Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Trumpet Sleeve Blouse

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

This blouse looks like a great basic and a very up-to-date trend piece if you’re looking for a an easy way to bring your spring wardrobe into 2017. While the top has a basic neckline, these trumpet sleeves look functional and pretty without being too gothic or floofy or just too much. This just looks like a simple, easy piece, and I like that the sleeves are sort of split, as well. My favorite is the green (it also comes in black), but the white looks great, and in the reviews it’s the one that everyone seems to be extolling the virtues of — a lot of people love it as the perfect white blouse. It’s machine washable, and it’s $55 at Nordstrom in sizes 2-12. Trumpet Sleeve Blouse

Here’s a plus-size option from Eloquii.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Hello Hive
    In exactly 2 weeks, I would have survived my first year in europe working in consulting. It was intense and I had the hardest time moving in and settling but I’m very happy.

    I am curious to know how your prep before a very intense peak of work.

    I am currently wrapping up a 1-year project and the partner on my case (MBB) said she wants me to work 1 on 1 with her on a super intense micro project for 2 days.
    It’s something we haven’t done before and she wants to use it as a piece of “marketing” to show clients we can also do this kind of work.

    The thing is I don’t know anything about this until Monday morning. Then, I would have a crazy 48 hours.
    I am excited that she chose me out of the whole office and I don’t want to disappoint.
    Besides getting a lot of sleep this weekend, how do you make sure to prep for a demanding fast-paced project to stay on top of your to-dos and capture all insights?

    I’m thinking of buying a notebook just for this project and try to do some form of bullet journal.

    What think? Any tips?

    • I guess this depends on what your personal needs are, but hunger is a common distractor for me. I’d keep some snacks and a water bottle on you. Also, pick your most comfortable clothes. Basically, anticipate things that make you physically uncomfortable and plan ahead.

    • Do you normally use task lists in your work flow? If so, then use them. I don’t think you need to overhaul your whole system and buy notebooks/figure out bullet journaling just for one project. Do you have other projects that will need your attention early next week? I’d make sure you have those caught up and ready to be paused for a few days if you can’t get to emails or whatever. I’d also suggest doing any life prep like having outfits picked out and ready to go, stock your office drawer with a few snacks in case you don’t have time to run out and get meals, etc.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Totally agree. Stick with your usual system and do what you can to make sure everything else is as up to date as possible (including laundry, cleaning, food prep) so you can focus.

        Glad to hear you had a good year and see you around here!

        • Thanks! it feels great to be back.
          I just needed to focus on getting promoted because it was my first year. But I am now officially back in this community.
          I usually have a task list and it’s on a huge notebook because I love crossing things off.
          As this is work with a very tough (capable) partner, I wanted to be extremely organized to not miss a beat.
          My apartment definitely needs some cleaning and I have started working on a small “sacred” space for meditation.

    • Anonymous4 :

      Congrats! That sounds exciting. Definitely concur that a bullet journal could be very helpful.

      Aside from plenty of sleep, making wise dietary/exercise choices – like plenty of fresh foods and fresh air – always seems to help me feel my sharpest.

      If you’re a coffee drinker – I find that one really good cup is far more beneficial to me than a whole pot of average/poor coffee. So when I need to be at the top of my game, I splurge for the best brew I can find rather than drinking whatever is sitting in the office coffee pot. If you’re not a coffee drinker, a good cup of yerba mate or earl grey can do the same.

      I don’t know what other work responsibilities you may have, but I try to make sure all my regular tasks are squared away so I’m not worried about trying to get them accomplished. Work ahead, delegate, set up away messages on email or voicemail if appropriate, make sure nagging household chores are done – whatever things might distract you during the course of your intense work period.

      Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t really do anything, and I certainly wouldn’t waste time with a bullet journal. It’s two days. You don’t need a big organizational scheme. Just have a note pad and a pen, and show up early, rested, and with a plan to stay late.

      You already proved yourself capable- you’ll do great!

    • Meditate. Start today. 10 to 15 minutes. Relaxation leads to clarity.

      • Funny that you mention that as I just started doing it. I downloaded an app called “Calm” and it’s been 6 days that I do daily meditation. We’ll see how that goes

        • Good luck! It changed my life. Other resources were the book “8 Minute Meditation” which is written by a lawyer and not at all touchy feely, and the insight timer app. You can set a timer to go off with a chime, select music or ambient sound to meditate to, or use their many guided meditations. It’s all free. The number of options has multiplied exponentially (is that redundant?) since I started using it 5 or so years ago.

    • I would keep your work systems the same for this project since it’s just two days and clearly your methods are effective.

      I would just focus on automating the rest of your life. Pull out what outfits you’re going to wear for those two days. Make sure that they make you feel powerful and are comfortable. This is not a time to wear something fussy, uncomfortable, or new. I’d also pre-prep whatever food you need for those two days and stash a couple of bars/nuts/whatever in your desk/bag in case your’re too busy for meals. I also wouldn’t depart from your normal caffeination schedule. You never know how you’re going to react to that quadruple shot venti.

      But congrats. You will be fantastic! This opportunity seems to be well deserved. Look forward to this as your time to shine.

    • Consider setting an automatic response for those days – “Due to the high volume of X, I will not able to address your request immediately. For urgent matters, please contact XYZ.”

  2. What underwear do you use to work out? I’ve been upgrading mine to hanky panky and the like, but now that I have nice underwear I’m not super thrilled about working out in delicates the way I would in my old cotton stuff (that was a lot cheaper)!

    • anon anon armani :

      Dulth trading company … amazing wicking ones that are called armacool or something like that.

    • I go commando when I work out. I either wear shorts that have a built in liner or running tights that have a gusset and don’t require undies.

    • None–running shorts have the built in brief, and I just don’t wear anything under yoga pants (which I wear to yoga, barre and Pilates). I wear bike shorts to spin, and those also call for nothing underneath.

      I used to wear just a plain VS cotton th0ng under yoga pants, but I didn’t have very many of those so I’d end up going without by the end of a laundry cycle anyway. Eventually just decided to skip it entirely.

    • Natori bliss for gym-type stuff and Smartwool for hiking. I go commando in bike shorts, since you’re supposed to.

    • Smartwool and Icebreaker. Game changers after using cotton for so many years!

  3. Make sure you are well fed. Copious amounts of pizza and coke will not help your long term health nor your short term project. Head to a grocery store that sells prepared foods and stock up on 2 days wort of lunch, dinner, and healthy snacks. Also try to squeeze in a yoga/ gym session each day this weekend to address any pre-project nerves!

  4. Podcast Rec :

    I know people often ask for podcast recommendations here, so I wanted to share one I recently came across. It’s called Smartest Person in the Room (hosted by Laura Tremaine). It’s relatively new and independently produced, and features interviews with experts in different fields/topic areas.

    The most recent episodes have been on religion and I’ve found many to be fascinating (particularly the ones on reformed Judaism and political Islam). There was also an earlier episode with writer/director Julie Hebert that focused on being a woman director in Hollywood and her side project of videoing women who are making a difference and going unrecognized.

    Anyway, just though some of you may enjoy it!

  5. Martinique? :

    Has anyone ever been? Any recs you could give on where to stay/what to do would be greatly appreciated!

    We are planning a 4 or 5 day trip at the end of March. 2 adults. Love food, beautiful beaches, hiking, history.

    • Anonymous :

      IIRC, Napoleon’s first wife (Josephine) was from Martinique. Or so they said on Great Sargasso Sea (male frontal nudity — wish I’d known that before watching it with my mom). Could be some interesting historical sites.

    • I was there for a week in high school, so…2005, maybe? It was absolutely beautiful. We stayed at the Sofitel, which is still one of my favorite all-time resorts–so beautiful and relaxing, even for a bratty 15-year-old. I think most of the nice hotels are in that area of the island, if I recall correctly. The food was great. I would not recommend staying in or near Fort-de-France, unless it’s changed drastically since I was there: it was gritty, dirty, and one of the few places I’ve ever felt unsafe as a traveler.

      Other cool stuff to do: hiking or horseback riding up in the jungle, taking the ferry over to Fort-de-France to the day to shop and eat, touring Josephine’s childhood home which is now a museum, and visiting a rum distillery (was not into it at 15, would probably like it way more now).

      English was not widely spoken while I was there. Don’t know if that’s still true, but it was very much a French vacation destination, not an American one.

      • Oh, also go to the Jardin de Balata.

      • Martinique? :

        Thanks emeralds! That’s helpful!

        Will we have a problem if we don’t speak French? Fiance took a couple years in high school so can probably exchange pleasantries but not much more than that…

        • I can’t speak to that, unfortunately! My mom is fluent in French and I was an intermediate-high speaker at that point…and we were there for a French teachers’ conference so I didn’t even talk to anyone who couldn’t speak French well. I can say that it was definitely not a place where you’d try to speak French and would be answered by hotel staff or servers in English.

        • Young people (<35 will) and the more senior people will, but there is a group in the middle that doesn't. This fits with the period they backed away from tourism. At more touristy places everyone will, but be prepared for a couple encounters of pantomime at some point. Again, it's very much French culture there, so you might get a couple people that are more hesitant to use the limited English that they might know.

          • Martinique? :

            Forgive me for being a little daft on the subject, but the “French culture” descriptors almost seem like a warning??? Would we (two 23 year old Americans who can’t speak French) be better off going somewhere else?

          • I’m fluent in French, lived in France/Martinique and have worked for a French company. All that to say, I’m intimately familiar with French culture. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So, if you liked France you’ll not get as bothered by some of the quirks of Martinique as someone who didn’t enjoy their time in France.

          • I would say don’t be hesitant about going to a place where you can’t speak the language! Smiling and using a few niceties (thank you, hello, yes, sorry I don’t speak [language]) gets you pretty far in most cases.

          • What does that *mean*?

            Too much butter, delicious bread, red wine (not sure that works for the locale on this last one) and smoking furiously?

            Or something like Americain go home?

    • I’ve spent a lot of time there (it’s been a few years though), and generally prefer the north to the south. Fort de France is nice to visit for the day, but I wouldn’t stay there.

      Very easy to get around by rental car.

      It’s been a long time since the heyday of tourism in Martinique in the late 80’s – early 90’s, when there were direct flights from the US and lots of cruise ships in the harbor. One of the reasons is that the island became less welcoming to tourists. This has changed a little, but it’s still a different vibe then you might get in some other islands. It’s also very much a French island, with the pluses and minuses that come with that.

      • Martinique? :

        Can you explain your last two sentences in a little more depth if you dont mind? We’ve been to many different Caribbean islands so a comparison might be helpful….

        • A lot of the other islands are very geared towards tourism / expat lifestyle. They set things up to be welcoming / charming. Martinique decided at a certain point the economy based on agriculture/ industry was strong enough to not ‘have’ be a tourist destination. Essentially the attitude was a combination of DGAF about tourists, combined with some racial/class tensions (more directed at the bekes and French than Americans).

          While the attitude now is not negative, it’s not an attitude that screams welcome. They are also fairly wealthy because they are part of France.

          As far as France… if you have visited France, think about what you liked and what you didn’t. Martinique will have many of the same traits.

        • Giant stereotypes and gross oversimplifications will abound throughout this post: but the French are overall one of the less warm, fuzzy, and welcoming cultures that I’ve experienced. Like when I’ve been to St. Thomas, people are interested in who you are and where you’re from, and seem to feel, to some extent, invested in making sure that you enjoy your time on their island. I remember people in Martinique being perfectly pleasant, but there was that level of Gallic reserve–very few people were going too far out of their way to be helpful, warm, or welcoming, although we certainly met some lovely people while we were there who were nothing but kind to us. It’s the same kind of difference that you might experience between somewhere like Paris and somewhere like Charleston–there’s just a very, very different cultural vibe with some different values. That doesn’t mean don’t go to Paris, that just means don’t be prepared for everyone you meet to roll out the red carpet and be super-excited to see you.

          • Agree on my stereotypes and simplifications… I can go tons deeper, but that will take me all morning.

          • ATL is in the house :

            Interesting. The vibe I get from Charleston society types and locals I’ve met is that they hate you with every fibre of their being but definitely want you to leave your $ there.

            When I go, most of the actual locals are lovely (and so many of them are not people who ever lost the family fortune in the war), but as I’ve gone up the food chain, I feel like they just want you to go back to the way it used to be (in a bad and horrifying way).

            It’s complicated, but I don’t go there anymore.

  6. I just had a product manager, who is an engineer, ask me if carbon was a (specialty) metal. -__-

    Heaven help me – this day better go by quickly.

    • Ooooh boy.

      • Did I mention I had included the specialty metal definition word-for-word in my original email? I essentially told her to reread and try again. #notfeelinggeneroustoday

        • JuniorMinion :

          Maybe she was thinking of Cobalt? that’s all I got.

          • I thought that at first too, but I knew the specific part we were talking about and it couldn’t have been cobalt.

          • Maybe couldn’t is a strong word. I knew she meant carbon because I knew for a fact she skimmed my email without actually reading it (per usual) and grabbed the mention of the carbon content mentioned in regard to steel at the very bottom. Sigh.

          • Mercy. And it’s not even close to 5pm.

          • Luckily, I only have to make it to 4:00 p.m. and I already have wine at home!!

            Hope everyone else’s day is less frustrating!! :)

    • JuniorMinion :

      Did you introduce him to google? Half kidding with this. Thats pretty bad….

    • Anonymous :

      Dear sweet Jesus, even my 8 year old knows what carbon is. [Query whether she has been sneaking Breaking Bad again . . .]

    • This particular PM is a fan of asking others to do her job for her. I refuse. She is also not great at reading comprehension. Killing me.

    • That’s bad. Maybe she was thinking of carbon steel, or something? But still!

  7. Genevieve :

    My first thought when I saw this shirt:

    “But I don’t wanna be a pirate!”

    • Yeah, I feel like white blouses need to be tailored (they can still have “feminine” details like ruffles or peplum or whatever), but there needs to be a certain level of structure or you end up with a “Pirate or Renaissance Wench?” situation on your hands.

  8. Anonymous :

    I’ve noticed several previous threads about relationships with mothers. Here’s my vent and virtual hug to say, “it gets better”. I grew up in a dysfunctional household with many challenges, including poverty, domestic violence, and essentially raising my younger siblings because my mom was a single mom. I succeeded despite, not because of, my mom, and its annoying when people comment that I must have had a wonderful strong mom to turn out so well.

    I had to cut her out of my life with no contact for over a year and a half at the suggestion of my therapist, and it was the best decision I ever made. Now, my spouse and I have limited contact with her in very regulated settings, like we’ll meet her for lunch at a restaurant and have an end time by which to leave. We don’t do holidays with her because she always will cause a scene and ruin the holiday.

    My mom is extremely narcissistic, and she always plays the victim. She can’t stand not being the center of attention. For instance in high school, she refused to attend any of my sports, music, or academic banquets. She almost didn’t attend my high school graduation because “who cares, its not an achievement to graduate from high school”. For my National Honor Society banquet, she refused to take me to purchase the required long black skirt, and I didn’t have my license, so I was utterly embarrassed asking a friend’s parent to drive me to the store, and then the banquet, and be the only kid without family at the event. Her reasoning was “its not an honor if 60 students all get the same honor”.

    When I told my mom I needed space for my own well being, she tried to physically attack me (in front of my husband) and said I was no longer her daughter. Of course, she then spent the next year and a half complaining to my siblings about how ungrateful I was for cutting her out of my life. I do think she mellowed out somewhat, and I continue to check in with my therapist, but I strongly urge anyone who sees a glimmer of their own situation in my story to get help: therapy, self-help books, even limiting the time with your mother. I finally realize I’m not obligated to have a relationship with a truly toxic individual.

    • You sound like an incredibly intelligent, self-aware, and compassionate person. You didn’t mention whether you have children (or plan to), but either way, any children in your life (be it yours or a sibling’s or a friend’s) will be lucky to have you. I’m sorry you had to go through all of this, but damn, lady, you sure as h*ll didn’t let it beat you.

    • Good grief. I don’t really have words of advice, and it seems like you’re doing well in spite of her, but hugs to you.

      My mom makes everything about her, but it’s because of depression, not narcissism. Still, it sucks to deal with. I’ve learned (now, in my mid-thirties!) to set firm boundaries, like I do with a child. As in, if she acts a certain way, I won’t play with her. It works for us.

    • This is very similar to my experience with my mother. Add to the mix that she definitely favored my younger brother and went to all his sporting events — every single football game. I don’t think she ever came to a concert I performed in, any of my academic banquets, my National Honor Society functions (I was the president), etc.

      Her reasoning, at least for the band things? “I don’t like classical music.”

      I have a very limited relationship with my mother. We speak via text most often — probably once every month or so, on a very surface level. Like your mother, she loves to be the center of attention, can’t handle things not going her way. I see her usually once a year, with my younger sibling or husband present.

      It complicates my relationship with my father, who I love, and who is still married to her. But he travels independently, and I see/talk to him more often as a result. I also check in with my therapist regularly, and ask my husband for his take on things, because my mother has gas-lit me for years about my reactions to her behavior (including physical violence).

      TL;DR: Yes, please, if any of this sounds like your experience, get thee to a therapist, or limit your time, or both. Your life will improve immensely.

    • I’m sorry you went through that and I sympathize. I had a rocky relationship with my stepmother in what otherwise looked like a normal, happy family and it causes problems to this day. I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say much of what you wrote rings very true. I hope we will all rise above and be better mothers to our own children if we choose to have them – one of the main things I hope to learn in therapy.

    • You are amazing.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.e

      Good luck to you.

    • Anon for Now :

      Thank you for sharing this. My husband has dealt with this from his mother, and I have for the last 15 years as his wife and a daughter-in-law. We finally cut his parents out of our lives last year, and it has been a hard but good decision for us (and especially for my husband). Thank you for the reassurance that sometimes no contact is the right move. When we told my mother in law that they (her and my FIL) were not welcome at our house and that we would not be responding to communication, she accused me of cutting our kids off from their only living grandfather (my dad died when I was a kid).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My situation was similar. Cutting my mother out of my life was one of the best things I ever did for my mental health. I’ve never re established a relationship with her but see her briefly every few years when a sibling has a big event.

      It may not always be the best idea to cut someone out of your life, but I fully support anyone who reaches that point.

    • Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Good for you for realizing this!

    • Thank you for sharing and good on you for seeking help. I used to think I was an outlier for having a poisonous, vicious person as a mother. People on this site sharing their stories is part of what made me realize that I wasn’t, and that it was OK to limit my contact with my mother as much as possible for my own sanity.

    • cutting out mom :

      Are you my long-lost sister? Good for you for cutting her out. Also, don’t be swayed by those who criticize you for doing this. I had to do essentially the same thing, and definitely lost “friends” and contact with other family members over it. I went further, and cut her out completely. I hope it doesn’t come to that for you, but don’t discount the possibility.

      “We don’t do holidays with her because she always will cause a scene and ruin the holiday.” Yes, same here. She has thrown a tantrum at every holiday I have ever had.

      “For instance in high school, she refused to attend any of my sports, music, or academic banquets.” Mine wouldn’t go to any games . And when I got an athletic scholarship to play basketball and run track at [a PAC10] school, she told me I had to play sports since I can’t do anything else in life. And I was valedictorian of my class and majored in EECS. To that, she said I went to a crappy public high school (arguably true but still come on) and EECS is for “losers.”

      “When I told my mom I needed space for my own well being, she tried to physically attack me (in front of my husband) . . . .” Yeah, same here. My oldest son intervened by gently trying to just stand in between us and she punched him in the face.

      “I finally realize I’m not obligated to have a relationship with a truly toxic individual.” Thumbs up! :)

  9. Shirt you can not tuck (but not a peplum) :

    I’m looking for a shirt that I can wear untucked (but that doesn’t have a peplum). Like a nice long-sleeve popover.

    I’m a high-waisted pear and tucked in things always look oddly bunched if tucked in. But with a really short torso (I’m 5-4, so I am petite above the waist but have the dimensions of a non-petite plus monster hips below), it’s hard to get the balance right.

    I want a shirt (can be casual) that is designed for untucking (not something like an oxford left untucked). And pretty would be nice.

    Here is a link to something that is on the right track (but I’m thinking that the shape would make me look blockish in the middle and it may still be too long — ending at high hip seems to work best).

    Tunics don’t seem to work on me (too wide at the top, not wide enough at the bottom).

    Prefer knits to woven fabrics.

    • I think something like this from Cos could be really chic for you.

      I am also eyeing this top which depending on your hip differential could not work out as well.

      I am on a “no-buy” until April 1 but I have both of these in my cart waiting for that day. I think they could both work in a lot of work and non-work situations and are both machine washable!

      • Those are both gorgeous, but especially the first one. I would feel so sophisticated wearing it.

    • Ann Taylor has a few good options, IMO, with petites available:

      Here is a better version of the shirt posted today:

      Dresseir top:

      Structured jersey top:

      There are a ton more there, but I think the above are my favorites and work-friendly.

    • Boden usually has some of those Ottoman ribbed tops that are truly tops, not sweaters, not blouses, not shirts.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I never tuck in my top either. I’ve had good luck at Boden.

        Not sure if they still have them, but NY&Company used to have a funnel neck top made out of a really substantial fabric that looks fine untucked. I’ve had luck with other tops there as well.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Some of the Pleione tops have worked like this for me…. although some are way too drapey / have too much fabric at the bottom.

      Also Caslon has some good stuff

      Maybe with the vents at the bottom might alleviate the hip area tightness?

      As an aside I love Talbots :)

    • I think we should shop together. I have the same proportions.

      • Shirt you can not tuck (but not a peplum) :

        I could use a wingwoman!

        I need a slim cut where I am slim, and then easing past where my hips begin to sprout. High volume is OK. Low volume and excess flowiness are not. Highly shaped pieces often done match my dimensions.

        Elizabethan ruff: yes! balances out volume in the hips, accencuates small and very high waist. Centuries too late, but elaborate chunky turtlenecks are often a good choice if they are otherwise slim and slighly cropped (Athelta Derek Lam on sale last year for the major win here).

        Modern tight-fitting yet elaborately seamed athletic wear: no! the boobs are always too big and low and where my waist is, the waist is where I start to get larger again, and the length is always wrong (I aim to try Athleta petite workout tops when I have some rewards points; will report back)

      • Me too! Have either of you found jeans that work that aren’t crazy expensive? I’m so not digging the high waist trend that is going on right now.

        • Shirt you can not tuck (but not a peplum) :

          I swear by Levis curvy cut (on the website). I’m a BR 6 in their curvy cut pants and I think at least a 10 in the Levis (I may need the waist taken in as I’ve seesawed lately by about .5 of a size (literally: one Chicken Tikka Massala a week)). They are the only skinnies I’ve ever liked. I usually wear boot cuts with western boots or ropers with them.

        • hoola hoopa :

          My go-to for a decade was loft, but then their quality took a nose dive. I still have a few from the early 2000’s that I’m nursing along, but I haven’t even tried since ~2010.

          Lands End are admittedly total mom jeans (hellooo huge, low back pockets). I was going to return them but then they were just. so. comfortable. They fit really well and the fabric is really nice.

          I’ve done surprisingly well with ON rockstar skinnies. I do like them in high waist, because I’ve had a few kids and that area ain’t what it used to be!

          I’ve heard promising things about Eddie Bauer curvy fit, but I haven’t tried them.

        • High waisted jeans are not for our shape. Just stay away from it.

          Medium rise. I stick with skinny jeans and a few boot cuts and am looking for flares (boot cuts/flares look best proportionally for our figures).

          A reasonably priced jeans option is Treasure & Bond (Nordstrom brand).

          Loft’s curvy line also sometimes works.

  10. Anonymous :

    Any tips for getting through the workday with the physical symptoms of depression? My attention span is not great and I’m always distracted. I’m tired and don’t find much pleasure in my work. I’m already in therapy, taking antidepressants, exercising regularly, sleeping and eating OK, and doing lots of self-care. The causes of the depression are situational and can’t be changed – “when you’re going through h*ll, keep going”. Any tips would be appreciated.

    • Have you tried setting really tight deadlines for yourself? I often have a wandering attention span when I know something isn’t urgent. Good luck getting through the situation.

    • Happy light in the morning.

      A quick walk outside at lunch. In the sun.


      • SRSLY — this, + 1 million

        Get outside, in the sun, and get moving. Go somewhere inconvenient for coffee. You’ll be glad you did.

    • I said it above, but…meditate! I have suffered from situational depression and you are doing the same things I did, and they worked for me. But I was in an incredibly difficult work situation another time and didn’t suffer those symptoms as much (constant crying, stomach stuff, lack of concentration) and I attribute that to daily meditation (and prayer, if that’s your bag).

      • +1 That’s been my experience in meditating for more than 2 years – less stress and not feeling depressed as often. I handle stress much better with panicking the way I used to.

    • Try a detailed task list where you can cross things off as you go and use the pomodoro method to have short periods of intense focus. I also do better with tighter deadlines.

      • Frozen Peach :

        +1 million to the pomodoro. When I feel this way I frequently have a list of “fun things to research or life tasks that can be done quickly” so that I don’t wander down a rabbit hole during my break.

        Also, when I was in school I would sometimes resort to pure classical conditioning:
        “If you finish reading this case you get 3 m&ms. If you finish reading the next one you get 3 more…”

    • I’ve had some success in the three-task post-it solution when I’ve been depressed or burnt out at work. At the start of the day, I write down three tasks I will accomplish that day. None are enormous. I get to cross them off as I complete them, and when I’ve crossed them all off, I can throw away the post-it.

    • Set a timer for 15 or 20 min. and see how much you can get done. When I had depression, the hardest part was getting started. Force yourself to work that block of time, then take a break. Get up, go get a glass of water or go to the bathroom. Come back and set the timer again.

    • And there you have it :

      Two things are currently helping me. One, putting on headphones and listening to brainfm dot com. Two, making and keeping a list of every task little or big that I’ve completed as the task is completed. I sent out an email? goes on the list. I had a quick convo with a colleague re handling strategy? Goes on the list. It works wonders, keeps me looking forward, and feeds my sense of accomplishment. I don’t necessarily do both at the same time. In fact, I’m finding the list on its own has helped tremendously. Hope it works for you.

    • If you’re like me, this will sound terrible, but … getting up early and going to the gym in the morning. Somehow the mixture of physically tired but also energized is the best for my body when depression is telling me “just hide under your desk and cry…”

      Caffeine, too.

  11. I can’t wait for the trumpet sleeve trend to die. I really don’t like the look, on anyone. Is it just me? Do most people like it?

    • BabyAssociate :

      It’s not just you! I find it to be a horrible combination of dated and unflattering.

    • I agree — I had a few trumpet sleeve tops in the early 2000’s. They were a PITA because the sleeves dangled into everything. I’m sitting this trend out.

      • hoola hoopa :

        This. I’ve seen a couple recently that I like, but then I remember how obnoxious they were to actually wear. Sleeves in soup, sleeves in ink, sleeves that don’t fit in a jacket or cardigan, etc.

    • I’m just waiting until I catch myself on fire with a bell sleeve. The downside of cooking with gas.

      • I actually did that, the last time trumpet sleeves were in fashion. Thankfully the fabric wasn’t super-flammable, so I didn’t actually catch fire completely, but I did get singed. Also, every single shirt with a trumpet sleeve I owned had to get thrown out after a few wearings because the sleeves get stained so easily. I’m also sitting out this trend.

    • anon anon armani :

      How do they work with a blazer? I can’t imagine.

    • I wouldn’t wear it but Dorit on RHOBH rocks it often and I think she always looks put together.

    • I tried on a similar shirt that looked awfully silly on me. I felt like a child or a clown.

    • I don’t absolutely hate the look, but I DO hate swathes of extra fabric getting in my way when I’m trying to do things with my hands. I’d give myself about 20 minutes of wearing sleeves like this before I got food, coffee, and/or ink on them.

    • I looooove bell sleeves but my entire life has a very casual dress code, I can’t imagine making them work in even a business casual setting, it’s definitely a socializing only trend.

    • I was in high school during the grunge era. I’m over any desire to look like a hippie or a poet.

    • Yeah, it’s not a trend I’ll be wearing.

  12. What shoes do you wear with wider bootcut or flared jeans? I feel like they drag on the ground with ballet flats/loafers, they don’t tuck into knee high boots and when worn over ankle boots the look seems a bit country western.

    • I have a boot problem :

      Girlfriend: get thee some real western books in a city leather (I prefer lizard, but anything that will take a shine will do). Or maybe some ropers. Also consider whether the hem needs to be adjusted — once you have your boots, bring them and your jeans to a good tailor.

      FWIW, I only do boot cuts. I’m 5-4 and otherwise it’s too d*mn much volume.

      I think that cropped boot-cut pants and black flats can be really cute, but you have to get it completely right.

    • Heels.

      Chunky heels

    • Get them hemmed so that you can wear them with flats, if that is what you prefer.

    • Your ankle boots are probably fine. Also, if the boots are otherwise nice, what’s wrong with a little C&W feel? I mean, you’re not pairing it with a pearl-snap Western-yoked shirt, right?

      I’d also try a wedge (thinking of my Cole Haan Tali wedges), which have a toe that looks like a ballet flat, but some height with the wedge to get the hem off the ground.

    • Heels or wedges. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing that looks on trend with flared jeans right now.

    • lost academic :

      Lord, this is what I love and hate about them! They’re my go-to pant shape (that fit always seems to best accommodate wider hips) but I can’t tuck them into boots! I tend to wear a loafer with a bit of a heel. Ankle boots (paddock boots if they’re my good ones and I shined them) too.

  13. Management? :

    I’m in my 2nd entry-level job and want to learn more about what the next level up does, but I am having a very hard time understanding what management is. It seems like this nebulous supervisory/decision-making role that, on TV, gets portrayed as the boss in the office not doing too much work besides reviewing employee performance, okaying vacation days, and having the final approval on memos to be distributed. I know that’s not true and that there’s more to it, but I’m struggling to understand what it is that a manager does day to day. And what is the difference between a product manager vs. a program manager vs. any other type of manager?

    • This will vary heavily by company. In my org, managers are SME’s with specific scopes of work in addition to managing a team. Work is generally doled out by level and the more complex/risky/high stakes work is done by as high of a management team as needed. Compliance is done by entry level, review of that work is done by the next level, supervisors are responsible for odds and ends within particular practice groups and training, managers work on new issues, new business ventures, work with external stakeholders, etc.

      Many of our issues bleed down to the lowest level, so entry level still attends meetings to learn, observe and are rewarded/promoted based on how well they absorb the new information and how proactive they are in incorporating it into their compliance work.

    • I can’t speak to your questions on manager types, but actually, my role as a manager does seem a little like what you describe. I don’t do nearly as much writing or analysis (“work”) as I used to; I use my judgment to make decisions off more limited data than before, solve problems with partners and portfolio companies in a transaction-oriented environment, review my team’s work so it’s ready for executive/outside review, do training, liaise with other departments to make my team work smarter (not harder), and advocate for them / coach them as needed.

      • This sounds a lot like my role. The thing that has surprised me is that I do a lot more ‘admin’ type tasks than I used to, but in a different way, e.g. planning out how tasks will be done, who is the best person in my team to do them, how can I create capacity in my team, budgets and tracking, co-ordinating with other departments and making sure information is available, planning for meetings I’m running and how to structure them to get to an outcome or consensus, thinking and researching/discussing how to improve the ‘service’ we offer to the business and outside stakeholders.

        I’m a qualified professional and to an outsider/my staff it probably seems like anyone without the technical skills could do these things, but it’s really the technical background and experience that enable me to do these things, make the right decisions efficiently, and direct my team’s performance.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I would go on and post this question to the open thread post that goes up every Friday – luckily that’s today! You’ll get lots of different perspectives from managers. It really depends, you can be managing direct reports, managing a process or workstream, managing a project to ensure success – there are different types of management and most of them are not the TV version.

    • Management? :

      Thanks! I just posted there – had never been on the site before today!

    • As others have said, this varies so widely from industry to industry, company to company, by role, etc.

      I would suggest you approach 2-3 managers at your company and say that you are trying to learn more about your career options and your industry, and you wonder if you could ask them some questions about the work they’re doing – maybe over coffee or lunch.

      Then, have a few open-ended questions prepared, like “What is your favorite part of your job? What is the most difficult? What’s different than you expected? What did you find most challenging when you first moved into a management role?”

      This will get you the answers you’re looking for, and also get yourself on the radar as someone who would like to move up in the company.

  14. Outsourcing :

    I need some advice / perspective on outsourcing, as it’s starting to be a point of contention between myself and DH. Apologies for the novel!

    I’m due with our first baby soon and we live in a renovated but old house in the suburbs, about an hour from our offices. My parents live a mile away from us- my dad is retired and my mom was a stay at home mom. My job allows me to work remotely about once a week, and they’ve been very understanding about all the doctors appointments etc that come toward the end of pregnancy, so I would say I’ve actually been working more like 3 days a week from home and work has been slow. DH is at a startup that is less flexible and very time consuming- he’s often out of the house for 12 hours, comes home and eats dinner with me, and then works for another 3 hours from home.

    For some context, we couldn’t have grown up more differently. Even with a stay at home mom, I had cleaning ladies in the house every day – I never did a load of laundry or had any chores beyond keeping my room tidy. Dirty dishes went in the sink, where they then magically jumped to the dishwasher and back into the cabinets clean. My bed was made every day, but not by me. Not a normal way to grow up. I completely 100% respect DH for not wanting our kids to grow up this way (and we don’t have the money for this sort of help). On the other hand, DH was raised by a single working mom and weekends were all about house chores. His entire Friday night and Saturday from the time he was in elementary school was about cleaning the house, running errands, doing laundry, etc. It meant he couldn’t do certain activities like sports teams. To the extent we can avoid this, I don’t want our kids lives to be like this either.

    I feel like there has to be a happy medium where we’re responsible for certain household things, and our kids have certain responsibilities but we’re able to outsource enough to protect family time on the weekends.

    There are certain things my mom offers to do that I would be inclined to take her up on that I can tell grate on DH. Ex: I’ll get a text saying she’s stopping at Costco, do we need anything? And it’s a lifesaver for me to be able to answer yes!!! Toilet paper and whatever else we need and then get to cross off an errand on my to-do list for the weekend. Last night I got home from work and found my driveway plowed and all paths/sidewalks shoveled and was SO relieved I didn’t have to deal with it 9 months pregnant. My dad surprised me and came over to shovel for me when the snow stopped and flagged down a plow for the driveway. I was so appreciative! DH got home from work at 11pm and was annoyed that someone did something to his house without permission instead of being grateful that he didn’t have to go shovel at 11pm.

    It turned into this whole conversation about how it’s important to him to be independent and he doesn’t like other people (my parents or hired help) doing stuff around the house because he should be doing it. This totally overwhelmed me because I feel like outsourcing is the only way you can have two sane working parents with a commute.

    We’re hiring a nanny for the baby when he arrives, and my thought was to hire someone willing to do light housekeeping and errands while with the baby. But then last night he’s basically saying he doesn’t want someone doing our laundry, doesn’t want anyone running errands like going to the grocery store, doesn’t want someone preparing meals, etc. He doesn’t want to hire someone to mow our lawn, insists on grooming our dog himself (a 4 hour project every 6 weeks), and a million other time consuming things. To me, this is just unsustainable! He also doesn’t fully appreciate how much work it is to maintain an older home and gets frustrated when I “hire a guy” to fix stuff he says he’ll do but never gets around to. I’ve been crossing a flurry of projects off before the baby comes, including having our AC fixed (broken since august), our toilet in a guest room replaced (broken since September, where his mom stays when she’ll visit for baby), getting garage door fixed (broken since we moved in, now hard for me to close manually so pregnant). Everything is an appointment and coordination and an item on my to do list, but at least then it’s done! None of this is because we’re short on money- from what I can tell it’s all based on a sense of pride and the idea that he should do things independently.

    I hate that we save all these miserable chores for ourselves! I want to be able to take my baby to the beach with my husband on a Saturday and get to spend quality time with my family once im a working mom! Not feel guilty that we have a million household things we’ve refused to hire help for and now have to address. I feel like we’re jealously guarding chores for the sole purpose to make our lives more complicated.

    Help me with other perspectives or how to approach this conversation or compromises you’ve reached.

    • Wait, he’s annoyed that you, as a pregnant and working lady, hired someone to fix broken (and necessary) items in your house after he said he would do them for months and then didn’t? He needs a serious attitude change.

    • Your husband sounds crazy. I get that he doesn’t want his in-laws dropping by for dinner unannounced, but why would anyone object to having their driveway shoveled for free? I guess I can sort of understand why having his in-laws doing his chores could be emasculating, but I don’t understand at all his reluctance to hire help if you can afford it. It’s beyond unfair to ask you to do extra laundry because he doesn’t want a nanny doing it, and frankly it’s insane, when you could essentially have a nanny doing it for free while the baby’s napping. I see zero downside and a huge upside to asking a nanny to help with light housekeeping and his position is totally nonsensical to me.

    • Ignore him and keep doing it. “Dude, you work 15 hours a day. So when you say you want to do it, in reality land where I live, I get stuck with it. That isn’t independence it’s burdening me with chores because you gots some work to do about your feelings. Srsly. Listen to yourself. My dad shoveled the driveway because I’m 8 months pregnant and you get home and you’re annoyed?!? The f is wrong with you??? You should be grateful.”

      I’m so over phrasing things to protect fragile man feelings. You are mad. He’s being ridiculous. Tell him that.

      • Yeahhhh I’ve never been in this situation, but I’m having a really hard time finding a way to be compassionate and considerate and empathetic with your husband’s position. If he was willing or able to take on a disproportionate share of the chores, sure, but he’s working 15 hours a day. It’s not physically possible.

      • +1,000,000

      • YUP.

      • “That isn’t independence it’s burdening me”

        This. It only looks like freedom and independence because I’m the one doing it all.

      • Yes. 100% yes. If this were my husband, I would keep doing exactly what I’m doing, and absolutely hire a nanny that is willing to do errands/light cleaning.

        The baby will generate SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY. Having the nanny do even just some of the baby’s laundry is going to be a huge help. Knowing that she is willing to run out for wipes/diapers/TP, or do some dishes or dusting while the baby sleeps is also huge.

        To me, it sounds like you’re more than willing to compromise — you’re not asking for your children to grow up how you did. You aren’t asking for a live-in maid that will end up doing ALL the chores in the home. You want to make sure that, as two working parents, you actually have time together and with your kid doing things that aren’t chores. I think this is totally reasonable.

        FWIW: Husband and I do not have kids. We have similar commutes (about 40-45 minutes). Husband works an unusual schedule so we are not always home together for days off/evenings. We are revamping our budget to see if we can afford a cleaner once every few weeks for deep cleaning type of stuff. If we had a kid? I’d be all about the nanny doing everything we could reasonably ask her to do to make things a little easier (with adequate compensation, of course).

    • You two have very different upbringings, and very different outlooks on life. I’m surprised this was not discussed long before the baby came.

      You are going to need to choose your battles, and give it time.

      It is HUGE to have a full time nanny. Most people do not have this. I suspect once she is there, you will be able to transition to having her help over time. Have her overlap with your maternity leave (I hope….) and train her well on laundry, basic household upkeep

      My father is like your husband….. even down to the long hours at work. So it left absolutely everything household to my full time working mom with 3 kids. Household projects just never got done. My mother was very unhappy. Kids were very stressed.

      Your other options are couples therapy, divorce….

      His basic nature will not change.

      • Outsourcing :

        It was really magnified when we moved to a house and I do think part of it is that we’re so close to my parents and they’re the ones sometimes providing the help.

        When we were in an apartment, it wasn’t really an issue. My work clothes go to the dry cleaners. He wears jeans to work so his laundry was his problem. There just wasn’t that much space to clean and no outdoor space to maintain. If something in the apartment broke, it was literally the super’s job to fix it. There’s just so much more of everything and I think I have a shorter fuse for all of it because I can see how a baby is going to add 1000x more than a house did.

        • You’re both freaking out about this because of the baby. You want to outsource more because you recognize that you’re both going to have more demands on your time once the baby comes. He wants to outsource less because he’s worried about raising a spoiled kid. You both need to table the outsourcing issue for right now. You’re not going to resolve a logistical issue as long as it’s mixed up with big emotional questions like, how will our lives look once baby comes.

          More broadly, it sounds like you each might have questions about the other’s ability to successfully coparent. It’s understandable and I’m sure something a lot of couples go through, but you two need to get back on the same team stat. Trust that the logistics will work themselves out.

    • How do chores get handled now? Is he doing the grocery shopping, laundry, meal prep, and house cleaning? If the answer is no and you are doing it, then he’s already outsourcing it. He may not realize yet how much will change when you have kids and how he doesn’t want to spend 4 hours trying to groom the dogs while preventing the 2 year old from offing themselves in the million ways that toddler find to get in trouble when unattended. So some of this may solve itself.
      That being said, there are a lot of ways you can outsource the big stuff and still promote independence. We have weekly house cleaning, but my kid (at 6) is still responsible for making his bed, setting the table, helping us clean up, feeding the pets, cleaning up his room, dress and bathe himself, knows how to fix himself a sandwich, etc. He’s really independent skill wise, but still has time for sports and family activities because we do some outsourcing. There are a million right ways to raise a kid. It’s okay to do it differently than your parents and making the choice to do it differently is not passing judgment on your parents choice or saying that they did it wrong. It sounds like his mom did a great job and she’s raised a successful son. Being able to outsource is a benefit of getting to that point. His mom would probably be thrilled if she had been able to do that.

    • Oh I’m sorry. I’m a huge believer in outsourcing everything. Time is precious. I don’t really have a suggestion beyond talking to your husband in detail about how you feel. I hope he sees the light.

    • It boils down to, if he wants to do it his way, he has to be home more to actually do it.

      I enjoy my job but one of the things I spend my money on is time with my kids. People say you can’t buy time, but that’s not true. I buy time with my kids by paying someone else to clean the toilet and change the sheets and mow the lawn.

      There is a lot of housework to be done and you’re looking at least 3 years before you have a kid who you will be able to worry about teaching to help.

      I grew up with biweekly cleaners but a dad that cooked super and packed lunches despite a busy law practice and a mom that worked part time. In your situation, winter snow clearing /summer lawn mowing + housecleaning/laundry + meal delivery = totally reasonable.

      • Adding to this that I have had discussions with my kids about how everyone’s job is important. Just because mommy is a lawyer doesn’t make her job more important than our lovely cleaning lady.

        My DH comes from a background where they didn’t have hired help. We had a few good conversations about how it was important to think of work traditionally done by women (e.g. house cleaning) as real and valuable work to keep a home running. He was more okay with it when he thinks of it as creating a job/hiring a contractor vs. the idea of someone ‘serving’ us, which is how he originally labelled it.

        • This is a lovely way to bring up the subject with your kids. Good on ya, mama.

          I also was raised in a home with two working parents who didn’t hire out for household help. We managed, but only because my mom worked part-time through most of my childhood. We didn’t do a lot of activities until we were old enough to arrange for our own rides, etc to those places.

          When we had a house cleaner before, I was afraid to tell my parents (needed to happen because they were staying for an extended period, during which the cleaner would come). I was afraid of my dad’s judgment, especially, because he is frugal and practical to the max. He said basically what your husband’s view is: we are creating a job for someone, and it’s valuable work. We have prioritized time together, and that’s a fine choice to make.

          I didn’t realize until he said it, and I felt such relief, that I felt guilty about hiring out. I won’t anymore, if we end up re-engaging housecleaners.

    • babyweight :

      My DH and I have similarly different backgrounds. I had a nanny and a housekeeper growing up. He had a single mom and they survived. He didn’t like us getting a housekeeper. 1) found it weird to have someone in our house like that. 2) felt like we weren’t being self-sufficient.

      I hired a housekeeper. He loves her. She irons his shirts. He still refuses to be at home while she’s there though. He identifies more with being “help” than having “help.”

      Good luck. Hire help.

      • I was in a similar boat. Grew up with bi-weekly housecleaning, whereas my husband grew up with parents who didn’t have much money. He balked at hiring a housekeeper and paying someone for something we can do ourselves. I hired the housekeeper anyway and now he loves it. Our last housekeeper quit and he freaked out for two months about how we had to find a new housekeeper.

    • Delta Dawn :

      “Outsourcing is the only way you can have to sane working parents with a commute.” Yes, YES IT IS.

      It would be difficult for me to accommodate your husband’s attitude here. He has two options: 1) do the tasks in a timely fashion or 2) let you take care of them, including by delegating. He does not get to not do the task and also not allow you to delegate the task. That’s basically forcing you to personally do the task. That’s not acceptable.

      It’s a separate problem that he can’t accept a loving gesture from your parents (picking up toilet paper, shoveling your driveway). Your parents sound incredibly kind and thoughtful. It is very concerning (and selfish) that he doesn’t see it that way.

      That was all fairly judgmental of me but offered no help, so my actual suggestion would be to give him gentle deadlines. “We need the garage door fixed. Would you like to fix it? I can wait until Friday, but then I will call the handyman.” You can dress this up with some I-know-how-busy-you-are, etc., but it gives him a chance to do the task and puts him on notice that time is an actual thing that matters. Good for you for getting all of this done before baby comes, and good luck!

      • +1, I love this idea of deadlines. “DH, this is broken, you said you want to fix everything in our house. So I can respect that, but it needs to be done by [one week from today] because it’s a problem for me. I have scheduled a handyman for [8 days from today] so I can cancel that if you haven’t completed it by then.”

      • Deadlines do work, as long as you hold to them (just like in our work lives). The first time I told my husband “I’m calling a handyman if x isn’t fixed by Sunday,” and then I did it, you better believe that next time, the conversation was different. And I think part of that was he realized he was relieved that someone else came and did something he did not really have the skills to do, and that he also didn’t want to do. I didn’t get much more pushback about “help” after that.

      • Was also going to suggest deadlines for home repairs.

        OP another anecdote on a broken toilet: a few months back I noticed the toilet in my guest bathroom was leaking while cleaning on a Sunday morning. I couldn’t be bothered fixing it that day, so SO and I just didn’t use that toilet for a week, and then fixed it the following weekend. That seemed reasonable to us. It does _not_ seem reasonable to me that your husband should be upset that you finally hired someone to fix the toilet after _five freaking months_ of it being broken. If he wants to fix something, that’s fine, but if he doesn’t have time you shouldn’t have to wait indefinitely for him to get around to it.

    • Is he doing 100% of the chores he refuses to outsource, promptly and without complaint? It doesn’t sound like it, and that’s the only way his position would be remotely justified.

      • Outsourcing :

        No, and it’s hard because I don’t want to turn into a nag! Especially because he works so hard and i do value spending time with him. Like on the weekends now when we have a few hours free I’m like lets go do something fun and go on a date- I don’t want to be the wife whose husband finishes a 70 hour work week and then on Saturday morning is like uhh honey go fix the toilet, do the laundry, cut the dog’s hair and mow the lawn. But when the toilet is broken a few months later, our dog can barely see through her floppy hair and is starting to get mats, and he has piles of laundry taking over the laundry room it’s frustrating!

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          This is precise reason you outsource these kinds of tasks, assuming you can afford it. Your husband says he wants things to be a certain way, but his actions (or inactions) don’t match what he says he wants.

    • I get where your husband is coming from: he doesn’t want spoiled kids. He will hopefully realize (and you can help him do so) that no baby will do his own laundry, clean his own dishes, etc. So take care of yourselves as adults and as the kid gets older, revisit the issue. My husband also grew up with a single mom and there are some situations where I feel like I have to shine the light on the fact that what he thinks of as natural and normal maybe isn’t that. Like no cleaning lady. But also, hey, maybe you all ate dinner on the couch in front of the TV because your mom was just spent, but that’s not what we should resort to, because we don’t have to.

      • This is a good point. Hiring a housekeeper or a nanny isn’t a lifelong commitment. You’ve been doing this his way for a while, not it’s time to try doing things your way. Agree to assess the situation in 6 months or a year and go from there. Figure out what’s working and keep that, and figure out what’s not working and dump that.

        • Nudibranch :

          If you put it to him that this outsourcing is just while you both (actually “he”) are so busy, maybe he will not be so against it “for now”.

    • With the household stuff, say “If the toilet isn’t fixed by __ I’ll need to hire a plumber.”

      For the daily stuff … I get not wanting to have spoiled kids. But it’s not like he’s volunteering to be home and do all of the things he wants his kids to learn to do on their own. He’s just asking (by default) for you or your parents to do it instead.

      Two working parents with an hour commute are not going to be able to see their kid very much. It’s just a fact. Does he appreciate that what he’s proposing will require hiring a weekend babysitter so the two of you can concentrate on doing the laundry?

      • Frozen Peach :

        + 1 million.

        I’d call his bluff by saying, okay, here’s how much time all this stuff takes me per week, in hours. Now I’ve evaluated the extra hours of child duties during the week, and I estimate we’ll need to ask the nanny to give us a full weekend day of care so that you and I can focus on doing the laundry, cleaning, and other house maintenance chores. You’re cool with that, right?

        • Yes. Something needs to be outsourced – would he prefer house cleaning or childcare? How would he prefer to spend those precious few hours at home?

    • A couple approaches

      -divide chores up 50/50
      -Agree that getting then fine is the most important, not how
      -outsource yours
      -Hold him accountable for what he does not get done

      -Ask him if he prefers time doing chores on the weekend to time with you/baby.
      -Tell him how that makes you feel.

      This may be a languages of love thing, where having stuff done for him makes him feel loved, and that is how he is trying to express to you. This may be why the handyman thing buyers him so much.

    • I feel where you’re coming from. My mom worked, but refused to have help and so every Saturday morning was dedicated to cleaning the house to her incredibly high standards. We could not go anywhere or do anything until the house was cleaned to her satisfaction. My dad would spend that time we were cleaning doing yard work and outside maintenance. Every.single.week. It sucked. I vowed, when I grew up,that I would get help so I wouldn’t have to put my kid through that. We have a housekeeper every other week and it is a Godsend. I would give up a lot before I gave up having a housekeeper. The bad thing for me was that I grew up with frankly unrealistic cleanliness standards, but a companion hatred of actually cleaning.

      My husband didn’t have help in his house, but his mom kind of didn’t care and they lived in an apartment, so there wasn’t as much maintenance to do. In his case, he grew up having low cleanliness standards, but also little knowledge of how to clean or maintain anything.

      Our life would not work without the outsourcing we do. We would be divorced, period. As someone else said, time is precious. We work a lot and I am not going to spend precious off hours scrubbing the bathroom floor grout with a toothbrush. I want to live my life. I’d rather remember, at the end of my life, the awesome hikes I took with my son, vs that my house was always pristine.

      This is a battle worth fighting, before the baby gets here. And by “fighting” I mostly mean laying down the law and asking him to adjust his attitude and thinking. His position is not reasonable. Someone cannot work 15 hrs a day and also do everything that needs to get done in a household. Unless you are on m e t h, or something. Stick to your guns and proceed with what you are doing. Most likely he will come around once the baby gets here and he sees how much work THAT is. Hugs.

    • He’s clearly wrong on the substance. That said, it sounds like there are some more complicated emotions at work here. Does he feel like, if y’all have a housekeeper in order to protect your family time on the weekends, he’s implicitly criticizing his own mother and his own childhood? Does he worry that you will come to rely more on your parents than on him, and he’ll be crowded out of his own family? Does he have an underlying fear that y’all will lose all your money and therefore you need to be as frugal as possible, even though objectively you can absolutely afford help? These aren’t actually reasons to insist on not outsourcing anything, but if that’s where he’s coming from, I think it would be worth confronting those feelings more directly, perhaps in a couples counseling session or two.

      There may also be some productive discussions to be had around the role of your parents, specifically. My parents also help us out a lot, but I am very careful to check in with my husband about his feelings around their participation in our family life. Yes, it’s great that your dad shoveled for you, but if it makes your husband uncomfortable, maybe hiring that out to someone neutral would be a better idea. Of course, that means that your husband has to make peace with hiring it out–he doesn’t get to veto all the solutions.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Yes to this. Recognize that there is inherently emotional labor involved in getting help from family, even if you’re not the one doing the emotional labor because they are your parents. (Though sometimes that means you ARE the one doing more!)

      • Anonymous :

        This is a very kind perspective.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a very kind perspective. Good to hear it.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Any chance he’s into Mr. Money Mustache and wants to retire early? A big part of that is reducing your spending to minimal and outsourcing nothing.

    • You need to think about quality of life here. It is not a good use of precious weekend time to be bogged down in chores, which are work that you are not getting paid for. I seriously can’t imagine anything less rewarding than working hard all week and then not being able to take a weekend away or go explore the city or go on a long hike on Saturday because you have tons of laundry to do. It seems far better to me to outsource those tasks (if you can afford it) and pay someone for the work. It IS work, and no one should be doing it for free.

    • I think what this comes down to is actually class difference. I think not recognizing that this level of outsourcing is possible only with $$ from your parents is pretty tone deaf.

      If you were talking about outsourcing using your own money, I think that would be a much different convo.

      Your family wasn’t just “more comfortable” with outsourcing than his family was – your parents seem to be seriously wealthy and could afford this stuff. Having a daily housekeeper in addition to a stay at home spouse is seriously outside the mainstream of mere well-to-do and goes into seriously wealthy territory.

      His family was not as well off and therefore they could not. That’s not to say anything bad about either of your families, it’s just how it is.

      This conversation is not actually about the idea of you both as a couple outsourcing things but rather your wealthy parents underwriting your lifestyle.

      I grew up in a solid middle class household (dad was a lawyer and mom stayed home) and always frankly felt pretty well off in the scheme of things. When I started dating someone who came from serious wealth (which lets be frank having a daily housekeeper qualifies as.)

      I was in a relationship with similar dynamics and my then-SO’s parents were always looking to “help” us out with things that I thought I was managing just fine at. I knew that these were all “gifts” that his parents genuinely wanted to give, but as a hard-working, accomplished, person whose salaries put us solidly in the upper-middle class bracket, I just didn’t really enjoy living a lifestyle that was subsidized by someone else.

      Also, this may not be a dynamic at play in your relationship, but I soon realized that all of these “gifts” came with expectations and comments.

      My ex was happy to take the help and then meet the terms of the gifts but I’d rather not have the extras and live life truly on my terms.

      It was actually a big part of the reason why we broke up.

      • Money and relationships :

        I didn’t read the OP as saying that outsourcing (nanny, or handiman to fix things, etc) was or would be subsidized by her parents. I think they (OP plus her husband) would be paying for that themselves. But it seems like her husband is uncomfortable with her parents running the occasional errand for them, or taking care of snow removal b/c they are retired and have the time, etc. – which is an odd thing to be annoyed about.

        • Yeah, I don’t discount the overall point here, but the OP’s mother asked if she needed toilet paper from Costco when she already happened to be there. That’s really different from paying for the OP’s housekeeper or subsidizing international vacations.

          • Fair points, I am definitely reading into things given the limited examples provided.

            I wonder if the OP pays her parents back for purchases ever? And with what frequency do they purchase items for her? Again, if this is a regular thing, I would not be into it.

            I think it’s a pride thing. Maybe your husband is feeling particularly uncomfortable about this topic of providing a good standard of living with the baby coming.

            Also, I would discuss what your thoughts on what standard you want to maintain your household to which I think relates back to household wealth.

            You don’t go into what “broken” means for various items but I can imagine say if a broken toilet means that you need to remember to jiggle the handle after use or else it runs might not seem like a huge priority to him but could be really frustrating to you as someone who is used to having household run perfectly at all times.

          • Outsourcing :

            I do think some of what you’re saying might be in play. There are serious wealth differences between my family and his. My parents give substantial cash gifts each year as a part of their estate planning and had a conversation with my husband the first year we got married about how they would like to include him as well (as they do for my siblings spouses) but would only do whatever he was comfortable with and that there are never any strings attached. On the other hand, we help his mom pay for trips to see us or for unexpected expenses like car repairs. We can afford the nanny, handyman, etc. without factoring in gifts from my family, which go straight to savings.

            I guess I included examples to show that he seems uncomfortable with paying a neutral 3rd party to do work AND with having my parents give time, like by shoveling or by picking up TP while they’re out. While I wouldn’t pay my mom back for groceries she picked up or something like that, I do usually text her to see if she needs anything before I run an errand, and wouldn’t ask to be paid back for that.

            The household things I mentioned are truly broken- my standards are MUCH lower than my mom’s and are not unreasonable. I’m talking not having air conditioning in the master bedroom starting August 15th and having a guest toilet that clogs if you flush a single tissue down it (basically telling guests don’t use the toilet that is IN your bedroom- go down the hall).

            I feel like I’d be fine being “independent” and hiring help and leaving my parents totally out of everything or with having less help that we pay for and leaning more on my family to shoulder some of the time burdens (which they’re happy to do). Basically I feel like we have more work than we can do and it needs to go somewhere, anywhere! If he wants to be frugal, we can lean on my parents who are happy to give time or if he wants control/independence we can pay someone to do things where he controls the relationship.

            But to me it just can’t be refusing to take the “it takes a village” approach with my family AND to hire people yourself.

          • I’d recommend two things:

            1) put together a budget – that includes your salaries, your fixed costs, expected household improvements/costs, outsourcing, and long term and short term savings. I’d do one version that is just your money alone and then a version that includes expected gifts from your parents.

            I’d then have a conversation about who does the arranging for these things and how you guys are going to address things that aren’t covered on this list when they come up. Talking about these things generally and developing a plan without the emotion of the specific circumstance or at the end of a long day, I think will make sure you guys have a more reasoned conversation about all of it.

            2) have a conversation about what involvement you guys want your parents to have in your life. How much time help do you want to accept from them? How much monetary help do you want to help from them?

            I think what rubs me the wrong way about the post (not about you! one internet post is not a commentary on you as a human. I am sure you are lovely) is that you don’t talk little about your budget.

            When I think about doing home repairs and outsourcing things, what I do and when is 100% driven by my budget. It seems off to me that you are framing these as just “choices” which isn’t really true for the majority of people.

            (And for the record, I am a huge believer in outsourcing. I have a bi-weekly cleaning person, dry cleaning delivery, and blue apron. That said, one of toilets in our house is not working at the moment and we aren’t addressing it because we want to allocate the money elsewhere right now. I would be annoyed if my spouse spent the money to fix it without discussing it with me first.)

    • Advice to Outsourcing :

      I agree with a lot of the other replies and wonder what else is going on with your husband. He sounds like he needs to assert the superiority of his upbringing and perhaps cast you as spoiled to not want the two of you to take care of everything. But you have the ability of have a better quality of life, more leisure and good time spent together if you do some outsourcing. Can you try to get to the bottom of his concerns and assure him that you don’t intend to hire someone to do all the laundry and dishes? Objecting to your mother picking up a few things you need at Costco is really strange. He obviously disapproves of the way you were raised and that may be interfering with his acceptance of favors from your parents.

    • I don’t have any advice, but I can commiserate. I’m trying to convince my husband that we need to hire people to do some things around our house. Ironically, our positions are switched from your’s; my DH grew up with more hired help than my family. One thing that freaks my husband it out is having a stranger in our house.

      Your husband’s attitude might also change when the baby comes and he realizes he wants to spend time with him/her. My husband is realizing that he would prefer to spend time with our toddler instead of cleaning. You could try to take baby steps; try one service for a few weeks and let him see how easier it’s made your life.

      Good luck and congrats on the baby!

    • Simple solution:

      “Husband, the driveway needs to be plowed before I get home, because I am nine months pregnant and slipping on ice is a very real risk and can be incredibly harmful to me and the baby. If it’s not done by 3 pm, I’m calling someone to do it.”

      “The washer needs to be fixed. If you want to do it yourself, that’s fine, but it needs to be done by Wednesday. I’m calling a professional Tuesday night if you haven’t gotten around to it.”

      Give him a chance to do it the way he wants to, a deadline, and then just do it yourself. I think he’s being insane and bratty, but that can’t be helped.

    • Anon for this :

      I don’t have hired help and I still enjoy my weekends. I don’t have crazy high standards either. I agree that while you are pregnant or with a newborn it makes sense to have help but I also see your husband’s point that these are things to do yourselves fairly easily. Not fixing and repairing but general household chores.

      We spend an hour max per weekend dusting and vacuuming our house. He does one floor and I do another. It takes 20 minutes to snow blow our driveway and walkway. It takes an hour max after work one day to mow the lawn with a ride on mower. That’s actually a fun chore and I do it with a beer in hand. In the summer, it’s light late enough to do this and the lawn doesn’t need mowing in the winter. I have tons of socks and underwear and most of my work stuff is dry clean or I wear a few times between washings. I probably do laundry twice/month but I’m not chained to the house while I do it. I just do it in spurts until it is all done.

      I just don’t understand when people say they spend their whole weekend doing chores. We do dishes daily but that’s probably 10 minutes of time.

      • Outsourcing :

        That’s all great when you have time after work. He is often at work from 7am-7pm, gets home to quickly eat a simple dinner with me until about 7:45, and then will have more work from 8-11. There isn’t enough time to mow the lawn for an hour on a Tuesday afternoon when that is your work schedule.

      • There are potentially things you don’t do that others do – it sounds like you have a pretty low maintenance lifestyle. I do two laundry loads of clothes weekly, plus sheet/towels biweekly. And I cook nearly every night (30-45 min, plus time to eat). That stuff plus house chores like emptying the dishwasher are all I can get done during the week. I still have to grocery shop ad run other errands on the weekends. My cleaning crew of two spends 2 hours at my house every other week, the lawn team (4 guys) spends an hour on the same schedule. If I did all that myself, yeah I would literally spend 3/4 of my weekend on chores.

      • For the first 3 or 4 years of a kids life, for every waking moment one of the parents (or a hired helper, or a grandparent) needs to be with them. This means that for 3 or 4 years, on a weekend, you are at 50% capacity for all of the things that you mentioned except for when the kid is napping. You can’t *both* help with dinner, one of you is with the kid. You can’t *both* clean at the same time, one of you is with the kid. Letting them “help,” at that age, just prolongs the process and makes for a less thorough job overall. Ask me how I know.

        While my husband I could probably *could* each take turns cleaning on the weekend and get by from week to week (and if we’re ever required to do that by financial necessity, of course we would) but then, when do we ever all spend time together?

    • I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I’m chiming in because I lean toward your husband’s view. We live near my in-laws, and it grates on me when my MIL comes over and does the dishes. I don’t like other people (even my husband) doing my laundry. I hate spending the money to outsource. Being independent and self-sufficient is very important to me. It’s pure pride, and it’s a completely unnecessary source of stress.

      BUT everything changes when you’re pregnant and have kids. You HAVE to accept or pay for help. It still grates on me, but I realize that I have to get over it and say thank you. There is no way that two working parents can sustain everything your husband wants to do. When I was pregnant and on bed rest, and DH was working in a startup with similar hours to your husband, my FIL came over and did a week’s worth of dishes–it took him an hour. My parents flew in and put together our baby’s crib and set up the whole nursery. For the first year of our son’s life, we had a full-time nanny who did light housekeeping (dishes and laundry) AND housekeepers who came once a week to do real cleaning AND a landscaper AND someone to mow our lawn. DH and I only had one day off together at the time, and it was important to us to preserve that day for family time. Now DH and I are both working less for less money and have less outside help, but we still ask the grandparents to babysit pretty frequently, and my MIL will come over and entertain the baby while I do housework if DH isn’t home on the occasional Saturday.

      • Outsourcing :

        Thank you! This is helpful to hear. I want to be sympathetic to DH and have him feel like he’s in charge of his own space. It’s hard for me to put myself in his shoes and think about it if it were my MIL because everything in that relationship flows from us to her- she needs financial assistance sometimes, she’s very needy with time and she’s a high maintenance guest. If I ever came home to her having taken something off my to do list instead of adding to it I think I’d be like hallelujah!! But it is a good reminder that even though he has a great relationship with my parents, they’re still his in laws and he might have less patience than i do!

      • Yeah I’ll add my voice to the husband’s point of view. Being independent is important to me. Using the grandparents to babysit occasionally makes sense. Using the grandparents to run your errands and plow your driveway does not.

        Yes it’s pride, but it’s also the fact that I married my spouse, not his parents. I want to co-parent with him, not with them.

        That said, we have a cleaning service and a lawn service (we have young kids and a dog and both work more than full time) because we want to spend our limited time together doing “fun” things. But we pay and arrange for those services and manage them by ourselves. We have babysitters that aren’t our family. And we still have family chores (like doing laundry and loading the dishwasher and picking up toys before bed) that we all must do before we can do fun things – we both agree it’s important for kids to learn responsibility and that dishes don’t magically jump from the sink to the cabinet.

      • anonypotamus :

        I will agree with this to an extent (mostly given my experiences with my now former MIL and my in laws general enabler of my man-child ex husband, but that is a story for a different day haha), but i also think that there’s a difference between someone plowing/shoveling your driveway and coming inside the house to do the dishes. The former feels like a nice gesture, and the latter seems intrusive and with an added layer of judgment that somehow doesn’t attach to the snow plowing for me.

    • Your parents sound so sweet. Don’t let your husband drive a wedge between you & your parents; they must be thrilled to have you living so close and a baby on the way. I have the same thing and it has been such a help to have my parents here, ready to help with kids, come to sporting events, and pick up things for me at Costco. My DH gets along with them reasonably well, but also didn’t like some things that came with the relationship, like the many gifts my parents would give the kids and various other lifestyle differences. So I had to learn to make time to do things with my parents & my kids sometimes without him, to give him a break.

    • I really sympathize, and I think you’ve gotten great advice here. One thing I very strongly advise is that he stay home with you and the baby for at least a few days after her birth. Even more impactful is if he can take care of her for even a day without you. I think that’ll give him the best window into just how much more work a baby adds. If outsourcing seems a necessity – or at least vastly helpful – now, it will be that much more so after the baby’s here.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve only skimmed through the comments, but I’m going to echo what seems to be the prevailing response:

      If you have the means to outsource, there is no shame in doing it. You do not need to keep doing all the drudge work just because your husband gets a sense of pride over not paying someone to help out. Especially with a baby. He may change his tune once he’s in the throes of infant sleep deprivation anyway.

      I have 3 kids under 4. Pre-kids, we did everything ourselves. I mowed my own lawn until I was very pregnant last summer with #3. But now? I throw money at EVERYTHING POSSIBLE. We have a biweekly housecleaner, a roomba to keep the floors from getting too gross in between, and a lawn-mowing service during the seasons it’s needed. We also pay for a fall and spring yard clean-up, full time daycare, occasional grocery delivery, and I avail myself of the “personal concierge service” offered at work for occasional random errands I just don’t have time for. Even with all of that, I feel like I’m running just to stay in one place. And I have a flexible job and a short commute! My husband is a government employee and almost never works more than 9 hours/day, and is a big help around the house! You can’t do it in the situation you describe; you will run yourself ragged, and you will resent the h3ll out of it because you have the money to do otherwise. There is no prize for doing it all alone and being the most-exhausted, most-harried version of yourself possible. You and your husband will both be happier and healthier with a little less money and a lot more time to take care of things that are actually important for you to be hands-on.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’m late, but I agree with pretty much everyone here in that he doesn’t get to complain if he won’t take care of things right away. I also imagine he’ll come around once the baby arrives and reality hits.

      If repairing the garage door has anything at all to do with the springs on them, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL. Those springs are wound so tight they can severely maim or even kill you.

  15. Money and relationships :

    Do you have a different money style / approach to money than your partner when it comes to goals, saving, paying down debt, attention to personal finance (ex: checking daily vs maybe checking once a month), etc? How do you navigate it? Do you feel like one of you is more objectively-knowledgeable about money/finances than the other?

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yes. I have a lot of energy around money because I grew up in a house where financial management was very poor and nobody thought about long term consequences. While I work in finance and so in theory know all the things I should be doing, my husband is much better at our personal money management than I would be because he grew up around grandparents who invested and saved and were prudent and knowledgeable about money.

      The reality of this is that he manages our money (mine, his and ours and also part of his mom’s) and involves me in any major decisions. I’ve been trying to baby step up my comfort level with this stuff so we’ve been discussing where he invests, pros / cons of different retirement options etc. I am one of those women though who is married to someone who does all financial management.

      I will say my husband has taught me to value money more as a tool as opposed to an end in and of itself. When we first started these discussions and hubs asked me why I wanted to have lots saved / what I wanted to do with it I think i told him I just wanted it because then I would know it was there. Through his different viewpoint on this I’ve gained a lot of comfort and have been working towards lessening the emotions associated with money for me.

    • Yup. Navigation is still in progress. I know more about money than my SO does, I save more, I budget, I take a goal-oriented view of my finances. He’s still figuring it out. Sometimes I get really frustrated, but he’s making progress: more savings, maxing his retirement match, etc. His student loans are our flashpoint issue–he has around $20k and is paying the minimums each month. It’s not catastrophic, but I want them gone and he doesn’t seem to feel any sense of urgency.

      • What’s his interest rate? If you can generate more in the market than the student loan interest rate – what’s the rush esp when it’s only 20k remaining? Granted this only works if he has 2% loans, not if he has 8% loans.

    • anon prof :

      We have different values for what to spend money on. I value housing and, honestly, having nice stuff. He values experiences, primarily travel. We therefore maintain separate accounts and each view our earnings as our own money, and he gives me a fixed contribution for his share of household expenses each money that is basically what we calculated he’d spend if he lived alone. I therefore pay for a disproportionate share of housing expenses, since I want a nice and big house whereas he’d be happy in a crummy apartment. He takes more vacations than I do (without me, and that’s okay with me). It helps that neither of us is irresponsible with money; we just prefer to spend it on different things.

    • Yes. I suspect with any two people some disagreements will come up. As with everything else, we do the best when we talk about things without censoring ourselves, and really listen to one another.

      Our approach is communistic. I know a lot of people hate it, but I like sharing everything. It encourages me to be responsible with money, because it’s “ours” instead of “mine.” But of course, that cuts both ways; we both pass up on some individual indulgences so we can afford shared ones.

      It also seems fundamentally fair to drop everything into one pot given that in our relationship the person who earns less is often doing a lot of uncompensated work to enable the higher earner. We’ve switched back and forth on who is bringing home the bacon/health insurance, so that factors into this too.

  16. Husband and I want to go on a short (1 week or less) vacation to celebrate our 10-year-wedding anniversary this summer. I’ve traveled more than he has, so ideally I’d like it to be somewhere that’s new for both of us. We have three little kids and will be leaving them at home, so I’d also like it to be somewhere we couldn’t or wouldn’t go with children. My ideal destination would allow for a balance of relaxing time and activity (hiking, tours) time.

    Places I/we have already been that we want to skip: Hawaii, most of Western Europe, Costa Rica, Aruba, Arizona, Florida, Mexico. Based on the time we have available, I think a really long trip (Australia, Asia) is out.

    Considering Iceland. Any other ideas for me? Will be flying out of Chicago if it’s international. Thanks!

    • Argentina? Buenos Aires is really romantic. Except it will be winter time there.

      Iceland sounds great. What about somewhere in the Caribbean you haven’t been yet? Cuba?

    • For tropical-but-more-than-beach-sitting — Jamaica, Belize
      For European-with-beach-time — Portugal
      For “it’s hot and muggy GTF out of here” — Maine (Acadia), Nova Scotia, Alaska

      • Any specific recommendations for Belize or Portugal accommodation?

        • We stayed at Victoria House on Ambergris Caye and LOVED IT.

          Portugal is on my wish list for just this kind of a trip, so I can’t provide any personal recs yet :)

    • I have three kids and headed out on a kid-free vacation for the first time in ages this summer. I posted on the first thread yesterday morning asking about Portugal and got great recommendations for Morocco.

      Haven’t been to Iceland but it’s one of DH’s favorite trips (he went with his brother years ago).

      • Do not go to Morocco in the summer! It will be 110+ degrees most days. (Go in October, it is lovely.)

        I’ve been to Iceland and think it actually would be a kind of fun place for kids to go. But the two of you would have a nice time too. It is a beautiful country, but more action/activity, than sitting around and enjoying good food and good wine.

        Although these are western Europe, they are a bit more off the beaten path… I would also suggest Sicily or Corsica (though both can be done with kids). A combo of Mallorca and Barcelona would also be great.

    • PEI and Nova Scotia. Great hiking, beautiful scenery and drives. Ditto Vancouver.

      Scotland if you haven’t been.

      Burnos Aires. Long flight but would be fabulous.


    • Bora Bora or the Maldives. Super romantic and not somewhere you’d want to be with your kids. I love Iceland but it’s a great place for school-age kids.

      • It takes over 36 hours to get to the Maldives, not including that most resort-y hotels are a several hour (and several hundred dollar) transfer away from the airport, so I wouldn’t recommend that with only a week.

        Iceland is a ton of fun. If you want to go somewhere warm, go to a nearby all-inclusive to save the travel time.

        • I’ve been to the Maldives for a week from O’Hare. It only took one day to fly to Male, and then the seaplane transfer was less than an hour (and insanely beautiful: people pay hundreds of dollars for flight-seeing excursions, and that’s basically what this was). It is definitely far and not cheap, but we still felt like it was worth it and with a week off work (9 days incl. weekends) we had a full week there, and we wouldn’t have wanted more because of hotel costs. Bora Bora is a lot closer – about 8 hours from LAX, not much different than Hawaii.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      The Azores!

    • LoudyTourky :

      We just did Iceland in October to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Also in Chicago. Also left our young kids (7 and 4) at home. We had a fabulous trip – Iceland is “easy” (everybody speaks English, every place takes credit cards, no traffic, etc.) but very different from other places we have been. Our kids would have been miserable and bored with all the driving on the day trips we took, but we had a blast.

    • If you only have a week, I would only look at place where you can fly non-stop from Chicago. If you introduce a stopover then there’s more potential for delays/lost luggage/weather problems etc.

      • On the other hand, a lot of people seek out non-stops when they’re flying with kids. This is a chance to do a more complicated trip that might be hard on the kids.

    • Vancouver BC, Banff, or Seattle. Gorgeous in the summer time.

    • Harbour Island/Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

  17. Anon for This :

    I know a lot of the women here have dealt with mental health issues, and I’ve really appreciated hearing your perspectives. My question today is – how do you know when things are as good as they’re going to get? I’ve dealt with anxiety issues for quite a while, and with therapy and medication, they’re significantly decreased. But I still feel a buzz of, I guess you’d call it, background anxiety most of the time. It’s not bad, but it’s there. Is that just something you deal with? Do I need to look at different therapeutic techniques? Is that enough to try switching medications? I’m not unhappy, but part of me wonders if things could be better.

    Thanks, all.

    • Alexisfaye :

      I have a post-it note on my computer that says STOP (Stop, take a breath, observe, proceed mindfully). I have this tendency to get super anxious, with no attributable source. Everything seems fine, but wait, was that email I sent ok? Is my boss angry? Did I offend SO? So I just try and focus on contentment, noticing what’s going on, breathing, and rather than judging or fixing, or whatever, just being mindful. Keep breathing, notice what I’m doing, kinda forgive myself for being a spaz, and move on.

      It’s hard, but I don’t think I need more meds in my life, or therapy. I think our lives are so intense, now, that it’s easy to always be anxious. Just have to constantly remind myself that I’m ok.

    • I feel like I know what you’re talking about and have experienced something similar. I’ve struggled with anxiety for a while. Things are better now but I almost have this knee-jerk reaction to even the sensations of anxiety. I’ve started reminding myself that anxiety isn’t inherently problematic, it’s part of the range of normal human emotions and so the fact that I’m feeling it right now doesn’t mean something is wrong. Just thinking that is sometimes enough to help take the edge off. I also wonder if things could be better, but right now I’m just happy that things are so much better than they have been. I’m not the person from earlier who was talking about meditation, but I also meditate 10 minutes a day in addition to regular visits to the shrink and medication, and I feel like that’s been really helpful.

  18. I’ve got a hearing in two hours. I did not go into law to do litigation. 90% of my job is not litigation. I hate it.
    Maybe the world will end in the next two hours. God, one can only hope.

    • You can do it.

      Ready. Set. GO!

    • I totally know this feeling. The best part of hearings? That feeling you get when they are OVER! Treat yourself tonight and celebrating having it behind you.

    • Delta Dawn :

      You can do it! If you didn’t go into law for litigation, that probably means you’re better at research and writing– which means your info is probably better than the other side’s info. Just tell the court what your research says. Think of it as writing a brief but out loud. The hearing will not be as bad as you think. And, this afternoon, it will be over!

    • So once upon a time when I practiced in an entirely different (but still corporate) area of law, we had an antitrust litigator go on sabbatical. At the time, he was handling an antitrust case in my practice area, and before he left, he asked my practice group leader if there was anyone in our group who had experience practicing before the state commission that regulated our industry. To which our PGL replied, “Of course! cbackson does that all the time!”

      But here’s the thing. What I did all the time was submit filings to said state commission for approval of corporate transactions. What the antitrust litigator was looking for? Someone to do a full adversarial antitrust approval hearing in front of this commission. WHICH I ENDED UP DOING.

      I will never forget the day I was telling him that I was kind of nervous about this because I wasn’t familiar with the procedural aspects, and he was like, “Oh, it’s totally normal, just the standard objections and motions!”


      It was THE WORST. I mean, it all came out fine, but I literally had to put my head between my knees before the first day of the hearing because I thought I would vomit when I tried to get out of my car.

    • You’re likely in the hearing, but sending you good vibes! You’ve got this!

    • You have to create an alter ego for yourself for these kinds of situations. Give her a name and then let her take over during the hearing.

    • Waiting for it now, thanks, everyone.

      The biggest worry I have is that it WON’T be over. It’s been continued for two months. I think it’s going to go today, but if it doesn’t I am going to vomit.

      Cbackson, that made me smile. I’m about in the same place- I don’t know notions. I DEFINITELY don’t know objections. Evidence didn’t teach me that and I didn’t take trial ad because I knew I wasn’t going to be litigating.

      • How did it go, Anxious?

        • I won! And I almost threw up right before I went up, not joking. Didn’t know when I was going to be called, was literally thinking “I’m going to vomit” and then my case was called and I thought “Well, too late for that, let’s hope this works out.” I also mispronounced my own name twice. The judge had to ask me to restate it. But I won!

  19. So my husband and I are looking to do a long romantic weekend and I picked Savannah because I’ve always wanted to go. He’s booked stuff and then I ran across a warning in another thread that crime is rampant…

    I had no idea and that seems weird to me. I mean, I love going to New Orleans but know that there is crime. I still go and have a great time. Is it like that? Can anyone weigh in? We are staying downtown, would be walking or taking cabs/lyft. I am also cheesy and want to do a ghost tour. Have I picked the wrong place?

    • You’ll be completely fine in all the places you’ll go as a tourist for the weekend.

    • I went years ago, when I lived in New Orleans, and it was absolutely charming and would be perfect for a romantic weekend. It didn’t seem remotely dangerous. Maybe it depends on your point of reference?

    • Savannah is a lot less dangerous and gritty than New Orleans, so if you’ve gone there and been comfortable, I’m sure you’ll be fine in Savannah.

    • We were just there a few weeks ago for the weekend, and you will be 100% safe in the touristy areas. I asked a few locals about the crime and they said that it’s in the more residential areas outside of the downtown/historic district. We walked everywhere with a small baby and there were tons of people out on the streets. Now, we weren’t out until 2 am every night (see reference to small baby) but given the city’s reputation as a “party city,” I can’t imagine you’ll be alone if you’re walking home at bar close. I wouldn’t recommend getting blasted and wandering alone by the river at 4 am, but that’s just common sense.

      And definitely do a tour! We did the Savannah Dan tour (historical but not ghost tour) and it was AMAZING! It’s a great town, wonderful food and really walkable. You’ll have a great time!

    • Charlottean :

      In my city, going to Savannah and/or Charleston and/or Asheville for the weekend periodically is very common among every single person I know. If it were a problem (and a problem relative to other nearby cities), I would have heard about it. I haven’t.

    • Shenandoah :

      You may hear a lot about the crime in Savannah but in my recent experience, it’s mostly overstated. I’ve gone a few times in the past 6 months. The downtown, touristy areas are very safe – the usual rules of being attentive and aware of your surroundings apply. If you love New Orleans, you really don’t need to worry about Savannah. That said, have you been to Charleston? Between Charleston and Savannah, I’d pick a weekend in Charleston almost every time.

      • They’re close enough that you could also base yourself in Charleston and do a day trip to Savannah.

      • +1 to Charleston. Check out Middleton Place. Its amazing when the flowers are in bloom!

    • Can you share what all you have booked? I’m going this spring, but haven’t made any plans other than flights and hotels yet. Thanks!

      • Oh, I knew there would be realistic perspectives here! Thank you all! We’re staying at the Andaz and my husband booked the Paula Deen restaurant, but let me know he’s fine with me changing that (I’m not a big fan…). He’s doing all the food/restaurant stuff and I’m doing the touristy things. I definitely want to check out the Bonaventure Cemetery, probably do an architecture tour along with the nighttime ghost tour, walking around and shopping. I’m really open to any cocktail or evening suggestions.

        • There is a really lovely restaurant at the Mansion on Forsyth – it was my favorite meal in Savannah and I went to the places that get perennially recommended as well.

        • Don’t go to Paula Deen’s place. So touristy and just, no. Great restaurants: local 11 ten, the bar at the pink house, The Public Kitchen and Bar, Circa 1875 gastropub, the Grey (so cool – in a deco old bus depot), the crab shack on Tybee for fresh seafood in a rustic atmosphere, Artillery (fancy cocktails no food), and easy to Uber around safely.

          • thank you! Yes, we were looking at the Grey, so it’s great to see that recommended.

        • savannah local :

          Skip Paula Deen’s. The Grey is good and unique. Vics on the River, A.lure, and The Collins Quarter are also nice dinner options. If you want an oyster bar, Sorry Charlies is just across from your hotel. Alley Cat Lounge is a really cool cocktail bar as is El Rocko. For a casual meal, Treylor Park or Hitch are fun. The Savannah subreddit also has a list.
          The vast majority of crime is related to drugs, prostitution, and gangs. If you’re not involved in any of those things, you will probably be just fine. Just be smart about your surroundings. Uber and Lyft are both options here. People are really friendly if you need direction. Also, if you are driving around, treat the squares like round abouts and yield when you are entering them. Also, almost daily I have someone try to walk in front of my car because they are a tourist trying to take a picture and they just back up into the middle of the street. Please don’t do that.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m Anonymous 10:53 above – we stayed at the Andaz, great hotel! It’s a great location, nice rooms, great service, etc. You’ll love it. I agree that you should skip Paula Deen’s restaurant, too touristy in my opinion (I also disagree with her racist views). We ate at the Pink House (in the basement, no reservation required) and at Half Moon Brewery (right around corner from your hotel). I will add a restaurant for lunch: The District…AMAZING soup and sandwiches!

        • Anonymous :

          If an architecture tour is on your list, I highly recommend Jonathan Stalcup’s tours. He’s a graduate of SCAD and a great combination of extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. It was a highlight of our trip.

          Agree that Collins Quarter is a great place for brunch or dinner, and The Olde Pink House is super touristy but just gorgeous and really unique.

    • Be smart and enjoy. You’ll be fine. And I say this from Chicago, which if you believe what you read, its a miracle I got to work this morning in one piece.

      We did a ghost tour in Savannah and loved it. And if you haven’t read and/or watched Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil yet, do so before you take the trip.

    • I’ve been considering a trip to New Orleans, but not the drunken debauchery type of trip. I lived in NC for many years and visited most major Southern cities except New Orleans. Suggestions for must sees or fun things to do? This would be a trip with friends.

      • Shirt you can not tuck (but not a peplum) :

        Garden District is for you (or maybe Warehouse District) for location to stay in.

        I’d go a weekend b/w now and Mardi Gras (or after Epiphany and before MG next year) b/c you will have weekend parades w/o all of the MG craziness / minimum stays / abbreviated menus b/c its MG. MG is great, but you’d probably want to avoid the French Quarter then (but not otherwise, except maybe Jazz Fest).

        Also, for that reason, maybe not Jazz Fest.

      • I like Frenchman street for jazz (Spotted Cat, Three Muses). If you want a little debauchery, there is a hotel on Bourbon street that does a nice burlesque show that’s fun. Also love Hove perfumery and Trashy Diva for fun clothes.

      • Anonymous :

        Also, if you go to a costume shop, I’ve always felt OK wearing a wig to watch parades in in NOLA. I wouldn’t wear a wig in any other city.

      • Anonymous :

        FOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. I’m not into drunken debauchery at all, but I go to NOLA just to eat. I love Southern food and it, Charleston and Nashville are the three best cities for that, in my opinion.

    • Jealous! Have fun!

  20. Midwest funeral wear- reality check :

    Planning on black dress trousers and matching black/white check blazer ( a black skirt is my usual funeral go- to, with the same blazer and blouse, but there’s a wake the previous day and I’ll wear the skirt and a dark sweater for that). I’ve been back in the South so long I’m questioning this (pants would be fine here, but skirt or dress would really be preferable) but I remember when I lived in the upper Midwest yrs ago, women wore pants to everything. DH’s family so I want to be sure I’m appropriate. Thx

  21. Just a general Thanks to the various ladies who recommended tracking your outfits on a spreadsheet. One of my resolutions was to be more mindful of my clothing spending; although it’s all well within budget and I can “afford” it, it’s just unnecessary. So I decided to start a spreadsheet to remind myself of what I actually wear and how I can feel like I’m wearing something “new” by challenging myself to wear things that haven’t made it to the spreadsheet yet.

    Well. I started at the beginning of January and am just cataloguing as I go, rather than trying to type in every article of clothing upfront. I do love having a variety of clothes to choose from, but to be honest have been SHOCKED how many clothes I have! The spreadsheet has already caused me to close out of the JCrew tab without buying anything 3-4 times…. NO I do not need another Tippi when I already have 10 3/4 sleeve cashmere sweaters, of which I apparently wear 4 regularly.

  22. Goosebumpy :

    So am I the only one amused by the choice of a [T]rumpet blouse from Nordstrom today?

  23. Anyone else have a hobby that you can’t talk to others about? And thus you come across as someone who is boring/must sit at home staring at the walls bc you’re so boring? Most of my friends will talk about hiking or thinking about getting another puppy or some book they read. Me – most of my downtime is spent researching real estate for another house flip (buy and medium term hold actually not a true flip) and/or equity investments. Yet I can’t exactly say – yeah I was listening to the Home Depot earnings call last night — bc it sounds like you’re trying to show off/talk about money (which I’m not – just bc I listen to an earnings call doesn’t mean I’m invested in something or will ever invest in it); it’s something I’m truly interested in and passionate about and yet bc I can’t say a word about it – I have actually had friends say – so what do you DO at night? Sure I’ll talk about a book or a tv show or whatever – but they can tell I’m not into it really. Am I the only one? Surely there must be someone here doing something much more “interesting” than me that they can’t discuss.

    • Why can’t you say you’re into real estate investing? My hobbies are hiking and yoga but I also love HGTV and would totally be interested to chat about house flipping – even less reno more buy and hold type stuff.

    • I wouldn’t underestimate your friends’ interest in your hobby. One of my friends and I talk about start up investments ask the time, and that’s his hobby, not mine (and yes, just a friend). We also talk about game of thrones.

      Try to share with them and you might be surprised. It’s not like your hobby is reenacting vintage p*rn flicks and you want then to join in.

    • Don’t talk about it in terms of money. There are a lot of things you could be doing to make money, if money was all you were really interested in, but you picked real estate. What is it about real estate that is interesting to you specifically? I would love to have a conversation with a friend about their interest in bringing new life to old houses, decorating, what makes a house more valuable, what upgrades are worth investing in, etc. Especially someone who more real knowledge than what I learned on Property Brothers.

    • I also do real estate investing and talk about it to my friends. I am in the non-profit sphere and most of my friends have similar careers too. I started with a bit of money and one house and have slowly grown from there.

      It’s not weird at all. You’re over-thinking this.

    • This comment is more pretentious than talking about your hobbies with your friends is.

    • I am into papercrafting but I do not like to discuss it. So yeah- people think I am sitting at home being boring but I am at peace with that.

  24. Did you all see the video of Betsy DeVos being turned away at a school visit in DC she had planned? The skirt she was wearing came to mid-thigh and was slit up both sides…

    • Oh, pleaaaase provide a link.

    • So I can’t find anything about this… and whether or not it’s professional, a lot of school dress codes are sexist BS if that’s where you’re going with it. Of her many faults, dressing appropriately doesn’t seem like one of them.

      Would also like a link if you have one.

      • I didn’t interpret it as she was turned away because her skirt was too short. They seemed like unrelated thoughts.

    • I think the original comment was not clearly phrased. From my scan of the news, it looks like DeVos was turned away from a school by protesters blocking her path. And she also had on an outfit that OP found distasteful, but that wasn’t the reason for her not being able to enter the school.

      • confused 11:15 anon :

        Ah, I see. FWIW I think the outfit wasn’t great either seeing the link. The slits were a pretty bizarre addition.

    • Here’s the clip. I like the idea of her outfit but the skirt is way too short, especially with the slits.

    • She wasn’t turned away for what she’s wearing but blocked by protesters and left.
      Video at:

      Good people are protesting. … and I guess the skirt is just another sign that she is out of touch as to what’s appropriate for school?

    • Sorry. I didn’t mean to say she was turned away for her clothing. She was turned away because of her platform, but since this is a fashion blog, I thought I’d comment on her wardrobe…

      I couldn’t find a link before. I saw it via The Hill on Facebook

  25. Anon Doc Question :

    I just got an email from my primary care physician in Washington DC that they are going to implement an annual $250 fee for patients. WTF? So, I am in the market for a new PCP. Two questions:

    1) Recommendations for a primary care doc? I have a thyroid issue that is well managed (doesn’t require an endo, just annual checkup and Rx) and otherwise just go for an annual physical.

    2) Is this normal? I have never heard of such a thing!

    • LOTS of doctors in DC are concierge – more and more go into it each yr. It’s a fairly bad dr. city. I’d look to Georgetown or GW. I know people here (and most ppl I know) don’t like the hassle of a big academic health system and sometimes you don’t get the same relationships with a dr. that you do in a small practice (bc drs. move around, you don’t always see the same ones etc.) — but I think you get really well trained MDs who are used to seeing really complicated things, so when it comes to “minor” things they are on their game.

      • GW’s specialists have TERRIBLE customer service. The docs are great, but navigating the system and getting a doc on the phone, even for life threatening situations, was super, super difficult. It took days. We also had to pay for parking ($25/visit). So if you expect to need to use their specialists (can’t speak to PCPs), I’d advise going elsewhere.

        • I’ve used their internal med doctors and this wasn’t my experience. They seem glued to their system – which you’ll get access to; that’s where they upload lab reports, message you re follow up meds, tests etc, you can ask for prescription refills etc. I wonder if the specialists don’t use that system.

          OP – A bunch of their PCPs are on Zocdoc so you can go thru reviews and see what you think

      • anon a mouse :

        Personally I avoid GW and Medical Faculty Associates like the plague based on administrative issues. Both my husband and I have had terrible experiences there, including astronomical waits (more than an hour with no explanation) and inexplicable billing problems that took months to resolve — I was nearly sent to collections over a $2K bill for a procedure I did not have. I actually liked the doctors I have seen there, but it’s just not worth it.

    • It’s recommended all the time here, but if you have CareFirst insurance, go with OneMedical (ordinarily is a $200 annual fee but it is waived under CareFirst). I wouldn’t say that if your thyroid condition wasn’t well managed, but if you really just need them for an annual checkup and occasional illness, they really are super convenient and knowledgeable. Also if something more complicated does arise, you can get a specialist referral very easily.

      • One Medical gets recommended here all the time. I think it’s not bad IF you are really in a bind and can’t get in with a decent dr. But I’m not a huge fan — as much as they guarantee same day appointments, it’s almost always PAs and NPs and not MDs. The MDs they do have on staff – all graduated within the last 2-3 yrs. On their website they’ll even say – MD has 4 yrs experience; then when you google around, you realize that means 3 yrs of residency + this is their first attending job. The few doctors they have in DC with 10+ yrs experience are impossible to get in with. I think it’s good for very routine things – flu shots, strep etc. But for someone keeping track of my overall health – not comfortable with the lack of experience.

    • Just curious, are they offering any new perks as a result? I too would switch, and would not find this normal unless significant new perks were on the table (and even then it might not keep me).

      • Anon Doc Question :

        Nope. They just assert that insurance companies have lowered reimbursements and claim that completing paperwork for prescriptions is a lot of work. They also observe that they call patients with lab results and make themselves available via phone and email to answer patient questions. In my opinion, these services are unexceptional. I appreciate them of course, but they should be a part of any practice and do not merit an annual $250 fee.

        • I work in healthcare and can tell you that filing prescriptions, calling patients with lab results, and being available via phone to answer patient questions are all tasks they are required to do in their contracts with insurance carriers. Those are not extras.

        • Actually, those services are a bit exceptional.

          I’ve never had a doctor call me back, or respond personally by email/internet site. If I’m lucky, a nurse communicates. Doctors never have called me with lab results. If you really do have this access, then it sounds really good. Actually, I would pay an extra $200 a year for that, if I had a good doctor.

          I live in Chicago and go to one of the best Hospital systems here.

          It is true that there has been a skyrocketing amount of increased time required for claims processing with all of the prior authorizations/rejections/appeals/pre-authorization and now with emails (which most docs cannot bill for…). It has gotten more complicated, and there are so many errors requiring re-processing and a sacrifice of nurse and doctor time. And with Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements now going below cost for many things (and private insurers dropping their allowed amounts closer to Medicare…) that there are financial strains on some systems.

    • I belonged to a concierge doctor’s office for a couple of years when I lived in an area where doctors and medical services were pretty scarce. It was definitely worth the money–they guaranteed same-day appointments for sick patients, saw patients at appointment times, spent a lot of time on the initial interview and developing a doctor-patient relationship, and gave out cards with the doctor’s cell phone number and email address. Although this didn’t make it worth the money, they also had a “spa” feel to the waiting room with comfortable furniture, relaxing music, and cucumber water (almost making me regret that I never had to wait more than 2 minutes). I agree that the services you’re describing seem unexceptional and are just a money grab. Also, part of what made the concierge doctor worth the money for me was my inability to be seen by other PCP’s in the area (2 weeks for an appointment to see a PCP for a strep test, sitting in a waiting room with dozens of sick patients for over 3 hours to see an internist about migraines, etc.).

    • Anonymous :

      Comprehensive Primary Care on U Street, Dr. Megha Mendiratta

  26. Trump Kittens :

    So I have the Trump Kittens extension on Chrome which, for the most part, replaces all pics Trump-related with kittens. It’s amazing.

    It also, apparently, disagrees with the trumpet sleeves because it covered that pic with kittens. HAHAHA

  27. Huge thank you to the person who recommended Esca yesterday. I’m not the OP who asked for restaurant recommendations but was similarly stuck in NYC due to the weather. I got into Esca last night and had a lovely solo meal!

  28. D.C. question – I want to get my friend a gift certificate to a nice restaurant in D.C. to celebrate her engagement, but I know nothing about D.C. Any suggestions for good options? I’m hoping to spend around $200.

    • Zaytinya for med small plates, Rasika for indian, The Partisan if they are big meat eaters…DC has some good eating. The Hamilton is also a nice choice for middle of the road something for everybody fare (but I think it’s owned by the Koch brothers? Someone told me that once). Le Diplomate for french…

    • Fiola Mare in Georgetown is also a great pick!

    • anon a mouse :

      The Red Hen or the Dabney would both be lovely.

    • Marcel’s is great for celebration dinners. Fancy French food with impeccable service.

  29. Considering in-house :

    Have any lawyers out there gone in house and regretted it? I’m a litigation partner at a large Atlanta firm and reasonably successful but the unpredictable and relentless work demands are wearing me down. I’m married with a 4 year old son and want to have more time for them. I would love to hear from those of you who made the switch and whether you’ve been happy with it.

    • I regretted it at first because I found the work less interesting (I was a litigator before). A few years on I’ve gotten more exposure to other aspects of the industry I’m in and I find that though it’s still less interesting to me personally than litigation, it’s not boring and I wouldn’t trade more interesting work for my easy schedule.

    • Anonymous :

      The only people I know who have regretted it have been men who really, really liked rainmaking and/or trying cases. I would say that more than 90% of the people I know think it’s the best decision they’ve ever made (and I’ve been in-house at 2 different companies for past 8 years, so I’ve crossed paths with a lot of in-house attorneys across the board). But, as with all things, it depends in large part on the company you end up at.

    • Boomerrang :

      I regretted it and ended up going back to my biglaw firm. I didn’t find the work nearly as interesting, and much less academic.

    • I’m in-house, but not in litigation. I am very happy with my decision to move from a firm to in-house but at least at my company, it is intense, and the litigators are often on the road a lot (almost 1-2x a week at least). From what I understand, they are all happy with the switch from a firm but it can be very demanding as well (in a different way than at a firm when your client is paying you a ton of money to be always available and turn things around immediately). I think it really depends on the company’s culture and from what I can tell, most people I know are happy they went in-house, but it’s very very different and isn’t the utopia some people believe it to be.

  30. Posting a celebration! About 7 months ago, I went from a very stressful job to a much less stressful one. This morning I went to the dentist–I’ve stopped grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw, so I don’t have any additional damage to my teeth between check-ups and I no longer wake up with a headache everyday (I had forgotten about those). I’ve also lost a significant amount of weight, but that’s from a combination of less stress, more time, and actual effort. I’ve stopped grinding my teeth purely because I’m less stressed!

  31. long term disability income :

    Tax question – very general, but I haven’t been able to find the answer on my own.

    My spouse (married, filing jointly) received long-term disability insurance payments this year. The premiums came out of his post-tax income (it’s an individual plan, not employer sponsored at all), so I know it’s not taxable income.

    Question: Should I expect to receive any sort of tax form stating that? Or does it really never get mentioned in our taxes? (otherwise simple 1040 with W-2s and itemized deductions for child care and some small donations). Every disbursement had boilerplate text saying earnings would be reported to the IRS and verified with tax documentation. The only tax forms for his account are for the IRAs – absolutely nothing for the LTD.


      I think the second bullet point applies to your situation.

  32. Has anyone here used biotin or other vitamins successfully to get your hair to grow faster? I decided to grow out my lob back to the mermaid lengths I had a couple of years ago and I am impatient!

    • I notice a difference in shine and softness when I take Vitamin E. Hard to say if it grows faster (mine is already really long) but it seems like it might.

    • My friend says to take collagen.

  33. Need some book recommendations for an 8 grade girl and 6th grade girl!! My nieces are visiting tomorrow and they are both avid readers – creative and athletic as well so any good recs would be highly appreciated!!

    • Tamora Pierce. I read them mostly in elementary school but if they haven’t seen them already, they’re good for older kids too (and adults, honestly!)

    • Frozen Peach :

      Madeline L’Engle! Especially the ones that are less well known like Dragons in the Waters or The Young Unicorns.

      Anne of Green Gables is a big hit with my 11 year old goddaughter right now.

    • I recently finished The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and loved it. It’s YA, so very tame, and it’s a fun mix of genre/fantasy and heist/thriller. In a similar vein, the Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins was fun. When Mystical Creatures Attack by Kathleen Founds (whimsy) might appeal, or The Girl with All the Gifts byMR Carey (zombies). They might like Phillipa Gregory, if they are that kind of kid.

    • TupeloHoney :

      Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls!

    • Mysterious Benedict Society, if they haven’t read them yet. Strong girl characters in a fun mystery book series.

    • Anonymous :

      mightygirl . com

    • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Strong girl at a boarding school who fights The Man. Love love love it.

    • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Young girl investigates mysterious goings-on in her apartment building.

  34. Has anyone gone to Cuba for a short trip? Thinking about a short weekend to Havana via one of the cheapy JetBlue/Southwest flights. But – unsure how to do this with the visa restrictions. Can anyone share their experience traveling there recently?

  35. How often do you replace your work shoes? How many shoes do you have in your rotation? I feel like I am constantly buying shoes and I’m just trying to gauge what is normal/what others do.

    • As part of an overall simplification I’ve been streamlining my work shoes. I’m down to about 5 pairs right now, all black or nude. I swap out 1-2 pairs a year with new ones.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Similar for me.

        Tall boots and short boots, both in tanned leather.
        Black flats
        Nude flats
        Something else fun

        I replace or repair 1-2 a year.

    • Shirt you can not tuck (but not a peplum) :

      I have 6 pairs of black block heels and generally buy two new pairs a year (of just that style, so I always have a newish pair). Also, 2 nude pairs and lot of random shoes and also a ton of boots. I reheel / add heel taps often (so I often have 1-2 pairs in the shop) and never wear the same pair two days in a row unless I’m on travel. It’s a crazy number, but they are all in good condition. When they get chewed-up looking, they just have to get tossed. I usually get 3+ years per pair, but it is an army of shoes.

    • I have 11 pairs of work shoes, 6 that are in heavy rotation year-round, 2 that are seasonal but get worn a lot in those seasons, and 3 that don’t get much use and won’t get replaced. Most of them were between $100 and $200, which I consider mid-range. I extend their life by getting them repaired when possible, often 2-3 times per shoe if I like them. I’ve had some of these shoes over 5 years. I probably buy 1-2 pairs per year, and I’ve definitely thrown some shoes in the donation box, but often because they’re dated or not working for me for some reason.

      FWIW, I commute by car to work but walk a few blocks on streets that are hard on shoes most days.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      In my normal rotation, I have:

      – black pointy d’orsay flats
      -gray pointy d’orsay flats
      -gray heeled booties
      -black oxfords

      Less frequently, I wear
      -black pointy wedges
      -purple almond-toe pumps

      I wore the d’orsay flats just about every day over the spring and summer … and they look like it. The booties are two years old and near the end – again, I wear them almost every day. The oxfords still look great.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Should add – I commute by car but spend a lot of my day in motion, often on concrete steps. That’s what did in my flats :(

    • Jules paging Anonypotamous :

      Maybe 25 not counting boots? Maybe more?

      In warm weather I mostly wear slingbacks, so I sort of have seasonal work shoe wardrobes – slingbacks and some pumps for warm weather and pumps/booties/shooties for cooler weather with tights when I’m not in boots.

      And I may or may not have three different pairs of red patent slingbacks (each a different red, one slightly pointier and snazzier than the others) and a pair of red patent regular pumps, plus two different pairs in red faux suede (pumps and shooties). And both purple patent pumps and dark purple/wine heeled Mary Janes.

      In black: slingbacks in slight different styles, patent pumps, faux alligator dressy pumps, shooties and ankle boots, black patent flats . . .

      I may have a problem in this area.

      • Sorry, Anonypotamous, forgot to change my handle from yesterday.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        *I* do not think you have a problem…but I seriously own probably 50 pairs of high-heeled pumps. So best not ask me.

    • I have 6 or 7 pairs of flats and a couple pairs of boots. In Houston, the boots don’t get that much wear and I expect them to last many years. Flat replacement varies a bit, but it’s rare for a pair to last more than a couple years. Resoling flats (both the front and the heel usually) is harder on the shoe than reheeling heels, or it seems to be to me, and can’t realistically be done more than once before the shoe starts to deform. Also by the time a second resole is needed they tend to look completely trashed on the upper anyway and I usually just decide it’s time to haunt sales for a replacement.

    • 7 shoes total.

      Sleek ankle boots; 2 black pumps with almond toes (1 suede, 1 saffiano); gray suede pumps with a pointy toe; navy leather loafers; beige suede wedges; black mini wedges (1 inch).

      I only wear my heels in the office so they last for a few years at a time. I get my boots resoled and cleaned up after the winter each year, and they’re holding up pretty well.

  36. anon a mouse :

    Can anyone recommend a good hair mask or deep conditioning treatment? I have long wavy hair and the winter is taking a toll on it. It looks dull and is starting to frizz more, even though I’m using the same products. Suggestions welcome!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.