Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Tie Waist Shirtdress

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

 Tie Waist ShirtdressI’m usually iffy on shirtdresses, particularly for the office, but I like a lot of the details here — the collar/lapels, the self-tie belt so it can be as loose or as tight as you want: all really nice! Tahari has a number of nice-looking shirtdresses right now, actually, in regular, petite and plus sizes, some on sale for as low as $73. The pictured dress is $138-$148.  Tie Waist Shirtdress

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  1. Anonymous :

    Has anyone had luck with using shampoo bars? Someone just mentioned it to me as a suggestion for my war on plastic. I live in a humid climate and usually need something hydrating. I currently use Pureology even though I don’t color my hair. Any specific suggestions would be awesome!

    Also, face wash bars? Again, I want something moisturizing, and also that removes makeup well. I don’t really have acne or specific skin issues (except I’m 36 with all that entails).

    • grapefruit :

      Idk about shampoo bars, but Drunk Elephant pekee bars are moisturizing and take off light makeup (I’ve never tried to remove foundation or waterproof stuff – just concealer and mascara).

    • The Lush ones are amazing. I don’t know how they make them last so long but they really do. The hydrating ones are so good I didn’t need to use conditioner after.

    • I used the Karma shampoo bar from Lush and really liked it. Don’t know if it’s hydrating, but they have several different varieties so I’m sure one of them is.

    • No rec on shampoo bars but check out Plaine to help with your war on plastic.

    • I’ve used Lush’s “New” shampoo bar. It’s supposed to stimulate hair growth.. not sure if it did that but it certainly smelled nice. I kept it in a little tin to take out of the shower afterwards to dry off. They say that it lasts the equivalent of 3 normal shampoo bottles but I’m not so sure about that. It lasted about a month for me, which I guess is the same as 1 normal size shampoo bottle. I repurchased it 3 times. I was overall happy with it.

    • Lush has some really good ones.

    • Anonymous :

      My local natural foods store has bulk shampoo, as in you can take a reusable glass container and fill it up like you would do with dried beans or what have you.

    • Yet another soldier in the war on plastics :

      I’ve wanted to leave a review for a razor with metal blade refills for a while. I like the brand I have but I think any good metal one with blade refills would be good. Easy to clean and as long as you keep it dry much better than the plastic ones. I change out the blade every few shaves and feel so much better about the fact that I can recycle them instead of using a plastic razor or refills that get chucked out.

    • Old golden loafers :

      Not what you asked. But I use alvocado oil that comes in a glass bottle plus washclothes to remove makeup and cleanse my skin. So, no plastic in this part of my daily routine.

  2. Anonymous :

    Fav shoes to wear with cute dresses like this? The models are always shown wearing pointed heels which is…not realistic for real life (for me at least).

    • Anonymous :

      I wear my rothy pointed toe flats with dresses like these.

      • I’ve been super curious about Rothy’s (especially the points). Are they more comfortable than “regular” flats? I’m pretty picky about shoe comfort and a lot of days end up never changing out of my commuting shoes (Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2.0 oxfords) which is pretty dorky

        • No. They have zero support.

          I don’t think you will ever be satisfied by the comfort of classic flats. They are not designed for foot support and will never approach an Oxford. If you are on your feet a lot during the day, they probably aren’t for you. I put insoles in them, which makes them tolerable.

          • Anonymous :


            I feel like people are always asking for a sleek but supportive flat and, like, that is just never going to exist.

        • Delta Dawn :

          They’re not comfortable at all, from a support standpoint. The shoe itself is a soft recycled plastic, which is comfortable around the foot, but walking in them is not comfortable. Some people size up and buy insoles. My feet do not noticeably sweat unless I am wearing Rothy’s– by mid-afternoon my feet are slippery and smelly. I don’t recommend these shoes at all.

          • I have triangular feet and high arches, so rubbing in the toe box is a perpetual problem. Rothys are perfect in this regard if you need a flexible shoe or have oddly-shaped feet. I just have the rounds and bought them after enduring a neoroma in one foot and could not recommend them highly enough. They also don’t fall off of my narrow heels on stair (wore N widths as a child; broken toes led to the triangularity).

            I tried on a colleague’s at a conference where we were on our feet a lot (after seeing a ton of other Rothys there) and gave them a try and do not regret it.

            Depending on what you need, they are worth a look. I am very pleased and wear to my biz/casual office with dresses and pants (would not wear to a formal client meeting unless I was having another Bad Foot Day).

          • Actually, you were probably born with triangular feet. It is quite common. I was! Not discounting your other issues, but genetics is the main cause.

            It took me years to figure out why shoes don’t stay on my narrow heels, yet feel tight!

            Similar to how long it took why not a single pair of pants fits my short waisted pear shaped body.

        • I wear them with one of those plastic Dr. Scholls arch support inserts and find them very comfortable.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Am I the only one who thinks that Rothy’s look like slippers and are not really for work? I know people talk about them a lot but they kind of elude me…

        • Yeah, I do not get it at all. They look like carpet.

        • I have the plain black pointy toe version and I wear them to work all the time. I can’t fathom how a plain black flat would be inappropriate for work?

          Some of the styles and patterns aren’t for work, sure, but I don’t think you can discount an entire brand just because some of their shoes are designed to be casual.

        • Anonymous :

          You’re definitely in the minority, yes.

        • Anonymous :

          I agree, but in my office most of the men are in wingtips and any non-leather shoe would look out of place.

        • Anonymous :

          I agree. They are great for running around town if you want the flat “look”. Not workwear for me. But of course that reflects the dress code for your specific office.

          • In the West Coast (Biglaw), and they are totally appropriate here. They are actually nicer than the shoes I normally wear :).

    • Anonymous :

      Something dressy, like dressy flats or sandals. Otherwise this goes into diner uniform territory for me..

    • Anonymous :

      I looove shirtdresses. They’re perfect for my super casual office in the summer. I basically wear the same shoes with them as I do with everything else…nice flats.

    • I wear oxfords with dresses like this.

    • Pointed toe loafers in a fun color could be cute.

      Side note, I dug out some old nude-for-me, patent leather, round toe wedges to wear the other day and they looked super dated. I think it was the round toe more than anything else but the patent and wedge together looked a little off to me also. I’ll put them away for 2025 when round toe wedges are all the rage again.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      If not pumps, I would pair wedges with this dress. Either a work appropriate pair, or strappy wedges for casual wear. Maybe an espadrille.

  3. Anonymous :

    It looks like my comment didn’t take but apologies if it posts twice.

    I need suggestions for hydrating shampoo bars and face wash bars. I’m trying to reduce plastic. I don’t feel like typing the whole thing again. :)

  4. Anonymous :

    Why is this post so late?!?! Can the first post not be earlier for the East Coast / Europe?

    • Anonymous :

      Was just wondering the same thing.

    • Agreed.

    • Agreed

    • grapefruit :


    • As a West Coast poster, I think the timing is perfect (right after 9:00 every day). If it went up at 7 am ET, the morning thread would be basically already done before any of us on the West Coast could engage with it.

      • But many of us are working at 9am! 7 is much better so we can enjoy it with breakfast and before work.

        And with 3 threads a day, some threads are better for different locations. The afternoon thread is dead on the east coast as it comes too late in the day.

        • The afternoon thread is dead on the West Coast, too. I get that you’d like to do it earlier, but if it’s later, then everyone can contribute fairly equally.

        • West coast here and I like them early east coast time – I like to read while I’m getting dressed and I rarely have time later in the day.

        • Ha! I thought that was the point. We all come here to slack off when we are supposed to be working. I rarely read at home.

      • It could go up at 8 am Eastern, or Kat could vary the time throughout the week (Early Morning Thursday or somesuch).

        • The Moms page has been going up earlier because it has a different person doing the posts now and I think comments have increased quite a bit actually. I think an earlier post for the AM and the afternoon posts would be welcome but it never seems to happen consistently.

      • If the morning thread went up earlier, then the afternoon thread could go up earlier and make it a legitimate place to ask questions/have discussions. The problem now is that the afternoon thread doesn’t go up to 3pm, and so everyone has to save their questions for the morning thread.

    • I feel like posts have been coming later and later…

  5. Has anyone tried these shoes? I work in a fairly casual office (especially in the summer) and they look beautiful and comfortable. But am I just falling for their amazing instagram account? Possibly. Does anyone have personal experience? Same question re: the Los Angeles brand Zuzii (the adult, not child, line).

    • They’re super cute, but their websites says that they fold up flat. They seem like they lack support or padding and would be uncomfortable.

  6. I wish I could wear this color. I love this dress. This is my perfect length too (I usually trust the length on the model because I’m 5’11”)

    Nice pick, Kat!!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      This is really interesting to me because I’m 5’9″ and consistently find things to be shorter on me than they appear on the model! Does this work for you with all brands?

    • At 6’1″, regardless of the model’s height, I always assume 5-6 inches difference in where it falls on me. I find that it’s generally more than simple math would indicate, which I assume is because the clothes tend to fall/fit them more precisely than they do on my frame, which is just long everywhere with broad-ish shoulders.

    • Huh, totally disagree with this. I’m 5’11” and never trust the look on the model. High fashion/runway models normally have to be 5’10″+ but catalog models can be much, much shorter. You can’t really tell height from a photo, so the women just have to be skinny, not tall. Dresses are regularly 4-5 inches shorter on me than they are on the model.

    • Yeah, I actually do find the lengths pretty accurate for me on Nordstrom and mm lafleur. The plus size models are about my height and size.

      I do also check garment measurements – this is 43″ so just knee length on me (not above knee, not below)

      I find that it helps to have a more or less proportional waist – not high waisted, not low waisted.

  7. Legally Brunette :

    Posting about my experience using Hairprint, an all natural hair dye that uses food grade ingredients. It was a big flop. It barely covered the gray but the big issue is that it left my bathroom a colossal mess (and I’ve been coloring my hair for 10 years, so I’m no newbie). Lots of scrubbing of the tile in the shower to get rid of stains.

    With that said, the instructions say clearly that you are not supposed to use ANY gels and only a special kind of shampoo 7 days before you dye the hair . I bought the shampoo but did put gel in my hair, so perhaps that impacted it. I don’t know.

    For those who live in the Bay Area, they have a salon in Sausalito where they apply the dye for you. Perhaps that would lead to a better result.

    • Thanks for reporting back, you definitely saved me the time and effort of trying it myself if that’s any consolation. Disappointed it didn’t work.

    • I spent a couple of weeks reading up on hair color before trying it myself. I bought color at Sally Beauty (Wella Color Charm gel) and read the Wella PDFs about color, and am extremely happy with the results. And, the whole kit and caboodle cost me about $40, $17 every time I buy new color which gets me 3-4 root touch-ups and 1 whole head. I bought 2 colors and mixed them.

      I can do it on my own time, leave it on to process for 45 minutes to cover my stubborn grays, and play with the mixture (I added more ash this time to tone down summer brassiness). I can also do my roots every 2 weeks without a trip to the salon/$$$/time.

      I don’t know if what I bought is natural/organic/whatever, but it does the job and my color looks great.

      • Legally Brunette :

        Thanks for chiming in! What led me down the natural route is that most hair dyes have PPD, which I seem to be allergic to (and in general, it’s toxic and not good for you). I think Wella has PPD at least in black, last time I checked (for lighter colors, PPD is often not in the ingredients for some reason). I will look at Wella again, hopefully I’m wrong. I’ve heard from others as well that it is great.

        • Ah! Was not thinking about allergens (and I’ve given up on avoiding toxic things). Hopefully you will find something you are happy with! #graysareapain

  8. Are these woefully out of style this year?

  9. Baconpancakes :

    My office’s goal for tonight is to get back to our homes on the same day we left. I know this is standard practice for many of you, but we’re in local government, so it’s pretty rough. Send good thoughts.

  10. CorporateInCarhartt :

    I would love some recommendations for driving mocs that are actually cute. I drive to work, and I wear flats because otherwise I destroy my heels (and the rubber floor mat, tbh), and the rubber floor mat destroys the backs of the flats that I wear. I then wear the flats to walk into work, where I keep my heels to change into. I like the idea of driving mocs having the rubber on the back to protect the heel, and am looking for something like that,but really cute, in a neutral color like black or tan. Any ideas would be much appreciated – I’m tired of destroying my shoes driving to work!

    • Old Navy.

    • M gemi

    • I have some very cute ones from the Coach outlet several years ago, and I know I have seen similar styles at the Cole Haan outlet.

    • Lands end


        Also good timing with 40% off sale currently going on.

    • grapefruit :

      No recs, but I’m always surprised here when someone talks about the floor mats in cars destroying shoes. I’d literally never heard of that before hearing it here – do I have different floor mats, or maybe position my feet differently?! This never happens to me, lol.

      • Same here! I think maybe my heels don’t touch the floor. I’m going to have to pay attention to that.

      • Maybe it’s their type of car?

      • CorporateInCarhartt :

        Yeah, I don’t know — I always assumed it at least wasn’t uncommon, because most driving mocs do have that heel protection feature.

      • Same with respect to the car mat destroying shoes (I’ve always had cloth car mats), but the downward pressure on the heel touching another surface repeatedly has led to some slightly misshapen shoes.

      • I wore a hole in my floor mat (Saturn S-series) from where my heel rested in front of the gas pedal. And definitely noticed scuffing on the heel of some shoes (mostly flats).

        • pugsnbourbon :

          A former colleague who wore amazing, sky-high heels every day once stomped through the floor mat (and possibly a plastic part of the car itself) while driving.

          • The sole of my Sperry’s completely came off. I’d been wearing them for years with no issue. I buy a car and within 3 months the right sole was gone. It wasn’t just regular wear and tear; the left shoe was fine.

      • Someone on here suggested buying a piece of sheepskin to under the pedal. That works really well to protect my shoes!

    • Don’t know your budget, and if it’s just for driving in you probably don’t need expensive, but Tod’s used to have (possibly still has) that feature. The shoes last a really long time.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I kind of love these…and they are on sale (although still expensive). They come in a ton of colours in bth leather and suede.

    • I’m don’t have that problem. I don’t know if it’s because I have small feet or short legs, but my heel does not touch the ground/floorboard while I’m driving. But there are some cars that I can’t even reach the petals easily, so there’s that. My current car petals move closer to me.

  11. I’m in my third trimester and generally have been feeling pretty bad about myself. I’ve gained bit more weight than I did with my first (now a toddler) and have just been feeling prettty unattractive, low energy, crabby and stressed. My husband on the other hand has lost a lot of weight since the beginning of the year and basically looks like a fitness model. He generally has a pretty positive disposition but is like over the top happy and energetic lately. I’m really happy for him (truly) and proud of his hard work but at the same time can’t help feeling a little jealous and like I’m just being kind of a drag on our family and relationship. Like he and my daughter would be happier if I wasn’t around nagging them and stressing. We also just bought a house and are in the process of doing some renovations before baby comes in the fall so there are things to be stressed about for sure, but I’d like to get some confidence back and generally be a more positive person to be around. Any advice? I’ve been exercising consistently which has always been a big part of my life though I’ve had to cut way back on intensity.

    • I’m you in six months. I did ok during pregnancy, but starting a few months after #2 was born, I became irritable and down and share lots of your feelings re dragging down the family. I’m in therapy which has been helping, but I’m definitely still in the thick of it. Hugs.

    • “Like he and my daughter would be happier if I wasn’t around nagging them and stressing”

      This is really really concerning. Please show this post to your DH and find a therapist to talk to. It’s normal that late stage pregnancy feels hard and you feel yucky and bloated. Focus on this as a temporary state. Not sure how far along in the trimester you are but in 6-8 weeks you will have your body back to yourself and that will likely help how you are feeling.

      He may look great but he isn’t growing an entire human being. Your body is doing amazing things. That plus renovations is a LOT on your plate. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would your DH and kid. I GUARANTEE they are happier with you around.

      • +1 – this sounds like something my depressed brain would say – a real cognitive distortion that could be a sign you need some help. I HATED being pregnant and 100% get that – I was queasy for 36 weeks straight and found nothing positive about the experience – but I’m a little concerned that you may be slipping into a depression that could worsen when the baby is born. If you can line up some help now, then if you feel better anyway when the baby is born, great! It’s just hard to find a therapist when you have a newborn. Sending hugs and hope that this is helpful.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Yes! And ask your happy, positive, fit, energetic husband to handle as much of the renovation work as he can, so that you don’t have to stress about it.

      • +1. This sounds like depression to me. Pregnancy hormones, not to mention PP hormones, can wreck a number on you. Talk to your doctor ASAP – I know a lot of mom’s who were on antidepressants during and post-pregnancy, so medicine is an option too.

    • Second the comments above.

      You are the *most* important person in the family right now. How you look, feel, or sound is of almost no importance, becaue you are literally making the newest addition to your family. Imagine talking about an ER doctor’s looks, weight, or energy level in the aftermath of a huge t3rroist attack.

      Do not be afraid to ask your husband for affection. My life has been really rough lately, and my SO is so happy when I tell him how to help me.

      • Anonymous :

        Eh, this is a not-cool sentiment and ripe for resentment from other family members. She’s pregnant, not the next coming of Christ.

        • Never said she was the second coming of Christ; I stated the biological fact that she physically feels the way she does because she’s creating the newest member of their family.

          Do you not have a husband or are married to a jerk? Because the good men I know love their wives despite the weight gain and other side effects, and are more than happy to take anything off her shoulders to even out the load.

          What’s “not cool” is you. The OP feels terrible about herself and you talk about “resentment from other family members.” Seriously, get a grip.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, I’m married; not to a jerk.

            She’s not the “most important” person in the family. That’s where you go astray. If I were her husband and my wife said that to me, I’d feel pretty pissed off and resentful. I don’t think that’s how you create a marriage of equals.

          • Right now, she is.

            If you want a “marriage of equals,” then your husband can gestate half the kids. If he’s not going to do that, he can take the load off her shoulders, even if it means he does more home remodeling, more childcare, more grocery shopping. Because “half the work plus 100% of baby-making” ain’t equal, sweetheart.

        • Anonymous :

          Right. Women have been making babies for literally the entire history of time. It’s not *that* special.

          And she’s also a human being, not a baby making machine. How she looks, feels, and sounds doesn’t cease to be important because she’s pregnant.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 You are in the middle of an enormous labour of love for your family, and wholly responsible for the most vulnerable new member of your family. You are absolutely invaluable to all of them. Please read your husband what you wrote here so that you can start getting the help you need – whether that’s more help from him, or from your OB or from another medical professional.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Echoing everyone else, talk to your OB at your next appt (which I’m assuming is within the next week) and tell them. PPD is real and people are talking about it, but so is depression and anxiety DURING pregnancy.

      It’s NOT fun being a hippopotamus, and I say this as a 2nd tri hippo myself. You are 100% allowed to feel horrible and not bubbly. Take very very good care of yourself mentally right now – bubble baths (ha to getting in and out of a bathtub), pedicures, and pampering yourself. If you have a prenatal yoga class you can get to, do that – even if you don’t want to move at all being surrounded by other pregnant women is/was such a saving grace for me.


  12. Nose Surgery :

    I recently broke my nose, my doctor has advised I am a candidate for surgery. I have always been self conscious about the appearance of my nose. I have the option of the doctor also performing a mild rhinoplasty during the procedure to fix the pre-existing issue. It would not be covered by insurance.

    I’ve never had surgery before and certainly not to my face. Has anyone had any surgery to their nose or a rhinoplasty (or can share an anecdote about someone they know)? How long did it take to heal (the paperwork I was given says up to 2 years of potential swelling/deformity which shocked me, though I assume it’s to cover all the potential risks)? When could you reasonably face the public after the procedure? And most important, was it ultimately worth it? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • Hi! Check out our guest post on rhinoplasty — and try as well.

      • Long time poster, anon for this :

        I’m copying the comment I wrote in response to that post. Short answer, best thing I ever did.

        I too had a cosmetic rhinoplasty and it was the best decision I made in my life. It’s no exaggeration to say that it was as important and life changing of a decision for me as getting married or having kids. This sounds melodramatic but my nose consumed my life. I had a really big nose (thanks dad) that took up way too much of my face. It was large, bulbous, and pointed down significantly when I smiled. LOTS of people commented on it – relatives and sometimes perfect strangers. A real low point is when I was volunteering at a school in Chile and one of the kids yelled out “she has a nose like Pinochet” and the entire class started laughing. I thougth about it constantly and I was also tired of thinking about it constantly.

        I got mine done at 23, when I was in between jobs. I got this done years ago, but at the time, I paid something like $6000 out of pocket. I can’t remember the name of the forum, but there is a rhinoplasty specific forum where various posters would post suggestions on great surgeons. If you’re from the Bay Area, my doctor was Dr. William Wolfenden and I thought he was excellent (this was back in 2004 though, so I can’t speak to his skills now).

        I LOVE my new nose. It’s not a small nose, but it’s significantly smaller and really suits my face. This is pure vanity, but I’m now frequently told how pretty/beautiful I am. Part of this is because of my nose, but a big part of this is because I SMILE so much more and am 1000% more confident.

        Recovery was a breeze. When I removed the bandages, I couldn’t stop smiling. Even though it was swollen, my new nose was so much better than my old one.

        Truly, I thank G*d that I got it done and had the financial resources to get it done.

        Many surgeons offer a complimentary consult. If you’re on the fence, please just go and get a consult (and see at least 3 surgeons before making your decision).

        Finally, I know some people think that once you have plastic surgery you’re tempted to get more stuff done. That has not been the case with me at all. I have no desire to have any other plastic surgery done ever again.

        • Nose Surgery OP :

          Thank you so much for responding! I did read your comment on the other post. Just what I was looking for.

      • Nose Surgery :

        Thank you, for some reason I didn’t see this before.

    • Sorry to hear! Are you me? I’m in a similar boate – I broke my nose (well, deviated my septum) last week, “quite high up” according to the CT scan. The pain and swelling is primarily the bridge of my nose and just below. My nose is quite narrow. It doesn’t look terrible, but its still very swollen. Of course, I’m frantically googling seroplasty and/or rhinoplasty. I’ve never had surgery, either.

      I think if anything, I’ll do seroplasty to repare the septum as I suspect my nose shape will be ok once the swelling goes down. But I am worried about respiratory problems. I have asthma, and already snore, and apparently a deviated septum will aggravate both.

      Has anyone had a seroplasty?

      • Nose Surgery OP :

        Sorry to hear you’re also dealing with this. The way I hit my nose has led it to be pretty crooked (though I suppose it’s more something only I really notice), so even after the swelling has gone down it’s going to look different, ugh. My doctor did say not repairing a deviated septum can cause future issues, particularly with issues you’re already facing. Good luck to you.

    • I’ve had a minor rhinoplasty done while having surgery to fix a deviated septum. Felt kinda lousy post-surgery for like a day, maybe two. Worst part was the nausea/vomiting from the blood I swallowed during the procedure, which lasted maybe a few hours. Was able to eat a bland meal by the evening with no issues. Didn’t have particularly bad swelling, no bruising, and looked pretty normal as soon as the splint came off (I think that was a week post-procedure?). It takes a little while to “settle” into what it’ll be permanently, but it’s a pretty subtle change over a few months, so I felt totally presentable as soon as the splint was removed (and I wasn’t too bothered going out and about with it on, honestly). Very happy I did it, and feel so much better about my appearance, because I feel like my nose fits my face now.

      • Nose Surgery OP :

        Thank you! This makes me feel better about the recovery and also ultimately feeling like it was worth it.

    • Longer response in mod, grr.

  13. I find the Rothys to be extremely comfortable, more so than Tieks. Like Tieks, I think your comfort level is dependent on how much support you require. If you are comfortable walking around barefoot, Rothys are very comfortable.

  14. MFP frustration :

    I am tracking calories in My Fitness Pal, and can’t figure out how to correct its estimates of my caloric needs. The NIH calculator tells me that maintenance is 2400 calories/day at my current weight and 2200 calories/day at my goal weight. MFP seems to think that maintenance is somewhere shy of 1500 calories/day, which is insane. Changing the daily calorie goal has zero effect on the bottom-line calculation it does at the end of the day, so it keeps telling me that “if every day were like today, you’d gain a gazillion pounds in five weeks,” even though I am actually losing weight. Allowing MFP to take exercise into account helps, but doesn’t completely solve the problem. Is there a way to fix this?

    • Have you looked at the activity level settings?

    • in addition to exercise, maybe you need to change the “activity level” setting in MFP too? In the goals section of MFP, change activity level to a higher level maybe?

      • That helps–thank you! I did not know you could change the activity level. MFP still is not matching the NIH calculations, but it’s closer.

    • Adjust your activity setting to something higher than sedentary and your weight of rate loss to very slow?

    • 1500 for maintenance is not insane. A 30 year old woman probably has a BMR somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300-1400 per day. ( Add a bit to that for basic sedentary life-style levels of moving around, and you get to 1500-1600 for maintenance. If you’re reasonably active, maintenance might look more like 1800-2000.

      • Yeah, unless you’re younger than mid-twenties and/or exceptionally tall I’d be surprised if you have a BMR above 1800 as a woman. 1500 sounds pretty accurate for me in my mid-30s.

      • Anonymous :

        Maybe for some women, but the OP stated she’s losing weight eatingore calories, so it’s clearly not maintenance for her. I know I maintain on around 2000.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Couple things as a MFP user – full disclosure, I found them to be so off that I only use it to track food and do all my goal setting / management separately:

      1) it is always low. Your BMR is what you would need to eat if you were in a coma. It is less than sedentary. For some reason MFP seems to conflate the 2
      2) If you train seriously or exercise intensely you should work to calculate a total TDEE either from a sheet where you input your weight / intake exercise for 4-6 weeks to find your TDEE manually or from a source that takes into account exercise
      3) Don’t do the “eat back exercise calories” thing in MFP. They overestimate cardio calorie burns and underestimate strength training calorie burns. They also include your BMR calories in the exercise calories (ie if you went to a yoga class, MFP may tell you you burned 200 calories. This would include 80 calories attributable to BMR so the right answer for exercise is 200 – 80 = 120. Still doesn’t change the accuracy issues)

      I really like the below sheet – caveat I’m a serious lifter and my goals etc. reflect that. if you go on reddit xxfitness also has a TDEE manual sheet where you can track weight / what you eat / what you do for 4-6 weeks to come up with a personal TDEE. Additionally, the sheet below the fat / carb split reflect the RP recommendations for higher carb lower fat especially on moderate / intense training days.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I’m in mod because I included a link but short answer – don’t use mfp’s calculations, they aren’t that accurate especially around exercise calories and doubly so if you exercise intensely / train for anything. Check out xxfitness on reddit in the FAQ they have a good TDEE tracker.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Got myself in mod twice but check back.

  15. Gah. My posts never end up nested any more.

  16. ISO Exec Coach (NYC) :

    My husband is moving to a new law firm, and the move will come with a promotion to partner. This is a huge deal for him, something he has been working toward for nearly a decade. He’d love to meet with an executive coach to help him prepare for the transition and make the most of his fresh start. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. We’re in NYC. Thanks!

    • Anon for this :

      I’m a 5th year in NYC and work with Amy Gardner ( She was recommended by a friend who is a partner in San Francisco. My friend has met with her in person in San Francisco and on the phone but I’ve only worked with her on video and on the phone. I am paying out of pocket (I didn’t know if I wanted to stay at my firm so I didn’t want to ask them to pay) but it has been worth it.

      • Do you mind sharing what you’ve gotten out of it?

        • Anon for this :

          I posted above about working with Amy.

          She helped me with deciding whether I want to stay in a firm and specifically in my firm, she helped me take a hard (and honest) look at what I need to do to make partner at my firm, and look at what I would need to do to land one of the jobs I was fantasizing about.

          Within those, I need to work on my executive presence (not folding into myself in meetings, showing up the way I thought I was (I wasn’t!)), and marketing myself within the firm and with clients. She’s been really good about having me practice hard conversations, which at first I thought would be a waste of time but has been really helpful in learning how to come across better in my communications.

          If I had decided to leave, Amy would’ve worked with me on my resume and cover letters (I had her review my resume, firm bio and LinkedIn and she had good feedback and found an error ) and mock interviews.

          I was reluctant to use a coach because I thought I was fine without and it seemed like a lot of money, but I now view it as the same as a trainer for my career. I probably could figure these things out on my own, but working with her saves me time and money and is forcing me to spend time thinking about my career instead of just bumbling along. It’s like a fairy godmother for your career but she stresses that she has no agenda of her own — it’s about what I want and helping me get it — and I have to do the work in between our sessions. Working with her has been huge for my confidence and I think long-term will be a big boost for my career.

    • Ginny Ertl of Coode Associates

    • Can you share in what ways an Exec Coach helps? I’m in a small firm and just getting into all the marketing stuff and feel super socially awkward about it all. I’m not a natural at networking.

      • Anon for this :

        I posted above but am posting here too in case you don’t see it — check out my answer above.

    • DC executive coach :

      Piggybacking off of this, any recommendations for an executive coach in DC? Even better someone who has experience with the biotech/pharma industry.

  17. I’m going to be in Los Angeles for one night solo. I had contemplated catching a red-eye back home, but that seems like a waste of what could be a really nice evening… I’m just not sure how to spend it. Any suggestions? I would love a great restaurant recommendation — I’m open to anything. I’ve got meetings in Long Beach and am staying near LAX, so bonus points for something near either. And I’d love recommendations for anything else I should do while here, either during this one-nighter or future, longer trips. Jealous of you all who get to live in this beautiful city! Thanks in advance.

    • I travel to LA for work a lot. If you’re staying at one of the LAX-adjacent hotels, there’s really nothing around there (unless you want in-and-out burger) and the area around LAX gets a bit sketchy pretty fast, so I’d stick to Long Beach. I don’t have any recommendations for restaurants near Long Beach, but when I’m in LA near one of the beach areas, I just like to wander along the beach and waterfront areas and enjoy the sites as the people watching is fascinating (and most of the tourist sites are closed by the time I’m done with work). There’s an aquarium in Long Beach that has been recommended to me before, but I’ve never had time to go.

    • Given your itinerary, I would suggest you explore Manhattan Beach on your solo evening. Nick’s, The Strand House, and Manhattan Beach Post are all great dinner options and there’s a little downtown area that you can walk around in – has a beach town feel so there’s not a TON to do but nice way to get out of the hotel. It’s between Long Beach and LAX so should fit right in.

      • 100% go to Manhattan Beach – it is probably a 15 minute drive from LAX.

        As far as restaurants go, I really like Love & Salt or Rock’n Fish. Both are on Manhattan Beach Blvd close to the beach.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. I frequently do one day solo work trips and stay near LAX. I always end up at Manhattan Beach. It’s my favorite mini work retreat.

      • Cosign–I grew up on the peninsula right near there (Palos Verdes) and Manhattan Beach is beautiful. I’d grab dinner and walk around on the strand, if you can!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Three Weavers brewery is not far from LAX (~10 minute uber). It has a great reputation and is run by women! (I’ve yet to have a chance to check it out, because “not far from LAX” = “very far from Rainbow Hair” sadly.

    • If you enjoy middle eastern food, Open Sesame on 2nd Street in Long Beach is my absolute favorite (get the fried potatoes and chicken tawook!) Cute area to walk around after dinner also. Bonus – lots of people walk their cute dogs down 2nd street.

    • Anonymous :

      Not an expert, but I travel there for work and stay around Manhattan Beach. It’s near LAX and there’s a pier and a little downtown area.

    • I second the rec for Manhattan Beach if you’re staying near LAX. Or, if your hotel is in El Segundo, there are some good places there – Sausal, BrewPort, El Segundo Brewery.

    • I’d go to Gjelina for dinner in Venice Beach (not too far) or Shutters at the Beach for the people watching/LA feeling (also not too far).

    • JuniorMinion :

      If you like beer either three weavers or el segundo brewing. El segundo is super cute. If you prefer more noise / flash / $$$ go to manhattan beach.

  18. I keep seeing red clothing everywhere on shopping sites, but I can’t get into it. It’s a classic color but it hasn’t really felt in style for years.

    • It’s a classic color. Current trends don’t change that.

    • I think the shade of red varies with trends — for example, orange-red has been more in style than blue-red, which is too bad for my cool-toned self. But if stores are featuring a lot of red items, that’s a pretty good indicator that it’s trending.

  19. How to get to Win-Win? :

    H and I agree on virtually nothing when it comes to home decor and renovations. Our house is old and desperately needs updating, but we have completely different and opposing tastes on everything from light fixtures to paint colors, and even which projects to prioritize. One of us usually ends up giving in to something we don’t really like (and that someone is usually me). This applies to other areas of our married life as well, but right now it is most prevalent with home projects. We cannot move forward on anything. How can we deal with this?

    • This is a really tough one and maybe a good reason to hire a designer, even if it’s only for a couple hours, to try to bring your styles together to something you both actually like. My partner and I agree on general aesthetics but sometimes our opinions diverge, and I’ve actually found that I am quite happy with the end result when his opinions pulls me a little away from my initial reaction to a color, piece of furniture, etc. Since you two have such opposing preferences, though, I think this is a job for a professional.

    • One person can’t be the designated loser. You guys need to learn to swap off who wins so that you don’t always feel like you’re giving in.

      For design, try each picking a room or two (so it evens out in terms of overall cost, scope, etc.). Establish some basic ground rules (perhaps each person gets a handful of vetoes). Agree on a total budget, then alternate spending money to fix it.

    • This is my life – it took us 3 years to purchase an area rug because we couldn’t agree on one. There isn’t an easy answer. To be honest, my husband has opinions on everything, but he usually doesn’t take the initiative to purchase things which makes it even more frustrating for me.

      We have had success using bathroom/kitchen designers, who listen to both of us and come up with some options. Additionally, we make attempts to “compromise”, which usually ends up like this:

      Me: I like white cabinets for the kitchen.
      Husband: I hate white. Anything but white.
      Me: Fine, if you don’t want white, I will pick out something not white but then you have to go along with my choice.
      Husband: Fine, anything but white.

      Good luck, not an easy situation by any means.

  20. I am so so shaken by the news that Bode Miller’s daughter passed after drowing in a pool at a party, especially after the post a few weeks ago from the mom who didn’t want her nanny taking her daughter to a pool party. I feel like I’m walking around the house seeing all these dangers lurking (could my daughter climb up on those planters and then over the deck railing? should we install a fence around our property because there’s an area a few houses away that turns into a small stream when it’s a really wet month? should she be wearing a helmet playing with her little tikes car?) My husband feels like we cant put her in a bubble but I wouldn’t survive if something happened to her and am suddenly having all this anxiety about leaving her with someone else, even though we’ve had our nanny for a year and adore her. Is this just a normal part of being a mom?

    • The pool is so much more consistently and objectively dangerous than any of the other examples you’ve described. Sure, your kid might technically be able to climb up on some planters and over a deck railing and fall off and break her arm. Is it likely? Probably not. Could some other freak accident happen somewhere at your home? Sure. The difference with pools is that they are ALWAYS dangerous for non-swimmers (and swimmers as well depending on the circumstances) and that the safety measures to make them less dangerous are very inconsistently applied much of the time. I am not a mother yet, but if I were you, I would try to separate your pool anxiety and rules from the other, general risks of childhood. It’s BETTER for your child to take healthy risks, including falling down and hurting herself from time to time.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Agreed! Keep in mind that a broken arm is generally NBD in the long run.

      • This is a very sensible reply. In theory there are a million risks, in practice only a few are big enough to be worth worrying about (and doing something about). Pools in areas where that exists, and in my dense urban neighborhood, it’s street crossings.

    • I think it’s normal to feel shaken by this kind of news, but it’s not normal to have constant anxiety about your child’s well-being. If you’re constantly feeling worried, despite having a nanny you trust, I would definitely talk to your doctor.

      Fwiw, I do feel for Bode Miller’s family (although he’s generally a terrible person) but there was no gate/fence around the pool, so the kid wandered out the back and jumped into the pool. Having an ungated pool is a really obvious safety hazard, so this doesn’t seem like a freak accident (although those do happen of course). I think if you follow basic childproofing rules (one of which is put a childproof gate around a pool), then you shouldn’t be freaking out about this.

      • It wasn’t his pool

        • Yeah, I know, but he still took his kid to a friend’s house with an ungated pool. We don’t go to friends with pools without gates, just like we don’t go to friends who have guns in the home. Pretty simple rules to follow. I’m not saying that this isn’t a tragedy, but I also don’t think this really falls in the category of “freak accident that nobody could have predicted.” IMO, an ungated pool is a disaster waiting to happen, whether it’s to the homeowner’s child or someone else’s.

          • Anonymous :

            This. It’s very very sad but it is not an unpreventable ‘freak accident’. Friends with unfenced pool? Kid is within arms’ reach at all times whether you are inside or outside. Especially a toddler – they are mobile and no sense of danger.

    • An gate for the pool is kind of childproofing 101. None of the stuff you’re describing is remotely as dangerous as an ungated pool.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      And, perhaps, get her in some water safety/swim classes? They really can teach little tiny kids to get themselves to the edge of a pool. The place we’ve signed Kiddo up with (I can report back if it actually works) guarantees that after 12 lessons she’ll be able to get herself to the edge of the pool when thrown in. It was $$$ to sign up for the classes, but if it works, it’s worth more than all the $$$. I’ll report back at the end of the summer!

    • Not a mom but once was a kid, I think the difference is that with things like planters and play cars, gets have some sense of how to navigate. If a planter is shaky, they may climb right down or fall right off it before even reaching the objective of the railing. With the toy car – if it’s foot pedaled and gets out of control, they just stop steering or go towards grass. With pools it’s that the situation can get dangerous in 2 seconds and they have no idea how to get out since you keep going into deeper water, swallow water etc.

      What are the details on the Miller thing – sounds like the parents were inside the neighbors house and the kid went outside alone and found the pool? I think in any home with a pool you need to watch your kid in the same room as you constantly – if they’re not in sight of you you can’t trust it’s bc they heard the tv in the next room and went in there. Part of why I hate properties with pools.

      • I really want a pool (we don’t have kids) but my husband refuses because of the constant danger. He’s a former first responder and former life guard and has just seen too much about what goes wrong. He doesn’t think he would ever enjoy a house party again if anyone had kids here, if neighbors had kids, if anyone was drunk. Even with precautions like chimes on our doors, a locked fence, a pool alarm. To him, it’s just not worth the risk.

        • I totally agree with your husband.

          Anyone who owns a pool or a tree house or jungle gym or trampoline and lets visiting kids come to their home should have a multi million dollar umbrella insurance policy. Because if a child becomes paralyzed or dies in their home, they should compensate.

          • Do you mean the homeowners should compensate even if the parents are present?

          • yes

          • I agree that a person should have an umbrella policy to protect him or herself (didn’t we have this discussion recently here?) and in case a child needs care, but let’s acknowledge that it’s more complex, legally, then to say that having a pool/tree-house/jungle gym is a strict liability situation for a home owner. Not sure if you’re talking about legality or morality.

          • Yeah, I was just thinking that someone doesn’t understand how negligence works. There has to be a breach of duty. You assume some risk when you engage in recreational activities, like letting your kid climb on a jungle gym.

            I drove past some kids playing softball this weekend and they all had on catchers helmets with full face masks in the field, even the outfielders. Is this really what it’s coming to now?

          • KS IT Chick :

            In my state, the homeowner is responsible for the costs of treating injuries in the event of a accident or injury on the property. It could be a fall down the stairs or a drowning in the pool. We have an umbrella liability policy for just that reason.

            DH & I have a pool. It came with the property when we bought it. We wouldn’t put one in if we didn’t have one already. It’s nice to have in the summer, and it’s going to be great for physical therapy for my broken foot.

            Pools are inherently dangerous, because water isn’t the natural environment for humans. There are a lot of things that you can do to reduce the risks, like fencing and swimming & water safety lessons for people who use the pool. We also have stringent rules about how our pool is used (no diving, no running, can’t hold someone under, no one under 18 without the supervision of an adult who is legally responsible for them) and I’ve banned friends’ kids from the pool for the season for violating those rules.

            Reducing the risk isn’t eliminating it. I could still have a neighborhood child find their way into the pool even with 3 latched gates and an 8-foot privacy fence around my backyard. I can do everything right, and we could still have a tragedy. That’s part of the risk we have accepted in buying a house with a pool.

          • Anonymous :

            There have been many judgments against home owners for such accidents, and settlements can be huge. We even had a huge settlement when kids snuck into a neighbor’s pool without permission and someone drowned.

            Most settlements happen outside of the public eye of course.

            And if such a tragedy happened in our home, I would WANT to give the money to my friend’s family/child. It seems appropriate to me. Isn’t that why we have homeowner’s/umbrella insurance? Because it is the right thing to do. It’s not just to protect ourselves, but to compensate others in our home/life when bad things happen.

            We’ve had a tragedy in our family. It opened all of our eyes to this. I suspect many on this board have not.

          • Okay, I’m one of the people who commented earlier. We had a tragedy (death) in our family (not pool related) because of someone else’s stupid, lazy, entitled behavior (otherwise known as negligence or in this case, reckless endangerment). Please don’t tragedy-shame people here- you’re not the only person who has given this any thought. I’m also a lawyer. I think it’s wise and ethical to have an umbrella policy, and I think it’s a much more favorable outcome to have an ins company paying for care rather than the families, or worse, a situation where necessary care can’t be paid for. Shift the risk to the deep pockets. But the reality of the situation is that whether the property owner is liable depends on the facts and law of each state. And think about a situation where there isn’t umbrella insurance, or isn’t enough. Then you’re talking about potentially bankrupting another family. It’s just not as clear as saying that if something happens in your home, you must compensate someone. Owning a pool is not per se morally wrong.

          • Interesting issues to think about, regardless.

            Honestly, it is enough to make me think twice about having a pool.

        • Ok. We have a toddler and a pool. We got him in swim lessons at age 6 months. We have a fence around the pool and around our house (so a neighbor kid would need to get over an 8 foot fence then over a child proof 4-5 foot gate to get into the pool). I do have a fear but I also try to remember that pools are wonderful and kids love them and with strong water safety and fencing, it’s OK TO HAVE A POOL.

          • We also have chimes on the door and double locks on any door that can reach the pool.

          • Ok, that is your opinion.

            I hope you have a huge umbrella policy. Because that is ethically the right thing to do, in my opinion.

            Signed, a doctor who cares for patients who were paralyzed in pools and on trampolines.

          • Anonymous :

            Sorry this concern tr0ll is trying to tell you that you’re a bad person for having a pool. You’re definitely not!

          • Anonymous :

            No, I think they are just trying to reinforce the insurance aspect. Most people don’t have it.

            And I favor that trampolines are probably not a good idea, actually.

          • Anonymous :

            But even if the person with a pool had an umbrella policy, the homeowner/policy holder doesn’t get to choose when it pays out–the insurance company does. If there were millions of dollars in costs, the insurance company wouldn’t just pay because a child needed care, and it happened on their policyholder’s property, unless state law required them to.

          • Many major insurance settlements aren’t voluntarily paid out by the company. You sometimes have to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. I suspect that is what would happen in the case of accidental death/severe injury of a child at someone else’s home. I see that as a lawsuit against the insurance company rather than the family, but of course I realize why people think otherwise.

            A relative had a major injury that his insurance should have paid for, but the insurance company just said no. State Farm Insurance. So he had to hire a lawyer and sue them for them to pay. In the end the paid the full amount as per policy guidelines. My relative was severely deformed for life and would have been very sympathetic to a jury. Regardless, this was also an example where the insurance company tried to obfuscate their responsibility, which is done all the time. Especially by health insurance companies.

            Settlements don’t always follow the strict law, and there is often a negotiated grey area. Juries are unpredictable and for that reason sometimes encourage insurance companies to settle before going to trial even if they think they are “right”. I think that a paralyzed or deceased child/family is a worrying thing to an insurance company and something they would want to keep out of court.

    • I want to challenge the thought that you wouldn’t survive if anything happened to her. You would. I know mothers who have had. Your life would change, you would be different, you would suffer, but you would also survive.

      The reason I’m challenging it is not because I want to diminish how it would affect you, but to keep you from believing this thought so intensely that you give it outsized power to shape how you parent.

    • For me, anxiety about my kid’s safety is just part and parcel of being a mom. And things like this tragedy or stories about women and their kids getting hit by a car and dying bring those anxieties to the forefront. Knowing that about myself, I try to ride it out before taking any drastic steps, and think about obvious unequivocal dangers (and steps to mitigate them) versus theoretical dangers. I try to not let anxieties about safety rule my/my kid’s life. I don’t want my kid to grow up fearful or afraid to take risks.

      • I think this is right. Fear of water is legitimate, but I think there’s some weird pool-shaming here. With precautions, pools are an important (and fun) part of childhood and life.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I keyed into your last sentence – my parents were very cautious and anxious when I was growing up. I certainly appreciate their safety rules as an adult – we always wore helmets, took swim lessons, etc – but their general fear about the greater world exacerbated my anxiety and made me loath to take risks.

        I like your idea of framing it as definite vs. theoretical dangers.

    • It worries me too. We don’t have a pool, but a lot of our relatives do. My in-laws have 5 grandchildren between 1 month old and 3 years old (my Kiddo is the oldest at 3), and they refuse to fence in their pool or put an alarm on it or take any safety measures. They also refuse to close their doggy door, so anyone old enough to crawl has access to the pool from the kitchen. My husband has 3 siblings, so when the family gets together, there are 10 adults and 5 kids and 3 large dogs–it’s loud and chaotic, and it would be so easy for a kid to slip outside.

      The crazy thing is my FIL is a physician in a pediatric specialty. Every few months, he sends us articles from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website, (it’s a great site). We sent FIL the AAP’s recommendations, and DH had a long, serious conversation about it, and 3 years and 3 more grandchildren later, they’ve done nothing.

      We’ve had Kiddo in water safety classes since he was 9 months old, but he’s just starting to swim, and I’m not confident that he wouldn’t panic if he fell or jumped in. At our in-laws’ house, we keep Kiddo in rooms that are closed off from the kitchen (less helpful now that Kiddo can open doors). DH and I have a rule that one of us has to have eyes on Kiddo at all times anytime we’re at their house–we can’t hand him off to a grandparent or another adult. And if everyone is hanging out outside around the pool, Kiddo has to wear a life jacket at all times. Kiddo is not allowed at the grandparents’ house without us. I still worry, and we only go over there a few times a year because it’s so stressful.

      • That is crazy to me. Grandparents refusing to take safety measures for their own grandchildren?! I wouldn’t go over there at all unless they fixed it. That is just a huge, unnecessary risk.

  21. Basement Home Office :

    Any advice or recommendations to make my basement home office feel like less of a dungeon? I seriously hate it down there but work from home a ton. I’m willing to throw money at the problem.

    • Can you give us some information on what makes it feel like a dungeon? How’s the lighting? Is the rest of the basement finished or does it also feel like a dungeon?

      • It is dark and cold and just feels very much like a basement – bad lighting, lesser quality basement finishes. I feel like I’m sitting in the ground. I’m sorry. That’s not much help. I actually feel too clueless to answer the question well. I don’t like the lighting, but I also don’t know what makes the lighting “good” in my work office.

        • sorry – OP obviously

        • So, first step: upgrade the finishes. Repaint, add molding, new carpet, whatever you need to.

          Get a lighting person in to give you an estimate on upgrading the lighting. Get a really good space heater — or two of them, if you need to.

          Upgrade your furniture, if you need to.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Based on my experience with basements, I suspect that it’s damp and feels clammy. Try a dehumidifier and see if that helps!

          My other suggestion is to go for the least basement-y flooring you can swing, ideally hardwood but if flooding is a concern then maybe just some pretty tiles and then nice rugs.

    • Can you dig out the windows to make them larger?

      • Maybe. They’re already fairly deep – like daylight or garden height, but they’re still within window wells so it seems pretty dark still. Does that make sense?

        • sorry – OP obviously

        • Hmm. Would it be possible to terrace the outside so that more light gets to them? Other things you might be able to try are new flooring with radiant floor heating (wood look tile sounds awful but it’s nice in person), pot lights, and new ambient light sources (lamps, accent lighting). Then maybe textiles that have some type of texture, to make it cozy.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      How about the lightbulbs that mimic natural light. Do you have dropped ceilings? The cheap dropped ceilings always look grimy to me. Home improvement stores sell some that are fancier panels to make it look more like a regular ceiling. How’s the carpet? People tend to cheap out in their basement. Could you switch to a fake wood look and a throw rug? Check out some online examples of people making meditation spaces or yoga studios in their basements for inspiration.

    • Add more lighting fixtures, brighter bulbs, anything you can do to increase the amount of light. Start with volume first and then you can tweak the color/placement. I think we underestimate how bright natural light is.

    • What kind of lighting is it? Lamps? Ceiling lights? If you don’t have overhead lighting, maybe think about having some installed (an electrician can do this), and try different lightbulb colors (yellow, white) to see which you like best.

      Do you have rugs on the floor? Cold floors make a room seem so much colder to me. Also clean thoroughly and add a bright paint color and some decorations to the walls.

    • I use my finished basement as an excuse to try out all the slightly wacky things I like but don’t want to add to my upstairs decor. Ever seen a crazy rug that would never match your living room but you inexplicably love? Put it in the basement office. Super into modern light fixtures (like those Ikea pendant ones that you can kind of expand and contract)? Basement office. Obviously you don’t want to make the place too distracting, but some fun decor pieces you actually love might help you look forward to going down there instead of dreading it!

      • Yes! Was going to suggest a chandelier, covering the walls in shantung, just go all out crazyawesome.

  22. Anon for this :

    I’m going to a partner’s house for a picnic in the Hamptons and want some sandals for that, for other casual backyard events, and to take on vacation to Paris where I will be walking a lot. Would these work?

    • Marshmallow :

      I think those are super cute. I’ve also had a couple of Mephisto sandals over the years that are fantastic for extended walking if you want another option as a comparison.

    • No experience with the brand so can’t speak to comfort, but I think they’re cute.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I like these so much that I searched on Amazon to see if the price was lower there. It’s not, but Amazon offers it in two additional colors – all black and a lighter brown with gold.

    • Anonymous :

      I like this brand a lot. Be warned, they usually have prominent arch support and a firm footbed (its supposed to mimic walking on firm sand or something) so you may want to break them in a bit before walking long distances.

  23. To Lilly-
    Neither do mine
    Case in point …

  24. I have been getting into classical music more these days, but I feel like I’m not that knowledgeable about the history or about the styles of major composers. Are there any books or websites that can give a good, basic introduction?

    • I loved the book The Rest is Noise about modern classical music.

    • Might search The Great Courses to see if any appeal to you. On Audible, or through your library. That way, you get to hear the music and the instruction, which would be helpful to me, at least.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        There’s a Great Course called “How To Listen To And Understand Great Music” taught by Robert Greenberg which is highly recommended by the people in my family who know about classical music. It’s pretty pricey but look at your public library! And I think they have sales if you want to own it.

        • Marillenbaum :

          Seconding this recommendation! I loved that course (note: I have an Audible subscription, so I used one of my monthly credits to buy it). I also highly recommend “Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music”, plus the courses for the Schuberts, Mahler, and Bach.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            Do you get the whole course for one credit??? That’s like $500 off! I will have to do this.

          • anon a mouse :

            Incredible tip! I just added it to my audible library.

          • Marillenbaum :

            @Lana Del Raygun: Yes, you get the whole course for one credit! It’s AMAZING and I really have to stop myself from using my credits for that each month.

      • +1

      • Thanks – these great courses sound perfect!!

      • Protips–All Great Courses go on sale at least once per year for about 75% off–they rotate monthly, so you have to sale-stalk. Also, if you buy some stuff from them and then stop for a bit, they send you huge discount codes. Last, they have a monthly streaming subscription for everything now, which is a great deal!

    • Diana Barry :

      I liked The Story of Music by Howard Goodall (also a BBC radio series IIRC).

    • Anonymous :

      The Piano Puzzler podcast is a fun way to learn. The composer arranges a popular or traditional song in the style of a classical composer, and a caller has to guess the tune and style. The host plays excerpts from the “real” classical piece on which the puzzler is based, and the host and composer discuss the defining characteristics of the piece.

    • Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts. Your local library probably has them on DVD. They’re great for all ages!

  25. If I’m paying outside counsel, $600/hr I don’t want to hear their [email protected] dog barking like crazy on an intense conference call at 9 am on a Wednesday. I’m considering complaining but don’t want to seem petty. It was distracting and embarrassing in front of the client. Would you say something?

    • Would definitely say something. That’s awful. At a minimum they could have moved somewhere else in the house so the noise was less intense.

    • Complain right to the person, not to their supervisor/partner. (unless you’ve tried already)

      “Hey, the dog in the background is really distracting, and i need everyone all in on these calls. I need you to find a quite place to take these calls.”

    • Yup. Not ok.

    • Maybe say something about the dog but it seems like you’re conflating the dog barking with the fact this person was working from home. Lots of people work from home with equal or better efficiency than we work in the office. Personally, if I had a 9AM call, I’d almost certainly take it at home. Our day at the firm officially starts at 9:30 but I often don’t get in until 10:00. It’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because I worked until 2AM last night and I need to grab a few hours of sleep.

      Bottom line: the dog barking is a legitimate complaint. Someone taking a conference call from home is not.

      • Meant to reply to this – I am working from home. So that’s not an issue for me. I don’t care where the other person is – because we are often not even in the same city.

    • Would you feel the same way if it was construction noise? Or sirens going by? I can’t always move to a quieter space in my office to avoid these pretty regular noises where I work. I’m giving an adult the benefit of the doubt that they were doing the best they could to be in a quiet place for a conference call.

      • No because these things are prevalent in offices. Dogs however are not at law firms so it suggests that you couldn’t put on pants and drag yourself to work.

        • Funny but true story – I have an office on the edge of where the business district meets residential. People love to walk their dogs down this street. It’s right near a very busy intersection. When multiple people are waiting at the red light (my office building is right on the corner) the dogs will all start barking at each other. Even with the office windows closed, it’s pretty loud. I get MORE dog noises on my phone calls working my office then I do working at home, and I own a dog!

    • I would say something very directly – in an email along the lines of – in the future please take calls from your office or another quiet place as a barking dog is a distraction when we need to discuss the specifics of a $10bil deal. The work from home army will tell you that WFH is a birth right and the poor dog just wanted attention and there’s nothing wrong wit taking a call while throwing in your laundry but give me a break — at $600/hr I expect your full attention or for you to do a better job faking that you’re paying attention.

    • As a lawyer and dog owner/lover who works from home full time, I agree with you. Completely unprofessional. I have very occasionally (maybe 5 times in 5 years) had my dog bark while I’m on the phone, but always apologize immediately and go to another room.

      P.S. I know lots of you make $$$$, but holy crap I can’t imagine making $600/hour. Damn.

      • Anonymous :

        He doesn’t make $600/hour.

      • That’s what they bill not what they make. Most of that is going to overhead at the firm and the individual gets a fraction of that. Also, individuals that work for companies that bill like this tend to be salaried but are expected to work overtime meaning their hourly rate of take home is going down. I learned year 1 not to try and calculate my hourly wage because it was depressing. (not lawyer but similar structure professional. And agree the overall pay isn’t bad but it’s not $600/hour)

      • I know, I know, I know. Bad wording on my part. I can’t imagine *billing* $600. But I’m a solo practitioner.

    • If the dog was in the room with the person, I think you can say something. If the dog was kind of muffled like it was in another room or outside barking, I think you have to deal. FWIW, I have a cat and often shut her in a bedroom when I have conference calls at home. She forgets I am here a lot, but when she hears me start talking, she’ll come want attention and it can be hard to keep her out of my space. Do you know why this person was working from home? Maybe they’re sick or have a sick kiddo. You perception of why this person was working from home may be incredibly off. Also, their world doesn’t revolve around your deal.

      • At $600/hour the person’s world should revolve around the work for the time of the phone call.

        • This.

          sick kid? Move the call or arrange for someone to watch them. There are on call/short term child care services available in most cities. If not, person needs to figure out their back up plan.

          Animal? Crate them if they’ll stay quiet or drop them at at doggy daycare.

        • Dog barking doesn’t bother everyone. Apparently my neighbors’ dogs bark all the time because guests point it out to me all the time. I never notice unless someone else points it out to me. It is very possible this person’s world can revolve around your phone call while a dog barks nearby. Honestly, I would assume it didn’t bother/phase them, because if it did, they likely would have done something about it. Not everyone is as bothered by this kind of stuff.

          • The point is not whether the dog owner is bothered. The point is whether the clients (in this case, both in-house counsel and the actual client) were bothered by it. The dog owner, a supposedly sophisticated/intelligent/capable person, should know this and take proper precautions.

          • Anonymous :

            You don’t know that it’s his dog.

        • Anonymous :

          No one is saying otherwise, but what are you supposed to do about a neighbor’s dog barking in the apartment next door? Or outside? When you say that people should NEVER have outside noise on the phone, it starts sounding like people can never work from home. Or at least not people who live in a city.

          I mean look the guy should’ve muted his line when he wasn’t talking. But you also could’ve asked. If the dog was outside he probably didn’t think you could hear it.

      • I do not care whether they are in the office. I am not in the office. I control the outside counsel relationships, so really I don’t have to deal. But I also like copacetic relationships with counsel. But their world better revolve around my deal for the hour that I am paying for their time. That’s sort of the relationship here?

        • Anonymous :

          YEP! I DGAF why you had to work from home, if you are working and not taking the day off treat it like work.

          • Anonymous :

            Working and being around a barking dog are not mutually exclusive. Seriously, people.

          • Anonymous :

            I get being annoyed by the dog, but you are taking this waaaaayyy too far. You’ve got to make a lot of leaps to go from barking dog in the background to treating WFH like a day off.

    • Anonymous :

      I would wait for it to happen a second time before saying something. Maybe it was a one off that won’t happen again (a repair person in the yard or something random bothering the dog). If it does happen again, I don’t think you can assume that this person can’t work with the dog barking or isn’t working hard from home. I would just mention that the microphone surprisingly picked up the barking and possibly amplified it, which was difficult on the receiving end. Can he mute or make other arrangements going forward?

  26. Keto Thoughts? :

    Has anyone had success with the ketogenic diet for either weight loss or health benefits? I tried it halfheartedly in January (and have been doing a very low calorie diet since then without the weight loss I was hoping for) and am thinking about trying to do it again seriously. Any advice or thoughts from the hive?

    • I don’t mean to pick on you but the misinformation about keto drives me nuts. You can’t halfheartedly do keto. Your body is either in ketosis or it’s not. If you’re not in ketosis then you’re not doing keto, you’re just limiting carbs – which is totally fine! But it’s not keto.

      Ok so with that rant over… don’t just rely on the internet to do keto. Talk to your doctor, get a book from someone reputable, educate yourself about the science of the diet. Blood test at least daily when you’re first getting started and then as needed to make sure you’re on track.

      I lost a little over 10 lbs in 8 weeks on keto. I went off it for 2 weeks for a vacation and only gained 2 lbs even though I ate and drank whatever I wanted — so I didn’t experience the big weight gain that a lot of people report after stopping keto. Of course I didn’t have the massive weight loss a lot of people have either. I’ve been back on keto for about a week and I’ve lost my 2 lbs of vacation weight plus ~1 lb.

      Keto has vastly improved my relationship with food. I’m very short so I have a low calorie limit (like 1250). I can actually diet and not feel starved –that’s revolutionary for me. I don’t have carb cravings, so I spend my carbs on veggies and fruits rather than empty calories that I’ll mindlessly snack on. In fact I don’t feel the urge to mindlessly snack anymore at all. I feel satisfied on smaller portions. I enjoy my food more. Blackberries, strawberries, even asparagus have never tasted sweeter. I also feel more comfortable in my skin – I never realized how puffy I felt, like my skin was too small, but that inflammation is totally gone now. I was a little frustrated that the weight didn’t come off super quickly for me like it seems to for others, but I’m happy that it didn’t come right back on when I stopped keto.

      • What book would you recommend to learn more about keto?

        • I got the 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse by Maria Emmerich on recommendations here. I liked her explanation of the diet and I use a lot of her recipes. The book sets out a 30 day meal plan, but the plan didn’t really work for me because it requires a lot more day-of cooking than I can do. Her breakfast chili is basically my favorite thing ever.

      • Anonymous :

        I get the point to use reputable sources, but it’s 2018. Books are no longer automatically more reputable, and the internet is not automatically less reputable.

    • Its disordered and unhealthy eating. If you are on a very low calorie diet and losing no weight talk to your doctor.

      • +1

        OP – you are doing your health and body a disservice.

        Unless you have uncontrolled epilepsy and are desperately trying to avoid a life altering brain surgery, don’t pursue a keto diet.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t lose weight on very low calorie diets. Saw my doctor, and it turns out I have postprandial hypoglycemia. My doctor suggested that keto may help. Relevant research is being done at the university hospital here, so maybe this isn’t the same advice people are receiving everywhere, but you can’t assume OP’s doctor was not involved.

      • Anonymous :

        Just because people chose diets that you don’t personally like, does not make them disordered or unhealthy. This comment comes up whenever there’s talk about any kind of diet and it’s stupid. Some things work better for some people than others.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Keto may be good for short term loss, but is very unhealthy

        • Anonymous :

          Why is long term keto unhealthy?

          • Anonymous :

            Not Anon above, but my understanding is that ketosis can be stressful on the kidneys if done for an extended period of time, due to the types of waste byproducts that needed filtering. So fine for short term, but not great over the long term (years?).

          • Anonymous :

            Okay. I was cautioned that higher protein diets (such that protein is metabolized for energy) are hard on the kidneys. I thought the emphasis on fat was partly to avoid this. But maybe this is one more reason my doctor checks my kidney function when running other labs.

        • There’s actually a lot of evidence that keto can be very healthy for specific conditions, cancer being one of them. I also recommend the book “Keto” by Craig Dmmerich (Maria’s husband). It’s fascinating and full of well-cited, real medical journal articles.

          I’ve never done Keto, but am fascinated by it and have learned a lot from lurking in Maria’s 30 day cleanse FB group!

      • Anonymous :

        I judge whether diets are unhealthy or disordered based on their outcomes. A normal diet leads to normal health outcomes (i.e., bad ones). “Balanced,” “moderate” diets are not working out for my peers and their A1Cs. There are a variety of dietary interventions that seem to help different people, but you have to have amazing genes to just eat normally and do well.

    • My SO lost about 60lbs on it last year & has kept most of it off. Just like anything, it can be healthy or unhealthy or disordered. If you focus on getting your carb minimums from fruits/veggies (it takes a lot of leafy greens to get 25 net carbs) and don’t just live off of bacon, fat and cheese, it’s a fairly healthy diet.

      I did it with him for about 8 weeks, dropped about 12 pounds, have kept 10 of those off, but it messed with my hormones/cycle. Don’t do any of the MLM “keto coffee” things going around and do lots of research. For recipes, I really like I breath I’m Hungry for variety.

      • This. It doesn’t have to be disordered or unhealthy and if you research the science behind it, it makes perfect sense. You can eat lots of healthy food on keto, if you make those choices.

        Also agree that you can’t half heartedly do it, that defeats the whole purpose. Also, totally agree that you will have the best results if you eat real, whole foods, not all the *new improved fancy* products designed to mimic sugar and carbs and claiming keto.

        • Keto Thoughts? :

          Let me rephrase my “halfhearted” comment – I was all in (and in ketosis), but underestimated how hard it is to stay in ketosis while traveling constantly for work. My travel schedule has eased up a bit, which is why I think I might be able to do it with more success now. And I’m honestly most interested in it because I get to eat real food and cut out all of the processed, chemical stuff, while still (hopefully) losing weight. Thanks!

      • Anonymous :

        I thought the whole point of the keto diet was to live off of fat?

        • Anonymous :

          Burning your own fat, yes, and eating a larger amount than one normally would eat, but you don’t ONLY eat bacon, cheese and grease. Vegetables are highly encouraged, as are moderate protein sources and trying to get as much variety as possible.

    • Anonymous :

      If you want to understand the science behind the keto diet, I would recommend the book Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung and the website Dietdoctor that Dr Fung and a doctor from Sweden contribute a significant amount of content to.

  27. Marillenbaum :

    Hi! I’m sort of new here. I’m starting a new job in the Foreign Service next month and need to buy a business-formal wardrobe. I’ve been in grad school for two years, and was in higher ed before that, so my existing work wardrobe is fairly casual. Apart from needing two suits (one navy, one black), what would you recommend?

    • – Suit dresses and an assortment of suiting-separate blazers that pair with them. More of a fall/winter suggestion, but blended tweeds are great for pairing with dresses of various colors, i.e. a grey/black/white tweed blazer will go with all of your black or grey dresses. A stand-alone black blazer in a moto or collarless style can be paired with colored sheaths dresses. (Personally, I hate mismatching shades of black and avoid that hard.) A textured white blazer is great for summer.
      – keep your suits together and dry clean them together to maximize their lifespan so you don’t have mismatched wear and tear (i.e. don’t wear your suit blazers with the above mentioned dresses )
      – Shoes you can walk in without looking like a wounded baby giraffe (State is oddly bad at this)
      – Sleeveless but conservative shells to wear with your suits (Walking in DC is like a day-long hot yoga class in July-August, you’ll want to ditch the jacket outside)

      And, congrats on getting through! I hadn’t heard they were calling A100 classes again.

      • Anonymous :

        Walking in DC is like a day-long hot yoga class in *June-September

        • Ha, true. Didn’t want to scare her off!

          • Marillenbaum :

            Thanks! I’ve lived in DC for the past two years (went to AU for my masters), so I’ve survived the summers, but right now I’m visiting family out west and LOVING the lack of humidity! Might go to the mall today to hit up the Father’s Day sales at the department stores.

  28. Veronica Mars :

    I have friends that have found success with it, but it requires a lot of dedication, matienece and persistence. I’d consider it as a last resort diet because of the time commitment and rigidity. I’m doing well on the WW app only program. Have you thought about trying that or calorie tracking via MFP before diving in?

  29. Will this thread correctly? Anyway, thanks for the review of Hairprint. After your last post I looked up some video reviews and was already leaning toward no. The reviewers all had barely any grays, and even for them it did not result in complete coverage. Defeats the purpose for me, especially with that cost and effort. I think it’s telling that they don’t offer free trials or refunds if it doesn’t work.

  30. I’m working from home as well, so I definitely don’t care about that. But I come correct when I’m doing it – no kids, no trips to the fridge, etc.

  31. Not that anyone can necessarily tell me my face is “out of style,” but is the use of mineral powder foundation outdated? Was this a trend from the mid 2000’s? I use liquid sometimes but keep my Bare Minerals powder stocked for days I don’t want to wear liquid. Recently, my shade was unavailable at Sephora so I visited the department stores and they all looked at me like I had three heads when I asked if they sold Bare Minerals (none did).

    • Flats Only :

      Ulta sells it, in store and online. If it works for your skin and looks natural, I see no reason to stop using it.

    • Anonymous :

      I stopped using it years ago because it’s time consuming and messy. I get essentially the same look from pressed powder foundation and a beauty blender.

      I do think that look is out of style, though. Dewy is in, matte is out. I just don’t understand how all these young people keep their skin looking dewy vs. oily. I get oily by the end of the day! Especially if I’ve used a liquid foundation! Starting out the day matte is the only way I can combat the shine.

      • After comparing several photos of dewy vs matte I honestly cannot tell the difference. Most of my friends and coworkers wear very little make up so I wouldn’t notice in person either.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Sunscreen and sunblock seem to override anything else people put on their faces when it comes to the finish anyway (especially if they’re reapplying throughout the day).

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know, but I like it and continue to use it.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. Sephora also sells it and I know in some of the Simon malls, Bare Minerals has it’s own store front.

  32. I’m looking for an audio book for a road trip that my husband and I would both enjoy. (bonus if a 3 and 5 year old might be interested, but I get that that’s pushing it.)

    Open to non-fiction and fiction. I like almost everything except for thrillers. He likes listening to Revisionist History, NPR-y stuff, we both enjoyed a “what you didn’t learn in history class” type book a few years back.

    • Jasper Fforde

    • Audiobooks of David McCullough reading his own work: Truman, 1776, John Adams, The Wright Brothers.

      • Anonymous :

        The Wright Brothers was a fun listen! It’s not too long or too dense for an audiobook. (I find some history books hard to follow on audio–you think about changing lanes, tune back in, and you can’t remember how this long sentence started.)

    • Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime? Both (recent) history and really funny.

      • Some inappropriate parts for kids, I guess, depending on how closely they’re following you. More biological gross/stuff you don’t want them repeating versus inappropriate content.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 just listened to this and it was so good.

    • Sugar Salt Fat by Michael Moss.

    • YOu’re a bad man Mr. Gum. Its a kids book AND SO FUNNY. Only get the first one. The subsequent ones are totally disappointing. We listened to an re listened to many times in the car. I am so jealous you will get to hear this awesome story for the first time.

    • If it’s a long road trip, Ken Follett’s books are really great, the narrator (John Lee) is awesome, and the Century trilogy is detailed historical fiction. They are also written in a way that is easy to follow in audio book format. Since they are so long and have a lot of different story lines, he regularly recaps what was going on the last time you saw those characters.

  33. Housewarming gifts :

    Two couples I know have recently purchased new homes and I would love to buy them each a housewarming gift. What are some thoughtful, useful ones you have received or given?

    • If you don’t want to give a bottle of wine…personalized doormat, a watercolor of the new house (I have a friend who paints these), a GC to Lowe’s/HD.

    • Plant. I usually give a ficus tree.

      • Make sure the receivers can actually take care of said plants. DH and I have brown thumbs and plants die on our watch so I always feel really bad when people get them for us. Fresh cut flowers, on the other hand, I love.

        • Anonymous :

          I mean… so what if they can’t? They’ll throw it out just like they’d throw out fresh cut flowers.

        • Anonymous :

          Agree to watch this not just because of brown thumbs, but also if they have animals, at least try to find something that’s non-toxic to pets. I’ve had to get rid of a lot of nice plants that would’ve lasted a while, but because of cats who liked to eat things they shouldn’t, had to get rid of them.

        • Anonymous :

          Or don’t bother, if the recipients don’t want to take care of the plant they don’t have to.

          People get so worked up about gift giving around here.

    • Anonymous :

      My sister’s real estate agent gave them a book called How Your Home Works that they really appreciate.

    • Fire extinguishers.


      Useful, will last a while, no one thinks to own them. Home decor stuff is just too personal, and people feel weird about not having it out when you come over later, if they didn’t like it.

    • Anonymous :

      Gift card to Lowe’s or Home Depot. Even if you’re not renovating, there’s always something random from Home Depot or Lowe’s that you need as a homeowner.

  34. An indoor plant. My first real estate agent gave us an orchid; our second gave us a big dish garden (2 feet tall) — we loved both.

  35. Minnie Beebe :

    Will repost again this afternoon, but I need gift ideas for our nanny!

    She’s been picking my son up from school all year, and now into the first few weeks of summer camps, but she’s starting her real career soon, as a court reporter. I’d like to give her a gift, to say both thanks for the work she’s done, and congratulations on the new job.

    I don’t have any clue what a court reporter would carry or wear to depositions or to hearings, but I’m thinking it would be nice to get something work-related. What will she need? You all seem to be attorneys, so maybe you can help?

    She’s 21, so a great bottle of champagne (as part of the gift) would be fun, but I’m not actually sure she drinks.

    Or should I just stick with cash plus something small?

    • Anonymous :

      My court reporters generally wear a suit and they have a giant bag for all their gear – pretty sure the bag is specially-designed so it’s not really something you can get her. And if you don’t know where she shops then it’d be hard to get her a gc. I’d go with cash and maybe a nice water bottle or coffee mug or a wristlet or wallet she can throw in her big bag.

    • Anonymous :

      I would do cash plus a bottle of champagne unless you have some reason to believe she doesn’t drink.

    • Massage gift cert? Back, hands, wrists all in play in court reporter work.

    • Anonymous :

      I was a nanny for years and the best gift was cash. Give cash.

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :

        Yes, give cash. If you want it to feel more like a gift, and less like you’re handing her cash, you could buy something small like a $20 bottle of sparkling, and tuck cash into the bag or card.

    • Anonymous :


    • Cash and maybe a nice business card case.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Court reporters are always handing out and taking business cards. Extra points if it has different slots for hers and theirs.

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