and kids are SO excited about their trip to see the Mouse. Last time we traveled, a 5-year-old entertained herself and our toddler by playing peek-a-boo over the seat for half an hour. On the way back, it’s a different story–nothing but grumpy kids who haven’t slept all week and burnt-out parents.

      Of course, it’s perfectly understandable if this is not your cup of tea/ your worst nightmare.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I’ve flown in/out of MCO a few times and the kids have never bothered me – but the horrendous setup of the security lines is always a nightmare. If I lived there I’d get pre-check just to avoid that mess.

    • Oh man, I went to Orlando once for work and I could not believe how many kids were on the plane and how LOUD they were. I asked the flight attendant if there was some special event and she looked at me like I was an idiot and said “It’s like this all the time. Disney. World.”
      Gaaaaaah. I can’t imagine living there and having to deal with that every time you travel!

    • OP manatees :

      Thanks, ladies for the helpful comments!

  17. I realized something really random this morning– using an umbrella is self care for me.

    I went through a very difficult time last year with the death of a dear friend followed promptly by an extended family crisis. On top of that, my husband was miserable in his job and we have a young child. I was so overwhelmed and miserable and when people would say the phrase “self care”, it made me so angry. Just another thing to add to my to do list and another thing to stress me out terribly.

    But now that the fog has lifted and I’m mostly okay again, I’m starting to understand that self-care is not what I thought it was. If it’s something that stresses me out, it’s not self-care, no matter how many other people like it. Pedicures? Not self care. Scheduling regular haircuts? Self care, because I love haircuts. Grabbing an umbrella rather than making a run for it? Also self care.

    What random things are self care for you?

    • Wearing an appropriate jacket for the weather. When I’m in a sad or stressed mood, I don’t take the extra 10 seconds to check the weather to make sure I’m comfortable on my walk to work. That little bit of temperature control on my morning walk does wonders.

    • Wearing comfortable shoes for my commute.

    • Making time to go to the gym, even when my friends think I’m nuts. Giving myself permission to take a day off from that every once in a while (harder). Weirdly, I love giving gifts, so sending a friend something random (like You GOAT mail) is fun and makes me feel good. Sometimes, like today, it’s wearing sneakers and a summer sweatshirt to work (work equivalent of pajamas) when I know I’m going to be in my office working on 10 different things via email/online. Making food on the weekend that is easy for me to put together after the gym and that I actually want to eat.

    • IslandGal :

      My nightly beauty routine. I take about an hour to shower, exfoliate, pluck my eye brows, tend to my nails, massage my scalp, thoroughly moisturize every inch of my body, sometimes I do a face mask or steam my face, shave, etc. It’s my daily way to love on myself and tend to my own needs.

    • Anonymous :

      My extensive skincare routine made up of mostly high-end products. Puts me in such a good mood. I love starting and ending the day this way.

      Comfortable, low-maintenance clothes. Even better if they look somewhat decent (slowly integrating M.M. Lafleur into my wardrobe for this purpose)

    • Wearing comfortable clothes and shoes, no matter what the occasion. I like to look nice, but not at the expense of my physical comfort.

      Eating breakfast at home, every day of the week. It’s not necessarily fancy, but I really value that time/space before I’m hit with every single demand and request.

    • This is so dumb, but I always feel more able to handle my business if I’m wearing lipstick and nail polish.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      A small USB powered fan for my desk. I’m currently in the cooking to death phase of peri-menopause and this helps SO much.

    • Going for a hike by myself

      Sitting on the deck in the sun

      Getting a highlight – I hate going to the salon but like how I look after….

  18. Looking for quick breakfast recs or routine hacks to help me make sure I eat breakfast every day (or at least M-F).
    I’ve been struggling with getting breakfast into my routine for a little over 2 years now, but despite feeling more alert, less grumpy, etc. on the rare days I manage to make it happen, I still have not landed on a routine/go-to breakfast meal that works. For context, I’m working with a currently pretty bare kitchen but do have a toaster/microwave/the basics and am coming off a routine where I was traveling frequently for work for a ~7 month period and could order room service breakfast.

    Any advice?
    I’ve tried having a piece of fruit and granola bar to eat on my commute but then I always convince myself it’ll be too messy or make up some other lame excuse.
    I like cereal, but am somehow always running late in the mornings, despite shifting my alarm 20 min earlier.

    • I just throw a yogurt in my purse and eat it at my desk. In winter I keep packets of oatmeal at my desk and make them with hot water at work.

    • Prep your cereal the night before. Dry ingredients in a tupperware container, milk in a thermos or some other spill proof insulated contained. This is what I do, then all you have to do is grab it and go.

      I also have been known to make a fritatta on Sundays and take a slice of that with me in the mornings. Also package that the night before, then heat at work or eat cold, whichever you prefer.

      • Honestly not asking this to be snarky, I’m truly curious: how is making cereal any easier that way? Isn’t pouring cereal from the box and milk from the carton basically the same thing you’re suggesting? Again, truly asking and not being mean!

        • You take the cereal with you outside of the home and consume it. Like during a commute or at work.

        • Anonymous :

          I assume she means that you can then take the cereal with you and eat it at the office, rather than spending the time at home. It’s not any easier, but if the reason you’re not eating breakfast is not having time before leaving home, it solves that problem.

    • I keep milk, cereal and instant oatmeal at the office, and throw a piece of fruit in my purse.

    • I spread peanut butter and granola on a wrap and roll it up to eat on my way. Sometimes I add apple slices or banana if I have them. You could easily prep this the night before, but it usually only takes me about a minute to slap it together.

    • I rotate through a few things: overnight oats, egg bakes, baked oatmeal, smoothies. I prep them the night before (or a few days before for the bakes). Smoothies you can make ahead and freeze until you want them.

    • PatsyStone :

      Hard boiled eggs.

      • If I don’t have time for hardboiled eggs, I grab a protein bar to go with my morning coffee.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Egg muffins: eggs, plus whatever else you like: spinach, peppers, onions, sausage, cheese.

      • Min Donner :

        Second this. My current recipe is 6 eggs, ~ 1 cup cottage cheese, and a random mix of veggies and/or meat that I saute for a few minutes to soften. Most recently, I sauteed some chopped bacon until it was almost done, and then added half a shredded sweet potato and a thinly sliced onion and kept sauteing until the sweet potato and onion were soft. Spooned the veg mix into my silicon muffin pan (12 muffins), then mixed the eggs and the cottage cheese, added a little salt and pepper, and poured that into the muffin pan. Baked for ~ 20 minutes at 400 until a knife came out clean (YMMV based on your oven). They are delicious hot or cold, and freeze okay. I just grab one or two and am out the door. Based on the specific brands/ingredients I used, I calculated ~ 100 calories each muffin.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I eat breakfast at my desk (not really hungry before 9:30), so my go-tos have always been some sort of oats. In the warmer months, it’s overnight oats. I can make a batch up to 3-4 days in advance, and then it’s literally grab and go. I usually chop up fruit in the morning and add it before I leave the house, but I think you can also top it with whatever – peanut butter, blueberries, granola, etc. Whatever is literally the easiest thing for you.

    • Jimmy Dean makes these frozen mini-frittatas. They take a couple of minutes to heat up in the microwave.

    • I have a stash of Oatmega bars in my laptop bag.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I let myself not have to eat breakfast foods for breakfast. I have a driving commute, so I make sandwiches or even brats for breakfast.

  19. Woodbridge, VA? :

    Random question but I’ll give it a shot — I’m meeting a friend in Woodbridge, VA Saturday. We are both coming from out of town and are not very familiar with the area. It’ll be me plus husband, 4 yr old and 3 mo old; friend is bringing her boyfriend (no kids) and is very outdoorsy. I thought Leesylvania State Park might be a good option (playground, picnic area), but would love any suggestions from local ‘r e t t e s for kid-friendly meeting places. Unfortunately the more interesting, closer to DC spots won’t work (needs to be Woodbridge). TIA!

    • anon a mouse :

      Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is pretty, and on the river (take bug spray!). If you can go a little further south, Prince William National Forest is lovely, and has a number of short trails that you could hike.

    • I love Leesylvania State Park! It’s very pretty and has open picnic areas near the water. Its trails are also easy enough to stroll (definitely more “nature walk” than “hike”). There’s also one of those plein air shopping centers – Stonebridge at Potomac Center – just a few miles away if you wanted to grab a froyo or coffee and walk around a bit.

    • I’ve heard good things about the Fantasy Playground.

  20. Favorite Suits? :

    Let’s talk suits!

    If you have a suit that you love, please share where you got it/what it looks like/why you love it so much.

    My personal favorite is from Ann Taylor, in the black all-season stretch material. I have a cropped-sleeve peplum jacket, a regular one-button jacket, a pencil skirt, and a pair of full-length trousers in that material. I love that the pieces all mix and match well for different looks, they don’t wrinkle easily, and the pants and skirts came in a long length.

    • I was also going to say Ann Taylor all-season. It also happens to be the only suit I own (I don’t need them very often).

    • I have always passed on this one because it was polyester. Does it look cheap? I may have to look at it in person- I really like the price point!

      • Anonymous :

        It definitely looks nice for the price point. Looks much more expensive than my suits from the Limited and Anne Klein. Not quite as nice as Theory, but about the same quality as the Banana Republic lightweight wool suiting line (which also looks great IMO).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t have many suits, but I love my white tweedy-with-fringe-and-navy-trim moto jacket and pencil skirt from J Crew. Got it last year and I love the pieces separately and together. Alas, it’s sold out now:

  21. Clementine :

    I just called to book a room for my College BFF’s wedding very very far out. They told me the bride still had to pick her suite or ‘assign rooms to certain people’ before I could book.

    I jokingly said, ‘Oh, so can we make sure that her FMIL is as far away from her as possible? (Seriously guys, the woman is like a bad rom-com stereotype of a MIL.)’

    The concierge got really serious and said, ‘We handle this all the time. You want me to make a note right now? It wouldn’t be my first time.’

    And that’s the story of how I made my stressed-out bride friend laugh her pants off this morning.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Good for you! I’m glad you were able to make her laugh. And I like that concierge too.

      I was charged with keeping my BFF’s mother away from her at her wedding since they stress each other out, so I offered to bring duct tape and tape her mother to a chair if needed. It made BFF laugh when I offered. It made her laugh more when I actually bought a small roll of white duct tape and brought it with me.

  22. Sorry, but I think you are going to be on the wrong coast for that.

  23. Concerned Scatterbrain :

    I’m an attorney in my late 30s. For the past 6 months to a year, I notice that I’ve become much more absent minded. I forget why I walked into a room (at home) a lot more than I used to (now multiple times a day). It’s mostly very basic personal stuff that I forget–people’s names, what my husband is cooking for dinner (even though he just told me)–it’s just more frequent. At work , I’m finding that it takes me longer to create written work product than it should (having done this for a while). I also feel less articulate when talking through strategies/ideas with my colleagues. Like sometimes I’m skipping a step in the conversation.

    Are these normal issues? Do I need to see a doctor? My work load is approximately the same as it was last year (more cases to manage, but the hours are about the same). I’m not dealing with more personal stress than I was a year ago. I don’t take any medications other than birth control. I don’t feel depressed. I am pretty sedentary and always feel like I need more sleep. But that’s about it. No kids.

    Basically, I feel like a scatterbrain, like my mind is dulling somewhat, and for no apparent reason.

    • Definitely see a doctor – this is something bothering you in both your personal and professional life. Certain vitamin deficiencies can cause this type of brain fog, as can Celiac, especially with the “always tired” symptom thrown in (I feel like the Celiac evangelist this week). Hopefully your issue is easy easy to deal with as those issues are.

    • Anonymous :

      Could be an anxiety disorder or depression. I have these exact symptoms too and that’s the apparent cause for me. I’m in my head all the time and don’t pay enough attention to what’s going on around me, so I’m forgetful, and forgetting things creates stress so I have more trouble thinking clearly. Good times.

    • IslandGal :

      Talk to your doctor for sure but also try mindfulness meditation. I find that i’m usually living in my thoughts and planning for the future, so I forget the present stuff (ex. I’ll walk into a room and forget why I’m there, but will remember what I planned to do after I left the room…I’m living 3 steps ahead). I use the app Headspace.

    • Concerned Scatterbrain :

      Ladies, thanks for responding. Going to work on getting to the bottom of it.

    • Have your thyroid checked too.

    • Anonymous :

      I had the same things happen more and more frequently, so my doctor ordered some bloodwork and it turned out to be thyroid-related. I suggest getting your TSH levels checked – being on low-dose medication helped me a ton.

    • Nudibranch :

      Brain fog is one symptom of thyroid imbalance.

      • Concerned scatterbrain :

        So glad you posted this. I never considered that I could have a thyroid issue, despite the fact that my mother is hypo thyroid (and, as my mom informed me last night, my grandmother and her mother had the condition as well). Hopeful that this is the problem.

    • Ooooh this is timely. I’ve been having a lot of the same issues, but also mixing up words (I can see something is orange and know it is orange but say green instead) and forgetting words like “stapler” and “remote”…I’m only 27 so I’m a bit panicked. I will definite go get thyroid and stuff checked!

  24. Paging AnonyMove :

    I just saw you asking for Berlin ‘rettes on the other thread. We should make contact as I am in Berlin now, about to move to the Bay Area! If you post a throwaway address, I’ll write you for sure.

  25. Life Happens :

    Hey Ladies!

    I’m heading to Amsterdam next weekend with my sister. We’ll just be there for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Any tips on must-sees and must-dos? We want to make the most of it!

    Someone suggested taking the train out to Haarlem and/or the beach -but not sure if that’s worth it. Thoughts?


    • Van Gogh museum! It’s an obvious spot, but I loved it and loved it being open late. I’ve never been to Haarlem, but there’s definitely enough in Amsterdam to keep you busy.

      We also did a cheese tasting here which was fun:

      Also had a blast checking out the oldest bars in the town– some were from the 1600s and looked so cool!

      • Triangle Pose :

        Second this. I stayed nearby and made many visits to Reyenaer. I bought so much cheese!

      • I agree. Dad took us to Amsterdam and Holland, and we saw alot. In addition to the Van Goh museum, go to the Rikesmuseum (Rembrant is there), and go to Ann Frank’s house on the canal. We stayed in a great hotel near the train station, where we had fresh eggs and cheeze with Breakfast. One warning–be VERY carful where you step b/c peeople do NOT clean up after their dogs, so there is a lot of poopie to step into if you are NOT carful. TRIPEL FOOEY b/c Rosa was NOT carful, and she and I were shareing a room with her poopie-filled Fry Boots! Dad could NOT get the concierge to clean them for him even tho he offered her a lot of money.

    • First Year Anon :

      Eh not worth it. I lived in AMS for 4 months and I went. Check out the northwest part of the city- I found that to be super cute. I couldn’t tell you the names of restaurants anymore, but the Indonesian food is good there (former colony). I would rent a bike!

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        I second the Indonesian food! Get a rijsttafel (basically a huge spread of amazing small plates) at Kantjil & De Tijger. So good! I also found a boat tour of the canals, the Reijksmuseum, and Anne Frank’s house to be worthwhile.

    • Anonymous :

      Loved the Heineken brewery tour/tasting room!

    • Anonymous :

      I second (third?) the rijsttafel suggestion; it’s an absolutely unique food experience, and super tasty! Just be sure you’re hungry going in. Also, I did a bike tour that I really liked. I can’t remember the company name, but it was about 4 hours long, reasonably priced, and hit a lot of the high points, plus some cool out-of-the-way places. I did it on the first day, and was glad to be somewhat familiar with the layout of the town, it made it easier to wander around for the rest of the trip. And obviously, it’s very easy riding since everything is flat.

    • I don’t have much to add to what others have said, but I’ll jump in anyway. I only got to spend a couple of days in Amsterdam, but it’s at the top of my list of places to get back to.

      Fourth the rijsttafel! Really fun experience. Delicious food, and my husband an I treated it as a competitive eating event with all of the tiny European couples around us. We stayed at the Hyatt in the Jordaan neighborhood, and there were lots of really fun restaurants and bars around there.

      I love art museums, and both the Van Gogh and the Reijksmuseum are some of my favorite I’ve ever been to. The Reijksmuseum has really nice cards that give you more information about the paintings than placards but let you go at your own pace more than audio tours do. The scale of some of those paintings is pretty incredible. At the Van Gogh museum there’s a painting called The Potato Eaters that has for some reason stuck with me more than any other art I’ve seen.

      If you don’t want to do a bike tour, it’s super easy to rent bicycles. It’s really nice to ride along the canals, and it’s a pretty easy city to navigate. There are tons of parks that are also nice to see on bikes. Have fun!

    • Min Donner :

      Plan ahead and book timed tickets to the museums if you can, otherwise the lines can be crazy (you can do this from any museum’s website; it’s almost definitely too late to get an advance ticket to Anne Frank, but the others are probably still possible).

      There’s a lot to see and do, so unless you’re really interested in seeing North Sea beaches I wouldn’t do that. Haarlem is nice, but you might be better off exploring more of the neighborhoods of Amsterdam unless there’s something specific you want to see. If you do want day trips, Delft and Leiden are also worth looking into. The Hague has a different feel, but there are some great museums (Escher in Het Palais, Mauritshuis, etc.).

      If you’re at all into windmills, you can take a day or half-day trip to either Kinderdijk (19 windmills along a canal, one that you can go into, and you can take a short boat tour — it’s touristy, but really beautiful), or Zaanse Schaans (kind of like a tiny colonial town/village with working windmills and small shops, and you can take a boat tour up the river).

      It’s really amazing to see Amsterdam (and other cities) from the water. Most of the boat tours you’ll see outside Central Station are about the same — if the weather’s nice, I’d opt for one of the ‘open air’ ones, or if you’re willing to book ahead and they have space, I’d recommend Those Dam Boat Guys as one of the more interesting options. I’ve lived in the Netherlands for over 6 years (though not in Amsterdam), and would be happy to try and answer any other questions you might have. Email at mindonnerette at g mail.

    • Min Donner :

      These lists are actually pretty good:

  26. I don’t have much to add to what others have said, but I’ll jump in anyway. I only got to spend a couple of days in Amsterdam, but it’s at the top of my list of places to get back to.

    Fourth the rijsttafel! Really fun experience. Delicious food, and my husband an I treated it as a competitive eating event with all of the tiny European couples around us. We stayed at the Hyatt in the Jordaan neighborhood, and there were lots of really fun restaurants and bars around there.

    I love art museums, and both the Van Gogh and the Reijksmuseum are some of my favorite I’ve ever been to. The Reijksmuseum has really nice cards that give you more information about the paintings than placards but let you go at your own pace more than audio tours do. The scale of some of those paintings is pretty incredible. At the Van Gogh museum there’s a painting called The Potato Eaters that has for some reason stuck with me more than any other art I’ve seen.

    If you don’t want to do a bike tour, it’s super easy to rent bicycles. It’s really nice to ride along the canals, and it’s a pretty easy city to navigate. There are tons of parks that are also nice to see on bikes. Have fun!

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