Wednesday’s Workwear Report: V-Neck Sheath Dress

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

This dress, it pains me to say, doesn’t come in a more neutral color than magenta — but it’s a great dress if you’re OK with wearing magenta to work. I love the darts at the neckline and the seams down the front of the dress. (It does have an exposed zipper, but so it goes.) It’s $128 at Dillard’s in sizes 6-16, and it’s also at Lord & Taylor and Zappos, and at Amazon in lucky petite sizes. Tahari ASL V-Neck Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size option that comes in green and black.

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  1. Hold the Door :

    I have a male colleague who insists on holding the door open for me and letting me on and off elevators first, regardless of anything else (where we’re standing in the elevator, etc.). It’s not a huge deal and he’s generally a nice enough guy, but when we have multiple meetings to attend together and he’s getting the door for me over and over again every single time, it kind of starts to feel weird and drive me a little crazy. Do I say anything? Any suggestions on how or what to say (if anything)?

    • I say things to my peers and people with whom I have a very strong relationship. I frame it like a joke if possible, but they get it. People (here and elsewhere) will inevitably tell you that they have good manners, let it go. But it irritates me to NO.END. Once is fine, but I have multiple meetings, multiple tours of buildings (so potentially multiple elevator rides, getting off to look at each floor, all within a short period of time)… so I completely hear you.

      (To anonymous below: Sure, you could grab the door first, but that means that you allowed them to pull the ‘ladies first’ move when walking out of a room and toward the elevator door. So, yes, that takes care of the door opening issue, but doesn’t address the bigger aggravation of making accommodations for you/singling you out as a women.)

      • Ugh, this is such an awkward dynamic….my sympathies.

        I was making tea when a colleague arrived for a meeting and offered to make him a cup and he would not let me. Dude, I appreciate you being sensitive to this stuff but I’m making a cup, it’s easier for me to make two than you shadowing me around our tiny kitchen.

      • I don’t understand this perspective. She can’t let him get the door (because he’s singling her out as a woman), but she also can’t get the door herself, first, because then he “wins” on the ladies first theory (and he’s still singling her out as a woman)? I promise men aren’t trying to win by opening the door for you. This particular man is making it awkward, and maybe she should mention that it’s a nice gesture but it’s getting a little inefficient, and she appreciates it but will just take the simple way of opening her own doors, thanks for the thought, etc…. But in general, no one is trying to assert their dominance over women by opening the door. They do that by making more money than us and promoting other men, not by being polite.

    • Anonymous :

      Is he new to your organization and not familiar with the culture? At my workplace (govt office in small city) it’s actually very common for women to get off elevators first and for men to hold doors. To the point where it’s awkward if someone takes issue with it because it gums up the elevator offloading. After I moved back from big city it took me a while to get used to it. It’s a very egalitarian workplace (tons of working moms including in top positions) so it just appears to be a tradition that’s stuck around.

      Could you say “I notice you hold doors for me a lot. I appreciate the gesture but it’s not necessary to insist on it every time because then I never get a chance to reciprocate.” or similar?

      Senior Attorney’s “assume good intentions” might apply here absent other issues with him.

      • This. I’ve lived in the south all my life and now live in Atlanta, which has a lot of Proper Old Southern Men, especially in the legal community. Letting women off elevators first is a Thing and it is almost always done, especially in work places/ with old southern men. Then, they will dash in front of you to get the door. If I get to the door first I’ll hold it open for men and they always reach to grab it and thank me profusely. It can be a little cumbersome but on the whole, I think everyone’s just trying to play by the rules and I’d assume good intentions. At this point I just expect it, roll with it, and find it sort of precious. When I just stand there and wait, no one gets off the elevator. (We can get into the discussion of how chivalry is s*xist but I think that this is a pick your battle place.)

        • Also in Academia :

          Same! There are so many other areas of inequity to worry about and direct our attention towards. Also, I’ve noticed that after living in the south for numerous years I have learned to drop back just a tiny bit as we approach a door so that if the man I am walking with is going to open it, he can reach it clearly and we don’t have a door-handle contest. That said, if I get to a door first, most guys accept the “door hand-off” well. And certainly if I am the one with free hands and they are carrying something, I make sure I get to the door first.

      • Same. Government building in the Northeast, very progressive workplace overall but still this weird thing about holding doors and letting women off elevators.

        It still weirds me out, but it’s not the hill I want to die on.

    • Anonymous :

      I let it go. I got more problems than nice people doing nice things. I get why it irks I just can’t bring myself to care.

    • Anonymous :

      I love it when people do this. And if I didn’t, living in Houston would be a real problem.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Yep. It was the strangest thing to me when I moved to Houston…I don’t love it, I’ve probably experienced more benevolent sexism here than I was prepared for, but it is not the hill I plan to die on.

        • I’m the Anonymous above. Are you referring to the door holding as benevolent sexism, or something else? I have been treated so equally at my firm, it’s incredible. Of course, I don’t consider door holding to be sexist, so we may be defining things differently. On a somewhat related note, catcalling is so not an issue here, which I appreciate.

          • JuniorMinion :

            Oh other things – the door holding seems to cut across both the great guys I’ve worked with as well as the “ists” of all stripes and I don’t think door holding in and of itself is sexist.

            For me I think it has depended on the office setting. I’m at a F500 now and I am treated completely equally and I can’t say enough good things about the culture and atmosphere. I formerly was at a smaller service focused company and the things that were said there (think derivatives of “a woman’s place is in the home”) were pretty eye rolly and I felt like certain men preferred to not deal with me and would address things to my male colleagues. To be fair, the Louisiana influence was strong in that place – so I can’t really fault Texas for that.

      • +1

        I never cared until I started working in an office in Houston. It is such a constant here that the few guys who jump on an elevator first get obvious looks from the guys waiting next to it. When it’s just me and one other guy, I try to make a point of grabbing the door sometimes and holding it for him. It usually throws him off a little, but if you do it with a big smile, everyone knows you’re just doing it to be nice (not that you have to smile, but it does help with the whole I’m trying to be nice bit).

      • Yay Kat! I love the color on this sheathe dress! I will show the manageing partner!!!!! Thank’s for pointing it out to me b/c I did NOT see this one @ L&T!!! FOOEY!

        Anyway, I do NOT mind men doeing these things for me. OPENING doors can be VERY heavy in NYC, particularly in the COURTROOM, so if men want to be gentelmanley, so be it. The same for holding elevators open. I do NOT like waiting to go in after a bunch of guys, so goieng in first and out first is s a good thing. There is ONLY one execption. Some men let ME go up the steps on the bus first, and I think it is b/c they want to see my tuchus. I sometimes can tell ahead of time and tell THEM to go up first. I can tell b/c the same guys do not care when the electric busses come b/c there are NOT alot of steps UP (just one) and they really can NOT see any more of my tuchus then they can when I am just walkeing down the street. I have gotten smarter over the years on this one! YAY!!!!

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        Samesies. I am not bothered by a man holding a door for me. In fact, I welcome it. ~shrugs~

    • Not Legal Counsel :

      Question – do you feel like he is opening in the door in an obnoxiously over-wrought way? Because if he’s making it an issue to open the door, then you should say something.

      However, I am in the South and work in a very heavily male dominated industry, and this is a big deal to some of my coworkers. I have a VP who always opens the door for me an other female coworkers, and while he has never said so out loud, I know it distresses him when we are in a situation where women open the door for him. Let me make the clear, he is an absolute gentleman, and I believe this is a part of his upbringing. As a feminist and believer in equality, it admittedly bothers me when a door is not held open for me. Again, it’s a part of my upbringing – just like I still say “sir” and “ma’am” as habit.

      Pick your battle here. If he’s doing it to be a jerk or illicit a response from you, kindly say something. If not, let it go. Like other posters said, this is not the sword to fall on.

      • I definitely do not think he’s doing it to be a jerk. It does feel a bit over-wrought, especially when it’s quite a few doors in a short amount of time … it just creates for some awkwardness. But I do think he’s just trying to be nice.

        • He was probably raised that way and finds it very difficult to change… it would annoy me a little too but I would cut him some slack here.

    • Do people here look for things to be upset about?

      • I just think it’s a constant reminder that men don’t actually view you as their equal.

        • Eh, I don’t know – I’m in an office where it’s fairly standard to let women off the elevator first (and to a lesser extent, to hold doors). Someone has to get off the elevator first. If there’s a “norm” that women get off the elevator first, then it’s more efficient.

          • Senior Attorney :

            This. I get off the elevator first, I let men hold doors for me. I raised my son to hold doors and let ladies off first. (And to walk on the street side of the sidewalk!) And to be a gigantic women’s-march-participating feminist. I think courtesies are just fine, TYVM.

        • It must be very difficult to go through life looking for opportunities to be offended by innocent courtesies. Seriously, that sounds exhausting. My sympathies.

          • Nobody is going out of our way to look for things that offend us. I was raised as an equal to the men in my life and to do as much door holding for others as they do for me, regardless of gender – and it does bother me when a man insists on always holding a door for me, because as the poster said above its a small reminder that he does not view men and women as true equals. In and of itself its not a real offense, but its a momentary reminder of the much larger and more serious issues that I do have to face as a woman in this world.

          • And yes, existing as a woman in the patriarchy is exhausting.

          • It is just not categorically true that a man who holds a door does not view men and women as true equals. He can think you are smart and capable and equal and awesome, and he can march for women’s rights and advocate for equal pay, and he can still think it is polite to hold the door for you. They are not mutually exclusive.

          • My boyfriend is UBER liberal and he opens doors for people, women included, because it is a nice thing to do.

            I also open doors for people regularly, men, women, children, elderly people, people in wheelchairs, people with walkers, anyone and everyone, not because I think I am better than these people and they can’t possibly open the door on their own, but because it’s a nice thing to do in a world where there are not many nice things happening right now.

          • If a man thinks that holding the door for someone else is a gendered activity then no, he does not truly view women as his equals. He himself may treat and view women equally in all other ways, but his choice and view do not exist in a vacuum – they are absolutely related to the large systems that oppress us day to day.

          • nasty woman :

            Your argument is flawed. You assume without showing that chivalry is an “innocent courtesy.” It’s not. It’s a product of patriarchy. Moreover, recognizing this does not require you to conclude that every man who holds a door open for a woman is a misogynist. Logical thinking 101, people.

            While I agree that this is not a hill to die on and that most men are well-intentioned, you’re ignorant if you pretend that men holding doors for women is not a vestige of patriarchy. That’s why people are concerned.

      • Thanks. Helpful.

        To answer your question, no. It’s something that irks me but I also recognize it is a fairly mild concern in the scheme of things, which is why I thought I’d crowd source suggestions and whether to say anything at all.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      My mentor does this. He’s former military, and he’s naturally pretty formal. It’s not overwrought or demanding- if I get to the door first, he’s not going to tell me “No, no, let me,” but as someone below said, it sort of visibly (hilariously) pains him for me to open doors or whatever. He’s extremely respectful of me (he’s the most respectful man I know, actually)- there is no indication that he thinks I couldn’t do it, or that women are weaker. It’s just the way he was taught and raised. It also pains him to let me pay for lunch, although that one I’ve told him (jokingly) “You’ll live.”

      If you feel that it’s coming from some deeper belief that women can’t do these things or are weaker? Sure. Push back a bit. But otherwise, assume good intentions. I notice it but it’s not the hill I want to die on.

      • I know this guy comes from a religious conservative background with traditional views about women but I don’t really see symptoms of it working with him generally. I am quite sure he’s doing it to be polite. I usually shrug it off, but yesterday was one of those days where we go to a bunch of meetings together and by the end of the day it was driving me bananas. Exiting the door for our main office, he holds the door. Elevator door opens, after you. Elevator arrives at our floor and the door opens, after you (even though I’m behind him). Get to the door for the floor we are now on, after you. Open the door to the room the meeting is in, after you. Repeat times infinity.

        I really do think he’s just doing it out of politeness, but it gets awkward.

        • If he’s just being polite, it’s only awkward if you make it that way.

          • +100

          • Not really. Because of the layout of hallways and rooms and where people are situated in elevators, it is sometimes physically awkward.

          • I find it pretty easy to move out of the way if I know something is going to happen in advance.

        • It will reduce awkwardness if you assume that he will do it and just get on the elevator first or position yourself to get off first. Then he doesn’t have to say ‘after you’ so much if it’s presumed/already happening.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Yeah, doesn’t sound like he’s doing it with anything but “this is the polite thing to do.” I know my mentor is going to do it and so I just leave first or let him in front. He also walks on the outside of the building (so, against the street) and that one I don’t push, ever. It makes him more comfortable to not be against the wall- if something was going to blow up, it was the building and he gets visibly a bit tense if he’s stuck on the inside. It could be seen as protecting me from splashes or whatever but I’m 99% sure that one is his military training with how tense he gets.

    • My husband always insists on opening the door for women. He is not sexist at all, was raised by a working mother and a stay-at-home (well, retired) father, makes less money than I do, stayed home with our children when they were little, is my biggest support career-wise, etc. But he was raised that this is proper manners.

    • Say “thank you” and sail through the door. When you get to a door first, open it for him. Don’t overthink it.

    • Anomnibus :

      If I were to say anything at all, it would probably be “I appreciate you doing this, but you really don’t have to hold every door for me when we’re walking together.” Or maybe, if he insists on me going first when he’s in front, I might look at him funny and ask “how does that make sense?” I know the reason, but I’d like him to say it, so I can clarify that it’s really not necessary.

      I’m often curious why men think women should go first all the time. I wonder if some of these “chivalrous” behaviors we still cling to came about because at one time, men were entitled brutes who believed they were more important women, had somewhere more important to go, and would barge past them, shove them aside, etc. and this is an overcorrection? Or benign sexism supposed to be some sort of consolation prize – like, we’re considered the inferior sex and expected to serve men, but we should be thankful because men hold doors for us. Chivalry is often brought up when women talk about sexism, like “oh, so you want equality, but you still want men to pay for dinner! You can’t have it both ways!” Well, if I have to choose, I’ll take real equality and my boyfriend and I can take turns covering the check on dates.

      Or, if I found the opportunity, “here, let me get this one.” I’d be interested in how he’d react if I tried that, or whether he’d make a point of always preventing me from even touching the door. I’ve had men practically sprint ahead of me, from a good 30 feet behind, just so they could get the door for me, which drives me a little nuts.

      • “ladies first” way back when was just in case foes were waiting on the other side of the door. Ladies were more expendable.

    • Wildkitten :

      I know an amazing southern gay dude who lets his lady DOG walk through the door first because “Ladies first!” Obviously women are not dogs, but this is a thing I choose to not take personally.

  2. Anonymous :

    Can’t you grab the door first?

  3. Morning routine? :

    What do you do first in the morning, get dressed or do your hair/makeup? I don’t shower in the morning but I’ve randomly started doing my hair/face first, and I think its better because then I feel dressed and put together when I’m choosing clothes, which doesn’t take that long anyways. Also increases the chances of me wearing makeup and doing my hair in a more fancy way.

    • Shower, hair, makeup, get dressed- in that order. I don’t have to worry about getting anything on my clothes then.

    • Anonymous :

      I usually work out, shower, then throw on a robe, make breakfast, eat breakfast with husband while listening to CNN radio, then do hair/makeup, then get dressed. we only have one sink in our bathroom so we try to stagger getting ready. He’ll shower while I’m working out, and then he’ll walk the dog while I’m doing hair/makeup, and then we leave together to walk to work.

      I like having my hair and makeup done before getting dressed, too. I use a curling iron/straightening iron, so if I’m already dressed I start to feel overheated and sweaty.

    • Pre-children – shower, hair, makeup, breakfast/coffee, brush teeth, clothes last. Inevitably if I do anything even slightly sloppy with work clothes on I will get a stain.
      Post-children – shower, makeup (greatly reduced amount of makeup, so no worry about foundation melting off if you don’t wear it), dry hair. I work from home 85% of the time, but when I do have to wear ‘nice’ clothes, those also go on at the very last minute to avoid contamination from kid/dog slobber/cat hair. Any clothing/accessories are laid out the evening before. I noticed I wasn’t wearing jewelry, so now I make an effort to set it out – it does make me feel more polished to have a few small pieces on.

    • cat socks :

      I shower, brush teeth, hair, get dressed. I carpool with my husband so I drop him off and do my makeup in the car before going into work. I’m just too lazy to get up earlier to do my makeup before I leave the house. I have a flexible schedule so I don’t have to be at the office at a specific time in the morning.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Brush teeth/wash face, 30 minutes of pilates, eye makeup, get dressed, rest of face makeup, hair, make breakfast to bring to work with me (usually half an apple with Greek yogurt, almond, and cinnamon or an scrambled egg bowl with beans, veggies, and cheese).

      Now that I write it out…I have no idea why I do my eye makeup before everything else.

      Generally, I shower at night. If I do shower in the morning, I won’t get my hair wet.

    • Shower, brush teeth, skin care, hair product/body lotion (while skin care dries), makeup (while hair air dries a bit – primer, foundation, powder, blush/bronzer, mascara, lips), dry hair, dress. I don’t want toothpaste-makeup-loose hair on my clothes. This sounds really involved but it’s really only about 30 minutes if I don’t dawdle.

    • I like to stay in my pajamas as long as possible, so I do my hair and makeup first, eat breakfast, then brush my teeth and get dressed.

      I usually shower at night. I love the feeling of washing the day off me and going to bed all clean and cozy.

    • Shopaholic :

      I brush my teeth, workout, shower, put all my layers on skincare on, get dressed/accessorize, makeup/hair, and then make a smoothie/pack my lunch and go.

      I figure spending a few minutes getting dressed gives me time to let all the moisturizer/sunscreen soak in. The only time I do my hair and makeup first is if I’m getting dressed for a night out so I have way more time.

      Every time I try to switch around my order, I forget to do things.

    • I do my hair, get dressed, then apply makeup. I’m also trying to wrangle a 2 year old so sometimes the makeup is skipped if I run out of time. The most I do for work is some tinted moisturizer and mascara so it’s not a huge deal if I don’t wear anything.

    • I also shower at night. The water in my bathroom takes forever to heat up so I get dressed (I pick out clothes for the week on Sundays) while it is warming up. Then make up, hair, jewelry, make coffee to go, leave. I eat and drink the coffee when I get to work.

    • I like the idea of doing hair/makeup first to make it more likely you’ll put more effort into the hair. My morning routine is in order of priority- get dressed first, then hair, then makeup, then breakfast. If I’m running late, I can cut off the last few parts as needed for the sake of getting out the door on time since I’ll have the absolute basics done. Sometimes this means I finish my makeup on the way to work and don’t figure out breakfast until I get to the office, but it lets me keep my general routine the same while being (usually) on time.

    • I shower. Then I get dressed in my “underclothes” (I almost always wear a dress, and always wear bike shorts, bra and cami underneath). After that – hair & makeup. After that, I pick out my clothes and eat breakfast. I get dressed right before I walk out the door because I have young kids. Works well for me!

    • Shower, moisturizer/skincare, brush teeth, take pills, makeup, hair, get dressed, put on jewelry, pack lunch, pack tote bag, leave.

    • I put my makeup on in the car so I get dressed first. :-)

    • Anomnibus :

      I have a roommate and we share a bathroom. Roommate gets ready for work around the same time I do, and usually he uses the bathroom while I’m eating breakfast and he’s out when I’m done, in which case I wash my face and brush my teeth, and put on my makeup right after because my BB cream is my post-cleansing moisturizer. Then I get dressed. It gives me a little extra time to pick out, in my head, what I want to wear.

      If my roommate is still in the bathroom (sometimes he oversleeps a little) when I’m done breakfast, I get dressed first, and do whatever else I can do while I’m waiting for the bathroom, because I can’t put on makeup before I wash my face.

  4. Would anyone be interested in a MM LaFleur b/s/t group on facebook? I really want a specific blouse that sold out in the color/size combo I wanted. I scour ebay weekly and have never seen one pop up, so I thought maybe a facebook group could help us ladies out with finding steals and trading sizes when you forget to send back an order that maybe doesn’t fit very well.

    • Just a thought – have you ever emailed them directly? It was the only way I got a pair of the foster pants in my preferred color/size combo, so many of their things are perennially sold out.

      • I did, and they offered an updated version (beauvoir 2.0) but that one doesn’t come in cream :(((. I do obsessively stalk their site just in case :)

        • If it makes you feel better, it’s see through in cream. You could see my bra outline in front and back. #notprofessional

    • Love this idea and I would be!

      • Excellent! Would you mind emailing me? [email protected] To start a group you need to add at least one friend, and I don’t want to bother anyone who isn’t directly interested

    • Hey ladies! For anyone interested I created the b/s/t group on facebook!

  5. I worked at a local library throughout college, and I kept in touch with the librarian that supervised me since graduating 7 years ago by email and the occasional visit to her branch. I recently heard that she is retiring. I’d love to send her a gift – thoughts on what would be appropriate?

    • I once found a pair of antique bookends that worked for a speaker we invited. Maybe something of that nature?

    • I would send her flowers and a nice card telling her how much she has meant to you. But that’s just me. I’m a librarian, but I don’t buy print books anymore. Trust me, librarians get lots of book-related gifts.

      • Fellow librarian here and yes food, wine gifts are great. I get a lot of cat and book related gifts and it does get a little monotonous after a while…

  6. When I was in high school in the late 90s, I always thought it would have been so cool to live through the 60s and get to experience all that “history” happening.


    No. It’s actually kind of terrible. I’m having a hard time not burying my head in the sand at the moment.

    • 1000x

    • Hopefully the new FBI director will investigate the mysterious disappearance of the spines of the entire GOP.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Agreed! I pledged to myself to stay off FB today to stay sane and try to get something done.

      • My mom has me tell her the news because she doesn’t want to look at the news online or watch TV herself.

    • I thought the same thing in the ’90s!

      Are the ’10s going to be remembered like the ’60s, do you think? The Turbulent ’10s?

      Every day I wonder what history books written 50 or 100 years from now will say about this decade.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        History books will have this speech in it: “Welcome to the 47th Annual Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor! The Hunger Games began in 2020, with the first annual Games being held the summer before what was supposed to be the 2020 Presidential Elections. Unfortunately, Trumpan was nuked by North Korea in 2018, which killed a majority of the population in what was then known as the United States of America. Those who survived struggled to find food, water, and shelter. They were walled off from the rest of the planet- in the case of their closest neighbor, Mexico, literally. To survive, the majorly reduced population had to be culled even more. President Trump, our great and former leader, implemented the Hunger Games, stating that the books by the same name were ‘just tremendous, really a great idea.’ The first annual Hunger Games pitted 16 Trump voters against 16 voters of Crooked Hillary. Great and Mighty President Trump reminded the nation that in the midst of destruction and turmoil, he was going to make our country great again and that he alone was able to salvage the wreckage. That brings us to today: the 47th Annual Hunger Games. There are winners. And there are losers. Who will you be?”

    • Baconpancakes :

      I’ve got “text message breakup” playing on repeat in my head. This whole thing is such a farce. He found out by a news broadcast on TV while he was giving a speech. What???

    • I know that there were some Trump voters on this board and I’m genuinely curious to know what they think about all this. I read Brietbart and Drudge to try and get a sense of what the Trump base thinks, but the people who comment on those sites seem extreme and a little…off. Any Trump voters wanna indulge my curiosity?

      • The line I repeatedly hear from all Trump voters in my life is “Yes, but does it personally affect you?”

        • God, I hate that line of thinking. Does nobody care about their fellow human beings?? I guess it’s obvious that Trump voters don’t.

    • I asked my mom the other day, “is this what it was like, living through Nixon’s presidencies?”

      She said, “no, this is worse.”


      • Yeah, my dad lived through a coup in his childhood, and he says this is much more upsetting to him…

      • I asked a woman at my church the same thing and she also said it is worse!

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is much worse. I was in high school during Watergate and at least there was a collective sense that what Nixon was accused of having done was wrong. The only question was whether he’d done it. And there were adults in the room in the form of most members of Congress. There was none of this crazy sycophantic enabling that’s going on now. Plus Nixon was a little off but nothing like the level of craziness we see in Trump.

        • SFAttorney :

          Somewhere I read that a big reason this is so different (aside from Trump) is that Congress has changed so much. There are very few attempts at bipartisan collaboration. Everything seems aligned with the person’s party so you have people saying ridiculous things and flip flopping like many did about Comey.

      • Well, if it makes anyone feel better my 93 year old father and my 90 year old aunt say WWII was worse, even here. And they’re both super liberal Democrats.

    • There’s a reason “may you live in interesting times” is a cliched curse – nothing is worse for human rights than political upheaval.

      • It’s not upheaval, it’s that it’s the wrong upheaval.

        Upheaval in NKorea is not likely to yield anything worse than they have now.

        • Thats not necessarily true – this argument was made about places like Syria and Iraq 10 years ago, and upheaval has definitely been worse than authoritarian regimes for those people. It’s truly impossible to predict with 100% accuracy, but generally almost any state is better than none. This isn’t a defense of those regimes but rather a critique of the Western approach of regime by change in which a dictatorship is suddenly toppled through outside force without taking care to replace it with something else. Power vacuums are never good. A transition of power that might work in N Korea would likely include heavy handed Chinese involvement and I honestly do not see the US taking part in such a process.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      WAPost’s “Another Tuesday at the White House” exposes a freaking sh*tshow. Spicer’s answers were nearly nonsensical. He obviously has no idea what’s going on. The presser was held in the dark between some hedges on White House grounds. Good lord.

      • I thought that article was satire when I first read it – it reads like Andy Borowitz.

        • I thought that article would have made a hilarious episode of West Wing (with different, comedic circumstances bringing about CJ doing a press conference in the dark).

    • I had a very similar thought today. My mom was kind of obsessed with Watergate when it happened (and ever since). I mentioned to my dad, with some sarcasm, how lucky she is to get to live through it twice!

    • I actually had this exact thought last night!

    • I was a kid when Nixon resigned. I remember my elementary school teachers talking about it (joyously, pro-impeachment) and I remember bringing those talking points home to my dad, the conservative, who vehemently disagreed. He called what my teachers were doing “indoctrination.” He felt Kennedy and Johnson had been as crooked as Nixon, if not more, but didn’t get caught. Or more precisely, that the establishment was willing to overlook this kind of thing for a democrat, but not for a republican.

      I grew up to be a moderate Democrat and felt the same way about what happened to Bill Clinton re: Monica. Clinton was certainly not the first to have a dalliance while in office, and in hindsight, his indiscretion was minor compared to those of his predecessor.

      So now, I’m completely anti-Trump and think he will be impeached, ultimately, and we will be stuck with Pence (be careful what you wish for). This uproar about him firing Comey, I get why it feels totalitarian given that Comey was in the middle of investigating Russian ties to his administration, but I can’t be a hypocrite and say I wasn’t calling for his firing when he made his nothingburger email announcement and tilted the election.

      • (*predecessors. I’m not saying anything about Bush I)

      • Anonymama :

        Yeah, but timing is everything: you can’t wait 6 months after someone does something, praise him all over the place for doing it, and then wait til they do something else you don’t like, and then decide to fire them, on the pretext of their initial mistake. I’m baffled that the white house didn’t seem to ever consider that the timing would look very very suspicious.

    • Nudibranch :

      I’m thinking that too.

  7. Shop for me? I have a family picture coming up when I am 15 weeks pregnant- I know I’m going to be in the awkward “has she gained weight or is she pregnant” stage. Do I wear something flowy or something tight? Dress, pants, or skirt/top? I’m normally a size 4, fairly hourglass, although my b**bs are huge right now, and budget up to $200 (preferably more like $150). Colors are navy, chambray, and grey, and weather will be a bit chilly.

    • Skyler White :

      What is everyone else wearing — casual? couples only? dressy? If kids are in it and/or it will be fairly casual, then chambray dress in a shift style, maybe with cool tall boots but in a tan color (something like a Frye campus 14) (check out ON, gap, or similar for the dress). You can often position a kid to obscure some of your torso.

    • I love this print so much. I wish they still had the other dress styles available as you might have had a better chance with the bump with the wrap, but I think this one may still be flattering

    • I’d go for a flowy navy top with a navy cardigan over it and gray skinny pants. Maybe a fun necklace.

      I got a navy cardigan at target recently that has an interesting kind of almost basketweave texture to it that I like a lot. 3/4 sleeves.

      • As a former photographer, I really do not recommend cardigans for portraits. A dress or a blouse or even a blazer lies much better and will look better (and require less adjusting as you move around) in the picture. If you must wear a cardigan, consider bringing some fashion tape with you. They can go rogue on you.

      • Also, I don’t really recommend pants, esp. skinny pants. If you must wear them, wear them around for a while and take a selfie to check for wrinkles / rumpling.

        Dark skinny pants (like navy) will show fewer visible wrinkles and/or rumpling. The dark color is just more obscuring than a light color.

        • Well nevermind then.

          • I think it’s a great outfit. But there may be great outfits to wear that don’t look so good on camera.

            FWIW, I had a picture done when I was in the gassy first trimester and I was very distended and uncomfortable. Photog suggested black v-neck sweater and jeans and it was perfect. It was simple and really highlighted my face (and I had good pregnancy hair). It really obscured my torso and didn’t look anything but elegant. And I looked normal / happy. 8 years later it is one of my favorite pictures and one of the few good non-wedding ones I have.

    • I did this post-partum and found that a drapey-front blazer with jeans and booties worked. This isn’t exactly comparable, but might work:

    • Whatever you pick, consider bringing it with you on a hanger and changing where the pictures will be taken. It beats getting it rumpled on the way over.

    • ACTUALLY, why not ask your photographer? I’ve generally found them to have a much better eye for things than most people. They’re just very visual and do this a lot and can probably give you some ideas.

      I had one who let me send her pictures of outfit contenders and I went with what she picked (and seeing the finished product, she was right).

    • Thanks for all the comments above! It will be fairly casual and outdoors, with 15 kids (none of them mine) and 12 adults. I think asking the photographer is a great idea too!! I may try a v-neck navy sweater…I may also bring several options based on the above suggestions and see what fits best the day of.

      Really appreciate the help.

  8. Mm La Fluer Plus Sizes :

    Several people have noted that MM la Fluer has announced they will be expanding into plus sizes. I’m thinking about buying a jardigan and cusp size. Was there any information on the products coming in the expanded sizes or the timeline? Thanks!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I got an email from them advising it is launching May 2017 but there were no details as to what they will be offering. Sorry.

  9. Lo & Sons sale :

    Someone recommended the Pearl bag to me and I hadn’t bought it yet – just got a message it (and others) is/are 40% off today.

    • Thank you for this heads up! I’ve been looking for a bag and always admired this one, and finally, the color I wanted is on sale!

    • Just got the Pearl as gift and I love it. Perfect bag if you travel – long strap for day, short strap for night.

    • Sad that the Catalina Deluxes aren’t on sale as well. I’ve been eyeing a small for a few months…

      • I love mine. It is worth full price.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t know if I can justify it at full price when I have a serviceable (though smaller and less aesthetically nice) duffel. But maybe a Christmas in July present for myself.

  10. When did you start taking a SO into account when deciding if to move for a job? I’ve mentioned the possibility of it in passing to him (because I had been searching out of our area before I met him) and he’s (understandably) hesitant about leaving himself. Definitely long-term potential relationship if we were to remain in the same area, but I think it’s still too young of a relationship to withstand moving to LTR right now/the next 3 months.

    • If you are not yet in an LTR, you are not sufficiently committed to take him into account when deciding where to live and work. Why on earth would you give up a job opportunity if you aren’t even sure you want to date him in the long run? If it’s meant to be, you’ll make it work as a casual long-distance relationship until you are ready to get serious. At that point you can re-evaluate your living situation.

      • It sounds like maybe you guys haven’t talked about being a serious, committed couple yet, and that means it’s too soon to be making career decisions that factor him in. But the length of time you’ve been dating isn’t necessarily the ultimate yardstick, I think it’s more about where you are as a couple. My guy was offered and declined a transfer when we had been dating for 6 weeks – he knew distance was a deal-breaker for me and we were already quite serious at that point.

    • I’ll just throw out that I’d only been dating my now-husband for 3 months when I moved 5,000 miles away. We stayed together, but I think we both assumed it wouldn’t last, given the distance and the short length of the relationship. But it did, and two years later he moved to follow me. A year later we got married. So a short-term relationship isn’t an absolute barrier to making it work long-distance, if that’s something you’d consider.

      • This was us too. I was 23 and DH was 26 but we both thought long distance made sense after we had been together only 4 months. He moved to my city 18 months later.

    • When you feel sure that you want them to be part of your long-term future and it’s obvious they’re on the same page as you.

      I was pretty sure about 3-4 months into dating my last SO that he was someone who would make a great partner for me, and at that point I wouldn’t have moved for work unless I was miserable in my current job and really couldn’t find anything else locally. That was about 6 years ago and we are now married. YMMV though — I’ve always been pretty decisive with relationships vs. I know a lot of people who take much longer to figure out how they feel about someone. I also live in a very robust job market, so I haven’t been in a scenario where I really need to move cities in order for my career to progress.

    • I had one friend decide to stay put after dating someone for a month. Everyone thought she was nuts. Even she thought she was nuts and that there was a 95% chance she was going to regret it horribly. And they just got married two weeks ago and are so clearly perfect for each other! There’s just no way of knowing, unfortunately.

      Personally, my SO of 5-8 months was one factor out of many when I was deciding where to go during my last job search. The options that were viable for my SO were also the options I preferred for other reasons, and he hated his job and was willing to at least entertain the idea of moving wherever I ended up anyway, so it wasn’t quite your situation.

      But I also think it’s hard to evaluate this in the complete realm of hypotheticals–maybe you won’t end up getting a job offer for another 6 months, which would presumably give you more time to figure out the SO situation. There’s no harm in applying, interviewing, and seeing what happens. (Although I do not recommend the route of “apply for job in SO’s dream location that you do not like, interview, and ugly-cry on him for 45 minutes in the car afterwards because you don’t want the job and you also don’t want to disappoint him.” Fortunately I didn’t get an offer. Grateful to this day that the universe took that decision out of my hands.)

    • Anonymous :

      I made an irrevocable, major life decision to compromise rather than pursue what I really wanted, based on a 1.5 year relationship in which marriage had been discussed in the hypothetical multiple times in the final 3 months. We broke up 3 weeks later. Lesson learned.

  11. Thoughts on applying for a job you might not accept if you get it? I’m considering applying for a position in a completely different field than the one I’m in. (Law to luxury retail operations). I’ve only been a lawyer for a few years, but I don’t love it and don’t see myself staying in the field forever.

    I happened to be browsing this company’s website and there is an opportunity in my city that looks appealing. I won’t really know until further in the process. Is there any harm in applying and just seeing how it goes?

    • An interview process is for both you and the employer to get a better idea about the other to see if it’s a fit. So no, no harm in applying and seeing how it goes.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I think you can definitely apply and definitely see it through without knowing you would accept it – you don’t owe them anything, BUT that said, I think the easiest and most courteous thing is to bow out after the first interview, assuming you get one, if you truly realize by that point you won’t accept it. It seems a natural time – you’ve met people and gotten a better sense of the job by then and you can gracefully let them know that it isn’t the right fit for you at this moment but you appreciate their time or something like that.

    • Apply and see how it goes. The interview process (assuming you get that far) is just as much about you figuring out if it’s something you are interested in as it is you selling yourself to them as an employee. It’s a two-way street.

      And there are so many steps between application and accepting an offer. This is a totally normal thing to do.

    • I don’t think there’s any harm. I’ve had several friends advise going on interviews for informational and practice purposes.

    • Nope. Go for it.

    • If there is any chance at all that you might want or accept the job, I honestly can’t see any reason not to apply.

  12. Thanks everyone! I will apply tonight.

  13. I somewhat recently lateraled from general BigLaw into a specialized group of a different BigLaw firm. It was a step up in that that specialized group is better recognized and the group was sold to me as super collegial, nice, friendly, etc. which was a big part of my decision. I’m a mid-level fwiw.

    This has turned out to be true in the sense that partners say please and thank you, don’t raise their voices, respect my time (nights and weekends) and give constant praise (more than just an “Ok” or “Fine” or “Tx”). So pretty ideal, right?

    Except it all just seems realllly superficial. Like, yes, these people are nice. But I think they’re just using “Thank you so much – really well done!” as a way of avoiding giving real feedback or developing a strong working relationship. I will put together a brief and it will get a “great. well done.” but then I find out it’s not being used – no one will tell me whether that’s because a high level strategy decision was made, whether I provided it too late, or whether it was just not at all what was needed.

    I get the sense they don’t trust easily and are not involving me in any decisions or matters of importance. I feel pretty disconnected from the workings of the group both professionally and socially.

    I’m going to prompt a review – or at least an informal one – with the head of my group. I want to focus on a couple things – constructive feedback and trust. Any suggestions on how to phrase those questions or issues in the best way? Any suggestions at all?

    • Marshmallow :

      How recently did you lateral? Has there really been enough time for them to trust you? Have you tried just asking to be looped in on the final product so you can learn from changes that are made?

      Personally I would start with the next associate up the chain, whoever is responsible for taking the first review of your work. Going straight to the head of your group as the first step is kind of extreme IMO.

      • I am the most senior associate and it’s a small group so in most cases only one partner is looking at my work, in a few cases an income partner first and then an equity partner. The other factor is that the head of the group is my firm assigned mentor and who I was hired to junior…so seems the natural step? Does that change you advice?

    • Hmmm, I’m not really sure if you have identified a problem. I also would not bring up “trust” directly with the head of the group – that’s a byproduct of doing good work over time. I think you can go to the head of the group and ask for suggestions on how to elicit feedback but in the first instance, I would try to figure out how to proactively go get it myself. For example, make a point to check in regularly with the partner that you want to work with – stop by their office at 9am, before the day has gone crazy, and talk about what you are working on, strategy, etc. and what you anticipate coming down. Have an agenda and ask for feedback. Turn drafts around before they are due so that you can ask for comments. Put questions in comments for “discussion purposes” and then follow up on them.

    • When you say prompt a review — what does that mean? In my firm, you open up a “review” for yourself, you’ll be out the door in 6-12 months as they’ll find a reason to be able to say (behind your back) — she isn’t cutting it, let her go.

      Why not ask for feedback in the moment? When you find out no brief was filed or some other brief was filed besides what you wrote – why not say – I noticed this isn’t the draft I provided, were there issues with the argument or some other reason why we didn’t use that one?

      Be careful generally. They’re being passive aggressive and reality is they won’t change no matter what you say — asking for direct feedback calls them out a bit so they know that you know what they’re doing.

      • I was going to say “hey, it’s been three months, hasn’t the time flown by? do you think we could sit down [next week at some point] and discuss any feedback you have for me on my work to date?”. I don’t think they will try to let me go – they looked for someone to fill this position for a year (it’s a niche specialty) and only ever considered hiring me, so I think they realize I have an upper hand? Maybe not.

        • It’s been 3 months? That’s just a getting to know you period. Don’t take too much to heart. It’s totally fine to go to your mentor and say, hey, can we schedule a coffee to talk about how the transition is going and things I can do to improve? But I wouldn’t make it A Thing. Many lawyers are crappy at giving constructive feedback.

        • I think 3 months is too soon. I’d wait until at least 6.

      • This. Do not rabble rouse. These people have run their practice a certain way for a long time. They are not asking to change. I realize you are saying “I need more direct feedback” but there’s a way to say that without “prompting a review.” And yes, many workplaces are passive aggressive superficial. That’s called “being professional” not “being honest.”

        I understand that this head of group is your mentor and you’re his #2. I’d give it a good six months to a year before you even go down a formal path. You waving a flag saying, “You don’t trust me. I’m not in the loop!” is not going to help your career. Promise.

        All biglaw firms are different. You might be used to a firm that was more forthright or gave more frequent feedback. You can weave this into regular interactions with this partner, as others have said. Do not make a huge deal out of this. Don’t.

    • Okay, okay, you have all talked me down. I appreciate it. I’ll suggest a coffee to chat about things generally and try to follow-up more informally. I think I’m just experiencing a lot of let down about a job I had like literally the highest possible expectations for (silly me).

      • FWIW this kind of stuff drives me crazy and I would have had the same reaction. I love constructive feedback, even if it’s “everything about this is wrong, do it over.” Because I can’t learn or get better without knowing how to improve things and what I did wrong. I had a boss in the past who would tell me “great job, thanks” and then not use my work. Never gave me feedback or told me what I needed to do differently next time, even when I asked. I felt like I was wasting my time. I agree with the advice given above and don’t think you should force the issue at the moment, but I can relate to your feelings.

      • In addition to having a general informal chat, I would try to address this stuff in the moment going forward. If you hand in a brief, and the filed version is completely different, reach out to the partner the day after the filing. I would frame the discussion as having noticed some changes in the final version and wanting to know if there are things you should do differently next time to provide the work product the partner needs. If the brief wasn’t filed at all, just ask why. There might be a totally innocuous reason that has nothing to do with the quality of your work.

  14. Co-worker who is generally nice is expecting and has been very rude to me lately. I try to understand and give room because this time sounds very stressful, particularly from things she has said. However, like I said, she’s been acting incredibly rude lately and I’ve tried everything to be nice, but she’s just been incredibly petty. We’ve had strange interactions like this before she announced her pregnancy and I thought it was just because she’d suddenly decided not to like me. Shortly after she announced she was pregnant and apologized for acting petty, etc. Basically, sometimes she’s nice, sometimes she gets hung up on something (very random, illogical things) and comparing herself to me, etc.

    At what point is it okay to be annoyed at the person and no longer consider pregnancy to be the sole reason why they’re being so rude?

    • You can be annoyed with someone at any time really. I wouldn’t put much thought into it either way, especially since she’s apologized. She is probably aware of her actions to a certain extent. She may be letting the stress of pregnancy invade her work life, and is unable to separate the two areas right now. Just offer support when she asks for it or needs it, and let the little things go as much as possible.

    • Why don’t you confront her and ask what’s going on?

      Remember that it’s possible (and likely) that you don’t know every detail of her pregnancy. For example, I’m dealing with some serious issues in my pregnancy, and I know it probably hasn’t made me the most happy-go-lucky person at the office. At times, I’ve had difficulty coping and compartmentalizing my worries about the pregnancy from my tasks at work. Moreover, being pregnant is stressful even when everything is progressing as it should be.

      Consider that what you perceive as pettiness or rudeness may be window dressing for another issue (not that that is an excuse to treat people poorly). Also, what you consider to be random or illogical might not be to her.

      • Not the OP — but I frankly wouldn’t care. Really tired of pregnant women issues — they can keep their mood swings or whatever at home. I find it annoying that I have to tip toe around 30+ yr old women bc they are expecting.

        • alexisfaye :

          I feel like this sort of ignores the realities of humanity.
          1. It’s never ok to be rude.
          2. We’re all people who are at times rude.
          3. Sometimes our rudeness is tied to circumstances. (My dog died, my mom is sick, I got in a car wreck, my SO dumped me, I’m pregnant, WHATEVER).

          I think it’s easier to just approach someone, non-confrontationally and with empathy, than to act like they’re a one-dimensional person with nothing else going on. I would want a chance to say, “gosh, you’re right. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be. I’ll work on it, and please call me out again if I fail…”

    • I’m not sure why pregnancy would ever be an excuse for rudeness.

      • Yep. She’s not the first human on Earth to have a baby and she won’t be the last. Millions of women get pregnant every year and manage to hold it together at work and elsewhere. She may be stressed out, but she still needs to be polite. No advice on what to do – I would probably either gently talk about it with her, or go to a supervisor (hers or yours) if it was really serious. But just know, pregnancy is not a good excuse for making people’s lives miserable.

      • What's a Zoodle :

        Uh, yeah, this. I use pregnancy as an excuse to be rude to my husband on occasion, when I am just done with it all and too tired to function, but being snippy with coworkers and blaming it on pregnancy is not allowed. Pregnant people don’t get an excuse for being rude to their coworkers (unless maybe they have some medical complication you don’t know about, but this is true for humans in general). Screwing up due to exhaustion I have more sympathy for, but that’s another story.

    • Sounds like she’s actually not the nice person you thought she was. I’m also not sure what pregnancy has to do with it.

  15. What's a Zoodle :

    OK, talk to me about spiralizers and zoodles etc. I need to cut carbs for medical reasons. Do any of you use a spiralizer, and do you like it? Will zoodles make me feel happy, like I’m eating pasta, or stupid, like I’m eating pasta-shaped zucchini? Thanks you for your attention to this important matter.

    • I like the countertop paderno spiralizer, but beware: it’s large-ish to store. The little as seen on TV vegetti will sprialize your fingers so don’t get that.

      You will not feel like you are eating pasta. It is disappointing in that regard. But! You will have a fun new way to eat vegetables, so that’s nice. Sometimes I’ll do 2/3 zoodles 1/3 actual pasta and that satisfies my carb cravings but the bulk of my food is actually a veg.

    • I wasn’t happy with any spiralized vegetable we tried. I do love spaghetti squash though, so that’s my go to on that front.

      • Anonymous :

        Same here! Spaghetti squash is a very yummy and effective pasta substitute, but spiralized zucchini is slippery and the sauce doesn’t cling the same way. It was also awkward to eat, since it was slippery when long or ‘may as well have just chopped it’ when short. In the long run, I just went back to chopping or slicing my vegetables. (We replace grain items with vegetables frequently – we just don’t pretend the are pasta).

        If you want to try it, don’t get the OXO sprializer. it’s wasteful due to the core that’s left over, requires really thick vegetables (carrots, for example, are impossible) and awkward to use.

        • Huh, I like the oxo spiralizer best. It takes up no room in my cabinet and I found it super simple to use. No elaborate set up. Just start twisting the zuke against the blade.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I haven’t found zoodles to be a great pasta replacement. I’ve found that they get kind of greasy and the texture when sauced is weird. If you are going to use a vegetable, I much prefer spaghetti squash. I think the texture of it is better.

      This recipe with spaghetti squash is excellent:

      If you want to use zucchini, I’ve had much better luck with recipes that roast it and use it in that fashion. You don’t get the pasta but you do get the heartiness. The below was a big hit in my house (I added the cheese to the top):

      In terms of “cutting carbs” what is your macro balance plan (ie how far are you cutting carbs)? I have found the black bean pasta from trader joes as well as the eat banza chickpea pasta to be lower carb as well as they feel like pasta.

    • Team Zoodle :

      Hah, I have a spiralizer and love it. I think of zoodles less as a pasta replacement and more as a healthy vehicle for delicious sauce! Cauliflower rice is also great for this. Depending on how many carbs you need to cut, you can also do half and half (half pasta/rice, half zoodles/cauliflower).

    • JuniorMinion :

      My longer comment with links to recipes is in moderation –

      I haven’t found zoodles to be a great pasta replacement. I’ve found that they get kind of greasy and the texture when sauced is weird. If you are going to use a vegetable, I much prefer spaghetti squash. I think the texture of it is better.

      If you want to use zucchini, I’ve had much better luck with recipes that roast it and use it in that fashion. You don’t get the pasta but you do get the heartiness.

      In terms of “cutting carbs” what is your macro balance plan (ie how far are you cutting carbs)? I have found the black bean pasta from trader joes as well as the eat banza chickpea pasta to be lower carb as well as they feel like pasta.

      • +1 to Banza chickpea pasta. SO has celiac and that’s our go-to pasta. It also happens to be low carb, but that’s a bonus for us. We eat it because it’s hands down the best gluten free pasta out there.

      • What's a Zoodle :

        I have gestational diabetes, so my plan is to cut carbs enough to make my blood glucose readings stay within the normal range. It’s early, so I’m not quite sure what that means in terms of how many carbs I’m allowed to eat. I will look into the black bean pasta. What is this banza chickpea pasta you speak of? Is it also at TJ’s? How do you prepare your spaghetti squash?


          In case you can’t find it on the shelf at TJ’s (I don’t shop there so I’m not sure what they carry).

          Spaghetti squash method:

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Re spaghetti squash, if you cut in half instead of lengthwise, you get longer strands.

          • +1 to Gail — the strands run around the circumference of the squash, not lengthwise. You can also salt pieces after cutting (say, into four round disks) and before cooking to help draw out some of the water and keep the strands a bit more “al dente” (just wipe off the water and salt before baking).

        • JuniorMinion :

          Hey! The banza is actually carried at my local grocery store (Texas so HEB). If you can find it in the store its cheaper than amazon. They also had it super discounted at our local Costco last week (win!).

          If you go on the banza website they can tell you based on zipcode where carries it near you.

          The black bean pasta is a trader joes exclusive (they also have a red lentil pasta I’ve been meaning to try).

          Sorry you are dealing with this. If you are looking for low(er) carb resources, I’ve really liked Lexi’scleankitchen, skinnytaste and Cooking light. All three tag recipes as paleo / low carb / what have you and use normal ingredients (a lot of the paleo sites call for weird flour replacements that cost $15 a bag and some such.) They also all do a good job of creating healthier meals / low carb meals that don’t make you feel like you’re eating some weird meal…

          • What's a Zoodle :

            Awesome, thanks. Will check these out, especially the black bean pasta, which I see has a pretty good net carb count. Thanks for the websites. I am also not into the idea of buying weird food extracts/replacements. Almond and coconut flour, yes, but some of the protein supplements and stuff seem like something I should shun in favor of getting “real” food, if that makes sense.

    • I love zoodles of all shapes and sizes. I have a big bulky spiralizer that is hard to wash, but I still use it.

      You won’t think you are eating pasta, but you can reconcile that pasta is generally a flavorless vehicle for transporting sauce. I use zoodles with red sauce, in chicken soup, in Asian style soups, with clams, in stiry fries.

      I also spiralize other veggies (carrots, daikon, beets) for stir fries and cold salads. I don’t find, the few times I order pasta, that I’ve really missed much at all.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have the spiralizer attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. I like it. It’s not going to make you think you’re eating pasta, but it does make cooking/eating vegetables easier/more fun for me.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      I am someone who is firmly in the “if it isn’t healthy I am not going to eat a ‘healthy’ version of it, I just won’t eat it” camp. Except for zoodles. I actually really like them, specifically with white sauces. They are just OK with red. I do feel like I am eating pasta. I have similarly was told to cut carbs after a PCOS diagnosis, and I have essentially cut all noodles out of my diet and replaced them with zoodles. The only time I eat real noodles it outside the house now.

    • Zoodles will definitely not make you happy like you’re eating pasta. But I do like them as a way of adding vegetables and bulk to whatever I’m eating.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I also have the Paderno countertop (with four blades) and I love it. I try to avoid carbs as well (also PCOS), which is why I use it, although I will sometimes just make pretty vegetables for fun.

      It is not exactly like eating pasta BUT one of the great things about less carbs is that you can make a richer sauce and still save tons of calories/carbs. So when I am eating my homemade parmesan, garlic and cream sauce over chicken, broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms and my spiralized zucchini, I do not feel at all deprived :)

    • I have the Paderno and I love it. Spiralized zucchini with some pesto, cherry tomatoes, veggie meatballs, and pine nuts is amazing.

    • What's a Zoodle :

      Goodness, who knew Zoodles would attract so much commentary! Thanks for the thoughts and the meal suggestions! I think I will give this a try. I have gestational diabetes, and my dear husband thinks I have gone batty with my new carb obsession, and I’m all about giving him further proof.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Also, check out the blog Inspiralized! She has lots of suggestions for how to use a spiralizer for all sorts of things. I’ve made a handful of her recipes (sweet potato carbonara!) and they’ve been good.

    • for a good pasta replacement, spaghetti squash is the way to go. if you add a really good sauce (don’t use canned unless it’s primo), and cheese, you’ll forget it’s not pasta- promise!

      • This. I recently discovered spaghetti squash and, despite being such a pasta lover that I have made it from scratch or purchased it fresh in the past, I actually prefer spaghetti squash or butternut squash noodles because I think they are so much more flavorful than pasta.

        I still love pasta but am so pleased to have discovered a colorful vegetable substitute. Baking the spaghetti squash after cutting and brushing with olive oil takes about the same amount of time as it takes to boil water then cook noodles, too, and it seems more nutritious.

        • spaghetti squash :

          Yes. I’ve also started microwaving the squash to speed things up even more (in some dishes, I prefer the sweeter baked flavor, but I think it tastes more “neutral” microwaved or steamed).

      • The skinnytaste blog has an amazing recipe for spaghetti squash enchilada bowls. It is my FAVOURITE way to eat spaghetti squash – I highly recommend it!
        She also has a tonne of zoodles recipes. The Chinese-style dishes are really good.

    • pasta replacements :

      LOVE zoodles and spaghetti squash for pasta replacements! Also, sometimes I just embrace the “no real noodles” and dice zucchini into the sauce and eat it more like a soup, spoon and all. I usually make my spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini anyways, so if I don’t want to wait to roast spaghetti squash or spiralize the zucchini, I just eat a bowl of “meat sauce”, since it’s basically a full meal anyways.

    • I was surprised at how much I liked my zoodles. I made a pretty meaty sauce and pasta for my family but zoodles for me, and I honestly think I had a better dish. I sautéed the zoodles in ghee before putting the sauce on, but I feel like a piping hot sauce would soften then enough without the sauté. (But mmm, ghee)

      I also tried crockpot tikka masala over cauliflower rice and it was awesome. I also did a quick sauté of the cauliflower before serving. The part I did not like was the mess I made cutting up the cauliflower, but I have since noticed they sell it already “riced” in bags at the grocery store.

      • Anonymous :

        you can “rice” cauliflower in the food processor- super easy! just cut up into large florets and put into processor.

        • I did this. I still had cauliflower everywhere. I’m all for cutting myself a break if I can buy something already cut up.

  16. I was so proud of myself for mixing prints this morning, discovering that my favorite shirt matches a skirt I’ve never worn before.

    Then I saw myself reflected in the plate glass door at the office and realized I’d grabbed striped shoes. Waaay too much. Face-palm!

    • I once wore a pastel striped shirt with a grey suit and actually thought it looked good. Then got to work and discovered the grey suit had a blue pinstripe I hadn’t noticed in my exhaustion. I thought no one would notice. Then a good friend/coworker started singing songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Every time he saw me. For a 12 hour workday. So if no one sings to you today, call it a win.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      This made me smile. Oops. I keep a pair of black flats in my desk for moments like this.

    • Smaller problems but I just looked in the mirror and realized my shoes looks stupid with my outfit. They scream spring/Easter/happy and my outfit is winter/depressed/spinster.

  17. Sorry for the thread jack, but I have been looking online and on this website, but I cannot figure out what to order from the “Ordinary” website. The example regimen for pigmentation issues suggests Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. I can’t even find this on their website. Have any of you contacted them for help, or do you have a website suggestion that would give advice on what products to use?

    • Following for recommendations. I am loving The Ordinary’s 2% retinoid (suggested by someone here), and I’m really curious to try more from them, but I also find the array of options somewhat dizzying.

      OP, dumb question, but have you checked the other brands within that stable for the products you want? Only some things are branded “The Ordinary”–there’s also Deciem and a handful of others, but they may be designed to all work together.

    • Hail Lady Hirons :

      They are separated into acids, hydrators and more molecules – the Alpha Arbutin 2% is under more molecules – make sure you are looking at t h e or d i n a r y . c o m not just Deciem’s website. I love their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% for evening my completion & helping with acne (I have fair skin that shows redness easily & it’s helped with that), love their 2% retinoid, their Hyaluronic Acid serum is good, too (gave it to my mom & sister who both also loved it & we have very different skin issues). I’m hoping to try their caffeine serum for my eyes, their glycolic acid toner & one of their vitamin C products next.

      If you searche the product name + reviews you can find general blogger reviews- some are great and some use the product once and just talk about first impressions. There is also a lot of info on the reddit subthread skincare addiction. Just pay attention to not using conflicting items (Deciem is generally good about warning labels on this front) like using the Niacinamide at the same time as any Vit. C products – they essentially make each other useless.

      • Orignial op :

        Thanks for your suggestions, I will check out the ordinary webs!te, I may have been trying to navigate Deciem’s. I will also look at reddit. I feel all of this is overwhelming, that is probably why I have used Paula’s Choice for so long, it is easy peasy to order a “collection” and add in a few extras.

    • The Ordinary Fan :

      I ordered after seeing a reco here and got my order two weeks ago (I think). Ohhhh maaah gaaaahd this stuff is amazing. I’m already seeing results.

      I got:
      Buffet – it’s a peptide complex. I’m using it every other day, alternating with:
      2% retinol, this is a great retinol and way more powerful than any other OTC product I’ve tried.
      I also got the caffeine/egcg serum for undereye circles – nothing dramatic yet but I feel like it does help with puffiness. And I got the niacinamide for breakouts, which I haven’t used yet because I haven’t had one. Ditto the AHA/BHA peel I got; haven’t had a chance to try it. I’m using Acure Marula Oil also, because I already had it.

      But just the Buffet and the retinol have already helped my forehead fine lines and skin texture, which were my main concerns. I am really glowy and my skin looks very even-toned. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m a fan.

      They have a guide on their website you can read through, that might be helpful. Reddit’s Skincare Addiction might also have helpful info.

  18. Curious if anyone feels like they have a job that is both challenging and interesting but has reasonable hours and minimal stress.

    As a lawyer, I’ve found myself in incredibly interesting and exciting jobs, but they come with considerable stress and the feeling of always being on call – not just in big law, but in my current in house position. I have friends who’ve taken less stressful, more time-balanced roles, but many have ended up returning to the big law or high pressure in-house roles because the alternative is boring. I’m tired of being up all night stressed about my projects, but I don’t know if I’m ready to make the tradeoff for a boring job. I’m starting to wonder whether you can have both – reasonable work/life/stress balance while still doing exciting legal work.

    Does this exist for anyone, or do most people just have to choose?

    • Yup. I’m a lobbyist. I went to law school, but I’ve never practiced – I’ve just always worked in my policy area. No billables, no briefs, I work regular hours most of the time, I’m not chained to a desk all day, I have next to zero stress, and I get to shape laws, so it’s definitely not boring. I absolutely love what I do and am so, so grateful for it.

      • is it possible to transition from big law to lobbying with no lobbying or policy experience? are the jobs only in DC?

        • The jobs are either in DC or in state capitals. I have a biglaw friend in a state capital who’s a litigator part of the time and a lobbyist when the legislature is in session.

          You probably can’t make the jump with zero experience, but you can get experience. Many biglaw firms have policy shops – ask around and see if you could help out. You can also volunteer with organizations you’re passionate about. Organizations often have government relations teams that put on Capitol Day where they’ll go to the statehouse to talk to staffers about their issue – reproductive rights, animal rights, school funding, etc. That’s a great way to get a taste of policy and get a feel for the skills you need. And state politics are a lot of fun – I actually like the state level better than federal because you’re closer to the people you’re trying to help.

          Lobbying requires two main skills: 1) knowing how to talk and 2) when to shut up. Political staffers are often 25 year olds straight out of undergrad – you need to be able to explain the issue without being overly technical and losing them, and be able to explain why their boss should care/how the issue impacts constituents. This is especially crucial if you’re in a technical field. Knowing when to shut up is also huge – I had a meeting two weeks ago with the most important decision makers for our issue, and a client’s gov’t relations person inadvertently insulted the decision maker because they weren’t savvy enough to know the room and read the undercurrents. That meeting went downhill fast. If you’re not sure, just stop talking. If you feel like you can do those, find a way to get involved! It’s a ton of fun.

        • In House Lobbyist :

          I worked for a state agency out of law school; went to a regional mid-law firm and then went in house for one of my clients – a large financial services company. I do government relations work and I love it. I have a set industry that is state regulated and have several states that I am responsible for. I interned in my state capitol when I was in college for a semester and decided I was becoming a lobbyist after law school somehow.

          There are different kinds of lobbyist and all have different levels of stress. Your state department/agency lobbyist usually are younger and get their jobs right out of college/law school and usually work for a campaign or in the political arena somehow. Your contract lobbyist that may or may not be lawyers are “hired guns” and have way more stress. Then you can have your in house lobbying jobs or your association lobbying jobs. My job isn’t as much in the trenches now (something I miss) since I have several states and can’t be everywhere at once so I have contract lobbyists that report to me. My work can be crazy busy for the first half of the year – when my states are all in the session and I may have to travel on a moment’s notice if something bad happens. But I have the best work like balance of any mom I know and I spend crazy amounts of time with my family and I love my job.

          While there are lots of successful lobbyist out there that are not lawyers, being a lawyer is a big leg up since you are dealing with words and statute drafting a large part of the time. It can be very technical and you have to think about how the litigators will use it in court against you someday.

      • cookie dough :

        Ditto to Anon – state level lobbyist with a focus on one broad policy area with far-reaching impact (think education or something similar). It’s really fun and rewarding to be able to write new laws every year and shape policy in a way that has a direct impact on millions of lives in my state (and sometimes even shape laws in other states when I’m really successful). I’m busiest during legislative session, but I still rarely work above a 50 hour week during the busy season. I testify in probably 20+ legislative committees a year, and it’s sort of like being a litigator without being confined to the rules of trial procedure or evidence. I say what I please and make sure to toss in a few well-seasoned sound bites for the reporters in the room to pick up.

    • I had this during the recession when I had about .75 of a job (but that was considered FT b/c everyone else had about .5 of a job). Now my plate is way too full and b/c we didn’t hire juniors in the recession, it all falls on my plate and I am too busy to train the help I need.

      I’d consider dropping to .75%, but need to have someone more my equivalent willing to shoulder the other .5 that I have on my plate now that the economy has recovered.

      Wanna share a job with me, anyone?

    • If there is such a thing, I haven’t found it. I left the stress and hours of big law for a job in compliance, but I swung too far in the other direction. I had fewer hours and lower stress generally, but I was bored out of my mind and not at all satisfied (which, ironically, really stressed me out). I didn’t even last a year before I was back practicing law. I guess I’ve decided that at least for now I’d rather be stressed and mentally stimulated/engaged than not at all stressed and bored. Still trying to find that goldilocks zone of interesting work and reasonable amount of stress.

    • Yup – governmental legal office. Awesome work in my specialty at 40 hours a week most of the time.

      • Me too. I direct a division for a State Government agency. Challenging and rewarding, pay is decent (esp. if you consider the ‘per hour’ rate – 45 hrs vs. 80 hrs a week), benefits are awesome, and 90% of the time I’m home by 5:30 with my husband and 3 year old.

      • +1

        Decent hours and 10 minute drive to work. In a small city location that would probably be looked down on by many posters but small size = high level work because there are so few lawyers. Regularly involved in substantial changes to legislation.

      • +1

        Appellate lawyer for a gov’t agency

    • I’ve talked before about my in-house role, but I love it and it provides the perfect balance for me. I’m in the office probably 45-50 hours per week and may respond to a few emails at night or on the weekends. I’ve been here almost 3 years and have pulled out my computer and actually “worked” over the weekend 3 times. But, I spend my days meeting with our C-Suite, I report directly to the GC, I manage bet-the-company litigation, and I’m closely involved in company strategy and risk discussions. I was lucky and joined a very quickly growing company right before it took off and had the opportunity to shape my role and expectations of me.

      • That sounds awesome. I’m envious.

      • how did you find/get this job?

      • I’m in a similar role: In house at a small sub of a major corporation. Our small legal department means that I get to do a huge variety of work from negotiating and advising on deals, to handling litigation, to high level compliance work. There are days that involve copying, work that isn’t really legal work or slower days, but they are not the majority of the time. Our major practice area is very challenging and ever changing, so that intellectual challenge is there as well. I run at lunch and am home by 5:30. I’ve been here long enough that when the 2nd in charge of the company walks in at 4:45 with questions, I can talk to him and tell him I will finish it the next day with no blow back. However, I am still an attorney and some level of stress comes with the job and being the one to make the tough legal calls.

    • It’s been mentioned here before, but contract management checks most of those boxes. I work 8-5ish (I can count on one hand the number of times I have worked a night or weekend in the last 5 years). I don’t have access to my work email outside of the office unless I remote in, and the only time I do that is when I am working from home (which I can do if I or my child is sick) or if I had to leave work early for some reason. The work is moderately interesting, with a stress level to match. Am I doing the most exciting work in the world and pursuing my passion? No, but I also don’t feel like a cog in the machine who is just punching a time clock. I am interested in my work and feel fulfilled. The regular hours also allow me to pursue volunteer work and spend a lot of time with my family, and I am very passionate about that. I came here from a firm and there is no amount of money in the world that would get me to return to a firm.

      • +1 to contract management/administration.

        I leave every day at 4 pm on the dot and I do not work nights or weekends. I really enjoy that I get to interact with the VP of the segment on a daily basis and he and I have high-level discussions about business risk and business decisions based on the contract language. I also interact regularly with the legal department and various colleagues around the world, including product management, IP, trademark, engineering, operations, and sales. The customers similarly are located around the world, I deal with jurisdictions that are new to me and require me to learn new things, and I think our products and what they go onto or into our interesting.

    • I’m in med device regulatory affairs (product submissions). I wouldn’t say those things are true across all sectors of the industry, but they’re true for my particular company.
      1. I primarily work 8-5 and don’t take work home with me.
      2. Mostly low stress, except for the last week before a submission goes out (one every 3 months at the most, usually less often).
      3. Interesting because I work on a product the is primarily software and falls into the digital health category, which is (one) of the cutting edge areas of medical device. Lots of first-time considerations of issues. And I think about those things for both the US (FDA) and the EU. And then collaborate with our other geographies to help them out.

      • Oh, and it’s not JD-required, though about 10% of our group has JDs. You don’t need a science background necessarily (tho I do), but it definitely helps to have med device industry experience.

    • I’m a CPA in the tax department of a law firm. My job is all the good things you mentioned, and even during tax season I only have a couple of weeks where I work more than 50 hours a week. The drawback is that there is no room for advancement and I’m basically never going to make more money than I am now.

    • Yes, I’m a regulatory affairs attorney at a financial industry trade association. Fascinating, high-level work that is typically 9 to 5. I sometimes work longer hours when I’m on a tight deadline, but I largely manage my own projects, so I can generally control my hours.

    • Yes. I’m an actuary. I used to work for AIG and I was stressed out all the time, and always worried about losing my job (the recent articles about culture at AIG are not wrong.) Now I work for a smaller company where I still have interesting work, but I feel appreciated and well paid, and I rarely work long hours. Pinch me.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know about legal work, but I’ve been in the non profit sector for awhile and generally I have great hours, low stress and lots of flexibility. The downside is no money.

    • I work in leadership development. It’s super interesting, you can network and meet a lot of interesting people, plus there never is truly anything urgent. I also learn a lot by conducting seminars and trainings, especially if it is content that is new to me.

  19. Never too many shoes... :

    I also have the Paderno countertop (with four blades) and I love it. I try to avoid carbs as well, which is why I use it, although I will sometimes just make pretty vegetables for fun.

    It is not exactly like eating pasta BUT one of the great things about less carbs is that you can make a richer sauce and still save tons of calories/carbs. So when I am eating my homemade parmesan, garlic and cream sauce over chicken, broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms and my spiralized zucchini, I do not feel at all deprived :)

  20. I have a family member going through a rough time, and spending all day waiting in hospitals. I want to get her something to read.

    English is not her first language, but she is fluent in English. She enjoys poetry (in her native language), and in English I have seen her read more nonfiction…. Biographies, “Better”….

    Any thoughts? Ideally, something hopeful.

    • Bossypants?

      • I don’t think American comedy is probably a good fit, unfortunately.

        She is in her 50’s, lived in the US since her 20’s.

        • I found out she recently liked ‘Thinking fast, Thinking slow” and “Guns, Germs and Steel”. And maybe she was reading some…. ?walden

          Obviously I am not a big reader of non-fiction!

          • Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillian

            I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou

            What non-English language does she speak or where is she from? Might generate more ideas

          • The World is Flat (Friedman). Haven’t read Guns, Germs, and Steel, but I liked The World is Flat and frequently see the two recommended together. It’s probably kind of outdated by now, but she may still like it. Freakonomics is also a similar option, and you could try looking at books of non-fiction essays too- think Joan Didion, David Sedaris, and Malcolm Gladwell.

          • If she liked those she’ll probably like some of Simon Winchester’s books, especially his more science-y ones. I suggest “Krakatoa” and “The Map that Changed the World”. Also “Longitude” by Dava Sobel, “Miss Leavitt’s Stars” by George Johnson, and maybe “Oranges” by John McPhee.

          • anonymousy :

            Nonfiction nerd here – it sounds like she likes subjects with details in a variety of interrelated areas. I would humbly suggest A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by Deckle Edge or Salt:A World History by Mark Kurlansky (both economic oriented but fascinating history and cultural tidbits). If she likes history, I also recommend anything by Ron Chernow (famous for his Alexander Hamilton biography but author of numerous other great biographies including robber barons like Rockefeller and JP Morgan.)

        • I’m in my 50s and thought bossypants was hilarious.

    • Jill Lepore’s “Book of Ages” is a fascinating and empathetic portrait of Jane Franklin, youngest sister and favored correspondent of Benjamin Franklin. Highly recommend!

    • anon a mouse :

      It’s not for everyone, but something like the Chicken Soup for the Soul books might fit the bill here. Clear, accessible writing and an uplifting message.

      Hidden Figures is also terrific.

      • Anonymous :

        There is a young adult version of Hidden Figures, too, which is a little easier to read but also gives more background context for someone less familiar with the period of history/science. For example instead of something like “However, they were still subjected to the racial inequality of Jim Crow.” it would say something like “They were still affected by unfair laws, meaning that they had to sit in the back of buses, use different bathrooms, and live in different neighborhoods with fewer services.”

        What’s the native language?

        When Green Becomes Tomatoes is billed as a children’s (poetry) book, but I really enjoy it and I think it would appeal equally as well to someone for whom English is not the primary language. (It may be available in other languages as well).

        The All Creatures Great and Small series is fun.

      • Anonymous :

        I am a non-natative English speaker and I would be seriously offended if someone gifted me an “easy to read” book. Wow.

    • Anonymous :

      Anne of Green Gables

    • Great suggestions. Many thanks.

      She speaks Mandarin.

  21. I’m suffering through a workplace crush. I’m happily married. This is so stupid. Any tips on getting over it?

    • Avoid avoid avoid. No witty banter. No overly personal conversations. That is what fuels it. I noticed one developing in myself when I went to a new job and I knew immediately I had to purposefully control what I was feeling or it would develop into sexual feelings. And I went on deployment with the guy for 7 months, so it’s definitely doable to control.

      • Maybe it’s more than a crush. *Those* feelings are in high gear. I need to avoid avoid avoid but it’s my boss. Ugh.

        • That may be easier to control actually. Overtly sexual vs romantic is definitely easier to tackle and keep from developing into anything meaningful

        • Lots of visualizations with crush doing undesirable gross things – picking his nose in a meeting, burping loudly at work lunch etc. Focus on changing the romantic image in your head.

        • Easier to avoid if it’s your boss, knowing that both your personal AND professional lives could be ruined. This will pass.

    • Rich fodder for your fantasies but just avoid anything remotely unprofessional in reality.

    • I went through this last year. I’m happily married with young kids. I really couldn’t (still can’t) avoid working with the person I was interested in. I agree with Clarissa – keep it as professional as possible. No personal conversations, no banter. I would also NOT use this as fodder for your fantasies because I think that can really cause the feelings to grow. Just shut it down, even though it seems kind of fun.

      • Agreed. Think of the pain and mess that are nearly inevitable when something like this ends. You can spare yourself all of that. Easier to cut it off now than at any point down the line.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Really? I don’t think there is anything wrong with either witty banter or making him part of your mental sxy-time movie reel…just don’t, you know, actually sleep with him.

      I sometimes feel like I am the outlier on this board though since I do not think that extra-marital flirtation is a thing worth noting as long as you don’t take it to the next level.

      • Ditto to what ‘too many shoes’ said. I’m rock-solid in my marriage, though, and also have an active fantasy life that contains multiple things I would never in a million years act on.

        I’ve had several workplace crushes (including one on my then-boss) that I mostly used to fuel better performance at work to ‘impress’ my crush… but I was very clear in my own head that that was what I was doing. Also, I have avoided situations where the crush might be reciprocated, because in that case I would rather not deal with whatever fallout would arise if my crush actually acted on their feelings.

      • What inspired this post was a very vivid dream last night. Super fun but I’m worried that if I even look that direction today I’ll blush. I’m a blusher.

        • Anonymous :

          Eek, that’s harder. I had a dream about one of reports – someone I do not in waking life find remotely attractive – and had to avoid him the next day.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Also a blusher. Had a dream like that about my boss one time (not attracted to him) and he looked at me the next day and I blushed and he noticed and said “…What’s up?” Me “NOTHING.”

      • Baconpancakes :

        Agree. I think it’s unreasonable to expect you’ll never be attracted to anyone other than your spouse, and by making crushes and feelings bad, you set yourself up for failure. Instead, I say welcome the crush, knowing you won’t do anything because you’ve drawn your lines and you know exactly how far is ok to go. That lets you blow off the pressure of the crush and usually makes it go away. And for me, getting to know someone better (under friendship, being clear it’s not romantic), usually helps as well, because most people have some terrible quality that makes my SO look even more amazing in comparison.

        • +1

          Crushes are fun because you can only focus on the best parts of a person and fill in the gaps with your fantasy. No need to acknowledge glaring personality flaws, and you probably don’t even know what they are.

          A phrase that helps me with the hottie in my office: “No matter how hot you are, somebody, somewhere, is tired of your b*llsh*t.”

    • layered bob :

      play it out all the way to the end. You have an affair. What does that look like? You do everything with him you’re fantasizing about. Your husband finds out. He is crushed. How does that feel? Does he divorce you? What do you tell your parents? Who gets the house? Then what?

      Ugh. That always feels so horrible to me when I think about it “all the way” that it keeps any “crush” feelings firmly in check.

      • Whoa, that sounds like totally unnecessary self-flagellation to me. Having a crush isn’t inherently bad, no need to make yourself feel like $ h i t about it.

        • layered bob :

          OP asked how to get over a crush. Sure, no need to self-flagellate over every passing fancy but this has been an excellent way for me to get over a crush, especially if I’m “suffering through” it, or know it might be dangerous if I’m not careful.

    • I usually give people in this situation the same advice when they are dealing with loss or other personal challenges: this. too. shall. pass.

      It won’t last forever, one day you will be over him, and you will look back on this time thinking — “how could I have ever felt like this?” Know this, believe it, and repeat it to yourself as often as necessary.

      • Yup. I had a situation where this guy and I were a near-miss. We almost got together, but I ended up with my husband instead. I always wondered what it would have been like to end up with this guy, especially when my husband and I went through a couple of rough patches. A decade later Mr. Near Miss and I ended up moving to the same city with our spouses and kids. And our daughters are best friends in the same daycare class. I now know his wife, and see the way he talks to her. All I can think is BULLET DODGED. I’m so glad I never did anything stupid.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you all. Nothing will ever come of it, that’s just not something I could ever do! I’m just uncomfortable and afraid of looking and feeling stupid!!!

  22. Brooklyn Bride :

    Am I crazy to consider doing my own hair for my wedding? Everyone has given me such expensive quotes, like $400 for day of plus trial, and it’s hard to stomach because I’m really good at doing my own hair. I’d like some kind of braided updo, which is something I do all the time. I often do two Dutch braids on each side of my head and pull them into a loose bun. It’s lovely and routine for me to do it, and tends to last very securely all day. My fiancé has good taste in these things and agrees it would be nice. A lot of my wedding is DIY, and I don’t want to be stressed. But the last time I got my hair done as a bridesmaid, I hated it. I’ll definitely get my makeup done because I think that’s a whole different beast. Thoughts??

    • Go for it. I did my own makeup and it was fine. I just allowed myself plenty of time.

    • You’re not crazy. Just spend a few weekends trying it out and make sure you know what you want to do and that you can do it. Don’t try anything new the day of :)

    • What's a Zoodle :

      If you’re good at doing it and already figured out a way of doing it that you’re happy with, go for it — but only if it doesn’t take you forever, and you are confident you won’t screw it up the day of. I gladly paid for someone to do my hair and my sister and mom’s hair, but we are all incompetent when it comes to hair and makeup.

    • Do your own hair! My only caveat would be if you have bridesmaids, and you want them to have “done” hair (and they’re not as proficient as you are at doing their own), you may want to hire someone for that. But it’s totally not mandatory!

    • You’re not crazy. Trial run it a lot – you say this familiar style that you do regularly. Do it weekly (every Sunday?) for 4-5 weeks before the wedding. Time how long it takes you – add 20 minutes for nervousness day of. On wedding day to it in same location/environment as you have practiced. So if you’re used to doing your hair in the bathroom by yourself, don’t try to do it with 10 people in the room because when you’re bride, everyone is watching you and that might throw you off.

    • Go for it. I did my own makeup and was going to do my own hair — but my mom did it instead. I had watched a friend go through a whole stressful thing at her wedding where she hated her makeup and hair and it really colored her experience of the day. I’m also a complete control freak when it comes to my hair (came home from the salon for senior prom, washed it and started over).

      As long as you’ve done a few test runs and are comfortable with the style and its durability, I don’t think there’s any reason not to.

    • If you and your fiance both like it, and you can pull it off reliably, and the thought makes you happy and it saves you money, why wouldn’t you? Go for it! Maybe a little extra hairspray, and a few trial runs, especially if you’re using a veil or headpiece.

    • JuniorMinion :

      If you want I had good luck just booking a normal “updo” appointment with my regular stylist the day I got married. Granted I got married in city hall, but she charged me ~$75 and it looked way more fabulous than anything I could have done myself. I didn’t do hair trials or anything like that because since I go to her all the time I sort of know her work.

    • You sound like the perfect case for DIY hair, since it’s something you already know you’re capable of.

    • Do it yourself! I tend to find professionally “done” wedding hair looks a bit shellacked and overdone anyways. I did my own and it looked fantastic in the pictures (and I looked and felt like myself).

    • Shananana :

      I did my sister’s for her wedding. Get on youtube/pinterest, look up some tutorials and spend some evenings with wine, a mirror and lots of bobby pins. Was actually much nicer the day of, as we got to hang out, not worry about other’s timelines, and enjoy it. Of course, this is why my hair just ended up down and curled (no more time!), but honestly I was so much more comfortable that way so it worked out anyway :)

  23. Anyone have any recs for coverage of the Comey firing that thinks it was a good thing and can explain in a cogent way why? My initial reaction is that this is insane, but I’m interested in reading alternate perspectives if there are any that are sensible.

    • What's a Zoodle :

      Both NPR and BBC had good coverage this morning. I’m pretty firmly in the “this is nuts” camp, but BBC had an interview with Lindsey Graham where he cogently defended the administration’s actions (or at least stalled for time until they figure more out).

      • Thanks! I don’t usually look to Lindsey Graham for calm, reasoned quotes, but he certainly is stepping up on that front right now.

      • NPR takeaways- 1) he was in the news way too much and this impeded the bureau’s ability/role to quietly do their investigations -what other FBI director, besides Hoover, could you name? Probably not many because being lower profile is part of this agency’s job 2) firing the director =/= firing the entire agency, there are still people doing investigations 3) depending on the day, neither side of the aisle supported him for various reasons and had called for his head so this newfound shock is a bit disingenuous and 4) the republicans aren’t doing a great job at communications within the party which makes the optics look worse for a lot of things.

        • #3 is basically what Lindsey Graham said and I do have to agree.

          • But the wh’s own reasoning is the Clinton emails. Something’s off here.

          • Anonymous :

            If you find #3 persuasive, I don’t think you’re considering the whole context and timing of this. Yes, there are Democrats who called for Comey to resign (resign, not be fired– and many, many people acknowledged that if Clinton won, she should NOT fire him because of the optics). But you don’t fire the head of the FBI when they are in the middle of an investigation of your administration. The optics are so, so bad, not to mention the underlying ethics.

        • I didn’t say I found it persuasive, I said it was true. It can both be true that both sides have called for firing him at different times and that firing him at this specific juncture and for the stated reasons was, at an absolute minimum, bad optics.

    • I really enjoy washington post’s daily 202. the 202 today has a good run down of what happened with links to articles that elaborate on certain parts

    • Anonymous :

      Generally (and I’ve been hearing it around, particularly NPR which is my main news source), it’s important to keep in mind that it is NOT mutually exclusive to think (a) it was appropriate for Comey to be removed and (b) there should be independent oversight to investigations involving the executive branch. You can support both.

    • I posted above under the “interesting times” thread.

  24. Thanks for the help with my newly-vegetarian daughter yesterday. We talked about nutrition last night. It helped that the discussion was in front of her boyfriend, who is also an athlete and takes sports nutrition very seriously. In fact, he really liked the vegetarian food pyramid one of you sent, and was making suggestions about things she could eat to satisfy that.

    My daughter reminded me that she usually eats peanut butter when she gets home from school – she likes it on crackers or on a banana (yuck) and she eats this almost every day. So I guess that’s protein, and a reason she might be satisfied just eating roasted vegetables for dinner. We agreed that when she does that, she will drink a glass of soy milk alongside.

    Her lunches are ok. She eats a lot of falafel and hummus from a shop near her high school.

    She does eat a lot of sweets but that’s a separate issue from her getting enough protein.

    She agreed to go with me to Whole Foods to check out the Quorn and Morningstar frozen options some of you recommended.

    More suggestions for vegetarian options welcome!

    • Lentils. Lentil soup, Indian dishes, pasta made from lentils or chickpeas. Tofu.

    • Anonymous :

      You can get vegetarian/vegan protein shakes. Maybe add a protein smoothie to her afterschool routine or in place of the soy milk on occasion. Avoid using almond/rice/coconut milks as a dairy substitute as they are not nutritionally equivalent.

    • Hope you’re still reading, sorry to be late to the discussion.

      I second the rec for lentils. They cook quickly (compared to other beans) and are versatile – so they could be served with, say, the same sauce and veggies the rest of the family is having on a meat entrée. Or spice them with taco seasoning and use them as taco filling. My favorite variety is black lentils; you can get them in WF in one-pound bags or bulk.

      Yesterday SA mentioned the spiced black beans from Trader Joe’s. They’re good but if your area has Kroger or one of its affiliates their house brand of organic spiced black beans is better, IMO.

      For vegan protein shakes, I like the Vega brand of protein powder.

      For faux meats, if she likes spicy foods the Morningstar buffalo wings are the bomb; I love them on top of a salad. (My method to make them crunchy: thaw in the mircowave, then cut into smaller pieces. Nuke for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until they’re crispy. They will crisp further as they cool.) Gardein has some good options; the crabless cakes are very good. (I served them to a super-foodie caterer friend and she was pleasantly surprised.)

      And Barilla Plus is a pretty high-protein pasta that does not have the sometimes weird taste of, e.g., lentil pasta. It’s not vegan, as it has some egg or egg white in it. The whole family can eat it.

  25. Anonymous :

    I’ve been doing kind of terribly mentally and emotionally since having a baby. (Baby has been speaking in sentences lately so this is a long problem). But today I bought a dress for the first time in a store in years and I feel a bit proud of myself.

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure what exactly you are dealing with, but it’s never too ‘late’ to get treated for PPD/PPA. I didn’t seek help until my daughter was 2, got started with counseling & medication. I’m doing a lot better… hoping you can find the light <3

    • Anonshmanon :

      I’m glad things are looking up today!

    • That’s great–celebrate the little wins! I hope things continue to improve.

  26. Minimoon in Chicago :

    We’re a midwestern couple getting married on July 1, and we’re just doing a quick 3 day minimoon to Chicago. We want to stay in a luxe hotel, get pampered, have fancy drinks and fancy food, and do some sightseeing. Any MUST dos? Hotel recommendations? I’ve read great things about the Langham and dana hotel.

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      Can’t comment on hotel, but there are so many great options! Restaurants I’ve been loving lately: Maude’s Liquor Bar, BoHo/Bohemian House Chicago, Publican and Beatrix.

      If you’re looking to see a few of the major attractions, look into the City Pass, since it may be more economical for you. Museums and the Sears/Hancock attractions are included in it. The architectural boat tours along the river are super interesting. Some things to look into based on your interests are festivals/art shows in the neighborhoods, and free concerts/shows at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park (you can bring your own picnic including alcohol!).

      A couple places to get great views of the skyline – the end of museum campus (the lake-side of the Planetarium), and Promontory Point on the south side of the city. Navy Pier will have great views too, but it gets very crowded there.

    • It’s hard to go wrong with food in Chicago. Check out the Chicago Tribune “50 Best” dining list for restaurants — Boka in Lincoln Park is my personal favorite though it’s a bit out of downtown (take Uber or the Red Line to North&Clybourne).

      I’ve had drinks in the Palmer House Hilton and it’s a really gorgeous hotel, though I can’t speak to the rooms/overall experience.

      If you’ll be here over the 4th, there’s a great fireworks show over Navy Pier, but it can get incredibly crowded–I’d recommend finding a spot further up or down the shore to watch.

      And the Field Museum is opening a new exhibit on Jurassic World with animatronic dinosaurs, if you’re into that sort of thing. ;) (I’m going twice this summer…)

    • Make a reservation for Alinea – why not?

      Architectural Association of Chicago boat tour. Then grab a bite at the bar of the Purple Pig.

      Morning visit to the Art Institute, Lunch in their cafe, stroll through Millenium Park and admire the Bean and the other outdoor sculptures.

      One late afternoon, pack a “picnic” of cheese, bread, chocolate and wine and head to Millenium park and sit on the grass and hear an amazing free concert. Then have a night cap at the Palmer House bar.

      Eat dinner sitting in a table outside in the hip West Loop.

      Ride the Ferris wheel at night. And then eat a deep dish pizza. My favorite is Gino’s, with the cornbread crust (secret recipe).

      Have fun.

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