Splurge Tuesday’s TPS Report: Tweed Wrap-Effect Sheath Dress

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

Valentino Tweed Wrap-Effect Sheath DressHappy Tuesday, ladies! I like this black and white tweed Valentino sheath dress — that tweed is gorgeous, and the wrap effect at the waist looks flattering and chic. The neckline is pretty low, though — so I’d definitely pull out a camisole, at least for the first time you wear it. It was $1,990, but is now marked to $795 at The Outnet. Valentino Tweed wrap-effect sheath dress

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  1. This is gorgeous but I think a camisole would really detract from how chic and sophisticated it looks. Not sure how you would wear it to work otherwise though. Maybe with a silk blouse underneath?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Someone with a smaller chest might be able to get away with it, although it’s hard to tell just on the mannequin. I just clicked through to see if there were any pictures on a model (there aren’t) and saw love this dress too (except for the zipper): http://www.theoutnet.com/product/310888?cm_sp=YMAL-_-TO[310888]-_-FROM[290524]. The Outnet is a dangerous place!

    • You could “lift” the entire neckline by taking in an inch or two at the shoulder but it may then shorten the dress too much to be work appropriate.

      • I’ve tried this on a different dress and even though I’m short-waisted, the waist and fullness below it is now making me wish that I hadn’t.

    • Agreed. I usually think camisoles detract from the look. I used to wear them under everything, but now I don’t buy it if it’ll need one.

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    This dress is gorgeous! I’m completely drooling this morning and sad that there is no way I could afford it right now, which is actually a good thing since I don’t wear dresses very often.

    • This dress from WHBM is similar and only $50: http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=112&pageId=6&productId=570059413&viewAll=&prd=MenswearPrint+Sheath+Dress&subCatId=cat6219285&color=&fromSearch=true&inSeam=&posId=2&catId=cat4809277&cat=&onSale=true&colorFamily=&maxPg=7&size=&clickid=0004ddc8e781b43e0ae056896a004548&CMP=AFC-GAN_Affiliates&GANPID=k108283&GANCID=j613802432999k108283

  3. Also in Academia :

    So, I just bought myself my first-ever non-drugstore makeup, the Nakeds palette by Urban Decay. Anyone have favorite combinations, or tips or tricks for its use? It’s nice, but I feel like I am mising some secret to how best to use it, or like there is some way I can use it to look better than I do with my usual Revlon!

    • There are some great tutorials on YouTube – worth the time to look at the videos for so many different looks. Love that palette!

    • I’m feeling the same way about my N*aked pallete! I guess I’ll actually have to take the time to watch some tutorials. I keep thinking if I just buy this one product, I’ll magically become good at doing my makeup/hair.

    • Love the N*ked palette! Here’s a standby look for me:

      Darkhorse to line the top and also outer corners of the eyes
      Smog to blend in the crease
      Creep to line lower outer lash
      Half baked on inner corners
      a mix of virgin and sin on the brow bone

    • Youtube.

  4. Ok, SO and I have been negotiating vacation allocations — he prefers road trips in the countryside while I’d rather see some big city lights, touristy sights and good restaurants — and one of my choices is a June long weekend in a big city. We live in Toronto but I’m from another continent, so while we’ve seen Quebec City, Montreal, NYC, the rest of the vicinity is a wide open book. I think I’ve narrowed it down to Boston or Chicago. Thoughts? And any absolute must see/dos in either of those on a three-day weekend? Our last vacation a couple months ago was split between lounging at the beach, lounging on the patio, eating/drinking and various combinations of the above. So I’m up for a busy one this time!

    • Boston is great and could accomodate both a city/restaurants vacation and a drive in the country vacation. For three days, I’d suggest a combination of (1) staying in the city (walking the Freedom Trail, shopping in Back Bay, going for a nice run or walk on the river, seeing a game at Fenway, and hitting any number of good restaurants — maybe use meals as an excuse to check out the South End, Seaport, Cambridge, and the North End); and (2) taking a drive up to Concord and Lexington (Concord and Lexington battlefields, Battle Road, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Walden Pond). If the weather is nice, you could also take the ferry to Provincetown and spend a night out there. Have fun!

    • I really enjoyed Chicago- I joined the architecture foundation while I was there, because it was worthwhile for all the walking tours, I think I did a different one every day. I loved the food, the museums and art institute, and aquarium, and, there was a festival of some sort going on in milennium park the last couple days I was there. It was a whirlwind, but I had a fantastic time. There was enough to keep me busy for a week. My must do list would be the boat tour and art institute and museum (they have awesome dinosaurs), and eating all the food.

    • I’d recommend you spend a morning at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, then hop the T over to Boston Common (get out at Park Street). Walk to Charles St in Beacon Hill and find a place for lunch. Then either poke in the shops and boutiques along Charles St, or walk through the Common and Public Garden (and take a ride on a swan boat, if you like).

      If you like Italian, I recommend dinner at Assaggio in the North End, followed by dessert and coffee at Caffe Vittoria or Modern Pastry (don’t go to Mike’s — all the tourists go to Mike’s and it’s a madhouse, but there are better pastries elsewhere and less craziness).

      If your husband wants to get out of the city for a bit, there are ferries that go to the harbor islands. Those can be a fun afternoon walking around, looking at the old fort and watching the ocean. You can also catch a ferry to Provincetown on Cape Cod for the day. If you want to go to the beach, I’d recommend renting a car and driving up to Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester (get there early if it’s a Saturday in the summer — the parking lot can fill up quickly). It’s a gorgeous New England beach with interesting tide pools formed by big, smooth rocks, and a pretty view. You can then rinse off and head to the salt marshes in Ipswich or Essex for a casual dinner at a clam shack (I love JT Farnham’s).

    • To me, Chicago and Toronto have a similar vibe/style (one that I love). I am not as familiar with Boston, but I love visiting Chicago. It’s very walkable and the public transportation is excellent. There are tons of different kinds of restaurants and the neighborhoods are distinct in character like in Toronto. June in Chicago is pretty pleasant weather-wise (compared to the Southeast US at least).

      The Art Institute is a fantastic museum, Millennium Park is very cool and fun to just poke around (there are art installations and some gardens), shopping on the Mag Mile is great. The architecture boat tours (do the one by the non-profit architecture group, I forget the name) are a lot of fun, and it should be good weather for one in June. The French Market has stalls of produce and a food court.

      Restaurants: The Publican (and anything in that same group), Girl and the Goat, Babareeba (tapas), Bakin and Eggs (breakfast), Revolution Brew (beer and good food), Urban Belly, Belly Shack, Slurping Turtle (ramen)… there is so much good food in Chicago.

    • Thanks very much!

  5. Somewhere Tropical? :

    Husband and I are going on a much-needed vacation in August. We want to be able to lounge on the beach and have the option of doing nature things like hiking, seeing wildlife, and possibly snorkeling. It’s relatively inexpensive to get to Roatan from where we are, so that’s the main place we’re considering. Has anyone been? Any recs? I have such a hard time narrowing this all down.

    Husband wants to go to the Yucatan Peninsula because it’s verrrry inexpensive to fly there. However, it looks to me like the only thing to do is lounge on the beach in a lot of those places. Has anyone been to a place on the Yucatan that’s more active with hiking or other non-water opportunities for fun?

    • Belize is great. It’s small enough that you can do day trips for hiking, ruins, cave tubing, etc. Also, the diving and snorkeling is amazing. A good balance of water and land activities.

      • +1. Honeymooned in Belize for this reason – great mix of lounging around, snorkeling, ruins, cave tubing/nature. Costa Rica is also a popular choice for this… also Puerto Rico.

    • Cancun is near several Mayan Ruins (especially Tulum, which is on an amazing beach). Also, if you’re willing to drive after arriving you’re within a few hours of Chichen Itza (one of the 7 wonders of the world). The city of Merida is also worth a few days. It’s an old colonial city and has some incredible old churches. It’s been a while since I’ve been, so I don’t remember the distances with any precision, so you’ll want to check on those rather than trust me.

      • The ruins near Cancun are definitely worth a visit. Keep in mind that it will be very hot in August. I also really liked snorkeling in Cancun. There is a very long reef in shallow water so you can see a ton of fish.

      • Ditto. We did Cancun with a couple days on the beach, Mayan ruins, and scuba diving. There are also eco tours to swim in the cenotes (sink holes).

        • If you do the Yucatan, skip Cancun and stay in Playa del Carmen, although you will want to find a place not too close to the harbor. I think we stayed about 20 blocks north of the ferry dock and it was wonderful. Great beach and restaurants, also lots if Europeans, which makes it feel more international. And you still get access to the ruins, including Tulum, which is much closer to Playa then to Cancun.

      • Somewhere Tropical? :

        I am ashamed to say I did not know about Tulum until this thread. After some frantic googling and texting with Husband, I think we might actually stay there. We are not into the all inclusive resorts, and I thought that’s all Maya Rivera really was! Now I feel silly for thinking that. It looks like there are lots of opportunities in that area for viewing wildlife, and I want to check out these cenotes.

        Also, everyone’s comments about diving made me wonder if Roatan is really the right place for us because we are not divers. Though I want to try it one day!

        • In my experience, the food options in the Cancun area tend to lean toward U.S. chains. We like staying at the all-inclusive resorts and going out for day trips.

    • My sweetie and I did Roatan the first week in March and loved it. We stayed at Infinity Bay and found our condo on VRBO.com, I would recommend it.

    • I love Love LOVE Roatan. I go Scuba diving there every year. I go scuba diving there so I ‘m not horribly familiar with the land-based wildlife. But there is lots of jungle and lizards and stuff…some ziplining but I don’t advocate ziplining in a 3rd world country that lacks 1st world safety measures.

      Most people stay in West End or West Bay. West End is a “city” on the island–lots of backpacking students and nightlife. West Bay is a long beach with a 10pm curfew (divers need there sleep to catch the boats). I stay at Bananarama in West Bay. I’ve heard good things about West Bay Lodge too (it’s down the block and across the street from Bananarama). There is really good snorkeling in West Bay.

      • Joanna Toews :

        I stayed at Bananarama with my husband and sister this past January. I would definitely recommended it if you’re interested in a place nearest the best snorkling you’ve ever experienceed. :)

        We went walking on the windy roads around West Bay after dark and encountered… land crabs. That’s right: Huge white crabs that live in the rainforest well above sealevel. They come out at night. Creepiest/coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

        However, as far as people-watching is concerned, West End is the place to stay.

    • I went to Roatan in 2008 and really liked it (with some caveats below). It’s beautiful, lowkey, fun, and easy. Do you scuba dive?? That’s honestly the main attraction there. Amazing diving. If you want to do beach lounging, you should definitely take that into consideration when you pick where you stay. There are a few “resorts” that are newer and nicer that will have good beaches, otherwise a lot of it is rocky shores. We stayed in a little hotel with a pool, walking distance to town and all the dive shops, and loved it, but very, very low-key and basic. A fun time though and definitely worth a trip, particularly if you’re divers (or I suppose snorkelers too!).

      I will note that we both got really, really sick (trip to emergency hospital sick) – and that’s being very seasoned travelers having done lots of 3rd world travel in Africa, Central America, etc. – so definitely take precautions.

      • P.S. we stayed outside of West End (not West Bay) – lots of options for food and things to do, lots of dive shops, etc.

  6. Berlin bound :

    DH, five month old daughter, and I will be traveling to Berlin in a few weeks. None of us have been there. Any recs on what to see, in light of the fact that we are going with an infant? We have heard that the Jewish Museum is amazing, so we are definitely going to see that. Other ideas? We are staying near the Tiergarten. Thanks!

    • Go to the Checkpoint Charlie museum! I loved it. It’s not as polished as some others, but it really tells the stories well. We really loved Berlin. It has a great feel.

    • For open-air activities, I’d suggest :
      – The East Side Gallery : its the longest remaining chunk of the Berlin Wall, and a 1-mile long fresco from various artists with some stunning parts. Moreover, it may be partially destroyed in the future, so go have a look while it’s still here !
      – The Tiergarten itself.

      I loved the few days I spent in Berlin, and found that just walking on the street was the best way to enjoy the city. I’m not sure it would be manageable with an infant, though.

    • Have you (or any other ladies here) traveled with an infant before? I have seen posts on here about flying with an infant / small child, but as an avid traveler who is debating starting a family soon, I am curious about actually vacationing and sightseeing with little one(s) in tow. Do people do this? Is it impossible? Am I niaeve to think that DH and I will just bring our child along to say, Paris or Berlin and go about my life as per usual? Or will it be strictly Disney for the next 15 years?

      • Divaliscious11 :

        My kids started traveling at 6 weeks (Europe for both). will you need to make accommodations? Yes. Are you stuck with Disney? No. Accommodations – you may need a travel nanny, you may need to find hotels that provide child care, you may need to tag team for certain locations, or go at off hours so your kids noise is completely disturbing (and kids make noise – trying to hush them will just frustrate everyone) for example – have an early dinner at nice restaurant, early admission to museums etc… Mostly just be prepared. for the travel have you own snacks, activities, diapers etc….. When you get to vacation place, find a local grocery store for kid friendly snacks etc… Kids are just small people with less ability to articulate what they need…..

      • My parents traveled with me and my sister all over the world, from the time she was 6mo and I was 4, till she was 5 and I was 9. We had an amazing time, they loved it, and I love that i grew up with a global understanding of the world. I’ve asked my parents “How They Did It??” cuz it does seem crazy to me, but they said it was just a matter of managing your sightseeing expectations. Each day had 2 major things planned, the longest one in the morning while the kids were rested, then head back to the hotel for food and nap. Then one other thing in the afternoon, usually something more kid-oriented to keep our attention.

        They also had no problem finding babysitters through the hotel once in a while, so they could go out at night just the two of them. And they also split up sometimes, so one of them would take the two of us, while the other one got to do something they really wanted to do.

        They said it was awesome for the most part. Kids don’t mean the traveling is over, just the 8 hour, activity packed, super busy day kind of traveling. Takes a little more planning, but they thought it was worth it. Also: Dramamine for the kids before getting on the plane. Seriously. We slept right through most long-haul flights thanks to dramamine crushed up in applesauce or peanut butter. ;o)

        • Love these responses, it sounds v exciting and not like my travel life has to end (unlike what friends say). Thanks!

        • +1 to this. We travel a lot with our kids and have since they were little. We didn’t happen to go anywhere interesting with them when they were infants, but our first trip abroad was England and France when our kids were 3 years old and 11 months. We had a fabulous time and have been traveling internationally with them ever since. It’s easier now that they’re older, for sure, but that just changes what your expectations should be and how much you can reasonably plan to do. We’ve also found that getting an apartment makes it much more manageable than staying in a hotel; besides being a lot cheaper, the kids can eat whenever they want, you can cook some dinners instead of eating out every night, you have more elbow room, and we’ve gotten to see what it’s like to live in the cities we’ve visited, instead of just feeling so much like tourists.

      • Veronique :

        My parents would take their 4 children on 1-2 week overseas vacations from the time we were preschoolers. Our trips ranged from the US and Canada (we’re from the Caribbean) to Europe. They would usually have some sort of help, since my oldest sibling is 15 years older and could help keep us youngins entertained. My grandparents or a nanny would also join us sometimes. We often stayed in timeshares or apartments, so we’d have more room to spread out and my parents would buy breakfast foods to eat in and snacks to take with us during the day. Those trips fostered my love of travel, exploring new cultures and cuisines and visiting museums and meeting locals all over the world. With a little planning, and lots of snacks and on-board entertainment, anywhere is possible!

    • Anonymous :

      What do you like to do?

    • Saacnmama :

      Prenzlauerberg is a great neighborhood. Start with the cafes on Kollwitzplatz, then walk downhill to Rosa Luxembourgplatz. You will notice that there are lots and lots of strollers in that hip, gentrified neighborhood these days.

  7. RAWR, I am SO JEALOUS of all these vacation plans. TAKE ME WITH YOU.

    • My thoughts exactly! Now I want a vacay

    • Oh, me, too. My big plans are going to DC to visit a friend. It’s going to be a lot of fun, but not what I really need, which is to be away from here for awhile.

    • Same here, I really want to take a vacation to travel, but don’t have a SO, travel time with family is always too stressful to count as “vacation” and most friends I checked with seem busy in their own lives. I am not sure if traveling alone will be all that much fun. I have so many vacation days left but have no idea what to do, would hate to waste most of it on a staycation at end of the year. Sorry, this just sounds so gloomy..

      • Wow are you me? I’m debating taking a long weekend to some place like Chicago by myself just to get out of the city but my favourite part about traveling is doing it with someone so I’m kinda hesitant right now. Could do a trip with my parents but I’m not sure we’ll get along and I don’t really know if I can handle fighting on my only vacation of the year. Ok this sounds way more depressing than I intended to get on a Tuesday morning.

        • I basically always travel alone, it is delightful, but I’m pretty introverted, so all the time alone just recharges me, it’s amazing. I love making my own schedule. The hardest thing to get over is eating in restaurants alone, but I just bring a book, and have a good time. I vote try it out just for a long weekend to see if you like it- you can definitely handle 4 days on your own…right? That being said, my ideal travel partner is one were we hang out alone and do what we each want to all day, then meet for dinner/drinks/evening show of some sort. Those are the things I have the most difficulty doing alone, but I just deal most of the time, and end up just fine once I get going.

          That being said, I want to go more adventurous places, and so I think my next big trip will be with G Adventures, just because I don’t really feel safe travelling alone as a woman in South America or Asia or Africa, or Eastern Europe. Western Europe and the US are totally fine to do alone, in my experience/opinion.

          • (former) Clueless Summer :

            I did Eastern Europe alone and it was totally fine! I would highly recommend it, actually. Some of the cities are so nice for just wandering around alone, enjoying the sites (Prague and Kiev especially) You just have to be smart about it – I found by making friends with the staff at the hostel (I was doing it on the cheap), people were looking out for me, and otherwise I was just smart about it. (i.e. not going out late at night in Bucharest kind of thing). You will also meet others travelling alone, same as in Western Europe.

          • I love traveling alone, and it’s actually very easy to meet other travel buddies depending on how you travel. For example, I traveled Australia and SE Asia for months on my own, and easily had dinner companions/travel buddies everywhere I went. The catch? I was hosteling/budget hoteling it, so very easy to meet like minded companions. I think it would be tougher if you were staying in more high end places.

            If you’re looking to put your toe in the water (and have already traveled Europe) I highly recommend Thailand as a starting place for a single woman. It is so easy to travel there, and though I stayed in private rooms the whole time, I just went down to the bar/restaurant of wherever I was staying and made friends that way. It was an excellent way to get over shyness – after the 100th time you approach someone to make small talk, you get used to it :)

            That being said, traveling alone is not for everyone, so I’d recommend a long weekend first. I had traveled alone for short stints in Europe before traveling on a bigger trip, but found the bigger trip can get very lonely, especially if you get sick or have a tough travel day.*

            *Caveat that I also did most of my alone traveling in the days before Skype/wireless, so the loneliness factor might not be as hard now.

          • FWIW, I’ve traveled extensively alone in Central and South America (Chile, Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica, and with another female friend to Peru). You have to be smart about it (you won’t do a lot of going out at night; I typically opted for more expensive but more secure overland travel options, like luxury buses or planes instead of $2 converted schoolbuses) and you must trust your instincts, but it’s doable, for sure.

          • Second, third, and fifth this! I think this just becomes a reality for some of us at some point in our lives, and I’ve loved every solo vacation I’ve had. Yes, you do have to be careful at night, etc., but it’s so relaxing to do what you want when you want. I’ve done Dublin and tons of U.S. cities by myself.

        • Wow, thanks ladies for so many great ideas. I won’t mind traveling alone and doing my own thing during the day if I know someone to get dinner/drinks etc in the evening just to break the monotony. I have already visited most of NY/SF while doing internships so would like to do some other cities in the US (Boston/Seattle/Portland/New Orleans), sticking to US for now. I am definitely doing more research on this later today.

          “TO Lawyer” – I am actually in Chicago, so if you are ever visiting here and need a travel/dinner/drink buddy, do let me know, Chicago is amazing in the summer.

          • AnnonFoo, are you me? Not to copy TO Lawyer, but I feel the same way about solo travel and I’m in Chicago too! I’ve done a fair amount of solo travel in the US and Europe, but for certain destinations and longer trips, I still like to have someone to travel with – though I’m likely to want some time off by myself even then.

            I also second the invitation to meet up for drinks/dinner to any readers of this site traveling to Chicago.

        • TO Lawyer :

          You ladies are the best! After reading all of your responses, I’ve decided to branch out and do at least a long weekend on my own this summer.

          Currently leaning towards Chicago because I have wanted to go for so long – AnnonFoo, I will definitely let you know!

      • I went on my first solo trip last year and loved it! I went to London, a city I have family near and that I’ve been to before so I had my bearings already. I got a great deal on the hotel, was close to the tube, and so enjoyed the freedom of moving at my own pace. At first it was a bit overwhelming but once I reminded myself how much I enjoy my own company and the independence I was gaining, I embraced it with enthusiasm =D

        If you want to get away but don’t have a travel buddy, be your own travel buddy! Start small if you’d be more comfortable and see how you like it. Once I started gradually stepping out of my inner comfort zone, I realized how much I was missing and how much there was I wanted to do.

        Let us know if you have a destination in mind. I’m sure someone has been there and will be more than willing to pass along their favorite sights!!!

        • This. For traveling alone I generally try to pick a place that I at least know one person in so I can grab one meal with them to shake up the monotony of me time. But I like traveling alone, I get to see all that stuff that someone else wouldn’t be all that interested in and go at my own pace. I also like to go to movies alone, eat dinner alone. I’m basically an only child, so this may have something to do with it, but I think alone time is seriously underrated.

      • Although I would never tell my husband, the very best vacations I have taken were those I went on alone when I was single. I never got lonely because I stayed busy. I really enjoyed being able to go where I wanted without having to negotiate every detail. When I got bored with a museum or site, I just left and did something else. I found the time alone peaceful. I recommend it.

        • AnonInfinity :

          I want a solo vacation like woah, but I think my husband would be very hurt.

          • Ditto.
            I’ve found holidays with my SO a bit disappointing and unnerving (we have different ideas about holidays, and being together all. the. time is just not my idea of fun)
            I’d like to travel alone – but I’m too chicken for that and I’m not sure he’d understand.

          • I agree – I’m an introvert, dh is an extrovert, and we have different holiday styles. That being said I love traveling with him and spending time with him, but I also like being on my own as well. The issue is he doesn’t understand why I’d want to go on my own, and spend all that money on just myself instead of the two of us together. Thankfully I do get to do a small bit of traveling for my job (Houston last fall, Paris next month) that helps with my desire to travel on my own without hurting his feelings. And my company foots the bill, which is even better! Unfortunately I don’t get to choose the destination of my work trips, and I doubt any of them will ever be to the beach, and well, I have to actually WORK while I’m there. But, I still get a chance to get away for a little bit.

      • I adore travelling alone. Donwhat you want when you want, see what you want. It is marvelous and refreshing. Dinner is the only hard part for me as I do like sharing that meal, but the freedom of the rest makes up for that and I still take myself out for nice meals.

      • I used to be fussed about traveling alone, but now I really love it. Give it a try! I’m doing 3 weeks in Europe this summer, and I used to be reluctant to even go to the movies by myself. Start small and build up!

    • Diana Barry :

      No kidding! I haven’t been anywhere except the 3 states immediately surrounding us in the past 6 years. We are too chicken to travel anywhere with the kids bc we don’t want to take them on a plane with car seats, etc. Sigh.

      • I sympathize. We didn’t do any real travel with our kids until they were out of diapers & out of naps. It was a boring few years, but the good news is kids always grow up, and then you can take them places that they’ll actually remember being!

        However, I’m a big supporter of weekends away without the kids, if you have someone to leave them with. We go away for at least a long weekend every couple of years or so (hoping to move it up to once a year), and it’s wonderful.

      • Flying with car seats? :

        What’s the concern with car seats? I am new to the travelling with children thing and figured that you have to fly with them in car seats, if for no other reason than you’ll likely need them on the other end of the trip once you rent a car. And if they need a booster in a car, you bring that on the plane, too. [I know you can get wheelie attachments for car seats that turn the car seats into strollers — I’ve used those but am not a varsity-level family flyer at this point (but I hope to become one).]

        • Diana Barry :

          Basically, we don’t want to schlep all 3 kids, luggage, AND 3 car seats through the airport. I can carry 1 kid and 2 bags, but probably not more than that, and the other kids need handholding so as not to run away. Just thinking about it makes me squirrelly.

          CKB, I also love weekends away. Will do one as soon as I stop nursing the baby, so not for another few months…

          • I saw the coolest thing at the airport last week – people had attached their kids carseats to their rollaboard luggage, eliminating the need for a stroller and making it super easy to take both.

            It looked kind of like this:


            I don’t have kids, but I’m totally keeping it in mind for when I do!

          • I see this all the time (I spend a lot of time in airports). There are a few brands that stand out…I’ll make note next time I see one. You can tell these families fly a lot– the kids were security-checkpoint pros :)

          • Anonymous :

            Can’t reply to the link post, but i saw an EPIC fail of one of these the other day. Carseat came unhinged and toddler fell out on a street corner. Like one of those slow-mo falls that you see coming but can’t stop. Toddler was TOTALLY fine, parents were embarrassed more than anything. It was pretty funny (since no one got hurt/was in any real danger in the particular instance).

          • This made me LOL – “other kids need handholding so as not to run away”.
            I experienced a 3-day weekend full of this, with just one toddler waiting to make a break for it anytime I let go for a second!

      • you should do it. we were totally like that with our son, but it had been way too long since we had a good vacay. now that we have two, we actually travel all over the place with them and its great. We have lightened up on the car seat on plane requriement though. we just rent a car at the other end with a car seat.

      • My parents drove us all over the country when we were little (and I mean from coast to coast). It would take me hours to describe all the good I think it did us. What I’ve appreciated more and more the older I’ve gotten is the appreciation of how big the United States are and how much it has to offer. I know so many people who have never even set foot in the middle of the country, and that seems incredibly limiting to me.

        Like I said, I could go on for hours about all of the more minor benefits (being able to read in the car without motion sickness, etc) but what is most important to me is that understanding of how big the world is.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          My parents did the same thing (along with flying everywhere, mostly because my parents are immigrants and so family is scattered across the country and across the globe) and I am so thankful they did. I’m sure it wasn’t always fun for them – wrangling three screaming kids into the car for a 7 hour drive can’t be, after all – but I got to do and see so much for not too much expense on my parents’ part.

          My life has been so rich because I have been lucky enough to see so much of our country (only two states left!) and I feel like I have really gained a better understanding of the world at large. It’s also pretty cool that as an adult, I’m comfortable that wherever I move to, I can make it work, and part of that I think is having seen so much.

          I also second how awesome the skill of being able to read in the car without motion sickness is. It also really helped develop my love of reading since my parents never sprung for a car with a TV, so on those long car rides, that’s all we did.

          • Diana Barry :

            LOL. I also get car sick, so would NEVER go on a car trip longer than 4 hrs.

        • This – I knew a guy once that had never been on a car trip longer than 4 hours. His family just flew everywhere that took longer. I had to take 10 to 12 hour car rides to see my grandparents (flying wasn’t really an option) across a couple of those flyover states (in the days before in-car tvs and such). And we did it every summer (to one, not both). You get used to it, your kids get used to it.

          We slept through parts of it, read books through parts of (once we were old enough), learned and sang along to the entire soundtrack of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, listened to books on tape, played road games. Road trips were also the rare occasions when we got to eat (some) junk food and drink pop.

    • I know! A shame for you Godzilla, because you don’t have to worry about sunscreen or anything.

      I don’t have plans, but it’s my own fault. Definitely reading all these suggestions for when I decide to actually plan a vacation.

    • Between these travel threads and all the photos of fun European trips on Facebook, I am having a serious wanderlust attack.

  8. Crazy Summer Humidity Hair :

    My hair (usually fine and limp but fine and prone to fuzzind up from my ears forward and upward) has become a hot mess now that summer is here. The back (in need of a trim) is now looking longer than the sides due to the sides fuzzing up so much that they’re at least an inch shorter.

    I can’t just shorten my way out of this — I’m thinking that thinning throughout will help. And if I shorten too much above the shoulders that the fuzzy parts won’t weight themselves a bit straighter.

    Can someone find me a celebrity who has executive no-bangs hair that I can use as an example or any places (stores websites) that I could use as tear sheets to bring in when I get my hair cut this week? I need executive hair back and not this weird bi-textural hair (worse with post-baby end-of-nursing hormone surge).


  9. I’m wondering how all of you ladies decide what counts as a “disposable income” purchase vs. a “required” purchase. There are a variety of items that I know would fall under required (e.g. rent!), and disposable (e.g. nail polish! Wine!), but there are others that I thnk might be on the fence- primarily related to things that you need to look put together for work/life.

    For example….hair cuts. I don’t NEED a haircut for life, but I do need a good one to look put together, so I’m not a total mess at work. And work clothes- even once you have a clost built up, you still need items to refresh your outfits every few months, right? Basically, I can convince myself that almost all my purchases are required, so I’m wondering how you all divide the two.

    • I don’t really divide my purchases into required vs. disposable. I make sure my salary first covers required i.e. rent/other expenses, bills etc. and savings, and everything else, I basically consider disposable (this includes food). I have an excel spreadsheet with targets for each category but if I choose to spend my leftover money on clothes rather than fancy food, I do and it all generally ends up balancing itself out.

      Mentally though, I do tend to buy more work clothes than casual clothes. And I’m much more willing to spend more on quality work pieces rather than trendy items so I guess it also balances out in my head.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      This varies so much by person.

      For example, I cut and colour my own hair. It sounds ridiculous, but all I need is a little trim here and there and it doesn’t seem worth the £200 every six weeks or so it would cost at the hairdressers. On the other hand, I like to wear interesting stuff to work, so I spend more on work clothes than I might if I were happy to wear the same basics every day or if my firm had a stricter dress code. So I don’t think either of these are ‘required’, but I make a choice about them.

      So yeah, I don’t know what my point is except that you sort of decide where your line is and live by it… also, I absolutely disagree that wine isn’t a required purchase ;-)

      • Two HUNDRED pounds?! I know you’re talking about a cut and a color, but that’s a huge price tag! I know my city is pretty low-cost of living but I am shocked by that number! I think I’d have a hard time finding someone who would charge me that much around here!

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Yeah that’s pretty standard in London, unfortunately. Just a cut is around £40, it’s the colour that costs!

        • Anonymous :

          standard in chicago for cut and color too.

          • Agree, I easily spend over 200 dollars (not including tip, which is 20%) depending on what I am doing for color.

        • Orangerie :

          Yep.. I’ve seen close to $300 for cut, color & highlights in SF.

      • Woods-comma-Elle, if you are ever looking for a cheaper cut, I highly recommend Greg at the Toni & Guy on Cowcross Street, especially if you have longer hair – it’s £55. I’ve never left unhappy. I still do my color at home out of the box though to save money there, since I have to do that more often whereas I really only get my hair cut on average every 6 months.

        Otherwise, I’m with TOlawyer – rent, utilities and savings are “required” and everything else is a general pot I can spend on whatever although I try to also set aside some of that mentally each month to have more in months when I travel.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I’m considering a “career” budget line. It would include necessary dry cleaning, professional clothing, makeup, shoes, networking costs, etc. For example, a basic suit that I can wear to trial would be included but a funky interesting suit would not be. I have not actually tried this yet, so I’m interested in hearing other responses.

    • AnonInfinity :

      For me, haircuts are required purchases. Clothing beyond a minimum amount in my closet when I’m not replacing something that is faded/pilled/blah is discretionary.

      In order to progress in most careers, you have to look the part. You have to look pulled together to inspire the confidence of your bosses and clients. You can’t look like a “total mess” and do that. There are plenty of studies showing that attractive people make more money, so I never hesitate to spend money on something that is going to make me look put together. I think something like botox or a super fancy face cream is discretionary, but a good haircut and makeup are not.

    • This is hard, because if you work in a position where you are putting in face time, you need to look presentable in order to do your job.

      This is what I do with discretionary spending. I create a monthly budget for those items, $x to pay for haircuts/new accessories/new shoes/new clothes. What I like to do is allow this budget to roll over to the next month if I don’t use it. So then I can decide if I’d like to buy 10 little things – nail polish, cheapo shoes from target, a cute top on clearance, etc, or would I like to roll it over to get 1 big ticket item in a few months – a new expensive purse/shoes/suit. I do this with discretionary entertainment budget as well: would I rather go see Star Trek, Great Gatsby, and Fast & Furious 6 (don’t judge) or would I rather save that money up and go on a real vacation.

      I think this allows for some wiggle room in the budget for fun stuff so I don’t feel like I’m always saving saving saving. I figure if I give myself some wiggle room then I won’t cheat and go broke.

    • I count things like hair cuts, oil changes, car registrations, under “planned spending”, since I can tell ahead of time how much I will spend on them (roughly) per year.

    • It may be useful to ask yourself – if something is an ‘investment’ in your career, then what is the return ? Be honest about whether you can quantify the dollars to be realised a realistic period, as you might do with a big-ticket item, like an advanced degree.

      I would be quite surprised if a white-collar professional has problems affording the basic standards of grooming for their chosen industry, at least once a person is beyond entry-level compensation, because I see those standards as achievable at many price-points, even in my expensive city and my profession, which can attract some flashy types.

      If you are spending more than the ‘required’ to meet the ‘basic’ and you can afford it, why not just embrace it ? For myself, I readily admit that practically none of what I spend on my wardrobe, or living somewhere beautiful vs. serviceable, or traveling in comfort, or on charitable giving for that matter, would fall under ‘required’ or ‘investment’. It ALL comes out of disposable income, and I go for it if I can afford it, and do without if I cannot.

    • I agree that some things are really hard to classify. I have a smartphone that is my personal phone, but I use it for work constantly (calendar, email, etc.). And internet at home is mainly for my personal use, but I log in to my work computer pretty often as well. Those things, for me, are required. Cable is not required, except for my sanity. A home phone is not required, except when the power is out for a week.

    • Wine is absolutely required!

  10. calling momentsofabsurdity :

    I know you were just in Peru and I’m going on Friday! With two friends to hike to Machu Picchu. We will be in Cusco for two days before to acclimate to the altitude and explore before we start the hike – do you have any food / restaurant rec’s?


    • momentsofabsurdity :

      YES. OMG I totally do. Have *so so so so so* much fun.

      Things that were awesome in Cusco

      – My best meal in Cusco was at Cicciolina, which was amazeballs. I had the guinea pig confit and it was just so yummy – everyone else I was with also really enjoyed their meal. It tasted pretty authentically Peruvian. They did charge a fee for us to sit in their dining room – I think it was like, 10 or 15 soles?
      – The Meeting Place was this funny little cafe, owned and run by Americans living in Cusco. They were really nice and it had really good coffee – I didn’t like a lot of the coffee at restaurants in Cusco. Definitely nice if your stomach needs a break from Peruvian food because they have waffles and other types of American fare.
      – Other restaurants I didn’t try – restaurant Incazuela (sp?) which some other people we were with went to and raved about, and a vegetarian restaurant called Shaman, which people loooooved – we had a lot of vegetarians on our trip

      Activities we liked:
      – A lot of people when horseback riding through the mountains, and said this was super cheap and a really fun way to see some of the Saksayhuaman and other ruins (from a distance) without buying the whole tourist pass (which was like $60 US dollars). We just walked through the ruins, which were pretty cool.
      – The planetarium was also very cool
      – Definitely worth seeing the cathedral – no pictures are allowed inside but the amount of incredible artwork, altars made out of solid gold or silver, and cool history (for example, many painted images of the Virgin Mary pregnant, while holding the baby Jesus — our tour guide told us this was because native artists wanted to signal to Inca natives that the Spanish religion was just another form of their own religion – worshipping the mother earth) – I’m not Catholic and I thought this was very, very cool
      – Alpaca goods in Cusco seemed like better quality than in other parts of Peru
      – Souvenirs were definitely cheaper in Cusco, particularly in this indoor market near the airport. I’m not sure of the name but I can look it up — basically just a huge warehouse with a ton of souvenir stands. DEFINITELY cheaper souvenirs there than at MP.

      Have fun!

      • Thank you!! These tips are great, and it’s nice to hear that you liked guinea pig! I’m also interested in trying the llama. And the horseback riding sounds like a great activity to get us off our feet. I’m so glad that I planned this vaca right after memorial day so I get so much time off in a short span!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I didn’t have llama but I did have alpaca (I had it at our hotel (Eco Inn Cusco)) and it was pretty good as well. Just tasted like beef, honestly. I would avoid the ceviche and weirdly I saw a sushi place up there – generally, I’d just avoid fish in Cusco since it’s fairly landlocked and no one I know thought the fish was good up there (and it made some people sick!)

          Also for active activities, I know some people went white water rafting and other people went ziplining. I think those things were also very cheap.

          You will have so much fun – and seeing MP was definitely the experience of a lifetime.

  11. Shopping help. I will be wearing a purple dress with a deep vee to a wedding and want to alter the jewelry I usually wear with the dress. Anyone want to find me a necklace that will cover some of the bare skin and coordinating but not matching earrings? I’ll be wearing gold shoes.

  12. Thanks to all who recommended the jockey skimmers – I have a pair underneath my pencil skirt today and they are so comfortable!

    • I'm Just Me :

      You read my mind, I was going to post the same thing today. Thanks to all who recommended the Jockey skimmers, they are fantastic. No rolling, pinching, sagging! I’m going to definitely order more and toss all the uncomfortable similar but not as nice things I have bought over the past few years.

    • Must add these to my list!

    • How close to the knee do these go? Obviously that varies per height, but I want to get a sense before I buy. I can only seem to find either shorts that are too long and peek out under my skirts, or too short and then my thighs still rub together and hurt.

      • They go almost halfway down the thigh in the shorter length (below my chafe line). I’m 5’2″, 10-12, got the mediums in shorter length and they are great.

    • What shape are you ladies? I want to try these, but am more of a rectangular-shaped size 10. Just don’t want them too tight in the waist while being too loose in the hips. That goes for pretty much every bottom, actually.

  13. How much time do you spend on bills, paperwork and making appointments per week? Is it better to spend 15 minutes each day as items come in, or batch them and spend a longer time each week or every other week? I am doing ok on bills, but I spend a lot of time following up on incorrect bills or trying to make appointments or other things that are small on their own but seem to add up. Help!

    • For the past 2 months, I’ve spent at least 2 hours/ week arguing about medical bills/insurance coverage.

      Typically, though, I spend about an hour a week on all bills/finance. DH and i spend about 15 minutes checking in our our investments over the weekend (he’s in charge of that), and I pay the bills/aggressively throw all expendable income at DH’s student loans–the only ones left!

      • When do you typically spend the time? Over your lunch hour, after work, etc? I find that lots of these things have to be done during regular business hours when I am supposed to be working.

        • I use them as breaks between work tasks. Since individually they only take 5 minutes each, fitting them in here and there isn’t usually a problem. My general goal is to complete one of these things every day.

        • Depends on the task. Arguing with the insurance company I do on my way to/from work (they’re open 8-6), or early in the AM when working from home and I can schedule some time into my day.

          Otherwise, for normal stuff like making appoints for me, the dog, the husband, the house, etc. etc. I just take 5 minutes and call while at work. It’s never been an issue…

    • In theory, it makes more sense to save them up and do these things in batches. However, in reality, I put off the batch for so long that it becomes an entire day’s work of work for me, so I make a point of handling them as they come in.

    • Meg Murry :

      For as many appointments as possible, I try to make the next one as I’m leaving the office. So if that means I schedule next year’s PAP for a year from now, oh well – I’m pretty much guaranteed to get the first appointment of the day that way – and I put in on my Google Calendar from my phone while I’m still in the office. Its when I haven’t scheduled anything in a while that it becomes an issue – I get a burst of appointment making and schedule optometrist, dentist, GYN, haircuts, etc in one morning (not all appointments in morning, but all the phone calls made in one morning). The problem is then that I have one or two appointments every week for a month or so, then they all come due again around the same time the next year. My sister has setup a system to spread things out over the year – so her birthday month is DMV & license plates, the next month is dentist, etc etc.

      As for bills, I tend to pay them at work over lunch 1 day per week, or if there are phone calls that need to be made about them (like medical bills, which are NEVER right) I try to call around 10 am – that seems to be a time when I don’t have to sit on hold so long, and I do something like sort emails or sort papers while I’m sitting on hold. I’ve found most companies are understanding that there are certain calls you can only make during work hours, and as long as I stay later or take a shorter lunch to compensate no one seems to really mind.

  14. Has anyone here ever been diagnosed with cholestasis during pregnancy? I just found out that based on symptoms, I might have this – won’t know for a couple more days. If so, I’ll need to be induced at 37 weeks or so. All I can think right now is 1) don’t freak out and 2) pack you hospital bag asap. But looking to hear from others – did you have it? were you induced early? any tips to calm down and/or prepare in case the diagnosis comes back positive? Thank you!

    p.s. I’ll post this in later threads in case people have moved on from this one. Sorry for the double post but I can really use all the advice and reassurance I can get

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