Coffee Break: Trooper Nomad Nylon Saddle Bag

This nylon saddle bag from Marc Jacobs is very popular and seems like a great option if you prefer a very easy, clean bag to carry to work, or to use while running around doing errands on the weekend or as something to put into a bigger tote. Unlike a lot of crossbody bags, this one actually has some depth to it, which mean you can stuff more things in there. It just seems like a nice, lightweight nylon bag. It’s $295 at Nordstrom. Trooper Nomad Nylon Saddle Bag

Two more affordable options are at Amazon and Zappos.

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  1. Anonymous :

    When you all travel for business on a flight where you have to pay for Wi-Fi, do you expense it to your company if you’re just using it for personal downtime?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. I always at least check my work email.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

    • No, I don’t expense it if I’m “just” using it for personal downtime. But if I get it because I need to do some work, and then also use it for personal downtime, I expense it.

    • Expense it, keep in touch with work and watch a movie at the same time.

    • If I don’t need it for work, then no, I wouldn’t expense it.

    • Only if I were predominantly using it for work purposes.

    • I would only expense wi-fi if I bought it so I could work. If the primary reason for purchasing it is work, I think it’s fine to expense it even if I get my work done in half an hour and then use it for entertainment for the rest of the flight. But if I don’t need to do work, then I don’t think it’s appropriate to expense it.

    • I expense it only if I need it for work, but I wouldn’t hold myself to a “predominantly for work” standard. If it’s a long flight in the middle of the day, and I need to check email and respond if something comes up, that’s good enough for me to expense it. On the other hand, I’m happy to not purchase airplane wifi at all–I love an excuse to unplug and read a book.

  2. kids activities -- quantity of :

    [Reposted from earlier afternoon thread where this went into mod for a while . . .]

    I have 2 elementary school children, same gender.

    During the week, they are in at-school afterschool care from 3-6.
    While there, one kid goes to Girls on the Run (other will also participate next year).
    They also are in a 1-hour once-a-week chess club

    Outside of that, they both have a 1.5 hour choir rehearsal that I take them to once a week (they only sing in church monthly). I do the driving. Our evening and most afternoon time isn’t impacted. Morning activities start at 10 (!) which is so much better than being outside on a cold soccer field at 7 or 8.

    For church, we go to a one-hour sunday school and a 45 minute kids service immediately after. I drive. Maybe we go 50% of the time.

    On weekends, they both go to one one-hour swim lesson (and grownups go b/c we can work out while they do this), one one-hour math tutoring (needed, esp. for one kid), and one art lesson (1 hour).

    Husband thinks this is too much running around on weekends (it is really: 2-hour block on one day, maybe a one-or two-hour block the other day). The kids otherwise would be happy to have 48 hours of screen time but are happy doing these activities that they like. [We have never done travel soccer or anyhting with very lengthy practices, mandatory participation, travel schedules, and that isn’t close by. I played an instrument and choir seems to be a good compromise with no issues of practicing at home at their skill level the way you do with violin, etc.]

    Legimately: is this too much? I am going at least 80% of the logistics for this. And except for younger kid not being old enough to participate, they do the same thing (so it’s not like we have one in basketball and one in ballet, which has been a godsend so far) and always have.

    • I gave you a rather long reply on the other thread. Please keep checking there.

    • Anonymous :

      It seems like a lot on the weekends ( sunday school + math + swimming + choir + art). There’s hardly any unstructured outside time where they build a snowman or jump in a mud puddle or pretend to have a campfire or climb a tree or go sliding.

      Can you integrate math or art into the after school programming? Sounds like family swim time and church are keepers. Unless they are passionate about art or choir, I’d let those go and try for some unstructured outdoor family time. Totally agree that art/choir are better than screentime though.

      • This seems like a lot to me as well. We do religious school and swimming on Saturdays and leave our Sundays completely free to go to the playground, hang out with friends, hang out as a family, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s too much if you don’t feel like doing it. Personally I would cut out the choir and the church. If you’re not a church every Sunday kind of family I don’t see the point in being in the church choir. They can sing in music class and join the choir in middle school if they’re really into it.

      • This year, we’re dropping our participation in the church Christmas program for this reason. It’s excessive. They have one-hour rehearsals every Wednesday evening from the first week in October through early December. Plus practice during Sunday School. While I love having my very extroverted DS in a performance, this is going to wait until he’s older and isn’t such a drain on his energy levels (and ours).

    • For me, that would be too much. It’s not an excessive amount of activities, but when you factor in driving and wanting to have open blocks of time for chilling out or doing something as a family, I can definitely see how it would feel limiting/constricting. If your DH tends more toward the homebody side, I can absolutely see why he’s balking.

    • Diana Barry :

      Wait, when are the activities on the weekend? Can you post a schedule? So all the activities that you’re bringing them to are on the weekend?

      I think that is fairly normal for dual working parents when the kids go to aftercare during the week – all activities end up pushed to the weekend. It is fine if it doesn’t bother you! FWIW, my kids have a *bunch* of activities on Monday, one has one on Tuesday, then WThF are free (except now one has play practice since the play is soon), and we have 2 activities on Saturdays.

      • Diana Barry :

        Also, I wouldn’t give up choir. Choir FTW! (I am a choir nerd and was far ahead of everyone for sight-reading in middle school/HS when we started having chorus – which was really fun for me)

    • Aside from the church choir, can any of these activities be arranged through after-school care? My after-school care growing up offered all these things so that no logistics were required for the parents – dance classes, Girl Scouts, piano, etc, were all done on-site. (I mean, the dance teacher was from a local studio. The after-care program just worked it out so that there were enough children interested in Beginner’s Ballet on Tuesdays, to make it worth her while. We did it in a classroom and held onto desks as a barre.) My life was arranged around what was convenient for my mom – if my after-care (or school, as I got older) didn’t offer it, I didn’t do it because the logistics were simply not possible, full stop.

    • kids activities -- quantity of :

      All weekday activities except choir are at/through after school (and take the 3-4 hour of their 3-6 block of time).

      Saturday, tutoring/art is 10-12. If I do it, I go jogging 10-11 and then get lunch with younger kid while older kid is in art. She loves art.

      Sunday, it’s either swimming 12-1 or sunday school / kids service from 10-12. That’s it. Church is close to our house. Swimming is maybe 15 minutes (as are math/art).

      • Anonymous :

        That’s basically just activities on Saturday and Sunday mornings and free time in the afternoons which doesn’t seem like too much. Maybe encourage your DH to plan something for the free time – trip to playground or building a snowman in the backyard so the free time is fun family time. When is choir practice? Do they love choir or could you drop that?

        • True, but it’s BOTH mornings. I know I start to feel over-scheduled if I have standing commitments on both days during the weekend, and it’s possible that her DH is similar. But, the OP knows her situation best. For many families, this is fine and typical.

    • Anonymous :

      This is totally a personal preference thing. It would be too much for some, maybe not for others. Do you like it? Do the kids like it? I personally liked to do lots of activities as a kid, but my brothers didn’t. I liked to be BUSY. I think it is fine if you enjoy it and the kids do, but you don’t have to do this much. Does your husband not like you being gone, or think it is too much for the kids, or what is his objection?

  3. Diana Barry :

    Ladies – just got invited to a private event in a DC government building that is black tie and is a tour of that building with a dinner following (awards of some kind). Does this mean short dress, or long? I have several short dresses and a midi dress, but no long dresses other than vintage ones from the 90s.

    • Google last year’s event for photos if you can. Without knowing too much about the event, my gut says short/midi. If cabinet secretaries and members of Congress will be there, I switch my vote to long.

    • Anonymous :

      If possible ask the organizers – I mean the event planners, not the higher ups.

    • Long.

      Not that I go to DC events very often, but you risk being underdressed if you wear a short dress.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Is it in the evening? I always thought black tie = long. I think safest to go long. Why risk it.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Split the difference and wear a high-low hem?

      • +1 Black tie means long. Black tie optional means you can go with a shorter dress. Hit up Rent the Runway! I would not wear a short dress to a black tie event in DC – it’s fashion conservative.

    • Diana Barry :

      Thanks, ladies! I called the event planner and she said officially it is black tie OPTIONAL so I am good with a short dress. Phew! :)

      • Flats Only :

        Good call. Unless it’s a really, really high end event, you will see a lot of sloppy “black tie” attire in DC, so a short dress that’s clearly an evening or party dress is just fine.

  4. I don’t have kids, but that seems pretty normal (if a tad on the light side) compared to most of my friends/coworkers with kids. It’s also comparable to what I did on the weekends at that age, though I’m old.

    Is there something he wants to be doing but can’t? My gut says that his issue is something else masquerading as “too much time running around on the weekend doing kid stuff”.

  5. Diana Barry :

    Argh. Why in m0d?

    Was just invited to private black tie event in DC. Event is in a government building with a tour of the building followed by an awards dinner. Is this something where I can wear a short dress or would you recommend long? I have several short dresses and one midi but no long (unless 90s vintage).

  6. Def Anon for this :

    Here’s an embarrassing one (skip if you don’t want to see butt discussion: does anyone have recommendations for a flare up of hemmorhoids? I have some and an usually militant about eating lots of fiber. I just got back from traveling and had a big flare up and it’s so painful to use the restroom. Saw a doc and got suppositories but they aren’t super helpful yet. I feel like it’s healing but then when I use the restroom I aggravate it. Help! Sorry for grossness.

    • Are you hydrated – water and electrolytes?

    • Tucks medicated pads post BM.

    • Squatty potty.

    • DH uses witch hazel applied with a cotton swab. He also takes a warm bath with epsom salts, which is one of the only forms of relief sometimes. He tells me how painful they are, so I hope yours clear up soon!

    • What are the suppositories? Do they have steroids? Good to use.

      Go and buy an assortment of the creams to try. The ones with epinephrine help shrink swelling and work fairly quickly. Then try the wipes witch hazel too. When you get off the toilet, try a shower and spray the hot or cold water right on them. Or even better, sit on a cold pack when you get off the toilet. You can buy soft ones on Amazon that are great to keep in your freezer.

      Keep your bowels soft now. Miralax is a great over the counter laxative that softens stool. Or just simple colace.

      Sorry. ….. Hope they are better soon.

    • Literally 50% of women giving birth have this :

      Not embarassing at all. My dr suggested tucks pads/witch hazel. I wanted to get mine removed but he refused and just told me to “tuck it in”. Switched doctors immediately thereafter.

  7. Ring Re-sizing NYC :

    I was lucky enough to inherit a beautiful diamond ring (her engagement ring) from my grandmother this week. However, it is too large and needs to be re-sized. I’ve never done this before and am very wary of handing over an irreplaceable item to an unknown jeweler. Does anyone have any good recommendations in NYC? Thank you! =)

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I don’t have specific recs, but the advice I’ve heard (and my mother’s approach when she needed hers repaired) is to take sentimental pieces to a jeweler who sells much more expensive jewelry, so that it’s not worth their while to steal yours.

      • oil in houston :

        that’s actually great advice! I’ve used IDJ in NYC in the past if that helps

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Great advice! You could also have the diamonds appraised independently before and after. An appraiser should be able to verify that the diamonds are the same before/after.

  8. Stock grant question :

    For those of you who receive stock grants as a regular part of your compensation, what % do you keep invested in the company stock upon vesting and what % do you sell?

    • nerfmobile :

      Generally I think it’s a mistake to have too much invested in your company. If you have enough other diversified assets you could consider keeping some in the company, but if you don’t have a lot of other investments I would try to move it through. Although I could have made a bundle if I kept all of the stock I received as grants (in hindsight), in the past it was of more value to me immediately to sell and use the money for other things. More recently I’ve been keeping it for a year and then selling (gets some gains and moves it to long-term capital gains).

      • KateMiddletown :

        Agreed but watch the taxes. This is something that is REALLY easy to screw up, so if possible, ask around to find a financial advisor that has experience in this arena (or at least talk to your tax person to make sure you’re not pushing yourself into a higher income bracket.)

    • Stock grant question :

      In case it matters, what i’ve been doing to-date is to keep 15% invested / sell 85% of each vesting.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Post-vesting, you may want to consider holding on to the stock for a year (+1 one day) and then selling to avoid short term cap gains (which is your normal tax rate). If you hold onto the stock for 366 days, you’re in the range of long term cap gains. Not sure how that affects your taxes, but for us (me and DH), it’s less than our normal tax rate.

        Just be careful that you wait a year + a day, if you want to avoid short term cap gains. We didn’t realize this rule until this year.

  9. How could I have handled this better/differently?

    Our babysitter showed a picture of herself in a dress to my son. It was not a flattering picture and make her look heavier than she is (she’s not heavy in the slightest). 4 year old loudly exclaimed, “You look fat in that picture!” I immediately said things like “no, she doesn’t” and “we don’t comment on people’s bodies” but he doubled down and kept saying she looked fat. I apologized to sitter but I could tell she was hurt.

    I know that my son doesn’t associate any stigma with the word fat — he was just making a factual statement in his opinion and seemed confused why I was insisting otherwise. I feel terrible. How can I handle this better going forward?

    • I think you handled it fine. One of the hazards of working with (or just being around) kids that age is they they say things like that.

    • Anonymous :

      If he doubled down “I told you to stop. Go to your room.”

    • It sounds to me like you handled it fine. Kids say really inappropriate things. I have a lot of freckles and my boss’s daughter once told me my face looks like a rotten banana. She was a lot older than 4 at the time, maybe 7 or 8? He was mortified and I was definitely a little hurt but I also didn’t blame him or his wife because I know even kids who are raised to be kind and polite have a tendency to say brutally honest things like that.

      • Jeez, kids say the rudest things sometimes.

        • It’s so strange what they’ll pick up on. I had one kid I baby sat try to draw on freckles to look more like me. (So sometimes it can be sweet!) Of course another friend’s kid was fascinated with my black and white spotted dog–he’s spotted everywhere from his pink tummy to his toes. Her daughter asked me why his mouth “was dirty.” Just truly crazy how they view the world sometimes.

      • One of my earliest memories is asking my grandmother why she had “lines” all over her face. I wasn’t trying to be mean, I just truly didn’t understand what they were or why her skin was different than mine.

        I think kids that age are more clueless than mean. If he was 10, it would obviously be a different story.

    • Anonymous :

      Did you follow up with him later (after babysitter left)?

    • Anonymous :

      Teach him about the art of the white lie.

    • Anonymous :

      Did you make him apologize to the babysitter?

      I would have a talk about how every body is different and special.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think you did a bad job, but it seems like the missing piece is explaining that someone looks fat can hurt their feelings and we don’t want to hurt babysitter’s feelings. You could add that you think is okay to be fat, but some people don’t want to be called fat, so we don’t do that.

      • Anonymous :

        ugh SAYING that someone looks fat can hurt their feelings

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, this.

        I can see how it would be confusing for you to say “no, she doesn’t look fat” when his own eyes are telling him she does indeed look fat.

        I think “we don’t comment on people’s bodies” is the way to go here. And yes, send him to his room if he doubles down.

        I think I might say “I guess it isn’t the most flattering photo, is it?” That has the benefit of being the truth and not gaslighting him. And I’d follow up with “But we don’t comment on people’s bodies because that’s rude.”

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I think there are three things at play here:

      1) Don’t comment on other people’s bodies. You never know what make someone uncomfortable, so just don’t do it. It’s bad manners.

      2) Listen to your mom. When she tells you something is bad manners, you need to listen (or have a time out).

      3) There is nothing wrong with being or looking fat. That’s not the problem. The problem is that certain things are bad manners, and talking about someone’s body — especially when someone else has told you not to! — is bad manners. It would be equally bad manners to say that she looked skinny or bony or curvy or whatever.

      With my kid, I’d make an analogy: “tooting is totally fine and normal, and sometimes you think it’s funny. but it’s bad manners to talk about toots at the dinner table, because it makes some people uncomfortable. when someone asks you to stop talking about something because it makes them uncomfortable (or when mom tells you to), you need to listen.”

      • I’m not a mom but I think this is great (and would probably do the same if I have kids of my own).

        Then again, I think it’s hugely rude to comment on or touch people’s bodies without explicit permission.

        Oh, and Thumper’s mom was right about not saying anything at all if you can’t say something nice.

  10. sneaker advice :

    Has anyone bought the Vince Blair slip on sneakers? Any other similar recs? Happy not to spend that kind of $ but looking for something substantial and comfortable.

    • Keds Crashback

    • Can you wait until a sale? I bought mine at Bloomie’s Friends & Family sale. I don’t think they’re worth paying full price for, but at 25% off, they made more sense to me.

  11. Any suggestions for a gift for new grandparents who came to stay with us for two weeks and were a HUGE help? They’re well off and tend to buy themselves whatever they want, so they’re really hard to shop for. For birthdays I normally do flowers or consumables like See’s candies but I’d like to do something different this time. I plan to send a written thank you note and a framed photo of them with the new grandchild – anyone have any other ideas?

    • Your parents or in-laws? If so a framed photo seems plenty. I am sure the biggest gift was spending time with their grandchild.

    • Anonymous :

      Heartfelt thank you note and framed picture of grandchild are perfect.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the picture is sufficient — but get a really nice frame that goes with their decor, and get a good-quality print (don’t have it printed at walgreens).

    • Senior Attorney :

      Or an electronic photo frame loaded with photos of the baby (preferably the baby with them).

    • check out all the cheesy stuff on shutterflt :

      This is literally how that company stays in business- kids! frames, mugs, albums, greatest grandparwnts calendars. they will love it

  12. Anonymous :

    I’m loving the rebecca taylor tweedy jackets (lots on ruelala today!) – does anyone know how they run? small or tts? I’m a long armed, long legged 8-10 on top. Sometimes cropped boxy jackets either drown any shape I have, or they look like I bought a child size jacket- I’d love any advice!

    Plus, what do you wear under them? I’d plan to wear with black skinny cropped pants – do you look for a white silk cami as pictured?

  13. When I bought something from Macy’s last month, they included one of those tiny sample vials of a new perfume. I fell in love with it, ordered a gift set bc it was a great deal…and the perfume smells nothing like the sample. The sample was warm, rich, and super long-lasting…the perfume I received yesterday is none of those things and wore off by lunch today. The perfume only comes in EDP, so I know it’s not a EDT/EDP mix-up. Should I try returning the perfume and exchanging for another bottle? Or, sadly, does this just happen sometimes where the sample doesn’t smell like the full size? I’m hoping maybe the gift set was leftover from Christmas and that’s why it doesn’t smell right?

    • Baconpancakes :

      I would return the gift set and buy a sample of the perfume from a well-reputed perfume decant company. They buy full bottles and split them into sample sizes and resell them (I do believe this is legal as long as they are clear about what they are doing). I use Scent Splits.

      I’ve often found the sample sizes provided by the stores are actually a different formula than the full bottle perfumes. The decants are just smaller amounts of the big bottles, so it’s quite reliable.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve head that samples are super concentrated and just much better quality than full size. Bait and switch.

  14. In the interest of getting outside of my news bubble and trying to understand alternate points of view:

    Is anyone seeing any reporting or analysis of the steel and aluminum tariffs that casts it in a positive light? I can’t for the life of me understand why this is being done.


    • On NPR’s Marketwatch yesterday, they interviewed the president of Delaware Steel. She was positive on the tariffs for Big Steel, although she stated she thinks that they and their gains will be temporary.

    • Because the president is a petulant man baby. That’s why.

      Searching for deeper reasoning here is pointless.

    • I’m in a red state and call my reps every week. This is the first time I have ever called them and had them be on the same page with my position. The people answering the phone were like “yep, the senator thinks it’s horrible too….”

  15. What would you wear...? :

    to a fiftieth birthday party where the dress code has been repeatedly described as casual by people whom you’ve never seen dress casually? If it matters, the party is being held at a private home and is catered by a local Pakistani restaurant.

    • For occasions like this, I’ve had good luck wearing a shift dress in a flowy fabric. In the summer, paired with fun earrings and metallic sandals, you can go almost anywhere.

    • Senior Attorney :

      In that case I would ask the hostess point blank, what exactly she is wearing.

    • Eileen Fisher? This seems to be right in that wheelhouse.

    • Loose tunic-length silk blouse, a long strand of pearls, slim pants and fashionable flats would be my go-to. I’d bring a beautiful shawl/scarf to add if it ends up being chilly.

    • Daytime or evening?

  16. I found moth holes in a couple wool sweaters. What is your favorite way to prevent this? My closet is lined in cedarwood but the scent is long gone. Does cedar oil or spray work to rejuvenate the moth repelling effect of the wood?

    • I think you have to sand your closet walls to reactivate the cedar smell. You can get a small orbital sander pretty cheaply to keep up with this. Take all your clothing out, sand, vacuum and wipe with a damp cloth everywhere so that you don’t end up with sawdust on your clothing.

      Make sure your sweaters are clean when you store them. Moth larvae are more attracted to body oils on fibers than to clean fibers.

      Use every sweater regularly. Lots of movement will prevent the moth from settling in to lay eggs.

      Other than that, it’s just a bummer and I’m sorry. In your situation I would either deep freeze or throw away the items you’ve found with holes already. Washing alone won’t get rid of any residual moth eggs. I’d hand wash or dry clean your other wool garments, just to be on the safe side.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’ve used little cedar cubes/balls from [email protected], and I top them up with cedar oil when I remember/get worried.

    • Are moth holes a Northern phenomenon? I see moth holes, moth balls, etc. a lot related to clothing care but it’s not anything anyone I know has ever talked about in person. Gulf Coast deep south here (but in an urban area)

  17. Anonymous :

    How do you all introduce members of your team to third parties in conversation, when you want to be polite but make clear they are junior to you? I’ve been using “my colleague” and following up with “he’s on my team and brings expertise in …” but that seems a little wordy or something. Like I’m trying too hard.

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