Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Veronica Beard Scuba Jacket

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

Veronica Beard Scuba Jacket So we’ve featured Veronica Beard before, and noted that their dickey system can be great if you really want a tailored, layered look — for example, the look of wearing a really chunky turtleneck beneath a fitted blazer, without having to go up two sizes (or look like you’ve gone up two sizes). BUT: I’ve never seen a basic blazer from Veronica Beard before, I don’t think — they’ve all been tweeds and houndstooths and fun colors. So it’s really interesting to see that ShopBop has several options in basic black and navy, all of which are wearable with any Veronica Beard dickey. They’re not cheap (this one is $600) and the matching bottoms are all a bit untraditional — but it’s great to know you can get them in a really versatile basic if you like the look.  Veronica Beard Scuba Jacket

I do not know of any similar plus-size options with dickeys — do you, readers? Failing that, here’s our recent roundup to where you can get classic suits in plus sizes.

(Note that the Veronica Beard website has a sale going on — prices up to 70% off!)

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

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  1. has anyone ever had toenails turn dark brown as a result of toenail fungus, and what did you do about it? I have it on a few of my toenails and have been soaking my feet in epsom salt and vinegar. Any other ideas?

    • Anonymous :

      Try soaking in apple cider vinegar. Also, a dermatologist can give you an anti-fungal that should work.

      • Braggs ACV :

        I would see a doctor of course. But anecdotally, I soaked my foot in an ACV solution for 10 min every day for a month and it cured my nail fungus. This was after a full course of Lamasil that didn’t work.

    • Anonymous :

      See a podiatrist? You have an infection, go see a doctor.

      • can I see a primary care doctor for this?

        • You could, but I bet the end up referring you to a podiatrist if what they try doesn’t work.

          Speaking as someone with an ingrown toenail infection (not even an ingrown toenail), who saw an NP, a Primary care, and eventually a podiatrist to fix the issue. I mean, if it’s really hard to get into a podiatrist, go see your regular doctor, but why wouldn’t you want someone who specializes in that body part?

    • Anonymous :

      Prescription antifungal drops – go to a doctor or at least a pharmacist.

    • Last weeky dermatologist said she’s hesitant to prescribe oral antifunals to young and otherwise healthy people- they work through your liver and have significant side effects. She said Jublia is the newest and hottest topical antifungal, but its very expensive ($1k, even with insurance) and the topical antifungals necessitate no toenail polish for a significant amount of time.

      She mentioned that she’s actually seen great success in her patinents with a daily application of vicks vaporub, which is an inexpensive and low risk option to try first. She also suggested cleaning out your shoes – leather and pleather pumps are a breeding ground for fungus!

      • anon for this :

        +1 for the vapor rub. I give my nails a break from polish in the winter and use this to clear up any issues.
        My issues seems to be a combination of nail dryness and some fungus (it’s all white and the nails themselves are intact). Honestly, I’ve treated it mostly as an aesthetic problem since it’s stayed this way for years. I live in a warm climate so sandals are worn 6 months a year, easily.

    • I used an oral anti fungal 10 years ago at age 32 after years and years of foot and toe nail infection on one foot. I was on it for 3 months. Had to get blood test before going on the med and after being in for a few weeks to confirm no liver problems. It worked! I haven’t had any problems with the nails or the skin of my foot since then. My nail beds were damaged from years of infection so my nails grow a little weird (more ridges than normal). But the nails don’t fall off, I can get a pedicure and it looks normal (although I don’t do continuous pedicures all summer bc I want the nails to breathe and I want to be able to see that there is no infection). You need to commit to three months of no alcohol. As I understand it, you’re putting enough stress on your liver metabolizing the meds, so you don’t want to stress your liver further by making it metabolize the alcohol too.

      I tried lots of different topicals before doing to oral. The topicals kept it under control and got rid of it from one or two toes, but not all and it always came back. Oral is the only thing that worked for me. Over time I saw both podiatrists and dermatologists.

    • Anon Greentoe :

      Highly recommend an OTC topical that you have to get your pharmacist to order (you do not need an Rx, but most places do not stock it). It’s called Tineacide. You put a few drops on each nail each day, and it clears up in about a month. Separately, my podiatrist had me cut as far into the nail bed as possible on the affected nail and also to file the top surface of the nail so that the nail surface was thinner (more oxygen to fight the infection). Last, you must, must, must buy isoproply alcohol and swipe the insides of all shoes you wear (even ones you don’t wear regularly) or you will keep re-infecting yourself when you put on shoes.

      I also have seen GPs and specialists re this and it’s the only treatment plan that works. I have been warned off the systempic (oral) treatments–my doctors told me they are extremely hard on your liver (as in, you can’t even drink when you’re on them) and I take daily meds for things like allergies, and several doctors said that was too much for my liver.

      I have never work toenail polish again–not worth the risk of this coming back.

      Tineacide really works. There’s a lot of scammy products that don’t do much, but truly, it’s the real deal. Try it.

      • Purchased, thanks! Got the isopropyl too.

        • I successfully treated toenail fungus with a few treatments with laser at a podiatrists’s office. Cost $149 per session (Twin Cities area).

          • Where did you go in the Twin Cities? Welcome recomendatin for a laser that works!

          • Would you mind sharing where you went in the Twin Cities, how many treatments were required, and general cost? Thanks!

  2. Are there any stylish and comfortable alternatives to a pull out couch?

    We have a 10×10 room that we currently use as an office. We use it a lot, as both DH and I work from home a day a week, plus I work many nights in there. I’d like to be able to have guests stay in the room as well, but it’s too small to comfortably fit a desk, a bookshelf, AND a full bed on an everyday basis. I like the idea of adding extra seating as a couch, so the kids can lounge and read a book or do homework while I work. But I’ve slept on pull out couches at other houses and they are never ever comfortable, even with plywood underneath and foam mattresses on top. We currently have a pull-out couch in our living room but it’s VERY less than ideal for guests.

    Any ideas? Since it’s mainly grandparents who come stay with us, I prefer to have at least a full because a twin likely wouldn’t be used. Daybeds with trundles look very 1990s preteen to me. The fancy foldout couches I’ve seen, like the CouchBed, seem like they would get worn in on the couch part, and then the folded part would be noticably different in firmness. Should we just get a fancy air mattress, if that exists? Something else?

    • Veronica Mars :

      What about a murphy bed? Costco has some well-priced options, and some even double as a desk when not in use.

      • My hesitation on a murphy bed is that it’s huge. Wouldn’t a giant frame like that just close in an already small room? And I’d still need seating for when it’s folded up, right?

        • Maybe some cute chairs that you can push to the side/move to another room when you need to use the bed?

        • Veronica Mars :

          No, they’re pretty small. The “Brisbane Full Landscape Wall Bed” at Costco has a depth of 20.5″ closed. That’s nothing considering it’s a bed. And the desk version has a closed depth of 33″ inches with the desk (so it could replace an existing desk). It depends on how many desks you want in the room, but it’s your most space saving option. Basically picture the mattress flat against the wall vertically or horizontally, that’s about how much space it takes up. You could easily do a murphy bed/desk, a small dresser (or look at an option that has wall storage for the murphy if you need that more), and a couch or 2 chairs. You might get a loveseat depending on the space.

          • Oooh I like that it’s in “landscape” mode. Much less visually overwhelming. Thanks!

    • What about a Murphy bed? You could keep chairs in there for seating when the Murphy bed isn’t in use, then you can remove them from the room when guests are there.

    • Anonymous :

      There are fancier air mattresses, for sure – they sit on a frame so they’re not on the floor. I’ve slept on one and it was actually pretty comfy.

    • Maybe a murphy bed? I have slept on some at small NYC hotels and they are more comfortable than a pull-out couch.
      Depends on your wall space though.

    • Anonymous :

      air mattress.

    • Anonymous :

      Air mattresses are horrible unless both people sleeping on them are exactly the same weight. I’d do a murphy bed (as suggested above), a twin with a trundle, or two twin air mattresses.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 twin with trundle

        • Anonymous :

          I have this in my guest room/office. The trundle I have pops up to be even with the other twin bed when in use, so it can function as basically a king bed or 2 twins. I recently used it as 2 twins when my sister and cousin visited, but usually have used it pushed up against each other when couple friends visit. I think it’s super functional.

    • Look at the American Leather sleeper sofas and the ones at Room and Board that are made by Am Leather (they are platforms with non-coil mattresses & without the bars). We have the R&B one and it’s great as a couch so far, and our guests say it’s good. A little annoying that a queen fitted sheet doesn’t work on it, but we just use 2 flat sheets.

      In my experience, you are looking for a unicorn. Some people say they love air mattresses, but I don’t, especially when sleeping on it w/another person.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve slept on one of the “fancy” air mattresses. They’re awful. My American Leather pullout sofa is wayyyy better.

      • +1. The only truly comfortable pull out couch.

      • Sunflower :

        In our home office we have an America Leather sleeper sofa with a queen size TempurPedic mattress and it’s quite comfortable for sleeping.

      • Chiming in late with a vote for the futon/couch. We have one from Overstock (a few years old, but was very inexpensive – I think less than $200). We got it for the same situation – small room where we didn’t have space to dedicate to a guest bed. It looks like a couch when it’s folded up, then easily unfolds to a bed. We have guests all the time, and we’ve heard from all that it’s very comfortable and they’ve had great nights of sleep. We’ve also tried it and found that to be true.

        Not what I have, but a few that are actually decently good looking (most are hideous IMO):




      • +1 – Our American Leather couch is nearly as comfortable as our regular mattress. Note: It was crazy expensive. We stalked Craigslist for 5-6 months and bought ours used.

    • We have a regular-height air mattress (that might not be the correct term, but it’s the height of a regular bed, easy for older adults to get in and out of.) That thing is seriously comfy. I was sorry to stop sleeping on it when we last moved! The only thing is air mattresses have a fairly limited shelf life. If you’re fine replacing it as much as every couple of years, or tearing your hair out trying to patch a leak, I’d say it’s a very good option.

    • Could you get two fold up twin beds that stay in a closet? Amazon has some really good ones. I’m not sure grandparents would be comfortable on an air mattress.

    • Here’s another option: https://www.roomandboard.com/catalog/living/sleeper-sofas/deco-convertible-sleeper

      • Oooooh I love this! Kind of a fancier futon, I think. (I still associate futons with college, so hadn’t even considered this as an option.)

        • Yeah, looks appealing. Just note it’s a double not a full so grandparents would have to be okay fitting on that together.

          • Whoops – it’s a full. One reviewer said it was a double but the description says full. As you can see I’m interested in this couch too!

      • I HAVE THIS!! It is, in fact, excellent. It does pull out to almost a queen. I love the storage underneath, too. Can’t recommend highly enough! I would recommend getting an ottoman/pouf and some fluffy oversized throw pillows to make it comfy for lounging, though.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m actually looking for something similar myself. Currently, we use an air mattress, which is comfortable enough when sleeping. the problem is that it is so low to the ground. Does anyone have a suggesting for a cot or something else that would be comfortable to get in to and out of?

    • Anonymous :

      We have a 10×10 second room as well — I have a Tillary couch in it; you could do two of those and move them to make it a single bed? I would have loved a second as a sectional but it would have blocked the single vent in the room.

      Also look up the IKEA Friheten – it’s not the most comfortable by any stretch (which is why we didn’t go with it for our primary couch) but I love the idea of small section that pulls out to a mattress. Wayfair etc. have versions of this that may be higher end. Friends with one add a topper for overnight guests. And the pull-out portion that makes it a twin pulls completely away from the bed so it could be used as a table/bench/ottoman for kids etc.

      I’ve also seen folding bedframes recently — I’ll see if I can find one and link it (saw it mentioned on instagram)

    • I’ve slept on a pull out couch from Crate & Barrel that was comfortable. I think the difference was that it was an expensive couch, vs all the other couches I’ve slept on that were cheaper and had that thin mattress and that horrible metal bar that you could feel all night.

    • Look at the Wink sofa from Crate and Barrel.

    • IKEA has some nice-looking pull-out couches in the style that pulls the bed out length-wise like a sliding platform (not like the traditional spring kind that folds up under the seat). Not sure if they’re full size, but the couch doesn’t take up much room.

    • I’d take a page out of open plan offices and consider whether you need as much workspace as you’re allocating now. I work at home pretty often, but have found I enjoy doing this more at our kitchen table than at a big desk, and that I really don’t need all the space set aside for it. I’d look at making it a guestroom with a full bed, and maybe get a smaller desk if that’s your best private space and lose the bookshelf.

    • IKEA hemnes daybed. Or American Leather foam mattress pullout sofa (eg, room and board Berin sofa). I have both, have slept on both and recommend both.

    • oil in houston :

      we have the same set up, and have a futon that doubles as a sofa in that room. guests like it

    • Maybe check out a Murphy bed/desk combo?

    • I like the Ikea futon for this situation. We have a similar situation. Small room that is long and skinny with a door at one end and a window at the other. We have this tucked under the window in the couch position. And then a desk along the side wall. Its 4 years old and holding up well. Folks say the bed is comfortable.


    • I’m looking for something similar for a kid room, but we’ve been really happy with our LaZBoy sleeper sofa with memory foam mattress. Both sets of parents in their sixties (one with back problems) have slept on it comfortably for weeks this summer. I’d buy another one but it seems like overkill ($-wise) for a kid’s room as a secondary sleeping space.

    • Anonymous :

      My MIL has a LaZBoy sleeper with the blow up mattress on top and it is quite comfortable.

    • our pull out couch has an inflatable mattress. Got it at crate and barrel. Way more comfortable than the other mattress.

  3. blueberries :

    Any recommendations for post-swim haircare (shampoo and conditioner or other products)?

    I’ve been swimming more and my hair is starting to feel like straw.

    • I use ultra swim after I swim. I don’t do the “conditioner in the hair before getting in the pool” thing because I think the water would be gross if everyone did that. I do saturate my hair with fresh water before putting it into my cap.

      And I wear my hair shorter (chin length)

    • Thoroughly wet your hair before you get in the pool- it prevents your hair from absorbing as much pool water. I like Babo Botanicals Swim shampoo to remove chlorine. Ultraswim works too, but irritates my scalp if I use it too much. Use a deep conditioner a couple of times a week.

    • I’ve been swimming since middle school swim team and have always had long hair. I’ve never really had any issues with it, but Tresemme (sp?) shampoo/conditioner seems to work well. If it builds up too much I use the Loreal clarifying shampoo. I also put a little bit of argan oil in my scalp and on the tips if I’ve been swimming a lot and its affecting my hair.

    • Terax Crema and a swimming cap

    • Played aquatic sports all through HS and college. Protips: you need to use ultraswim, followed by a moisturizing shampoo, followed by a very gloppy conditioner (think Nexus Humectress). Your condition should be switched to one for dry/damaged or color treated hair. The ultraswim is key–don’t skip that step.

      Separately, if you are wearing a swim cap, wet your hair before you swim. Your hair then takes up the fresh water and doesn’t take in as much chlorine. Along the same vein, if your ends are getting dry, wet your hair before you cap up, and put conditioner on the ends, and then cap up.

    • After years and years as a competitive swimmer and now coaching, I have to admit that I’ve never really seen much difference between when I was using ultra swim and when I wasn’t, but my hair never got overly damaged by chlorine.

      If you don’t want to go the full hair wash route, I find that as long as you rinse your hair immediately after swimming that a leave-in shampoo (I like the Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo brand) can do the job pretty well. I like the one that adds texture but it depends on your hair type and the length of your hair.

      • We have Fairytales lifeguard shampoo for my kids and I’ve also used Malibu swimmer hair packs on them — their hair both gets pretty crunchy after daily swimming in the summer.

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

      I swim 3-4 times a week. I had similar issues when I had long hair and nothing seemed to work. I cut my hair pretty short and kept it short, so the hair gets cut off before it starts to show any damage. But I like the shorter style.

    • Horse Crazy :

      I used Paul Mitchell’s Shampoo Three and Biolage Ultra HydraSource Conditioner when I swam regularly.

    • Before you swim, wet your hair and cover it in conditioner. OR just cover it in conditioner so much if feels wet. Then put a cap on. WHen you are done the conditioner will rinse out. I color my hair and my hairdresser told me about this.

    • Anonymous :

      I like the Bumble and Bumble Seaweed products. There’s also a good Aveda product to use weekly to remove the chemical buildup

  4. Lemon Blueberry :

    After much soul searching, I’ve come to the realization that I should probably try taking an anti-depressant to see if medication can help lift my mood. (I’ve tried therapy several times before and not gotten much out of it.) Any recommendations for a psychiatrist in the DC area? I tried my GP and my company’s EAP and didn’t get any leads. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    • Anonymous :

      Dr. Jared Putnam in Chevy Chase – he’s very solution oriented which I appreciate.

    • Dr. Smita Patel near GW. Takes insurance.

    • Did you ask a GP about prescribing the anti-depressants for you? My PCP prescribes mine – it’s nice to be able to avoid adding an additional appointment on top of therapy.

      • Agree. PCP is first line of defense for anti-depressants. They will generally prescribe the most commonly well tolerated one at the lowest dose and will refer you to a psychiatrist if you need more specialized medicine.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I’ve gotten a script from my gynecologist before, and he told me a lot of women ask him about antidepressants or anxiety meds. It’s good to see a psychiatrist if you can, but sometimes it’s an “any port in a storm” situation.

    • I would try medication (from a psychiatrist, not your GP/PCP) and new therapist. I’ve done both off and on for many years. Once you are established, the psychiatrist only needs to see you once a year for 15 minutes. At the beginning, it’s good to have a specialist (psychiatrist) involved who knows more about the medication than PCPs typically do. Therapy is time intensive but can be SO beneficial, once you find the right person. Keep trying, especially if you are still suffering. It’s a bit like dating–an exhausting process but very worth it once you find a match. Good luck and props for taking action!

  5. Anonymous :

    Rothy’s help – I have some red Rothy’s (love them) but I recently noticed that there are a couple of stained spots that didn’t come out in the wash. Unfortunately I don’t know what the stains are from. Has anyone else run into this, and have you had any success getting the stains out?

  6. DC Dentist :

    Does anyone have recommendations for a DC dentist? Ideally in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter or Metro Center area.

    • I go to Dr Ingber at 20 & K. The whole office is fantastic. And I HATE the dentist.

    • Hillary Hochman at Comprehensive Dental is the first dentist I’ve ever not-dreaded going to see. She’s a fantastic combination of kind & personable as well as professional & competent. Plus she mailed me a card after my first visit.

    • Hmmm…I feel like dentists in that area come and go and come and go. Was always a problem for me. I saw a couple different dentists at Eye Street Dental and they were ok but I’d switch if I could actually find someone I liked who stayed around.

    • Dr Renis Kapshtica. So good! Can usually get you in quickly too. I’ve moved away but # used to be 202-223-2921.

    • Metro Center :

      DC Lights Dental on 13th and F!

  7. What are your favorite effortless wrinkle-free throw-on-and-go dresses?

    • cat socks :

      The jersey swing dresses from Old Navy and Land’s End fit & flare. They are more on the casual side, but they are fine for my jeans & t-shirt type office.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        Really? I have the Old Navy swing dresses in several colors and they always come out the dryer completely wrinkled. Teach me your ways!

        • I don’t think I do anything special, except maybe for using the permanent press option on my washing machine. I use liquid detergent – Tide and no fabric softener or dryer sheets. Sometimes I will take them out of the washer and just line dry them. I got mine last year. I wonder if maybe they’ve changed the fabric.

      • I hang mine to dry. Never had them wrinkle.

    • Anonymous :

      Leota dresses (I have two faux wraps) are from a material that does not wrinkle. Not sure how that’s possible, but loving them and considering a non-wrap for fall.

      • +1 to Leota. I also have several from Maggie London and Eliza J, all purchased from Nordstrom, that I love.

      • Another +1 to Leota. And along the same lines, the faux wrap dresses from Karina Dresses. No wrinkles and insanely comfortable.

    • For something a little dressier I like those Ralph Lauren stretchy surplice dresses they have at macy’s. I have a black long-sleeve and a solid blue and a few patterned ones and I love them.

    • https://www.macys.com/shop/product/lauren-ralph-lauren-surplice-dress?ID=6522709&pla_country=US&CAGPSPN=pla&CAWELAID=120156340026884234&CAAGID=19061551021&CATCI=pla-377563082809&CATARGETID=120156340018040888&cadevice=c&cm_mmc=Google_Womens_PLA-_-RTW+Womens_Lauren+Ralph+Lauren+-+GS_Dresses-_-72117743461-_-pg1843733_c_kclickid_31168d4a-8379-44cb-ab34-160b79f08c72&trackingid=424×1843733&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5Mi9p43b3AIVXIezCh3raAO4EAQYASABEgIwlPD_BwE

    • Boden’ s jersey dresses. I have 2 and they do not wrinkle when packed or washed.

      • Ouch! that hurts :

        I have found that my two jersey dresses have faded or seem a little fuzzy out of the washing machine and hung to dry. Done that once and they now seem to be casual dresses, not for the office.

    • I have two dresses from Athleta that are my go-tos. One was V-neck and the other is more drapey.

    • Karen Kane Cascade Wrap

    • JMcLaughlin dresses – great for travel and work.

    • Tahari by ASL ponte sleeved dresses for a quick work outfit. They are lined and thick enough to retain their shape and not show lumps

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Ellen Tracy seamed sheaths with sleeves. They look really nice but wear like PJs. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071GF2YSC/

    • If you promptly take it out of the dryer, this dress is so easy to wear. I have 5 of them – three short-sleeve and two three-quarter sleeve. (Black, navy, and royal blue. I’m wearing the navy SS today.) I’m 5’7, an hourglass-y pear, and I usually wear a 10-12 on bottom and an 8-10 on top, and the large is perfect every time. Statement necklace and heels and you’re out the door.

      (Take out the space.)

      https://www.amazon. com/HUHOT-Sleeve-Summer-Casual-X-Large/dp/B01JOCAQVM

    • White house black market reversible knit dress.

  8. Island Real Estate :

    I’m considering buying a house in a very beautiful, very wealthy part of the Pacific Northwest, as a mid-term investment (sell in 10-15 yrs) or potential retirement home (decades away).
    The area (an island with a small marina-town) is likely to continue stratifying in wealth until it has no self-sustaining economy. Martha’s Vineyard is often referred to as an analog, and probably some of the otherror East Coast tourist destinations I see discussed here.
    So my main question is, how did that transformation of SEC affect the peoperty values? Are the rich still building wealth by owning a gorgeous asset? Or are the houses falling into disrepair as the owners scramble to pay upkeep? Do people stop looking to buy when the next best destination becomes more popular? I’m totally open to hearing speculation- just trying to imagine the future.

    • Just bought a vacation cottage in a formerly fancy beach town that has since become much more Lower SEC. my take is that this results in long term cycles – 20-30 year periods – so I wouldn’t speculate in that kind of real estate unless you plan to get current enjoyment from it too.

      • Hmmm..exactly the cycles I’m wondering about. I’ve heard people saying the location is so special it’s only ever going to rise in value, and that just seems unrealistic.
        There are other (mostly family) reasons I’m considering it, of course.

    • This is definitely speculation, but I would be cautious about buying in an area only the rich can afford because those homes will be the first to take the hit if home values crash and the amount of upkeep required will be higher than in a more mixed vacation area (not sure if you’ve ever been to Nantucket, but it’s disturbing to see the surgical precision that is apparently required to have a properly manicured hedge. It’s also very boring and cookie-cutter). An island could also be risky given the increased hassle of getting there (and potential climate change risks in 15-20 years).

      • This was my immediate thought. Will it be under water (physically, not financially) in a few decades?

      • I think the west coast in general has a different style of high-end vacation home, that requires less cosmetic maintenance–less lawn and definitely no hedges.
        I’m very familiar with the sea level rise forecasts for the area–and it’s unlikely to threaten the house (hey, it might even become cliffside waterfront!) but intrusion into the drinking water has always been an issue…

    • Are you me? :) :

      Hi there. I just did this as a single woman on Bainbridge Island, where I suspect you are looking. I closed two months ago. Shall we be friends?

      honour98 at gmail dot com

    • I’m struggling with the SEC as an acronym here. What are you referring to?

      • Anonymous :

        It stans for socioeconomic class. It doesn’t quite make sense here, grammatically.

        • Thanks — I appreciate the clarification!! I couldn’t un-see Securities and Exchange — and was wondering what big SEC transformation i missed!

        • Anonymous :

          I thought it was a football conference…

          • I also had no idea what SEC was.

            I’ve been looking at real estate on both Bainbridge and Orcas Island — as a place to move to as some point from the bay area….it’s cheap compared to here lol

  9. I turned down a job offer yesterday because the position wasn’t quite right for me, the pay is lower than I am looking for, and I had two other interviews last week that I was hoping would progress. Now I wake up this morning to a rejection email from one of those companies. Cue anxiety about turning down the offer…

    • I had a similar experience last year. Remember that the job needs to be a step up and it sounds like this position wasn’t given the lower pay and fit issues. There will be more opportunities in the future.

    • Anonymous :

      You will find a better fit. Breathe. It’s not about you personally, as it’s about the match. It’s ok to let some things go AND check to see if there is something fresh! People retire…and move…and get new jobs. There is more on the horizon, don’t over-focus on the rear-view mirror.

  10. What are your favorite wrinkle-free effortless throw-on-and-go dresses?

  11. Reposting since this was stuck in mod yesterday and got no hits: Does anyone have a GP recommendation in the DC area? I went to One Medical but they stopped taking my insurance so I need someone new. Thanks!

  12. Chief Peter Pan Officer :

    I am a C-level executive at a small company. All of us in the C suite are in our very early 40s to mid 50s (the one other woman and I are the youngest), but all of the others are married with kids. We all live in fancy suburbs, but I live with my (male) partner, and we are not married and have no children. No plans to change either of those things.

    Because of this, I feel like they judge me for somehow being not as mature, successful or professional. And maybe if I were at least married that would change.


    • childfree :

      I’m childfree and married and I feel like I have a similar problem.
      The issue is being childless, not married, I think.

      • I think it’s more of a spectrum:

        Single man = Peter Pan
        Unmarried man who’s living with his partner = Commitmentphobe
        Unmarried woman who’s living with her partner = Waiting for the ring/wasting her time
        Married woman with no kids = Selfish
        Single woman = Spinster/b*ll-buster
        Married man with no kids = Wife is probably infertile
        Married with no kids but 1+ dog(s) = Practicing for adulthood
        Married with one kid = Starting to be a real adult
        Married with two kids = Real adult

        • This is so funny, but a lot of it is true. I want to be the last person listed (a real adult, but I have been accused of all of the above and particularly being a b*llbuster. I would only bust b*lls if my ex had b*lls in the first place. Dad said he was a nut-less wonder, and Dad did NOT even know the stories about him being Mr. Limpadema! FOOEY! Dad is so smart, I think he knew my ex was not capable of satisfying me in bed, tho we NEVER would talk about such things. I did tell Grandma Leyeh, and maybe she told Dad, but am glad not to have to have my ex huffeing and puffeing on top of me any more, particularly in the summer, when it got very sweatey! DOUBEL FOOEY!

        • As a working parent with 1 kid, the leap to 2 is really felt when you treat them as individuals (or are forced to, say if they are at two different schools, never mind if they have different ages/interests/friend sets) and you have two sets of schedules in addition to your schedule and perhaps a spouse’s.

          So I think that this is not just me (I heard it when I was single/childless/spinster/harpy), but this belief seems very widely held:

          Married with two kids = Real adult

        • Wow. This is depressing. But I guess it is true. You even see it on here with interactions between posters — smug marrieds are bad enough, but smug marrieds with kids are the worst.

          And not all married people with kids are smug! But there are definitely two or three on here. And before that usual troll says it’s because I’m bitter and single and surrounded by cats:

          1. I’m happily married and child-free
          2. We have a cat and a dog, and they are both wonderful

        • What about a single woman with kids?

          • When I was writing this list I was kind of wondering where divorced people with or without kids fit in. Or never-married people with kids. I don’t have a large enough sample size to have a good sense of that. I imagine it varies by age and geography though. Like, ime, there’s not really a distinction between never-married with kids vs. divorced with kids after you hit like 35 when divorce starts becoming common. I also think that if you’re 25 and divorced you lose ‘maturity points’ but by the time you hit 40 a divorce is a sort of rite of passage — you might actually be higher on the list than if you’re still married to your college sweetheart. Idk though.

        • Agreed, but I’d add in that single man under 33 or so is Dedicated and Career Focused (Like The Man Boss When He Was That Age), and then after that they turn into peter pans. This is exactly how it is at my law firm. Ugh.

        • anonforthis :

          I hate how this is a thing. My husband and I never planned to have kids, and we haven’t, but we are now the legal guardians of his sister’s kids (tween and grade-schooler) and have been for years. I have been disappointed by the attitude that they aren’t “my” kids from some of my co-workers.

    • Doesn’t matter what they think – you keep doing what’s best for you. You’re in the C suite so clearly you’re very important to them and the company – so who cares if you’re married?

      • OP here. Yes, I’m in the C suite, but it’s about a couple of things, I think. The most important one is an intangible feeling of respect and that they view me as an equal. Right now it’s a very subtle sense that they don’t. So that kinda stinks.

        The other is just about fitting in and being able to contribute to the conversation more than my polite (and sincerely interested) questions about elementary school soccer and how the shy younger one is doing in middle school and what colleges your son is looking at.

        • I do get the part about having to talk about their kids. I’m young and single in my workplace of old married guys (engineering). It can get boring if you don’t have much to contribute. I usually end up talking about my cat or hobbies.

        • I struggle with this. Early 30s, not married, no kids. Lots of the men use their kids/family vacations to bond with each other and make small talk with people they don’t know well. (Which I sort of think is sweet and a nice change from talking about football, caveat that it’s crap that women are penalized for chatting about family and men aren’t..) I cannot contribute in the same way and it can get awkward. I feel like I’m a foreign concept to them (how many single liberal 30ish year old women are they ever around?) even though if we got to talking about less superficial subjects we have a lot in common.

        • About fitting in: despite being a married with two kids, I don’t have a good frame of reference for understanding other people’s kids and activities unless they are at the same life stage. My bosses’ kids may be at the college applications level, and (since my kids are in kindergarten) my questions about it are just as uninformed but sincerely interested as yours. Similarly I don’t know enough about competitive gymnastics or whatever.
          Go be awesome! Dont worry about perceptions.

        • Anonymous :

          The part about talking about their FAMILIES (and yours, like parents, cousins, and people you care about) is adopting conversational cues from the Social Maven you most admire. Pay attention to how they establish credibility.

          All of these people have siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles – some will help your cause, like those who are godparents or just plain dote on them or their kids, others who treat children like a foreign country…not so much! Pay attention when your employer has family-friendly events. Do your homework on life-with-kids. If the ones in your family are farther away, over-scheduled or non-existent, there are many volunteer opportunities from lighter (reading at a nearby kindergarten) to being a Big Brother or Big Sister or becoming a court-appointed special advocate. This lets you see where kids are. I can guarantee you that things like computer use, device use and social media access has morphed exponentially in the past 10 years, so it’s tough for some aspects of living-with-children to translate to what adults recall from their own childhoods, so some of reaching out to other parents is just discussing parenting tools/techniques -checking in- when everything is a bit disconcerting.

          Books and movies are scripted – they are gross oversimplifications of parenting, but if you want a fun romp, see The Incredibles or The Incredibles 2 and pay attention to…Edna? and throw a No Capes! reference in as needed.

          On a practical level – as someone with kids, there are times that having friends without kids truly helps, as being a parent is only one aspect of me, and it’s helpful not to be eclipsed by the parenting role.

          Remember, ELLEN was the first person to say something was true – which means it’s a stereotype, which means we must be cautious not to over-generalize.

        • People actually would rather talk about movies sports music and be told a funny joke. I actually used to prep the on that stuff. Replace the boring how-are-the-kids convos with something interesting and you’ll be a hit. It’s only as powerful as you let it be.

    • Are they actually judging you? Is it negatively impacting you? Live your life with confidence.

    • This is all in your head. No one is thinking about you that much.

      • +1 I do not even remotely think about fellow managers with this level of detail. If they do good work and are good managers, I respect them. The execs I don’t respect are the ones who are bad at their jobs, but think they are amazing. It has absolutely nothing to do with their personal life.

        • Agreed. People may not be that interested in your personal life, truth be told. It’s more about how you carry yourself and treat people as a manager, and whether people respect your business decisions. Drop the insecurities that may have no basis in reality.

    • I’m nowhere near your level but I feel ALL THE TIME that I’m not taken as seriously in my industry/network because I’m single with no kids. Like I’m not really a grown-up professional or I don’t need to make as much money because it’s “just” me or my time isn’t as valuable because I don’t need to pick up kids after school.

      • My time not seen as valuable is my biggest pet peeve. I understand that picking up the kids is way more important than my evening plans. I get it, I do. But dad also leaves work at 5 every. single. day. regardless of what else is going on. I have weekday evening plans once in a blue moon. It’s really annoying that the one time I can’t stay late — and yes I tell everyone about it for days in advance — I get all kinds of pushback even though I’m always the one staying late so dad can pick up little Johnny. I don’t understand why we get paid the same when I’m apparently expected to be on call every evening with no exceptions and dad is on call 0 evenings ever.

      • AnonTechie :

        Whoa, I thought hitting 40s -50s makes people stop GAF about other people’s life choices.
        I’m 28 and have a toddler and get judged (aloud, by similarly aged and similarly leveled, or junior) coworkers about not caring about my career enough (i do, but apparently kids are incompatible with careers)

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. This is absolutely the case. I am 40, single, no kids. I happen to look very young for my age as well. I am constantly left out of conversations around what I am doing with the kids this weekend. This happens with internal business partners and with clients as well. When you combine the fact that I look young with the fact that I can’t actively participate in these conversations, I end up “slipping” in the eye of the person that I am interacting with. It is subtle–no one would openly say that they take me less seriously because I am not married and don’t have kids. But they do. I can feel it.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe I am a bossy B, but I don’t allow myself to be left out of conversations I don’t want to be left out of. I am almost 40, no kids, single. I am genuinely interested in people and their lives, so I ask and I engage. I have never had a problem being included in things in the workplace.

    • Disillusioned BigLaw WoC :

      I think there is a general ideal of what upper middle class professionals are supposed to be, and if you don’t fit it, you get judged. In my industry, or at least at my firm, this is white, live in the suburbs, not first generation professional, not immigrants, women change their last name, and 2-3 bio kids. I am about as far from that mold as you can get, so it sucks sometimes. Not fitting in is a big reason I want to leave my job for the public sector.

    • Is there something else going on? Are you new to the C-suite? New to the role/company/function?

      Perhaps it is your age, not your marital or parenthood status, that they’re reacting to. The “ageism” is real – I was just at a conference about technology and analytics trends in my line of work, and the kinds of comments about older people in our departments and their ability to adopt technology was just mind-blowing.

      One other thought – the real challenge with having a kid (or kids) at work is how your attention and time has to be shared all the time. Yes, you could be at work and suddenly, you get a call from school. Or you’re dealing with school drop-off, you have a work conf call you have to take. But my co-worker has a dog with a terminal illness and his schedule has been unpredictable as he deals with all the vet appts. My other co-worker just moved his parents to live closer and he has been dealing with all sorts of issues with their housing and financing.

      These guys have personal priorities and commitments that take their time and attention just as kids do…maybe not as regularly or frequently, but it’s one set of trade-offs for another. SO my point is…are you sharing about your personal life, the commitments on your life? Maybe it won’t make a difference but if you’re really private, and they’re sharing all the time, there might be some distance after some time.

      At the end of the day – remember who you are. Do not for a minute let them think you don’t deserve their respect.

    • You’re going to get judged no matter what. Hard as it is, I’m on a mission to become so comfortable with myself that I can take a “so what?” stance any time I receive so much as some side-eye.

      I’m a childless 30-something in a field where I work with mostly middle aged-and-up men with teenaged or grown children. My husband works almost entirely with men who have stay at home wives. Both of us are first-gen college grads and have achieved significant economic mobility, making the cultural aspect even more difficult to navigate.

      If you need to leave the office, walk out the front door. If needed, say you can’t stay late some evening, but it’s no one’s business what you do with your evening, or how you run your life. Give your best “give zero fucks” face when someone pushes back. Someone gives the impression they think you’re immature? That’s their own problem. No one gets to tell you how to feel about anything, ever.

      All easier said than done. Practice a little more every day.

    • I don’t think they judge you, I think they just have less in common with you. Having children changes your life, and presents unique challenges, which creates unique camaraderie among those with children that is hard to otherwise match.

  13. For LaLaLander — my specific pouch is sold out, but it’s a variation on the Signet (JCrew has a rotating stock of them). I like that has decently sturdy sides so it keeps its shape, and as a bonus can double as an oversized clutch. Wipes clean easily and the zipper is smooth.

    They go on promo routinely, so don’t pay full price.

  14. Dickeys really? :

    I’m sorry but is this a jacket with fake underthings that would zip into it? Who would wear such a thing? Madness.

    • Actually, I have this jacket and it’s wonderful–fitted, stretchy, comfortable, professional, easily one of my favorite pieces. I don’t wear it with the dickeys but they’re fine–not like dickeys from the 1970s.

    • I have it and it’s AMAZING.

  15. Anyone who went to Boston University? :

    My sister is starting undergrad at BU next year and I’m working in Boston this summer. I’ll be gone by the time she comes, but I wanted to buy some gift cards to local places as an occasional treat for her. I was thinking J.P. Licks and Gen Sou En tea house, any other similar suggestions?

    Any other ideas for what to include in essentially a starting-college care package? So far I’ve been thinking: nail polish, face mask, hot chocolate packets, maybe a mug or thermos.

    She’s pre-med, very girly, not into sports, outgoing and friendly but can get stressed by academics – which is why I’m doing all this.

    • Maybe a gift cert to a local nail place?
      You’re a good sister.

    • That sounds like a lovely care package. My sister goes to school in Boston as well (not BU), I haven’t gone out to visit her yet but I’ll be going this fall.
      I would get her a thermos instead of a mug, so she can take it to class and the library. Maybe a cute hat and gloves for when it gets super cold?
      This sounds super cheesy but when I moved for work, my sister gave me a really sweet card and a framed picture of us. I really love it and read the card when I’m feeling down.

    • Went to law school there and my husband went to undergrad and med school. Pavement (on Comm Ave) was a big spot for undergrads from what I could tell (and they had the best chocolate chip cookies). Not sure if pre-med students get over to BMC much, which is in the south end as opposed to the main undergrad campus, but I think there’s a Flour Bakery over there with baked treats as well.

      Also my favorite starting college gift was cozy slippers for cold dorm floors.

    • There’s a city Target on Comm Ave now — maybe a Target gift card for the stuff she inevitably forgot/needs? Gift card to Eastern Standard or ICOB for a splurgey welcome to Boston dinner? Depending on where she’s living, I used to looooove going to Lone Star for tacos — maybe a gift card there?

      Also, I’m now desperately jealous that she gets access to that beautiful BU gym…

    • Ooh, what about a gift card to the Coolidge Corner Theater? Great movie theater and right across the street from Gen Sou En.

    • Gift cards are a great idea. As a first year student I would have loved gift cards to local grocery stores since I was poor af.

    • Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner (trust me, it’s amazing)
      JP Licks is a good choice
      Insomnia cookies (right at BU Central)
      Jamba Juice (right at BU East)

      I went to BU for law school, but my understanding from the ugrads is that they have tons of food options at the student union and their dorm cafes. You might also want to get her a manicure gift card to MiniLuxe, which is a great (nice) Boston chain.

      I would definitely buy her a Contigo or a Zojirushi. She needs to be able to throw the mug in her backpack (BU’s campus is very long) and for it to stay warm on the way. When it was really cold, I used to wrap my thermos in a towel and then put it in my backpack!

      Mittens and scarves are awesome and will be needed–BU has a biting wind much of Winter due to its proximity to the Charles.

  16. Anonymous :

    Any suggestions for how to deal with admins that don’t want to be admins? I work in a legal office of a government agency Our new division director is not a good manager. In fact he likes to talk about how managing people isn’t actually a thing – so basically inaction or avoidance is his main strategy. We have two secretaries/admins whose job description includes typical admin duties. The only task I assign to the admins is to prepare (mostly correct formatting to comply with filing requirements) and file documents with another government agency. The admins have complained to director that they think the attorneys should format and file their own documents. This would possibly be a reasonable request if they actually had other duties that were pressing. But they have very few other responsibilities. Most days, other than answering the phone, they do nothing but format and file. The admins are scheduling a training for the attorneys to learn how to format and file. The director’s response is to ignore the training and just continue to ask them to format and file. So I guess that is what I am going to do? This seems insane to me, but am I being unreasonable?

    • Yeah, if he’s unwilling to say anything to them, I’d forward his reply and cc everyone on it.

    • Talk to your colleagues to let them know that you won’t be attending the training and see if they are attending or not. Format and filing are classic legal assistant duties. “I won’t be attending the training as formatting and filing are administrative tasks and not relevant to my legal practice.”

      • +1. This would be beneficial to no one – it costs the firm money to have you wasting time on tasks that don’t use your legal background and it will make you want to jump out a window.

      • At many government agencies, attorneys are responsible for formatting and sometimes filing. I’m not sure that it is an unreasonable request, if the boss is supporting it

        • +1. 10 years of government practice have done all of my own formatting and a lot of my own filing. I don’t think relevant is the question, it’s just a division of labor question.

    • I’m really opposed to attorneys doing their own filings. A client shouldn’t have to pay an attorney’s hourly rate for administrative tasks like filing. It’s just not good business.

      Why are the admins being allowed to hold a training?

      • Reading comprehension guys – billables aren’t relevant (unless she says otherwise), she works in a government office.

    • If you were in private practice, a client would not /should not pay for an attorney to do administrative tasks. If it’s unbillable in the outside realm, it seems it should remain an administrative task in the governmental realm.

      • Gov't attorney :

        That’s just not a reasonable standard. There are many things that private practice attorneys don’t do that government attorneys must. From submitting their own expenses, doing their own time, mailing their own letters, etc. It’s a very different standard

        • I was in-house at a nonprofit for 18 months and hated it for this reason, among many others. It’s maddeningly inefficient.

        • Anonymous :

          I am the OP and I agree that being a govt attorney is a different standard. I am not opposed to doing my own filings. However, as an office we have very little other work for them. On rare occasions they can help with other tasks. I think both admins would like to be considered paralegals, but they don’t have the skill set to do paralegal tasks. It’s like they want to rewrite their job descriptions and only do the fun stuff. And there is no fun stuff! In short, it’s not that I don’t want to do the work – but why should we fund two positions for administrative tasks if they aren’t going to actual do the administrative tasks?

    • Anonymous :

      I agree these should be administrative tasks if your admins have time to do them. And it is not good management for your manager to let the admins run amok and operate under the impression that they can autonomously decide to have a training and then pass off the tasks to the lawyers after that. But for the life of me I am baffled that there are lawyers out there who think they should be free from the burden of knowing HOW to perform these tasks. It is crazy to me that you would be happy to let your assistant carry on such important tasks as formatting documents to conform to relevant rules and filing those documents (with a court or agency, whatever) and have no way of confirming they are being completed appropriately, or of doing them in a pinch or, heaven forbid, in a genuine emergency. I would call that a dereliction of duty. But many seem to just think it is beneath them.

  17. Help please! My company’s having an org shift. I’m getting traded for another employee- exchanging groups. It’s equivalent pay and title, but reporting to someone I don’t like or respect. However I have to admit, my current position was at a dead end due to its being in a very outwardly prestigious but in truth, little-values internally due to overall company culture. I’m being switched out due to senior manager’s perception that I don’t generate new ideas. In fact I generated our last two projects but had to do so subtly because my boss wanted to focus on a long term pet project of his. Do I tell senior manager these 2 projects were mine, pushed across laterally through others in the group, or let it go? It burns a little…and I don’t like perception that I didn’t generate work, when most of group worked on my ideas last three years!

    • Veronica Mars :

      Get out, get out, get out.

      • Op- I don’t like to admit it but current position is cushy and great pay but didn’t lead to skills I can transfer readily in my geographic area…I’ve allowed myself to get stuck, and I’m the family breadwinner( cautionary tale- don’t do this!) The planned lateral move will lead to more skills and resume building – but with an oily boss. So I’m trying to plan a 3-yr exit strategy or another better lateral move( these people mostly know me and know I can do and learn whatever comes- which is why oily new boss grabbed me up).

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes. I completely understand feeling frustrated and angry in your situation, OP, but this is not a good job environment for you anymore!

    • oil in houston :

      I would make it known that those projects were transferred to other teams and try to package it to say those other teams were selected as most value generating for company, not because of issue with boss necessarily. as far as the issue with new boss, been there, bite your tongue and your time until you can get out. and I’m breadwinner too. so i get it … good luck

    • You are focusing on the past. You don’t like your current role because it is a dead end and your contributions are not being recognized. You don’t like the new group because of leadership–but why? If I read this correctly, you are upset about leaving a boss who you “respect” but apparently requires you to “subtly” advance ideas that don’t get you recognition–and in fact you are being penalized for (at least in your terms). I think that you should cut your past loose and embrace the fresh start. Not sure what your beef with the new supervisor is–but maybe you are viewing through a lens that could be refreshed?

      If the answer is you just don’t like your job regardless of supervisor–the start looking advice definitely applies.

    • Joan Holloway :

      “The Myth of the Nice Girl” has a great chapter on exactly this.

      • Op: thanks, looks interesting, I’ll check that out. The boss’ boss’ boss – who made this employeee swap – came to my office one evening 2 yrs ago with a request for “a woman’s opinion” on a new floor color for the lab. I’m now being removed as the only senior woman in the R&D group. Coincidence?

  18. Contractor diligence :

    My city is a high-growth city in the SEUS. We need to have some work done at our house and are chosing b/w doing a project as a <10K project, a <40K project, and a <150K major remodel (something is going to happen b/c our current covered deck has termite rot and needs to be torn down before it becomes unsafe). My experience is that the small contractors come in and get a project done on time and on budget (so if they say 40K for a covered porch, they know their little part of projects pretty well, same with the $10K project guys).

    But the last time I did a major (to me) remodel (bathroom), it took like 9 months and there was no really good way of firing someone in the middle of getting the work done (vs just wanting them to finish it up and then washing your hands of them forever) and it was really disruptive to be down a bathroom for that long (other bathroom during that time was in a finished attic up some steep stairs).

    Any good ways to diligence busy major contractors? My nightmare one came highly recommended by neighbors and I had met him and seen the work.

    Just assume 2X the time and 1.5X the budget and lower expectations on this until I'm happy (assuming the work itself is fine)?

    • I have not had luck with Angie’s List for this sort of thing, to the point that I’m suspicious that people’s reviews are being deleted or that people are scared to share negative opinions.

      I also have not had luck with personal recommendations. We used a lousy contractor because a friend recommended him as being “reasonably priced” without mentioning that he wanted cheap quick work for a flip. Not cool.

      I have gotten good info by skipping the big-box home improvement stores and asking for references at a small mom-and-pop hardware store that deals with small-to-medium contractors. They know who gets a lot of work, who pays their bills on time, who uses steady reliable workers, etc.

    • Are you in Nashville? If you are, assume that the contractors will come in with vastly higher estimates than you expect and that they don’t really need the work. It’s nearly impossible to get a residential contractor these days.

  19. Anyone have a coupon code for eshakti?

  20. Hard water stain woes :

    Hopefully the hive can help me with this issue: since moving into my new house, I now I have hard water, which results in green stains in my tub, on shower walls, and around my sink drains. No products I have tried or hard scrubbing seem to be able to remove these stains. They are unsightly and make my shower look dirty despite having just been cleaned. Any tips to remove these stains would be much appreciated!

    • Try CLR and let it soak. If it’s somewhere where it cannot soak, saturate cotton pads in the CLR and put them over top the stain. Also, get a water softener installed. :)

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Green stains doesn’t sound like hard water to me! I used to live in Indiana, land of limestone, with very hard water, and it was a whitish scaly buildup. But if it is hard water buildup, you probably want vinegar. I would recommend laying an old towel in your tub and soaking it in vinegar to sort of marinate the stains, and then scrub with a brush.

      If it’s not hard water scale you probably want scrubbing bubbles or bleach.

    • Ouch! that hurts :

      do you have copper pipes? that could be the issue … many people end up with a water softener unit

      I do love CLR though

    • Clementine :

      Short term – CLR for cleaning up the stains
      Long term – if it’s that bad, just get a whole house water softener

      Also, add a water softener to your laundry – I would suggest Borax.

    • MagicUnicorn :

      Hard water leaves white/beige/grey, hard and scaly mineral deposits. Iron leaves orange/rusty stains. Neither of these leave green behind.

      Rather than throwing random cleaning products at the problem, it would be wise to get your water tested to see what is really in it that is causing the green stains (and to make sure it is safe for you to drink and bathe with).

  21. Any recommendations for a beach blanket or oversized beach towel that I can buy on the river s*te? I’ve looked at the options and was going to just randomly pick, but realized that someone here may be able to recommend based on their summer vacation. TIA!

    • Land’s End is what you want, not the river site. Trust me. They offer express shipping.

      I also really like Ralph Lauren’s beach towels, usually available at Macy’s.

  22. I have a little downtime on my hands right now and I’d like to start watching a new TV show with a strong, confident, and fashionable female lead. I like political shows (already seen House of Cards) and also some procedurals. Any ideas?

    • Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder.

    • Madam Secretary?

    • Have you already watched Homeland? One of our faves. I wouldn’t call Carrie fashionable but definitely strong/confident and the plot lines are really engrossing.

    • Scandal?

    • anon a mouse :

      Given your preferences, run do not walk to The Good Fight (totally worth the CBS streaming subscription)

      Also: A Very English Scandal on Amazon, Veep, Madame Secretary

      • So agree–Good Fight has been fantastic. I am obsessed. Totally worth the fee. There’s only ~20 episodes total, so you can binge relatively quickly.

        Gorgeous, gorgeous fashion. We need a 360 review of Diane stat.

    • Halt and Catch Fire (’80s into ’90s, so take fashionable with a grain of salt)


      And for fun, the Bold Type

    • I loved Borgen, have you seen it?

    • Totally not procedural, but The Bold Type on Freeform is about three career women in their 20s working at a fashion magazine. It’s fluffy but I really like rooting for them as they figure out how to be strong and confident. And obviously they have great fashion, although it’s definitely 20-something in NYC vibe rather than conservative law firm vibe.

    • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon hits your points, other than being political, and is incredibly funny.

      • Horse Crazy :

        I just started watching this and I love it.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Another Amazon rec: The Man In The High Castle involves underground resistance work and political machinations among elite Nazis, and the fashion is great.

    • Oh good I’m not the only person that watches shows for the outfits. I couldn’t stand the plot of Scandal….but the fashion made it worth it.

    • Broadchurch! Love Olivia Colman.

    • Thanks everyone – these recs are great!!

      Where do I watch Borgen? Having trouble finding a streaming option…

      • Anonymous :

        It’s on iTunes and on Google (Google Play and YouTube) — about $2 per episode either way!

    • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Super fashionable and quirky strong female lead. Tangentially procedural.

    • Veep seems like a good bet given the description of what you’re looking for.

      Less in line with your wishes, but also very, very good: Homeland, The Americans, Younger

  23. Moving within DC :

    I’m going to be moving next month within DC (about a 10min drive). Any recommendations for good moving companies?

    • DC resident :

      I used Bookstore Movers a few years ago and they were great.

      • +1 Same. Only caveat is that I had them pack for me and they were not great at packing things carefully. They were great for the actual move, though.

        • My Truck Buddy! I’ve used them for 3 moves and they’ve been absolutely fantastic each time.

      • I think bookstore movers has gone a bit downhill but they are still my no 1 choice.

    • My Guys Moving!

    • Book Store Movers. They’re awesome. Used them for two moves within DC, and they’ve been great both times.

    • If you just want labor, and can get a truck yourself (uhaul style), I highly recommend Get Up and Go Movers. Masters of delicate moving tetris, alas without their own truck (that I’m aware of).

      They are all (mostly?) either deaf/hearing impaired to some degree, which is important to know up front for logistical purposes (everything can be arranged via email or text, day-of communicated via notes app or text). Silent move = best move ever. Used them twice to load and unload in DC; have recommended them to friends who have also been happy.

    • Anonymous :

      On my last VA to DC move, we used The Helping Hand, booked through UHaul, and they were incredible.

      When I lived in VA, I always used Casper Movers — can contact Thomas, the owner, at c asper m overs at the mail of yahoo. Cannot say enough good things, my roommate booked them on our last move (moving in and moving out, her BF used them on the move out as well and they didn’t charge any extra besides their time for the second stop) and was very happy as well.

      I have a couple friends who have used Mytruckbuddy and been happy as well.

  24. Any tip on how fun it is to take a solo trip to the Hamptons on a budget? It’s on my NY area to do list butt seems like one of those things that only rich people who can afford to rent a place there can enjoy.

    • Super fun! But not in summer. I love going in fall. Less traffic, can stay outside the fancy parts for not crazy, explore. It really is beautiful.

  25. What are your favorite notebooks, journals or planners? I’m obsessed with notebooks and can always use some new recommendations.

    • I too am obsessed with Notebooks and recently reordered the Ampad Gold Fibre notebook to replace one I’ve kept random notes in for years and years…it’s mostly the same, though fewer pages.

      Recently someone suggested the Panda Planner to me and I’m intrigued!

      I have used the Ink and Volt planner but didn’t stick with it.

    • I love my Ink+Volt planner.

    • I use the premium C.D. notebook by apica. They are Japanese and the best quality I ever used. I could do with a blander cover but fine.
      I also like Rhodia notebooks as they have smooth paper and come in a vast array of colors
      The Occasional Leuchtturm1917, I have a couple of their bullet journals and a tiny notepad.
      If you are on a budget, Muji have some decent ones that are fountain pen friendly

    • Coach Laura :

      I love my Action Day Planner from amazon. Have used one every day for last five years. It has hourly markings, long term planning, project planning and I can use the side margin for bullet journal/to-do check-off list.

      • day planner thanks :

        Thank you for suggesting the Action day planner Coach Laura! Looks like the exact planner I’ve been looking for. Just ordered.

  26. Any recs for a brick and mortar store in the Philly area (burbs are fine) where we can go check out strollers/car seats in person and which would have a decent variety? I’m hesitant to order something online without actually trying it out. I would like to avoid Wal-mart if possible. We’re leaning toward the uppababy brand, but open to others. TIA!

    • IF there’s a Buy Buy Baby nearby, they are great about letting you try out everything in store before you buy.

      Also Target doesn’t have as many brands, but they will also pull down car seats/strollers & let you demo them in store.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to Buy Buy Baby, if you have access to one. The store employees are quite knowledgable.

  27. Anon for this :

    Collecting anecdata: If you are traveling to a city where you have family but not for the purpose of seeing said family, do you expect to stay with them? My mother in law used to live in the city in which my husband and I now live. She will ask every couple of months or so if she can stay with us for a few days while she is in town. She generally isn’t looking to see us, but just use our house as a hotel while she is doing whatever it is she is in town for. For example, when we’ve responded that we’ll be out of town when she’s coming in or that we have plans, she’s said “oh, just leave me a key and I’ll come and go on my own”. This is apparently totally normal for my husband’s family, but in my family it’s unheard of. We have a “guest room”, but it is really my office with a pull-out couch, so hosting her means getting the office into a state where she can live in it (which makes it impossible for me to use it as an office), we have to do an extra set of sheets/towels laundry at the laundromat the following week, and generally have our lives disrupted (since she never just “comes and goes on her own”, but always has a million requests). I don’t mind doing it when at least part of the purpose of the visit is to spend time with us, but I find it very odd to act as her hotel. Money is not an issue for her – she could afford a hotel if she wanted to. My MIL and I have 8 million and one other issues between us, so I guess I am wondering if this is totally normal for other families and I shouldn’t include it on the list of MIL behaviors that bother me.

    • Inlaw woes :

      I think this is very normal. I know my inlaws EXPECT us to stay with them when we are in town (I would prefer not to) and if we had the space we would return the favor. In addition, the whole “can I stay with you” might be a way to actually see more of you than she would otherwise given that she’s in town for other reasons.

      Sounds like this is being driven by the fact you don’t like your MIL, which I identify with (be honest: washing another set of sheets is not THAT big a deal), and I agree it’s an imposition. That said, this is not a hill I would die on.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Extended family, no, but if you have the space, I think it’s different if it’s a parent unless they’re majorly disruptive. Although my mother usually leaves my house cleaner than it is when she arrives, so I don’t mind that much if it’s not an extended visit. Maybe get a less comfortable pull-out couch so she decides she doesn’t want to stay…

    • This is very normal for many families and close friends. But it doesn’t have to be for yours. Remember, you establish the rules of your own house. If you don’t want to be used as a hotel, say it won’t work for her to stay. Or if your husband balks, don’t cater to her. Pull out the sofa bed, lay some sheets and towels on it, and go about your life. Don’t cook for her, don’t do extra cleaning, and just buy a little extra of food you normally eat. The “disrupting your life” bit I think is a bit dramatic. You’re an adult not a baby, you can handle change for a few days without a tantrum, unless there are other issues at play that make her presence unbearable (as opposed to just annoying for a short time).

    • anon a mouse :

      Totally normal in my family. I like it because it gives us a chance to see family a little bit (breakfast, and sometimes late evening) without having to be full hosts.

    • That would be completely normal in my family. In fact, it would be a bit odd for one of us to stay in a hotel in a city where close family lived (regardless of affordability).

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to this side

        but I’m glad other people debate this because it drives my husband batty LOL.

        I have a gorgeous house. I love people to stay in it. I love to save people money. I’d be offended if someone asked me to stay in a hotel? and for me it’s both immediate family (absolutely no questions asked) as well as friends/slightly more extended family/cousins, etc.

        • +1 Same here.
          I have a small house and not a ton of room, but I LOVE to host people. And to save them money and to have meals with them when they visit.

          For someone in immediate family like MIL it would not even be a question. I’d be offended if they stayed elsewhere.

          I have frequently moved my 2 kids out of their room and into our (queen) bed for family. Even weirder my little boy will sometimes ask to sleep with grandma/aunt or whoever is visiting us.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Normal-ish if it’s a destination city where people want to visit. Not normal if you live in like, Ohio. But just because families do it doesn’t mean you have to.

      • Anonymous :

        As someone who grew up in Ohio and regularly visits my parents and sister there, I can assure you that they would all be thoroughly insulted if we got a hotel instead of staying with them.

      • FYI there are actually some really lovely destination places in Ohio! Love, a former Buckeye

    • Senior Attorney :

      I feel like it doesn’t matter if it’s normal in other families. If it bothers you, then it bothers you. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for you to let your husband know this is not something you are able to continue doing.

      P.S. It’s normal in my family but I’m not super crazy about it.

    • It is totally normal in my life. My house is open to all family and friends if they are going to be in town. I always try to at least have dinner with them once, but we may otherwise not spend much time together. These are people I care about or am related to in some manner, so I’m happy to help them out like this.

      Unless it was happening once a month with the same person, I wouldn’t even give it a second thought.

    • Totally normal. People in my family would be offended in visiting parents didn’t stay with them. Honestly, it sounds like a dream situation to me. MIL gets to see you a bit but you aren’t stuck entertaining her.

      • Anonymous :

        Could you switch to a roll-top desk so cleaning up is minimal?

        Alternatively, stop cleaning up the office so much before she comes. She may use a hotel more if she realizes she is in your workspace.

        If you WFH a lot, I’d ask for sufficient notice of her visits.

    • Anonymous :

      In my family, the empty-nesters/retirees typically extend this to the younger generation, but not necessarily the reverse. And it’s partly because they have large suburban houses with multiple empty bedrooms. And frankly, even more likely if the “hosts” are out of town (which, in my family, retirees often are). Younger families with kids and full schedules and houses are totally allowed to say no without repercussions, and they generally won’t be asked again.

    • Wow, thank you all. So interesting. My husband and I come from different cultures and I think that’s part of the disconnect. In my culture, if someone is in your house you MUST take care of them, which is why we are hesitant to impose and stay with each other. So I don’t feel comfortable not cooking for her/ignoring her, etc. as Anon at 12:23 suggests. If she is staying with us then I need to treat her as a member of my household and adjust accordingly – that includes cooking food that adheres to her dietary requirements, cleaning up after her, and going to a WeWork or something during the day so she can have the office/guest room.

      Usually I just tell her that she can’t stay with us. Will continue to do so, but now with the knowledge that I’m the weird one. :)

      • Anonymous :

        Or just got over it? Tell her you need the room during working hours, don’t cook special meals for her, and make some effort to adapt to her culture instead? Don’t clean up after her.

        • OP, just tell her pleasantly that you need the room during working hours. If she’s using it as a hotel she will be out and about during the day anyway. Or figure out an alternate solution (take the laptop into your bedroom, etc). You seem very hesitant to overcome your own baggage on this.

          • Nah, I feel like if I give you a bedroom for a few days then it’s your private space. I do not want her walking into my bedroom, so I don’t walk into hers (even if it’s my office at other times). As noted above, I take my laptop and go to WeWork if we are letting someone use the guest room. That’s what the membership is for.

            I am jealous of all of you who seem to have family who don’t leave your house a giant mess if they come to stay. After the last time we let her stay I was finding trash in random rooms (including food trash that I found because it was getting smelly) for days. In my culture, her actions are rude. I am not going to be rude back to her when she is in my house, so I just keep her out of my house.

          • Anonymous :

            Sorry about the giant mess. Nope, none of my relatives would do that. They wouldn’t even think of it.

      • Glad you are sticking with what makes you comfortable! For the record, I am also like you. No one gets to stay at our place and I always do a hotel when I’m the visitor. I need my personal space. AND I’m from a culture where I am very weird on this (and seen as rude), but I set my own boundaries.

      • A good host does what the guest wants. She explicitly wants to be left alone, not expect you to entertain her, has a car so will go do her own thing. Frankly -this is far superior to a guest who demands to be entertained, for whom you need to change your plans.

        I’d go about working or doing whatever and beyond pleasantries, I wouldn’t entertain her at all. Have clean sheets, towels, and stock up on some foods she might like. Done. This is an EASY house guest. Don’t make this difficult.

      • Anonforthis :

        I’m with you, OP. Our in-laws used to do this multiple times a year, and never with more than 2 or 3 days notice. Which is not enough–our guest room is also a study, and gets seriously cluttered. And it was very clear that we were only a hotel for them–we would never see them. My husband started saying when it wouldn’t work for us. It’s your house; I think it’s fine to say if you can’t host people.

    • Of Counsel :

      This would be totally normal in my family and would lead to massive bad feelings if (1) I did not make my house available for my parents; or (2) stayed somewhere else when I was visiting their cities unless I had a really good reason (staying in the hotel hosting my conference). This would apply to my siblings as well as long as they were travelling alone or with one kid; their families are way too big for my house otherwise.

      But I think the more relevant question is how does your husband feel about this? And can you push some of the work involved in having her come onto him? If he values his relationship with his mother and wants her to stay (or does not want the fight of telling her she can’t) then I do not think you can reasonably refuse to host her.

    • Normal, but a few things. First, if your MIL is the only one visiting just don’t change the sheets. Or change only if you know you’ll have someone other than MIL staying right before. Second, get Steam or some other remote desktop software where you can log into your computer from another room (I can remote into mine from the TV and it makes having guests much more bearable when doing so doesn’t put me behind on normal paperwork that keeps our lives running). When it comes to the million requests, try to categorize them and just have a bin for her. I have a bin with all the essential oils and slippers and pajama pants that I know my mom will inevitably ask for. It got a few tries to get there but so much easier now. And lastly, empower her to help herself. Laundry? Do it yourself and don’t worry about wasting water on a small load because we have a modern washing machine. Special thing that only you will eat? Please cook it for yourself only, and clean up afterwards. Item that isn’t currently at the house? Great, this is how you walk to the store. Also, don’t buy anything for us unless we specifically ask, and nothing in the fridge is off limits; write it down when you finish something. I was originally concerned that my mom will be offended by these rules – and maybe she was but didn’t show it – but she’s fine with all of this and it allows her to visit more often without anyone dreading it and her feeling like an imposition.

    • Anonymous :

      Woukd be completely normal in my family.

    • Anonymous :

      This would be absolutely normal in my family. Of course you’d stay with family.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Pretty standard in my family to expect they will stay with you. Family expects you to put them up because they’re… family. I do get the expected hospitality aspect – my family expects this as well. So they expect you to not only host at the drop of a hat, but to host graciously and go out of your way for them to make them feel special. Yeah, it kind of sucks. But it’s something I value, and it tells my guests that not only do I care enough to put them up, but I want them to be extremely comfortable and happy staying with me. Sounds like it’s something your husband’s family values as well. This is just like any other values disagreement in a marriage.

    • I think this is extremely normal. She’s not disrupting you or expecting you to entertain, cook, etc. It’s just – why should she pay for a hotel?

      I’m doing this myself with a cousin in a week. I will fit around his life, schedule, etc. I am visiting his city to see an elderly family member in a nursing home (he’s not related to this person).

      Completely normal.

  28. How much does one tip cleaners for a move-out clean (2 cleaners/approx. 2 hours)? What about movers (2-4 movers/approx. 2 hours)? Midwest LCOL. Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      For a clean – $10 each if your house was already immaculate, $20 if you have pets/kids/messy hobbies, $50 for their silence forever because of the unspeakable mess that your house was

      For the Movers – I say $10 per mover per floor/annoying hallway they had to move plus cold beverages.

  29. I think it could be seen as normal, but in your situation I would put your foot down and say no for all the reasons you listed.

    MILs are always more trouble than you think.

  30. Gail the Goldfish :

    I have an actual gardening question. The rabbits that live under my hedge have decided they love my verbenas (but only the red ones. They leave the white ones right next to them alone). Any tips to get them to stop eating them? I tried the “shred irish spring soap around the plant” trick and it only kind of worked. Is there some other type of non-flowering plant they like more that I could plant nearby to distract them?

    • I think you may have better luck planting unappealing plants all around instead of trying to distract them with another section of the bunny buffet. Is there a good garden center/nursery in your town? They can be a wealth of information about plants that work in your particular area. They may also have some deterrents you can apply to the plants, but that takes a lot of regular application.

    • brokentoe :

      Cut up the car pine tree air fresheners (any scent works) into tiny pieces and scatter among your plants. Theory is the rabbits (or squirrels) can’t smell if a predator is nearby so they steer clear. Works for my tulips.

  31. Where should I go? :

    Looking for recommendations of where to travel at the end of August – 3 to 4 nights. Inexpensive flight from PHL, preferably American Airlines. Looking for great food, shopping, things to see and do, relaxing, food, drinks, food. Not NYC, not Chicago.

    Where should I go, what should I do when I get there, and where should we eat?

    • Senior Attorney :

      New Orleans!! Eat All The Food, take a carriage tour of the cemetery, listen to music on Frenchmen Street, visit the WWII Museum, and eat All The Food some more!

      • Where should I go? :

        Good choice, although we did NOLA in the not too recent past. We ate ALL the food (might have to go back and eat the rest of it though :))

        • I probably wouldn’t plan a trip to NOLA at the end of August or beginning of September. It’s prime hurricane season. Even if there’s no hurricane, it’s unbearably hot and humid.

          –From a New Orleans resident who would like to escape at the end of August.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Quebec? I haven’t been there myself but everyone I know raves about it.

  32. Is there some comprehensive guide of what types of services require tipping and how much? I recently got my nails done for the first time and didn’t know I was supposed to tip until after I’d already left. Same thing with not knowing that I’m supposed to leave a tip for housekeeping staff after a hotel stay. Growing up, the only tipping I saw was at restaurants because my family didn’t have the money for manicures, hotel stays, etc. but after these two incidents, I’m worried that I’m not in tune with expectations.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I didn’t know about hotel tipping either when I started traveling on my own.

      I know there have been some discussions on tipping on this site, so you may want to check the archives. I generally tip:
      – hair stylist (cut and dry, longtime stylist 20-22%)
      – nail tech (20%, sometimes more because my feet are gross)
      – bartenders ($2/drink for mixed drinks, $1 for beers)
      – hotel housekeeper ($4-5/day)
      – tattoo artist (10-20% depending the piece and their studio)
      – anyone who carries something for me (couple bucks)
      -uber/lyft drivers (a few dollars)

      • Thank you! There were a few on your list that I wasn’t aware of until reading it.

        Side note: how does one tip when traveling for work? I have a business credit card so do I have them add a tip to my bill (but then I imagine the housekeeper doesn’t actually receive it)?

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I get reimbursed for a per diem; I lump the housekeeping tip in with that. It’s not the greatest system and I travel once a quarter – if you travel more than that, it’s worth it to talk with the staff member who handles expense reports.

    • No advice Jo, but just came to say that this is what I HATE about the tipping culture. The rules need to be apparent.

      • Anonymous :

        Add in the confusion of going to a place like Panera where they now ask if you want to leave a tip. I feel guilty if I don’t leave a tip, but I haven’t for the last 15 years I’ve been going to Panera so what has changed now that there is an option to tip when you pay with a card?

  33. This is so random but….

    Can anyone recommend a really nice black licorice? Or multiple flavors/brands? Working on a good family friends’ anniversary gift.


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